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Kenya Secures Chinese Funding to Extend Standard Gauge Railway

The Kenyan government received a boost for its ambitious Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project. 

They secured funding from China’s Exim Bank to complete their section of the railway, stretching 364.3 kilometers from Naivasha to the Ugandan border town of Malaba.

Financing for this extension will come from a variety of sources. China’s Exim Bank will shoulder a significant portion of the project. 

Kenya will contribute through its own Railway Development Fund, and the African Development Bank (ADB) is also expected to chip in. 

Recognizing the project’s scale, Kenya and Uganda are actively seeking private investors to help ease the financial burden.

The total cost for the Kenyan sections, phases 2B and 2C, is estimated at $5.3 billion. Construction is set to resume in July 2024.

This development in Kenya goes hand-in-hand with Uganda’s plans. They intend to extend the SGR from Malaba all the way to their capital, Kampala. 

Construction on their section is expected to begin in September 2024. Both Kenya and Uganda are aiming to raise roughly $6 billion each to finance their respective portions of the railway.

The bigger picture here involves a regional vision for East Africa. This railway extension is part of a plan to create a connected network throughout the region. 

The goal is to link Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by rail. 

Meanwhile, Tanzania is also building its own SGR network, with an ambitious goal of completing a 1,600-kilometer line by 2025. This line will stretch from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza on Lake Victoria and Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika.

Additional source: IRJ

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