, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 19 – An ambitious urban passenger train connecting Nairobi suburbs to the city centre is set to be launched by June.
The project, co-financed by Kenya and Hungary, will ease traffic congestion in the city besides transferring technology to Kenyans.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday welcomed the city tram project, saying no “development-conscious Kenyan” would oppose such a programme.
President Kenyatta spoke when he held talks with the Hungary Ambassador to Kenya, Eduard Laszlo Mathe, who had paid him a courtesy call at State House, Nairobi.
The President said phase one of the project will connect the Standard Gauge Railway end point in Nairobi to the railway station in the city centre. Other branches are planned to connect the suburbs with the station. The proposed branches of the tram project will include Thika Road, Ngong Road, Ongata Rongai and Limuru Road, among others, all connecting to the city centre.
The Hungarian envoy said the proposed tram service will transform the way people in the capital city get to work.
“It is expected to transport about 300,000 passengers a day and even more when all the branches are fully operational,” he said.
The President directed the Ministry of Infrastructure to ensure the project is completed on schedule.
The ambassador said the project will cost $150 million (Sh15 billion). He explained that Hungarian engineers will train their Kenyan counterparts to make materials and transfer the skills to manage the project.
“In line with Hungary’s new foreign policy for Africa to reinforce economic relations, we will train and equip Kenyans with skills to develop the project and own it. This project will be made in Kenya,” the ambassador said.
The envoy disclosed that his country has implemented a similar project in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
On education, the ambassador pointed out that his country will provide 50 postgraduate scholarships to Kenyans.
Infrastructure and Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and senior officials of the ministry were at the meeting.