NAIROBI, Kenya, May 2 – Kenya has begun negotiations for the financing of the Naivasha – Malaba Standard Gauge Railway line (2B and C).
In his State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Wednesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta revealed that negotiations are in progress for the financing of the third phase of the SGR line that started with the Mombasa – Nairobi line.
China is currently financing Section 2A SGR line from Nairobi to Naivasha that is currently under construction valued at Sh150 billion.
In 2016, Kenya and the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) signed an agreement for the construction of the Naivasha-Malaba Standard Gauge Railway line under the Kenya SGR Developments Project valued at Sh549 billion.
The four commercial contracts valued at US$ 5.4 billion are for the developments of the four elements of the project include Naivasha- Kisumu, Kisumu-Malaba, Kisumu Port Development and Modernization and expansion of the Inland Container Depot at Embakasi in Nairobi.
“We knew that without radical renewal and improvement of our infrastructure and connectivity, we could not hope to attract the investment we needed to create jobs and prosperity and to beat poverty,” President Kenyatta noted.
Kenya is constructing a Standard Gauge Railway between Mombasa and Malaba as part of the East African Community protocol for the development of an SGR connecting the port of Mombasa to Kampala, Kigali and Juba.
The entire network is supposed to be in operation by December 2018 and member states are working towards meeting the timelines of the directive.
So far the first phase of the project from Mombasa to Nairobi is completed and was launched in June 2017.
Since its launch, about 700,000 passengers have taken the Madaraka Express while on the cargo side, the SGR cargo services were up and running on January 1, 2018, with an initial monthly load of 22,345 metric tonnes rising to 213,559 metric tonnes per month as of the end of April 2018.
“If we are to create the jobs for which Kenyans long, we need investment. When I took office in 2013, my Administration promised and delivered the most aggressive surge of infrastructure development in Kenya’s history,” President Kenyatta said.