Kenya is set to send 60 students in China in 2016 to study railway trained engineering for four years, in a move aimed to revamp the railway sector.
Kenya Railways Corporation Managing Director Atanas Maina says the first batch of 25 students will be leaving the country next week.
The programme is funded by Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) contractor China Roads Bridge and Corporation (CRBC).
“This was an understanding between President Uhuru Kenyatta and the contractor. The president has been very keen on technology transfer,” Maina told journalists during a tour of the SGR project.
The students will be going to Beijing Jiaotong University at a cost of Sh5 million per student.
The students will be able to travel back to the country once a year for holiday.
“We are also working with Engineers Registration Board to make sure that what they study is registered here in Kenya.” he said.
Meanwhile, the SGR site has one Chinese working with every 10 Kenyans to ensure there is a skill transfer.
The contractor is also set to train teams at the Railway Training Institute on operations and maintenance in preparation of the SGR operation commencement.
“We have about 10 people in China studying operations and maintenance, they will come and impact those skills to our local people here. A team of Chinese are also coming to the country to train our people more so as we transfer skills at all levels,” he added.
The 472km Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway is set to be completed in June 2017, with the government already gotten financing for the Nairobi – Naivasha railway.
By Kennedy Kangethe