, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 15 – The Chinese Government has expressed confidence in the country’s development agenda saying the nation has made major strides in infrastructure development.
Speaking Monday during an award ceremony of 20 scholarships to University of Nairobi students drawn from various disciplines, Chinese ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa lauded the efforts made by the Jubilee Administration in connecting the country to the national power grid – saying that the availability of electricity along the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line will further enhance its efficiency.
- "As you all know, by mid next year you can take a train from here to Mombasa within four hours," he said. "But after electrification, the speed of the train can easily change from 120kmh to 240kmh - that means within two hour you can have lunch here (Nairobi) and have dinner in Mombasa."
- According to Liu, the steps taken by the government in improving the county's infrastructure will not only create opportunities but also make it easier to clear goods from the port of Mombasa in record time hence decongesting roads.
“As you all know, by mid next year you can take a train from here to Mombasa within four hours,” he said. “But after electrification, the speed of the train can easily change from 120kmh to 240kmh – that means within two hour you can have lunch here (Nairobi) and have dinner in Mombasa.”
According to Liu, the steps taken by the government in improving the county’s infrastructure will not only create opportunities but also make it easier to clear goods from the port of Mombasa in record time hence decongesting roads.
The Mombasa-Nairobi SGR line which is expected to be complete by June next year has faced numerous challenges among them objections from environmentalist who strongly objected the railway route which will pass over the Nairobi National Park saying it will disrupt the wildlife albeit support from a seasoned conservationist Richard Leaky who ruled out disruptions saying measures had been taken to protect the park.
The other hurdle was the ballooning of land compensation budget which has exceeded the initial amount set aside by the government by 2.8 billion.
The Chinese ambassador however commended the government for its commitment to see that the project is completed in record time saying the efforts put by the state were impeccable.
Liu also lauded the University of Nairobi for strides it had made in the education sector in the region and the continent saying the partnership between China and the university will promote mutual interests that will further development in the two nations.
“The first Confucius Institute in Africa was established at this university and the second in the world,” Liu noted. “The Confucius Institute in University of Nairobi has now become one of the 15 modern Confucius institutes in the world as well as the only modern Confucius institute in the continent.”
Since its inception in 2013, the Chinese Ambassador’s scholarship programme has seen 58 students benefit from financial aid with an additional 20 students having benefited from the programme this year.
The event was also attended by the Deputy Vice Chancellor – Academic Affairs Professor Henry Mutoro.