From right: Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia, Ugandan Minister for Works and Transport Ntege Azuba, Uganda’s Finance Minister Matla Kasila and Kenya’s Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich during the signing of the agreement on the synchronized timelines and financing for the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure Housing and Urban Development (MOTIHUD) offices in Nairobi.
Kenya and Uganda have reached an agreement on the synchronisation of timelines and financing of the construction of the Naivasha to Kampala section of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project. Under the accord, the two countries have resolved that construction on this section should start simultaneously.
The agreement was signed by Kenya’s treasury cabinet secretary Henry Rotich; transport cabinet secretary James Macharia; Uganda’s finance minister Matla Kasila; and Uganda’s minister for works and transport Ntege Azuba at the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure Housing and Urban Development (MOTIHUD) offices in Nairobi.
The two countries have approached the Export and Import (EXIM) Bank of China to fund the project, and the respective cabinet secretaries and ministers for finance and transport from Kenya and Uganda will travel to China for discussions on financing modalities for the project.
The agreement follows the signing of a bilateral agreement for joint, seamless operation and maintenance of the Mombasa to Kampala SGR line signed in November 2016. Under the accord, Kenya and Uganda have agreed to engage the same operator for the operations, and both countries will permit locomotives and rolling free access into each other’s territories.
In Kenya, the railway line will traverse Naivasha, Narok, Bomet, Nyamira, Kisumu, Yala, Mumias, Malaba sides; and Tororo, Butaleja, Namutumba, Iganga, Luuka, Mayuge, Jinja, Buikwe, Mukono, Wakiso and Kampala districts.
Uganda’s Railway Master Plan has set out to construct the SGR line in phases, similar to Kenya’s model. The first phase, which will run 273km from Malaba to Kampala, is projected to cost $US2.3 billion. Construction is set to commence later this year and will be executed by China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).
Kenya has achieved significant milestones in the construction of their section of the SGR line. Construction on the Mombasa to Nairobi section of Kenya’s SGR network is 98% complete and will be commissioned on June 1, 2017. The track facilitated transportation of locomotives and passenger coaches from Mombasa to Nairobi is underway, and the laying of the track panels is complete. Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) has signed commercial contracts with China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) for the construction of the Nairobi to Malaba section. Currently, the Relocation Action Plan is being implemented before construction commences.
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