President Yoweri Museveni has agreed to sign the final financial agreement for the standard gauge railway (SGR) section from Kisumu to Kampala through Malaba.
The signing of the financing agreement has been delayed for two years, a situation that is expected to change by September this year after Uganda’s President met with President Kenyatta and Chinese officials.
The announcement comes as other East African nations involved in the Northern Corridor projects make efforts to catch up with Kenya which has already completed the first phase of the SGR.
Currently, Kenya has started laying tracks for SGR line from Nairobi to Naivasha, which will then be extended to Kisumu, as it waits for Uganda to finalise its financing agreement.
President Museveni has also asked Kenya to a joint mission to Beijing where the two countries will ask export and import bank officials from Exim Bank to accelerate the financial closure for the multibillion-dollar projects the countries are undertaking.
Benefits of the Upcoming Line
Upon the completion of the Kisumu-Malaba line, Uganda and Kenya will benefit from an increased GDP of at least 1.5 per cent, an improved transport system that is convenient, fast, and efficient, and a decreased number of large trucks carrying goods on the roads.
The Mombasa-Nairobi SGR line has moved over 800,000 tonnes of cargo since freight services began this year and transported over one million passengers since operations kick-started. This shows that the SGR has a lot to offer in terms of improving transport and trade in the East African region.