China and East Africa have signed a $3.8bn agreement to build a new railway line in Nairobi, Kenya. The railway is to run from Mombasa to Nairobi and will later extend to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan.
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Under the agreement terms, China’s Eximbank will finance 90 percent and the Kenyan government will finance the remaining 10 percent during the first stage of the project. The first stage will cover 609.3 kilometers from Mombasa to Nairobi. Construction is set for October 1with a 42-month deadline. A Chinese firm will conduct the construction work.
The train is set to travel 120 kilometers per hour, while freight will travel at 80 kilometers per hour. At these speeds, passengers can get from Mombasa to Nairobi in four hours.
The Kenyan government stated, “The Standard Gauge Railway is aimed at providing efficient and cost effective rail transport for both freight and passengers. It is intended to reduce the cost of doing business by reducing the cost of transport, a move that will see Kenya become a competitive business hub for the East African region and beyond.”
In regards to the future of this new partnership, President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) stated, “We have shown our ambition. We have rejected the mediocrity of simply sticking with what we have. We have found partners of equal determination. It now falls to us to complete the project as rapidly as we know we can.”
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and the President of China Exim Bank Li Ruogu executed the agreement.