Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang applaud the signing of the Standard Gauge Railway agreement at State House Nairobi,Kenya on May 11, 2014.
On Sunday Kenya and China signed the financing agreement for the US$3.8bn (Ksh331bn) Standard Gauge Railway project.
The project will see construction of a modern high-speed, high-capacity standard gauge railway for passengers and freight. Phase One of the project will be a 609-km stretch from Mombasa to Nairobi while the next phase will stretch to Kigali in Rwanda and Juba in South Sudan. Kenya will foot 10% of the cost with China’s Exim Bank paying the remaining 90%.
The project is aimed at providing efficient and cost-effective rail transport for both freight and passengers to reduce the cost of doing business and make Kenya a competitive business hub for the East African region and beyond.
Work on the rail project is expected to begin in October 2014 and take 42 months to complete.
The Chinese premier’s 3-day state visit to Kenya was the last stop during his 4-nation tour to Africa which included Ethiopia, Nigeria and Angola.