Kenya seeking funds to extend SGR to Malaba

President William Ruto at the Kenya-China investment forum in the Chinese capital, Beijing. PHOTO | PCS

Kenya is seeking funds to extend the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project to Malaba after the pull-out of the initial financier.

President William Ruto says negotiations have began towards a joint bid that involves Uganda, DRC and the Republic of Congo seeking to improve flow of cargo and make the northern corridor competitive.

If the bid is successful, the SGR project is expected to extend to Kampala and Kasese heading through Mpondwe near Congo.

“The reason why we are discussing with China is we want to connect the Eastern Coast Africa to the Western Coast of Africa,” President Ruto said at the Kenya-China investment forum in the Chinese capital, Beijing.

The President said the project will improve flow of cargo and make the northern corridor competitive where goods from the Port of Mombasa to the Uganda border with DRC to Rwanda and South Sudan will be ferried by rail.

“We have all agreed on the need of this set of infrastructure as a means of facilitating trade across our continent and make sure companies that have set up in Kenya have access to Uganda and other countries,” he stated.

In the negotiations and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on Tuesday, Kenya businessmen are looking at exporting tea, coffee and macadamia to China.

Cheng CongCong, Chairman of KCCC, stated: “We have noticed the trade imbalance caused by several challenges...getting markets in Kenya is expensive and marketing is costly”

Investment and Promotion Principal Secretary Abubakar Hassan noted: “Kenya is open for business...Kenya is ready for business, and we mean business.”

The 3rd belt and road initiative summit is expected to come to a close on Wednesday where world leaders will converge, including the host President Xi Jinping, Vladmir Putin from Russia and President Ruto.

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