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Kenya launches SGR railway with funding from China
June 12, 2017, 11:02 am
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The largest infrastructure project in Kenya, the 472-km long Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) connecting the Kenyan capital with the key port city of Mombasa was inaugurated last week with President Uhuru Kenyatta and his entourage boarding the train for its first run.

The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is expected to bring wide range of benefits to the country and could spur economic growth of the whole region. "We have had to go through very many challenges; the court cases, the environmental issues and the political issues surrounding this project. The launch of this line today is a very proud moment for all Kenyans," said Deputy President William Ruto at the launch of the railway line.

The SCR is part of the country’s Vision 2030, and is meant to fit into an ambitious plan to have the necessary infrastructure needed to make Kenya a middle income economy by 2030. This calls for new industrial parks and the roads, railways, ports, power generation plants and related facilities necessary to support the envisioned industries.

Managing Director of Kenya Railways, Atanas K. Maina noted that the project would help boost local people’s livelihood. He said that the project funded by financial loan from the China Exim Bank, and constructed by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) has helped to create jobs for Kenyans, and that more African young people can learn from the skills and technical training partnerships between Kenya and China.

“We can say without a doubt that in the last three years, a lot of Kenyans have been able to acquire skills. For the time that CRBC have been in Kenya, the bulk of their workforce, over 90 percent are locals. We believe that even when you go into operations and maintenance, we are working with CRBC. They will be able to hire a lot of locals who have acquired skills during construction and those who already have skills from other sectors within the economy,” he said.

The new railway is also expected to benefit tourists and boost business in the region.
 

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