Uganda Linking Kampala to Kenya's SGR in Game Changing Deal

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) during the inauguration of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in Kampala, Uganda on Wednesday, May 12.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) during the inauguration of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in Kampala, Uganda on Wednesday, May 12.
    PSCU
  • Uganda has signed a Ksh5 billion deal with China Roads and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) in order to link Kampala with the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) in Kenya.

    This is in a bid to enhance trade with Uganda as well as enable easier transport of goods via SGR from Kampala to Mombasa port. Currently, goods are transported from the port of Mombasa to Uganda by road. 

    A report by Business Daily details that Uganda will revamp the metre gauge line(from Malaba to Kampala) which will be linked to the SGR through the Naivasha to Malaba railway line.

    The Mombasa Terminus of the Standard Gauge Railway.
    The Mombasa Terminus of the Standard Gauge Railway.
    File

    The Chinese firm stated that it would take less than a year to rehabilitate the 260-kilometre line. 

    The groundbreaking deal was signed during President Uhuru Kenyatta's visit to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's inauguration. Transport CS James Macharia was among the officials present during the signing.

    "We came here to assist them (Uganda) conclude this deal. It has been done. The idea is to make sure that we have a seamless operation of the metre gauge railway line from Naivasha all the way to Kampala," Macharia stated.

    Initially, there had been concerns regarding the effectiveness of the railway line without linking to Kampala, which is a key trade partner at Mombasa port.

    "We had contracted CRBC to rehabilitate the Longonot to Malaba line and the progress is good so far. So, we felt for it to make sense, Uganda had to also start doing the same for their line to make this project complete," he stated.

    The railway line is part of the government's efforts to enhance ties with its neighbouring countries.

    Uhuru and Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu, during her recent two-day visit, signed a Ksh100 billion deal that would see Tanzania construct a gas pipeline from Dar es Salaam to Mombasa.

    The deal would see the pipeline pass through the port city of Tanga to Mombasa. 

    Suluhu, while addressing the media, noted that the project would create more employment opportunities for both nations.

    Her sentiments were echoed by Uhuru who noted that the initiative would further reestablish ties between the two countries.

    "We are not only neighbours geographically, but have other elements in common such as culture, language and shared heritage," Uhuru stated.

    Presidents Samia Suluhu (Tanzania) and Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya) at the joint business summit between Kenya and Tanzania at Serena hotel in Nairobi on May 5, 2021.
    Presidents Samia Suluhu (Tanzania) and Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya) at the joint business summit between Kenya and Tanzania at Serena hotel in Nairobi on May 5, 2021.
    PSCU