The Kenya Kwanza government is banking on China to secure funding for the extension of the Standard Gauge Railway from Naivasha to the Malaba border and other projects.
During his three-day visit to the country, Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen engaged in discussions with China's Minister of Transport, Deng Li, and the Foreign Affairs Vice Minister, Tan Wenhong.
Kenya and Uganda struck a deal to extend the SGR in July. The first phase of the project from Nairobi to Naivasha was undertaken by China to the tune of over Ksh300 billion.
While the cost of the extended SGR is yet to be known, former President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration in 2018 sought a Ksh360 billion loan from China.
However, the Southeast Asian nation declined to grant Kenya the loan, casting doubts on the economic viability of the high-speed rail.
"Our discussions were centered on strengthening our bilateral development cooperation and comprehensive strategic partnership between our two countries even as we celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations," Murkomen stated.
"Through our partnership, we hope to complete our ongoing road projects and extend the railway to Malaba."
The Transport Cabinet Secretary added that the visit is also aimed at setting the agenda for President William Ruto's visit to China scheduled for later in the year.
Additional details regarding a potential agreement are anticipated during President Ruto's forthcoming visit to Beijing.
In parallel, Murkomen identified five other infrastructure agreements he aims to negotiate with the Chinese, including the construction of multiple highways within the country.
Furthermore, Murkomen emphasized the government's interest in collaborating with China to enhance port and airport infrastructure, provide equipment for Technical and Vocational Institutions, and undertake water dam construction projects.
The Transport Ministry also highlighted the inclusion of smart and intelligent traffic systems as key areas for collaboration.