PUBLISHED ON October 9th, 2014

Standard gauge railway construction launched

President Yoweri Museveni has launched the construction of the $8b Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), revealing that the Chinese contractor will source for funding, which Uganda will pay back. This was at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala.

Museveni was joined by his regional counterparts: Paul Kagame of Rwanda and South Sudan President Salva Kiir to launch the project that is intended to reduce the cost of transport in the region and spur economic development.

Kenya was represented by Engineer Michael Kamau, the cabinet secretary for transport and infrastructure, while the Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn, sent a special envoy.

he SGR is part of the Northern Corridor Integration Project which runs from Mombasa through Nairobi in Kenya to Kampala in Uganda, Kigali in Rwanda and Juba in South Sudan.

Explaining how the SGR would reduce the cost of transport, Museveni noted that transportation of an 18-tonne goods container from the port of Mombasa to Kampala presently costs $4,000 (about sh10.4m). However, using the railway, transportation of the same container to Kampala will cost $2,300 (about sh6m).

“We have linked up with China Harbor Engneering (CHE). They have good experience in building railways, harbours and bridges and it will be their job to source for the money in terms of a loan which we shall pay back, to build the railway with our engineering brigade of the army.” Museveni said.

“We are going to discuss more details with our partners in China. I thank China for being ready to give these huge loans for the works. But in the next three years, we shall be having our own money from oil.”

Source:: The New Times

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