Kenya, Uganda to Jointly Negotiate Railway Funding With China

(Bloomberg) -- Kenyan and Ugandan officials will jointly seek funding from the Chinese government for a standard-gauge railway linking the two East African neighbors.

“Even at presidential level @KagutaMuseveni and @UKenyatta have given us instructions to continue with the construction and financing of the @SGR_Uganda,” Ugandan Finance Minister Matia Kasaija said Friday in a Twitter post.

Kasaija denied reports that his nation would delay the construction of its section of the railway, projected to cost $2.3 billion, until Kenya secured additional funding for a portion of the link to the border. In Uganda, 1,724 kilometers (1,071 miles) of standard-gauge rail lines will be developed in phases starting with the so-called Eastern Line, he said.

Completion of the link between Kenya’s port city of Mombasa, through the border at Malaba and on to the Ugandan capital, Kampala, was thrown into doubt when Kenya asked China to finance a section through a grant. The Asian nation has provided most of the funding for the link until Naivasha town, about 90 kilometers northeast of the nation’s capital.

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