China cements deal with Kenya to fund railway construction project est. $3.8 billion

By Staff Writer

May 12, 2014 12:20 PM EDT

Sunday Kenya made an agreement with China to finance 90% of the 609.3 kilometer railway project in Nairobi with cost estimate of SH 327 billion or $3.8 billion.

The agreement that is one of 17 economic deals signifies China's commitment to modernize the eastern part of Africa. The construction of the Regional Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is scheduled to commence October 1 and completed in 42 months.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta praised China commenting the country  "has found an honourable partner in China." He noted the improved future economic outlook of the country with such reliable partners.

The agreement partially fulfills China promise in August 2013 to Nairobi Sh425 billion or $4.9 billion where Sh319 will be appropriated for the construction of the Mombasa-Nairobi section of the SGR project in addition to buying wagons and  locomotives.

Kenyetta further comments on the drop of price in commerce crossing borders, "The costs of moving our people and our goods ... across our borders will fall sharply."

What does Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang contemplate over the partnership? He comments of the endeavor sharing that it is "a communication linking the hearts and minds of people", adding that it was not a one-off cooperation.

The signers include from Kenya, Henry Rotich, Finance Cabinet Secretary and Gao Hucheng from China with the reciprocal title. President Kenetta and Keqiang witnessed Gao Hucheng signing the agreement.

Other attendees at the ceremony included President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Salva Kiir of South Sudan.

Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Rwanda's Paul Kagame and Salva Kiir of South Sudan were also present at the ceremony.

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