The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is East Africa’s biggest transport project and the region’s leaders have great expectations for the benefits it will bring once it is complete.
As Kenya progresses with its section of the railway and Uganda gets ready to begin construction of its part, the ministers responsible for the project in both countries have signed a memorandum of understanding to manage its smooth and efficient operations upon completion. The MoU will allow one operator to run the train from the coast in Mombasa to Kampala
The railway line, which will connect the four East African countries of Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, and Rwanda is expected to be ready in three years and it is projected to ease the transportation of goods and passengers all over the region.
When its complete, the railway will traverse the breadth of Kenya from Mombasa port where close to 5.5 million tonnes of Ugandan cargo are held. With its estimates, a trader who currently spends Shs680 to transport a tonne of goods over a kilometre will now spend Shs272. At 1,249 kilometres from Mombasa, a Ugandan trader spends 850,000 shillings to transport one tonne of goods, with the rail, they will save Shs510,000 and export a tonne for Shs340,000, an estimated 60% of the sum.
Different stakeholders from Uganda, which is yet to lay its rail, have been touring the Kenyan SGR to see the completion rate and also learn the challenges they are likely to face.
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