By Spy Uganda
Kenya has finally brought Uganda on board in the extension of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line to Kampala and beyond. The two countries have inked a deal to source funds to build the rail at the same time so that cargo is moved seamlessly by rail from Mombasa port to landlocked countries.
The port serves Uganda, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan and Burundi as well as northern Tanzania.
Uganda adopted a wait-and-see approach when Kenya built the SGR line from Mombasa to Naivasha at a cost of about Sh327 billion.
Kenya recently rehabilitated the Metre Gauge Railway (MGR) line from Naivasha to Malaba border to enhance transport.
In a joint communique signed at the Mombasa SGR terminus over the weekend, Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen and his Ugandan Counterpart Gen (Rtd) Katumba Wamala said the construction will start in December this year if their plan to raise funds succeeds.
The two said they were desirous of achieving a seamless railway transport from Mombasa to Kampala to fully open up the Northern Corridor and ensure its competitiveness.
The two ministers who signed the deal after a lengthy meeting at the Mombasa port said Kenya will extend the SGR line from Naivasha to Malaba covering a distance of about 368 kilometres while Uganda will do its part stretching 272km (kilometres) from the Malaba border to Kampala.
The two countries plan to raise resources from the Middle East, China, and elsewhere as a team to ensure that they start the SGR project at the same time.