Kenya, Uganda mulls joint resource mobilization to extend SGR-Xinhua

Kenya, Uganda mulls joint resource mobilization to extend SGR

Source: Xinhua| 2023-07-29 23:20:00|Editor: huaxia

NAIROBI, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Kenya and Uganda will jointly mobilize resources to complete the remaining phase of the Mombasa-Nairobi-Naivasha-Kisumu-Malaba-Kampala Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), transport ministers from the two East African countries have said.

The ministers who held a meeting at Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa said in a joint communique late Friday that by jointly securing additional financing, implementation of the final phase of the SGR will be fast-tracked.

Kenya and Uganda in November 2016 signed a bilateral agreement for the joint and seamless operation of the Mombasa-Kampala SGR, followed by a joint communique by the two countries' finance ministers in February 2017 to reaffirm that commitment.

In addition, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda on May 11, 2014, signed and ratified the protocol for the development and operation of the SGR connecting the port of Mombasa to Kampala, Kigali, and Juba.

Kenya has already completed and operationalized the Mombasa-Nairobi-Naivasha SGR section for both freight and passenger services, while the commercial contracts for Naivasha-Kisumu and Kisumu-Malaba SGR sections in Kenya have been signed, noted the transport ministers.

The commercial contract for Malaba-Kampala SGR section in Uganda will be signed soon and the two governments are in the process of mobilizing the financing for its construction, the ministers said.

"The two countries are at an advanced stage of securing financing for the Naivasha-Malaba-Kampala SGR line," Kipchumba Murkomen, cabinet secretary in the Kenyan Ministry of Roads, Transport and Public Works, and his Ugandan counterpart, Edward Katumba-Wamala, said in the joint statement.

Completion of the final phase of the SGR, according to the two ministers, will lead to seamless and cost-effective movement of goods and passengers, and spur economic growth in the region.

To be implemented under the Northern Corridor Integration Project, the final phase of the SGR will also be accompanied by the development of other essential infrastructure projects such as dry ports and industrial parks to attract investments and economic activities along its corridor, the ministers said.

Uganda will ensure the SGR is extended to the border with Rwanda, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo besides mobilizing funds to implement the SGR's western route that includes Kampala-Kasese and Mpondwe, according to the transport ministers.

A branch line from Bihanga-Mirama hills will be constructed once Uganda secures financing for implementing the SGR eastern route that extends from Malaba to Kampala, said the ministers.