New Silk Road: Kenya’s massive $1.5bn railway funded & built entirely by China

The so-called Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project was launched in 2017

Image Credits: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images.

China has been developing Kenya’s rail service as part of the Belt and Road Initiative to connect Asia, Europe and Africa. The railway is Kenya’s largest infrastructure project since its independence.

The so-called Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project was launched in 2017. Trains operating on a daily schedule between the port city of Mombasa to Nairobi have already moved up to two million passengers.

The second section (a 120km line) of the China-funded railway connecting Kenya’s capital Nairobi to Naivasha, a town in the Central Rift Valley, opened last week. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was on board for the maiden journey.

Phase one and two are not the end of the line for the railway project. In the coming years, it will connect six other East African countries, opening the region to international trade.


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