|The Kigali express will complement and |
compete with Kenya-Uganda Railway
THE GOVERNMENTS of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda have agreed to construct a 2937KM Standard Gauge Railway line from Mombasa Port Kenya, Via Kampala- Uganda to Kigali in Rwanda. The project will cost an estimated US$13.5 billion broken under; Railway line construction $11.5 billion and rolling stock US$2 billion.
And to underline the seriousness with which the project is viewed, the three governments have agreed to fund the project jointly. Already Kenya Railways Corporation has floated a tender for the design construction and supervision of the Railway line.
Also the Kenya government, reports last week had it, is already in talks with China seeking funding for the project. Uganda and Rwanda are also said to be warming up to China for the financing of the same project.
This development has observers cautioning that the West risks being locked out the gravy train. They say that China funds only projects awarded to Chinese contractors. This, observers say, means that no non-Chinese company can win any such tenders.
However, there’s plenty for contractors in east Africa. There’s the US$23 billion Lapsset and a host of other projects that are seeking for contractors. They only need to keep their hear to the ground.Read http://eaers.blogspot.com/2013/04/change-your-mind-set-on-africa-west-told.html
The Mombasa Port-Kampala-Kigali Railway line ,christened Mokaki, comes at an opportune time as the Port of Mombasa, the largest Port in east Africa, is also being expanded to meet the growing demand. The Port which handled 21 Million tons of freight last year, plans to raise its capacity to 40 million tons a year from 2015. Read http://eaers.blogspot.com/2013/07/kenya-ports-post-panamax-project-ahead.html
Freight to and from Uganda and Rwanda stood at 23 million tons last year and grows at three percent a year. A part from imports, growing trade between Kenya and her two neighbours will also benefit from the construction of the high-speed Railway line.
Already Kenya has allowed both Uganda and Rwanda to set up customs offices at the Port of Mombasa to clear and collect their taxes from there. This will eliminate the need for customs checks at the borders thus raising the speed of delivery of freight from Mombasa to their destinations. Uganda and Rwanda among others depend on the Mombasa port for its trade with the external world.
Inefficiencies at the Port, resulting in long delays has increased the costs of imports in both Rwanda and Uganda. The construction of the High-speed Mokaki Railway line will significantly lower the cost of imports. The line can also be extended to South Sudan via Eldoret, Kenya.
The construction of the Mombasa Port Kampala-Kigali Railway line, say observers, will spell the death or significantly derail the proposed Dar-Es-Salaam Kigali Railway link. This line was to link the port of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania to Kigali in Rwanda. The success of the Mombasa-Kigali link will effectively render redundant, the Dar-es-salaam-Kigali Railway link.
The Mombasa link, which is in the northern Corridor coupled with the Lapsset Corridor, will make Kenya the transport hub of the region. Construction of the Lamu Port has begun. Read http://eaers.blogspot.com/2013/04/lapsset-corridorus500million-down.html