• Fuel will soon be transported by barge from Kisumu to Uganda across Lake Victoria
• The SGR has stalled at Naivasha but needs to reach Kampala to be economically viable
Tests are underway at the new Kisumu jetty to ship fuel to Uganda by giant barges across Lake Victoria.
The system should be operational next week and will take hundreds of tankers off the Mombasa-Malaba highway because the KPC pipeline will deliver fuel directly to Kisumu.
This is East African cooperation at its best. The private sector in both countries will coordinate with the public sector to create a more efficient and integrated economy.
But this also raises the question of whether the Standard Gauge Railway should be extended to Kampala and even Kigali and eastern Congo.
Firstly, the new SGR travelling from Dar-es-salaam to western Tanzania will present an existential threat to Mombasa port because it will efficiently delivery cargo to Rwanda and Burundi. Kenya needs to be able to compete and it can only do that if the SGR reaches Kampala.
Secondly, the Kisumu jetty will only take fuel tankers off the roads. Many other cargo trucks will still ply the highway to central Africa from Mombasa or Naivasha. We need the SGR extension to Uganda to protect our roads.
So the Kisumu jetty is a great step forwards but it also reminds us that we need to complete the SGR by extending it to Malaba and Kampala.
Quote of the day: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
He was arrested by the British in India on March 10,1922