Extending the SGR to Malaba makes sense

In Summary

• In August Uganda will start building the SGR from Kampala to Malaba

• There must be a reciprocal agreement by Kenya to connect the SGR from Naivasha to  Malaba

Uganda has announced that a Turkish company will start building the Standard Gauge Railway from Kampala to Malaba in August at a cost of around $2 billion (KSh270 billion).

Kenya has already spent $2.4 billion (Sh331 billion) building the SGR from Mombasa to Naivasha but it will remain a white elephant until it reaches Kampala.

The economics of using the SGR to transfer cargo from Mombasa port to Nairobi are dubious – it is more expensive and hardly any faster. But there will be a huge time saving if the SGR reaches Kampala – presently cargo takes several days to reach Uganda from Mombasa.

Extending the SGR to Kampala will be a game-changer. It will carry a lot more cargo and remove heavy transit trucks from Kenya roads.

From Kampala the SGR can even be extended to Rwanda and the Congo.

Uganda would not have committed to building the SGR up to Malaba unless Kenya had made a reciprocal agreement to extend the SGR to Malaba from Naivasha, as Transport minister Kipchumba Murkomen promised some months ago.

This is the right decision. It will be truly transformative as the SGR will become profitable and self-sustaining.

Quote of the day: "Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness."

Oprah Winfrey
The American TV personality aired her last The Oprah Winfrey Show on May 25, 2011

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