Transactions - MAY 31, 2017

Kenya opens largest infrastructure project

by Andrea Waitrovich

Kenya has opened its largest infrastructure project in more than 50 years since independence from British colonialists in 1964. It is 90 percent financed by China Eximbank.

The country has completed a $3.2 billion major new railway between the port city of Mombasa and the capital, Nairobi, 18 months early, which started construction two years ago.

It’s named the Madaraka Express, after the day Kenya attained self-rule.

The 290-mile line is part of China’s Belt and Road initiative of massive global infrastructure projects. The railway is supposed to eventually connect land-locked South Sudan, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia to the Indian Ocean.

The train project is designed to board nearly 1,200 travellers and to reduce the journey-time from Nairobi to Mombasa to four and a half hours.

President Uhuru Kenyatta secured an additional $3.6 billion from China to extend the railway line 155 miles west from the central town of Naivasha to Kisumu.

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