Thursday Night(28th/March/2019), President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto received President Yoweri Museveni at Nairobi Terminus after travelling a journey of 480 kms using the Standard Gauge Railway.
“That’s how we set off for the 480km journey from Mombasa to Nairobi on the Standard Gauge Railway train. Very comfortable ride. It will soon get to Naivasha and consequently lower the cost of doing business in Uganda as goods move faster and in cheaper fashion”, Don Wanyama said.
Museveni’s trip is seen as a major endorsement in the push for Kenya and Uganda to build a seamless Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) through Kenya’s western border to Uganda’s capital, Kampala.
Museveni’s trip on Thursday evening from Mombasa to Nairobi was first ride by a foreign head of state on Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) train.
Financing for the Uganda segment of the SGR hinges on Kenya completing its line to Malaba, a western town on the border with Uganda.
In the past, Kenya has indicated that it preferred building a line further south of this route to its inland port city of Kisumu to transport goods through Lake Victoria to ports in Mwanza in Tanzania, and Entebbe, Port Bell and Jinja in Uganda.
Uganda’s first phase of SGR, the eastern line running from Malaba to Kampala, is about 273km and is expected to cost about $2.3bn (9 trillions).
Kenya is already extending the line from Nairobi to a designated inland dry port in Naivasha with $1.5bn in financing from China.
The first phase of the SGR project from Mombasa to Nairobi cost $3.2bn and repayment of this cash is the top priority for the Kenya government, and it also wants to focus on the construction of the most financially viable route into Uganda.
It is his second and last day of the state-visit that began on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, Uhuru and Museveni toured the Port of Mombasa where they were briefed on the operations and recent developments at the facility.
Over 3 million tonnes of cargo have been transported through the SGR between January 2018 and 2019 with 80% of the cargo destined to Uganda.
Uganda is looking to benefit more on the SGR cargo transportation for faster delivery of goods.