Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, S. Sudan review SGR progress

Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan are reviewing the progress of construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) that is expected to link the four countries and ease trade within the East Africa Community (EAC).

President Uhuru Kenyatta is hosting Presidents Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame as well as a special envoy of President Salva Kiir in a Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit that will also review plans to construct a crude oil refinery in East Africa.

Ethiopia, Tanzania, Burundi and DR. Congo are attending the summit as observers.

Kenya is the first country in the East African region to have made significant progress in the construction of the SGR, with the first phase between Mombasa to Nairobi already complete and in use.

The Kenyan government has embarked on construction of the Nairobi-Naivasha SGR section which is now 50 percent complete while a commercial contract for the Naivasha-Kisumu-Malaba section and a modern port at Kisumu has already been signed with the China Communication Construction Company.

It is against this backdrop that President Uhuru Kenyatta will be playing host to fellow Heads of State from Uganda and Rwanda and a special envoy from South Sudan.

The leaders are expected to review the progress of construction of Northern Corridor Integration Projects in respective countries.

Uganda after signing a deal in March 2015 has completed the SGR project appraisal exercise which was held parallel to the ongoing negotiations of financing which are expected to be finalized by September this year.

Rwanda on the other hand, completed in January this year, the preliminary engineering design of the new SGR line from Kampala to Kigali while in South Sudan, preparation for a bankable feasibility study for the Nimule-Juba SGR line is on-going and is expected to be complete by December this year.

However in what could rekindle memories of the infamous Coalition of the willing, Tanzania will not be attending the meeting.

The crude oil pipeline that got Uganda dumping Kenya for Tanzania in terms of choice for its pipeline route could also feature in the discussions.

With Kenya set to join the league of oil exporting countries, the progress of an oil refinery will also feature prominently as well as power generation, transmission and interconnectivity, a function being coordinated by Kenya.

Source: kbc