East African Nations Seek Sino-Russian Funding for Joint Railway

Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda will seek funding from Russia and China for a planned $13 billion standard-gauge railway linking their capitals to boost trade.

The three countries will jointly mobilize the funds, although each nation will shoulder costs of its portion of the line, whose construction will cost $5 million per kilometer, John Byabagambi, Uganda’s minister of state for works, told reporters today in the capital, Kampala.

The initial phase, starting from Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa linking to the capital, Nairobi, will start in November, he said. The entire project from Mombasa to the Rwandan capital, Kigali, through Kampala, will be concluded in March 2018, he said.

The project was agreed by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame, the Rwandan leader, at a meeting in Kampala last month.

“The three countries are going to source funding together,” Byabagambi said. “We are looking at eastern countries and it is Russia and China which have excess funds.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Ojambo in Kampala at fojambo@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

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