• Western town of Kisumu seen as hub for Congolese connection
  • Uganda, Rwanda chose Tanzania for infrastructure in past month

Kenya Railways Corp. shrugged off Rwanda’s preference to route a line via Tanzania and said it plans to develop the western town of Kisumu into a hub that could eventually connect with the resource-rich Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rwanda’s decision to focus a route to an Indian Ocean port in Tanzania instead of one in Kenya “has no impact on our development,” the state-owned company’s managing director, Atanas Maina, said Tuesday in an interview in Nairobi, the capital. Kenya will continue developing its standard-gauge line in phases, he said.

“Kisumu makes a lot of sense, because we are still able to serve the rest of the countries and meet our obligation as a country to make sure there is inter-connectivity,” he said. A line from Kenya to Congo, which have no common border, would cross Uganda.

Rwanda last week said the proposed Tanzanian route is “cheaper and shorter” than a line through Kenya. It’s the second time Kenya may lose out on plans to develop regional infrastructure. Last month, Uganda’s announced it would route a multibillion-dollar crude-export pipeline through Tanzania rather than Kenya, which had been lobbying for the conduit on its territory.

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