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Railway project: regional permanent secretaries meet in Kenya

Permanent secretaries responsible for transport under the northern corridor integration projects meet in Mombasa, Kenya to discuss the status of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project.

The selected officials of Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) will also harmonize their efforts towards regional transport integration.

The SGR project is one of the most ambitious projects of the partner states and is expected to be a game-changer in the region’s transport corridor.

After years of bilateral engagements, Uganda and Kenya last year signed a joint statement on the financing and development of the Naivasha-Kisumu-Malaba standard gauge railway in Kenya and the Malaba-Kampala standard gauge railway in Uganda.

The two neighbors committed to undertaking the SGR extension project as a regional project under the Northern Corridor Integration Projects Initiative.

Officials from the Northern Corridor countries meeting in Mombasa

In addition, they also agreed to construct the connecting sections at the same time and accelerate obtaining financing for these SGR sections.

The Ugandan delegation, led by Amb. Richard Kabonero, Northern Corridor Integration Project Coordinator, includes Mr. Benon Kajuna, Director of Transportation at the Ministry of Works, Amb. Paul Mukumbya, Consul General, Ugandan Consulate in Mombasa, Mr. Evans Aryabaha, Chargé d’Affaires, Ugandan High Commission in Nairobi, and other senior government officials.

During the meeting, a joint technical committee will present updates on the regional SGR project and review the technical report.

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Permanent Secretaries were expected to reach agreement on the harmonization commission report last night, paving the way for the Joint Ministerial Committee meeting on Friday 3 May.

On the final day, Transport Ministers will meet to discuss and adopt the Report of the Joint Ministerial Committee.

The Ministers will also tour the Port of Mombasa and the SGR facilities.

Kenya and Uganda are considering building supporting infrastructure, such as dry ports and industrial parks, to improve service levels and stimulate the growth of cities along SGR routes by attracting investment and other economic activities.

Uganda committed to ensuring that the SGR is extended to the border with Rwanda, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo as soon as possible to further improve the viability and attractiveness for SGR financing along the Northern Corridor.