Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to officially launch the new standard gauge railway that will connect the coastal city of Mombasa and the capital city, Nairobi, on the 31st of May.
Uhuru is expected to hold an event at the container terminal at the port in Mombasa on 30th before taking the train ride from Mombasa to Nairobi the following day. The President will commission the newly built terminus before takeoff and the terminuses on stop overs.
A Chinese delegation from the Asian county’s State Council will be at the launch.
“China who provided the funds through loans that the SGR was built will be sending a senior delegation of the State Council at that launch,” State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said Sunday during his weekly press briefing at the State House.
President Kenyatta has secured funding from the Export-Import Bank of China to continue with the building of the railway line from Naivasha to Kisumu city (third largest city in Kenya on Lake Victoria) where the government intends to build a new port.
“The President reached agreements on new partnership with China and some of those agreements include support for funding for the Exim Bank of China for the next phase of the SGR that will take it from Naivasha to Kisumu,” said the State house spokesperson.
The Kenya Railway Corporation (KRC has estimated that the Nairobi- Naivasha section of the SGR will cost about US $ 1.5 billion according to Nairobi based Capital FM.
Although no official price has been released on the cost of tickets across the two major cities, the new SGR is expected to lower the cost of traveling and the times used as well.