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Kenya: $1bn Chinese-built railway line opens to public

The second phase of Kenya’s newly built railway line connecting the capital Nairobi to the Rift Valley region has opened to the public.

Built by China Communications and Construction Company the second phase of the project cost over $1 billion.

The launch was done without the usual fanfare witnessed at the opening of the first phase opened in May 2017.

On Wednesday Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta opened the second phase of the railway line.

That first phase of the project cost $3bn and connects the coastal city of Mombasa to Nairobi.

Kenyatta said “Just like we completed the Mombasa-Nairobi section, we will also ensure this project gets to its destination. There will be challenges along the way but that does not mean we will not do it.”

Local media reports that the Standard Gauge Railway line project cost close to three times the international standard and four times the original estimate.

China is funding 80% of the money for the railway through loans but the country pulled out of some aspects of the project.

Kenya would now have to borrow an additional $3.3bn to complete the rest of the project.


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