Uganda is in the plans of constructing a US$ 3.2bn railway line that will join Kampala through Malaba to Nimule in South Sudan. This will be in part of the Standard Gauge Railway construction project already underway to connect East African countries.
The railway project in Uganda has received a major boost following the signing of Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) agreement last week by Uganda’s president-Yoweri Museveni and China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC). The signing took place in State Auditorium in Beijing, China.
China has approved to finance the 476 km line, which include catering for the detailed designs of the railway.
Mr. Museveni said that once the railway line is complete, most of the transportation problems will be solved as Uganda’s heavy cargoes from the ports is usually transported via road, which brings about several challenges.
The cargoes from the ports will be transported at a faster and cheaper rate, he further said.
The Standard Gauge Railway construction project was agreed on by four countries; Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan and it will be a vital infrastructure project for the Northern Corridor.
Standard Gauge Railway was launched on October last year when Uganda President, President of Rwanda, Mr. Paul Kagame, South Sudan President Mr. Salva Kiir and representatives from Kenya and Burundi met in Uganda.
Construction has already started in Mombasa, Kenya and once complete, the new line will connect Mombasa to Malaba, then onward to Kampala in Uganda, then Kigali (with a branch line to Kasese town) and Juba (with a branch line to Pakwach town) to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) border and again from Mpodwe to the DRC border.
China Communication Company is undertaking construction of the part of the Standard Gauge Railway in Kenya, in a project that will see 40 percent of work sub-contracted to local companies.