Rwanda has announced that it has opted to take the Tanzania route in regards to the SGR construction project and doing away with the Kenyan route arguing that it is cheaper and will take less time; this is according to Claver Gatete, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.
The Rwandan government plans to develop the rail link to Indian Ocean ports through Tanzania since they are cheaper and shorter than the Kenyan route, Mr. Gatete said.
Initially, in 2013, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda had agreed to link up to the Mombasa port along a standard-gauge railway estimated to cost a massive US$ 13bn but the East Africa Community member states have realized that the Tanzanian option will cost Rwanda approximately US$ 800m to US$ 900m while the Kenyan route would cost Rwanda a whopping US$ 1bn.
“We have decided on using the route transiting to Tanzania during the construction of our railway line because the Kenyan route would be expensive costing US$ 1bn and time consuming,” said Mr. Gatete.
To confirm the reports, Jules Ndenga, acting special project implementation unit coordinator at the ministry of infrastructure in Rwanda said Tanzania and Rwanda had already held a joint technical monitoring committee meeting to fast-track the railway project.
“We are conducting a joint development of the standard gauge railway with our counterparts from Burundi and Tanzania. We have already agreed on the terms and conditions for the venture and the Rwanda Transport Development Agency will procure the final agreement on behalf of the three countries,” Mr. Ndenga pointed out.
The SGR project is projected to be completed in March 2018, constructed by China Roads and Bridges Corporation (CRBC).
The Governments of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan committed to provide a high capacity and cost effective railway transport within the Northern Corridor. The railway line will be of Standard Gauge technology and will have an identical design specification that will allow for seamless operations across the borders of the countries with each country responsible for construction of the section that lies within its boundaries.