NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya said on Friday the extended Standard Gauge Railway (SGR)
line which runs from Nairobi and Naivasha will start operations
around mid 2019.
Principal Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure, said the
Phase 2A of the Nairobi-Naivasha SGR line being constructed by
the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) is
currently 70 percent complete.
“The SGR line is
expected to help take modernity to the far flung parts of the
southwestern Kenya by opening up the hinterlands,” Maringa said
this during the launch of the Kenya SGR Corporate Social
Responsibility (CSR) report for the 2017/2018 period in Nairobi.
He noted that the
line will hasten cargo flow and open up additional business
opportunities for the people living in the region.
The Chinese firm has
hired a wide range of professionals ranging from engineers and
laboratory technicians to heavy equipment operators and human
resource personnel to undertake the project which is one of
Kenya’s Vision 2030 flagship projects that will play an
important role in improving the transport system in the country.
“The relationship is
credited for enabling 100 students to acquire scholarship at a
Chinese university to study engineering and railways related
courses,” he added.
He thanked the
Chinese firm for their role in helping transform and develop the
country through its CSR.
He noted that Kenya
is keenly investing the SGR as part of the Belt and Road
Initiative and the country’s Vision 2030.
Sun Baohong, the
Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, said Sino-Kenyan cooperation is a
win-win relationship that provides opportunities for both the
citizens of the two countries.
Lu Shan, chairman of
China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), said that his company
is keenly promoting technology transfer by training Kenyans to
take over the management of the SGR and other projects when
“We are supporting
trainees by offering scholarships to come back and sustain the
projects that we are putting in place currently,” Lu added.
He said that the
firm’s support to communities through CSR will increase
depending on the diversity of the projects being undertaken.
“We have set aside
some 0.5 percent of the contract amount to fund the CSR programs
to help support communities within which the projects are
located,” he revealed.
Lu noted that the
SGR has injected strong momentum for social and economic
development by bringing real benefits to Kenyan people,
generating 72,000 local jobs since the Mombasa-Nairobi part of
SGR started construction in late 2014.
“The SGR has
contributed 1.5 percent of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
and reduced logistic costs by 40 percent,” Lu noted.