NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The Chinese envoy to Kenya on Friday
rejected allegations that the operators of the Standard Gauge
Railway (SGR) discriminated against local employees.
Sun Baohong, the Chinese ambassador to Kenya, told journalists
in Nairobi that the only challenge that exists is a cultural and
communication barrier between Chinese and local employees.
She said China is committed to helping Kenya successfully
operate the SGR by improving the capacity of locals.
The Chinese envoy called for objective reporting by the media
to ensure that facts are known by the public.
The operators of the SGR have sent Kenyan engineers and
police officers to China to learn the latest in railway
Sun said that the SGR will not only help transform the
economy of Kenya but that of the east African region as a whole.
"It will also help to improve logistics and provide
convenience for travelers through the region," she added.
Sun said China will continue with its financing cooperation
with Africa in order to help bridge the continent’s
infrastructure funding gaps.
She denied that Chinese loans will result in a debt trap for
Africa as the funds have been used for vital infrastructure such
as roads, railways and hospitals.
Before China became a major financier in Africa, she said,
the continent had already had a huge public debt.
Sun also urged Kenya to improve its business climate to
attract more foreign direct investments.
She said Chinese firms are eager to invest in Kenya to help
the country pursue its "Big Four" agenda of affordable housing,
food security, manufacturing, and universal healthcare.
New report credits Kenya
SGR with boosting domestic tourism
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The Chinese-built Standard Gauge Railway (SGR)
has boosted domestic tourism in Kenya, a pan-African online
travel agency has said.
Cyrus Onyiego, Country Manager for Jumia Travel Kenya, told a
media briefing in Nairobi that the railway line passes through
several tourists destinations along the Nairobi-Mombasa route
that were previously inaccessible for domestic tourism.
"The convenience of the SGR has made it easier for Kenyans to
access wildlife sites along the Nairobi-Mombasa railway as well
as the city of Mombasa for recreation purposes," Onyiego said.
"Travel by train is safer as compared to traveling on the
roads and this has played a huge impact on the domestic tourism
sector," he said during the release of the Hospitality Report
The report delves into the country’s travel, tourism, and
hospitality ecosystem, looks at the sector’s contribution to
Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP), as well as technology
trends shaping the hospitality sector.
According to the report, Mombasa received 24 percent of all
domestic tourists in 2017, up from 16 percent in the previous
year largely due to the operationalization of the SGR passenger
service between Nairobi and Mombasa.
The report indicates that the hospitality sector has taken
advantage of the SGR to market travel packages to domestic and
The survey shows that some of the key economic drivers in
2017 were enhanced security in the country and infrastructural
developments like SGR.
The findings also show that domestic tourism expenditure grew
about 16 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, with Kenyans taking
up approximately 4 million bed nights in 2017, up from 3.5
million in 2016.
Kenya Standard Gauge
Railway freight service set to expand cargo range
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The
Standard Gauge Railway (SGR)’s freight service is set to expand
its range of cargo for transportation to increase volumes
transported once the Port Relief line completes construction, an
official has said.
Atanas Maina, managing director of Kenya Railways, said Port
Relief line will allow the freight trains to access Berth No.1
and enable uptake of bulk cargo for transportation to the Inland
Container Depot in Nairobi.
"We expect to complete construction of the Port Relief line
"This will enhance our operations and allow us to also
transport bulk cargo since the trains will be loaded at Berth
"This will increase the volume of cargo we transport and
enhance our operations on the service," Maina said in a
statement issued in Nairobi.
He said the SGR freight service dubbed Madaraka Express
Freight Service is offering seven freight trains a day.
The service that has performed smoothly over the past six
months has transported over 800,000 tonnes with the bulk of the
cargo being transported from Mombasa to Nairobi.
Maina said Kenya Railways and China Road and Bridge
Corporation (CRBC) that operate the passenger and freight
service recently approved the Dangerous Goods Transportation
Regulations for SGR operations, paving way for haulage of
dangerous cargo from the Port of Mombasa to the Inland Container
Depot Nairobi (ICDN).
The regulations spell out safety, security, transportation
management and other requirements for consignment and operation
for dangerous goods.
According to the regulations, dangerous cargo in containers
or tank containers can now be safely and conveniently
transported on the Madaraka Express Freight Service.
The statement came as the Madaraka Express Freight Service
transported its first consignment of temperature-sensitive cargo
The cargo was transported in the refrigerated container
(reefer) from Mombasa to Nairobi.
"The reefer is a specialized wagon designed for
transportation of delicate cargo normally categorized as
dangerous cargo which includes flowers, meat products, milk,
chocolates and fuel," said Maina.
"We have not had such a service on offer on the Metre Gauge
Railway line operations but the Standard Gauge Railway rolling
stock accords us the comfort of offering a wide variety of
options for the freight customers which match the standards you
find in the developed world," he said.