President Uhuru Kenyatta has negotiated an additional $3.59 (Sh359 billion) billion grant from China to facilitate the extension of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Naivasha to Kisumu.
The head of state secured the grant that will be available immediately at a meeting with Chinese President XI Jinping on Monday in China.
“The President wants the railway to reach Kisumu then Malaba especially because of the new port that is being built [there],” State House Spokesman Manoa Esipisu said in a statement on Monday.
Reports indicate that president Uhuru held phone conversations with Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame on the possibility of extending the railway to the two countries before he flew to China last week.
It is understood that Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda will be sending a joint team to Beijing to bid for more funding for SGR to reach Malaba and go on to Kampala and finally to Rwanda’s capital, Kigali.
According to the State House spokesman, the President also managed to secure $161 million dollars for the western by-pass whose construction works will commence in coming weeks. “This project will complete the missing links and is part of the wider plan to decongest Nairobi,” said Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia who accompanied Uhuru to Beijing for the Belt and Road Forum.