Uganda has resubmitted a loan request to China for a 271-kilometer railway linking its capital, Kampala, with the Kenyan border after renegotiating the contract price and improving security as per the Loan requirements.
In 2014, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and South Sudan agreed to build standard gauge railways in their territories as part of a regional plan to cut transportation costs. However, the Construction of the line should have been completed by June this year if finances were available.
After failing to secure Chinese funding worth $2.2 billion for the standard gauge railway, Uganda was set to refurbish its century-old rail network to boost bulk cargo transportation.
The latest news coming indicated that Government resubmitted the application to the Export-Import Bank of China in September to provide 85% of the project cost and the project cost was cut by $26 million.
Perez Wamburu, coordinator of the Standard Gauge Railway Project said that the initial loan request was delayed after the lender sought a comprehensive feasibility study, which has since been submitted as per the request.
He also revealed that an additional link was added from Kampala to the nearby Bukasa port on Lake Victoria as well as fencing for the entire railway route to protect it from vandalism. The spur to Lake Victoria, which the country shares with Tanzania and Kenya, is set to handle imports and exports via the neighboring countries.
Uganda has already acquired 126 kilometers of the corridor for the Malaba-Kampala SGR with land acquisition for the route expected to be concluded by June 2022 and are now waiting for Chinese funding to kick off the Standard Gauge Railway project.