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Construction works on East Africa’s ambitious standard gauge railway line linking the port of Mombasa to Kampala and Kigali could soon be revived, following a deal inked between Uganda and Turkish firm, Yapi Merkezi.
Yapi Merkezi is the same company contracted for the Tanzania Standard Gauge Railway.
The planned 1,500 km-long railway from Mombasa to Kigali had fallen behind schedule, with only Kenya having completed the initial phase of the project from Mombasa to Nairobi.
“Uganda is contracting Yapi Merkezi, sathe me Company for Tanzania SGR, for construction of the SGR on the eastern and western of Malaba-Kampala-Kigali. Yapi Merkezi is said to be undertaking commendable work on the SGR project in Tanzania,” reads part of a statement by the government of Uganda.
“The delegation is expected to meet Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) and other stakeholders ahead of the Partner States Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIPs) SGR cluster meeting scheduled for 24-26 May 2023 in Kampala.”
It is not yet clear when construction works are set to begin, but Uganda says it had previously completed the feasibility and designs for the 273 km-long lines between Malaba, in Kenya, and Kampala. The Ugandan section is estimated to cost $2.3 billion.
Rwanda, on the other hand, earlier indicated that it had completed the preliminary engineering design of the new line from Kampala to Kigali, through Mirama Hills.
The standard gauge railway from Kampala to Kigali is part of the Northern Corridor infrastructure project designed to connect Mombasa to Malaba on the border with Uganda, and onward to Kampala, Uganda’s capital, and eventually Kigali in Rwanda, with a branch line to Kisumu, and another line to Juba in South Sudan through Kasese and Pakwach.