As Kenya advances the new Standard Gauge Railway, in short named SGR, so have in parallel Rwanda and Uganda made their own progress to link the Kenyan section coming up to Tororo to Kampala and Kigali.
It was established that the two governments have now appointed German consultancy firm Gauff to develop the design of the new railway, the first ever to connect Rwanda with the Indian Ocean seaport of Mombasa. The cost of the consultancy contract, reported to be some 6.3 million Euros, will be shared between the two countries in accordance with the distance covered by the new railway line in each of the countries. A time frame of 12 months has been set for the consultants to complete their work and submit their findings and recommendations.
The construction of the new railway line has already commenced in Kenya, albeit slowly as land acquisition and compensation still constitutes a major challenge – some land is located inside the Tsavo National Park while other land especially closer to the capital Nairobi and along the route to Tororo is private land – and the project, with a price tag of over 13.5 billion US Dollars, is due for completion by 2018 according to the current time table available.
The three countries of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda have last year agreed to fast track several infrastructure and cooperation projects, among them the new railway, breaking ranks with the other EAC member states, in order to end countless delays and finally turn some of the visions the East African Community has into reality.