Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary (CS), Kipchumba Murkomen, has announced the government’s unwavering commitment to extending the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) network.
Mr. Murkomen said that the expansion aims to encompass key destinations, including Kisumu and the Malaba border, with the ambitious vision of connecting Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) through this vital infrastructure.
Speaking during the Dutch Trade Mission on Port Development at a Nairobi hotel, the CS emphasised that the SGR’s development would welcome private investment.
He further outlined that the expansion initiative would be seamlessly integrated with the establishment of logistics hubs and industrial parks, amplifying the economic impact of the project.
The CS said the State Department for Transport has outlined an extensive plan, backed by a budget of Sh2.1 trillion, to extend the SGR to Kisumu, Malaba, and Isiolo by June 2027.
“This strategic move is a pivotal component of the broader Sh3.42 trillion Lamu Port South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) project, designed to rejuvenate the northern corridor and bolster economic activity within Kenya, South Sudan, and Ethiopia,” he stated.
He at the same time noted that the partnership with Uganda, solidified through a recent agreement, is a major milestone in the extension of the SGR line.
“This collaborative effort is set to secure the necessary funds for the construction of the rail, breathing new life into the initial vision of a seamless rail network connecting Mombasa to Kigali, Rwanda,” he said.
President William Ruto has also played a decisive role in expediting the upgrading of the Lamu-Garissa-Isiolo Road section of the LAPSSET Highway, ensuring a comprehensive, modern road network linking the Port of Lamu to Ethiopia.
Despite previous setbacks, such as the cessation of Chinese financing for the final leg of the SGR, the government’s renewed commitment and strategic collaborations signal a promising future for this critical infrastructure project. With construction in progress and partnerships flourishing, the extension of the SGR promises to be a transformative force in regional transportation and economic development.
By Hamdi Buthul