Kenya has turned to South Africa to renew its old railway network as it is looking for solutions within the continent to renew its railway networks.
During a three-day state visit to Pretoria, the Kenyan President Uhuru invited Kenyatta The state-owned South African engineering company has rebuilt and modernized its railroad system.
President Kenyatta is searching the continent for solutions to improve its railroad system nationwide after Kenya failed to reach an agreement with a French company to finance one in July this year Light rail from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to Nairobi city center.
During President Kenyatta’s visit to Paris in July, Kenya was unable to secure a $ 144 million financial transaction. Dollars to finance the infrastructure plan.
The Kenyan Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia told The EastAfrican that the French The Austrian voyage did not lead to the signing of the agreement that was to finance the construction of the five-kilometer-long meter-gauge line that connects the air port to the terminus of the standard-gauge railway (SGR) in Syokimau.
Earlier agreements saw the signing of the loan pact until June 30 this year when President Kenyatta was in France.
The postponement of the signing means that the railway project, which was originally planned to be built in August this year, is subject to an agreement between the French President Emmanuel Macron and his Kenyan counterpart in March 2019, is exposed to further delays.
The loan was also used to support the renovation of the old 17-kilometer railway line that is connected to the SGR line in Syokimau, the construction of two airport train stations, a terminal in Donholm and an automatic fare collection system.
In Pretoria, President Kenyatta was optimistic that Kenya, in partnership with Transnet Engineering Company, a manufacturer of railway components such as freight cars, locomotives and passenger coaches, will complete the upcoming railway infrastructure project in the country.
“The advanced engineering that is taking place is a clear indication that that Transnet can be a leading partner in working with other African countries to rebuild their rail stocks. We look forward to working with you to quickly pursue the restoration of our rail system, “said the Kenyan President.
Transnet Engineering Company will be the first company on the continent to work with Kenya to improve the Boosting to promote its railway system after the country commissioned China to build the Mombasa-Naivasha Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
The request comes at a time when Kenya is at an advanced stage of connecting the Naivasha’s SGR with Kenya-Uganda is border in Malaba.
Mr Kenyatta said the increased partnership in improving rail systems would boost the economies of other countries in the East African Community and South African Boost the development community.
Kenya Railways has already completed construction of the new SGR Phase 2A connecting Nairobi and Naivasha and the rail link from Momba sa extended to the Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Naivasha.
The new rail and the new depot facilities have a significant movement of cargo to Naivasha ICD, allowing rapid evacuations by road and rail to final destination supports. There was a need to connect the new inland depot to the meter-gauge rail system to Malaba.
President Kenyatta said a robust railroad system would help accelerate the integration of the African continent by facilitating the movement of people, goods and services at affordable costs.
“We need this connectivity to make this movement possible, and the only way to do it is by bringing the companies responsible for transportation together and with the development of these rails Road, sea and air links in our respective countries, “he said.
During the visit, Nairobi and Pretoria signed eight trade agreements to stimulate bilateral trade and Eliminate trade imbalances between the two countries. They will establish partnerships in transport, health, diplomatic advice and training as well as tourism and migration.
They have also signed a bilateral air transport agreement (Basa) and MoUs on state printing and the return of illegal immigrants, and nationals have refused entry.
President Kenyatta tried to Increase Kenya’s exports to South Africa to close the trade gap between the two countries.
In 2020, Kenya’s exports to South Africa were around $ 33 million while Kenya’s imports from South Africa were around US $ 430 million -Dollars. Over the past 10 years, Kenyan trade values have been relatively static.
Kenya imports iron and steel, mineral fuels, oils, distillation products, machinery and edible fruits, nuts, beverages and spirits among others, while Kenya mainly imports coffee, tea , Spices, edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers, machines, nuclear reactors, boilers among others are exported to South Africa.
In terms of investment, South Africa is an important sour ce of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Kenya. In 2016-2019, South Africa’s investments in Kenya rose sharply from $ 2,235 million to $ 3,106 million.
In Pretoria, President Kenyatta noted that trade and investment remained one of the strongest Pillars of bilateral relations between the two countries.
“In addition to strong bilateral relations that span many areas, Kenya and South Africa are close partners on a regional and global level, so the two countries should use the existing technical teams to review the supply of goods and services that South Africa imports from the rest of the world and identify those that South Africa could source from Kenya and vice versa, “he said.
” Kenya works with South Africa together and striving to eliminate imbalances by increasing production capacity and innovation, we are confident that we have a wide range of products that are perfect for South Africa n would be an advantage. ”
President Ramaphosa told President Kenyatta the visit provided an opportunity to take stock of the current state of bilateral relations and to explore new areas of common interest that will benefit the two countries.
“We have reaffirmed the strategic importance of the bilateral relationship between our two countries and reaffirmed our desire to improve the nature of the relationship, which would include the conclusion of a strategic partnership agreement,” said the South African President.