Members of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change together with a team from the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) got an upfront on the developments of the Standard Gauge Railway project when they visited the car depot, the locomotive depot, the Nairobi Terminus and the Inland Container Depot (ICD) on March 21, 2017. The team which comprised of representatives from seven different countries was in the country to attend inaugural African Delivery Exchange 2017 forum.
The Secretary for Delivery and Head of the Presidential Delivery Unit Mr. Andrew Wakahiu gave a brief overview of the projects being undertaken by the Government of the Republic of Kenya and highlighted that the Standard Gauge Railway project; Kenya’s signature infrastructure project is ahead of schedule in its implementation. He said that the benefits that will be realized during operation stage of the SGR line far outweigh the challenges encountered during construction.
“The Standard Gauge Railway project in Kenya is quite an ambitious undertaking; we have not seen a project of its magnitude being implemented before. We have overcome many challenges and I am proud to say that implementation is ahead of schedule. The successful construction of the Mombasa to Nairobi section has filled us with confidence that we are now well positioned to take on more ambitious project like the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport corridor (LAPSSET) project,” he said.
Speaking at the same forum, the Executive Director of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change’s work on effective governance Mr. Jim Murphy called on participants present to adopt methods and structures of building routines that enable governments to monitor progress and implementation of their top policy priorities. He outlined the four building blocks of making reforms which include monitoring performance, political authority, agile response and incentives as key to successful implementation of projects such as the Standard Gauge Railway project.
“Governments need to be able to track which reforms are on- or off-track. I am delighted to learn of the impressive progress attained in implementing the Standard Gauge Railway project. We hope the SGR line will help improve transportation in Kenya and the region and thereby unlock the transport gridlock which has been witnessed over the years,” he said.
The tour at the Nairobi SGR Terminal construction site in Syokimau, which hosts main station building, power substations, dispatch centre, comprehensive maintenance office building, locomotive depot and signals building, locomotive and vehicle workshops, material shed and warehouses and living houses, was guided by Eng. Samuel Lang’o and Eng. Mutiso of TAEC consortium who gave an overview of the activities at the site.
The forum provided a platform to share experiences of how to get things done in government. It was preceded by a forum at the Crown Plaza where Kenya Railways Managing Director Mr. A. K. Maina was interviewed by Tim Njiru of the Presidential Delivery Unit. Mr. Maina said that the role of railway transport in the country’s transport and logistics chain is vital. He further said that he expects the gains realized from operation of the Standard Gauge Railway to propel the country to unprecedented levels of development in terms of investment and growth.
Harry Bradwell, Tony Blair Institute Sierra Leone, appreciated the dedication Kenya Railways has shown in delivering the project. He said, “This is a job well done, wow! The terminus is magnificent during this sunset hour, we really loved this