Senegal’s President Macky Sall recently visited the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR Project to assess progress in its implementation. The President was welcomed by the Principal Secretary for Transport Mr. Wilson Nyakera Irungu, the Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Mr. Liu Xianfa, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) Chairman Mr. Wen Gang, and Kenya Railways Managing Director Mr. Atanas Maina.
In his speech, President Macky Sall praised the work being carried out in Kenya, noting that Kenya needed a complex railway system due to the uneven terrain and wildlife reserves. He seemed enthusiastic to have a similar project developed in Senegal with the help of CRBC after seeing the success in Kenya. He also praised the Chinese government for the role it has played thus far in the development of Africa.
Principal Secretary for Transport Mr. Irungu Nyakera, expressed gratitude at the work ethic and close cooperation between the Kenyan government, CRBC, Kenya Railways and the EXIM bank in driving the SGR dream into a reality. He lauded the Chinese government for the scholarships being awarded to Kenyan students and the development on the local Railway Training Institute (RTI), a clear indication that Kenyans are entirely inclusive in the future of the SGR operations.
The forum was filled with praise directed at Kenya Railways and the China Road and Bridge Corporation on the highly efficient progress of the construction of the Mombasa-Nairobi railway line. Kenya Railways Managing Director Mr. A. K. Maina outlined the dire need for an upgraded railway in the region in his speech, quoting the benefits of the Standard Gauge Railway to span more jobs, technology transfer, national security, GDP growth and most importantly increased freight transfer. Mr. Maina expressed hope that the project will induce regional integration by the year 2030.
The Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Mr. Liu Xianfa was particularly impressed with the Kenyan government and praised the vision and strategic planning therein saying he foresees a developing country and a fostering friendship between Africa and China.
After the forum, the dignitaries were given a tour of the Nairobi South Station, which is currently under construction. The tour included viewing of the dispatch center and the main station building which appeared to be well under way and the Chinese contractors explained the details of the project and its importance to Kenya and Africa as a whole.