NEW RAILWAY LINE – MOMBASA TO MALABA
Kenya signed deals worth $5 billion with China on Monday to construct a railway line between Mobasa and Malaba, and an energy project. The deals were agreed in Beijing after talks between President Uhuru Kenyatta and China’s President Xi Jinping. President Kenyatta is on a state visit to China that began on Sunday and is scheduled to last until Friday.
It is as yet not clear whether the cash was a loan or grant, or whether this was all new money or part of a previously negotiated but unannounced package.
The standard gauge railway will link Kenya’s major port to Malaba in western Kenya on the border with Uganda. The new railway line is meant to provide faster access from Kenya’s main port to markets in the region.
China is already major player in Kenya, constructing capital-intensive flagship projects, mostly roads.
MONEY FOR WILDLIFE PROTECTION
The rest of the money will be used to improve wildlife protection in Kenya where armed criminal gangs have killed elephants for tusks and rhinos for their horns that are often shipped mainly to China for use in ornaments and medicines.
USA, UK AND EUROPE PAY PRICE FOR ELECTION?
President Kenyatta’s visit follows a promise he made during the presidential election campaigns earlier this year when he vowed to work closely with China following comments by United States, Britain and some European officials who said they would limit contacts with Kenyatta should he win owing to his indictment for crimes against humanity at The Hague.
MORE TO COME FROM CHINA?
Announcing the deals on Monday President Xi said China supports Kenya’s drive for industrialisation and plans to host a clearing house for the Chinese renminbi currency in Nairobi, as part of Kenya’s plans to become an international financial hub.
President Kenyatta urged China to invest in Kenya’s newly discovered oil sector, power generation, a technology city near the capital city and a new port in Lamu, north of Mombasa. The $25.5 billion Lamu project would link landlocked South Sudan and Ethiopia to Lamu by constructing a major highway, a railway and an oil pipeline.