Naivasha ICD: Not close enough for Mombasa-Kigali SGR plan

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When the idea for Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) was mooted, there was clear excitement among landlocked countries in East Africa who saw a quick way to ship cargo to and from the regional maritime hub of Mombasa. It would take at most three days for a container to leave Kigali and snake all the way to Mombasa and vice versa cutting costs, risks, and time spent to move cargo and people.  However, a decade and US$5 billion later, most of it from Chinese loans already spent, the railway line is yet to reach its final destination. In fact, it never managed to get even halfway through the Kenyan landmass.  Meanwhile partners in the project like Rwanda have cooled their interests while Uganda and South Sudan have reluctantly taken up the option of using the Naivasha inland depot as a closer destination compared to Mombasa.  The Kenyan government went back to China seeking more funding to ensure the railway line at least reaches the Kenya/Uganda border point of Busia, but the Chinese financiers declined and instead opted to fund the rehabilitation of the old railway line.  The government in Nairobi has devised ways of keeping the Naivasha depot busy. When the second phase of the railway from Nairobi to Naivasha was officially launched, President Kenyatta was critical of the global

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