In an effort to overcome high cost of transportation and delays in the East African region, the operator of the Kenya-Uganda railway received a $164 million long term loan financing on Tuesday from six international financiers.
Among the six financiers responsible for the loan are International Finance Corporation – IFC, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau – KfW of Germany, and Equity Bank – Kenya’s biggest bank in customer terms, a statement from IFC said.
The investment is aimed at buying new wagons and locomotives, refurbishing the track, and replacing information technology systems.
Rehabilitation of the rail network between Kenya and Uganda is viewed as critical to expanding trade across the east African region and is estimated it could reduce transport costs by up to a third.
“An efficient rail network has the capacity to reduce East African transport costs by as much as a third due to the operational and fuel efficiency of rail shipment,” IFC said in a press statement.
Presently, more than 90 percent of the cargo arriving in Kenya Mombasa port that is destined for Uganda, south Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi is transported by dilapidated roads, leading to delays.
Photo by Robert Wilson