12 May 2014

Kenyan rail deal signed by China

10:37 am on 12 May 2014

China has signed a deal to build a $US3.8 billion rail link between Kenyan port of Mombasa and Nairobi.

Premier Li Keqiang prepares to sign the agreement.

Premier Li Keqiang prepares to sign the agreement. Photo: AFP

It is the first stage of a line that will eventually link Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.

Under the terms of the agreement, Exim Bank of China will provide 90 percent of the cost to replace a British colonial-era line with a 609.3km standard-gauge link. Kenya will meet the remaining 10 percent.

Construction is due to start in October and take 3½ years. China Communications Construction Co. is the main contractor.

The deal was signed on Sunday by Premier Li Keqiang in Nairobi and witnessed by Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Salva Kiir of South Sudan.