23 October 2019



  • Opening of SGR railway extension will not significantly boost growth and will further increase national debt
  • SGR will remain unprofitable due to high operating costs, and given…
  • Efforts to improve related infrastructure will further…



President Kenyatta declared the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) extension between Nairobi and Naivasha to be officially open on 16 October. The USD 1.5 billion extension currently operates four out of twelve planned stations, and terminates 50 km south of Naivasha, in Suswa, close to Maai Mahiu town. The SGR’s USD 3.2 billion first phase, connecting Nairobi and Mombasa, was completed in 2017. The latest SGR extension is only available to passengers, with cargo transport likely beginning in early 2020. Kenyatta presents the SGR as symbolising his goal of Kenya attaining middle-income status by 2030, and says it will become a key driver of industrialisation.

The Government had planned to extend the SGR to Kisumu, a key port on Lake Victoria, and to the Ugandan border. However, the Chinese Government, which has


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