Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kuteesa said negotiations for the SGR with Exim Bank kicked off on April 6. A team led by Keith Muhakanizi, the Finance Ministry Permanent Secretary is in China to finalize the loan negotiations to kick start the project in July this year. The 10 trillion Shillings 3.2 billion US dollars is expected to fund the construction of the 60 kilometer Kampala-Malaba Standard Gauge Railway route.
The modern high-capacity railway system is implemented as a regional project in Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan with a railway line stretching from Mombasa through Nairobi to Kampala, Kigali and Juba.
Kuteesa said negotiations for the SGR with Exim Bank kicked off on April 6. A team led by Keith Muhakanizi, the Finance Ministry Permanent Secretary is in China to finalize the loan negotiations to kick start the project in July this year. The 10 trillion Shillings (3.2 billion US dollars) is expected to fund the construction of the 60 kilometer Kampala-Malaba Standard Gauge Railway route.
The stretches in Uganda are Malaba-Kampala, Tororo-Gulu-Pakwach-Nimule and Kampala-Kasese-Mirama Hills. He added that technical studies to extend the SGR from Pakwach to Goli and Vurra border points are ongoing.
Kuteesa made the revelations while presenting the report on the state of the sectors that Uganda heads at the 13th Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit ongoing at the Commonwealth Speke Resort in Kampala. Uganda heads the cluster of five projects which include; the standard gauge railway, information communication, technology and oil and gas.
He said 70 percent of the SGR in Kenya has been completed, adding that the Kenyan government has now signed agreement with China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) for the construction of the stretch from Nairobi to Naivasha.
He said Kenya is also sourcing for funding for the Naivasha-Kisumu-Malaba stretch as well as a modern port at Kisumu.
On ICT, Kuteesa said consultations for one area data network are ongoing, with the aim of pricing a megabyte of internet data at 11 cents.
In his welcome remarks, President Museveni said the Northern Corridor Integration Projects is not a competitor to the East African Community but its implementation arm. He said the main aim is to fast track infrastructure development, adding that there is going to be no time wasting like in the 1960s and 1970s.
He said the infrastructure of Uganda is improving and that the country is ready for take-off.
The Northern Corridor Summit is an initiative of Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and Kenya which use the northern route from Mombasa Port. It is aimed at, among other things, easing doing business and fast tracking infrastructure development.
In attendance are President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda. South Sudan President Salva Kiir is represented by his information minister. Tanzania, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia are attending as observers.