One Belt, One Road, One Train
Kenya opened a new chapter in its history with the opening of a Chinese-built railway linking the capital Nairobi with the port of Mombasa, the largest infrastructure project since independence more than 50 years ago.
“We celebrate laying one of the key cornerstones to Kenya’s transformation to an industrialized, prosperous, middle-income country,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said ahead of the inaugural trip from Mombasa reported., Reuters
Funded by China to the tune of $3.2 billion, the railway is part of China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, a series of massive infrastructure projects improving trade routes between China and Europe, Asia and Africa.
The line is eventually expected to connect Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Ethiopia to Mombasa so the Indian Ocean port can act as a gateway to East Africa for trade with China and other nations.
China, which is competing with Western and Asian nations for influence in sub-Saharan Africa, had clearly scored points with passengers. “Anybody who cannot see what China has done for Kenya must be blind… China is the way to go,” said businessman Michael Kariuki.
The new railway was Kenyatta’s pet project and a key pledge in his 2013 election campaign. Its launch, well ahead of schedule, coincides with elections on, in which Kenyatta is seeking a second term.