Uganda seeks railway funds in China (Video)

Uganda seeks railway funds in China :Uganda would begin a fund-raising drive in China in the first quarter of next year for a planned standard-gauge railway network in east Africa, the finance ministry said.

The investor meetings would follow a presentation in December of a report by the Africa50 Infrastructure Fund, which had been contracted by the government to draw up a financial plan for the project, Patrick Ocailap, the deputy secretary to the Treasury, said on Tuesday in Kampala.

Africa50, a unit of the African Development Bank, helps find private investors to accelerate infrastructure projects.

“The report by the Africa50 Infrastructure Fund will give us financing options,” Ocailap said. “In January to March, the finance ministers will hold roadshows in China to mobilise funds.”

Kenya started building a railway last year from Mombasa, east Africa’s biggest port, to the capital, Nairobi. The link will be extended to the Rwandan capital of Kigali via Uganda.

The entire $13 billion (R145bn) project would be completed by March 2018, Ugandan Minister of State for Works John Byabagambi said in June. Funding was being sourced from China and Russia.

Byabagambi said Uganda planned to raise funds along with Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan, which were upgrading their railways to reduce transport costs.

Ocailap said the Export-Import Bank of China would be a key target for concessional loans, .

Uganda’s share of the project cost would be known after the presentation of the Africa50 report, Ocailap said. The Ministry of Works estimated it to be $8bn.

Byabagambi said China Harbour Engineering had been contracted to draw up the engineering design and would report back in eight months. It was working on a section from Malaba to Kampala, and a link from Tororo to the north of the country, he said on Wednesday at a ceremony marking the start of the project in Kampala.

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said in April that a $4.1bn cross-border railway project was being planned with Rwanda and Burundi.

Uganda seeks railway funds in China

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