TAKING SHAPE: The Kenya section of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). Photo credit/http://constructionreviewonline.com

The construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) in the East African Community (EAC) region will cost the participating countries US$20 billion, the SGR Director Derrick Lichti, has said.

Mr Lichti made the revelation during a media interview in Kigali, Rwanda, where he is attending the Global African investment Summit (GAIS) that focused among other issues industrialization, trade and Infrastructure development.

The SGR is a component of the East African Railway Master Plan that aims at rejuvenating the obsolete railway system in the EAC and Horn of Africa countries of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

In Uganda, the SGR construction contract worth US$8 billion (approx.Ughs20 trillion) was awarded to the Chinese firm, the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) in August 2014. And, in March last year the government rededicated itself to the construction of SGR, sealing the CHEC deal to also construct the Malaba-Kampala and Kampala-Katuna sections of the railway line.

Other sections of the SGR in Uganda include Kampala-Kasese and Kampala-Nimule, at the border with South Sudan.