Workers on rail line

The Ugandan government is still in talks with Kenya and the Export-Import Bank of China over the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), according to Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija.

One of the major concerns by the financier was whether Kenya would extend its railway to the border with Uganda so that the lines would join, Kasaija told reporters. Kenya is in the process of compensating land owners so as to embark on the line to Naivasha, which is its second phase.

Matia said Uganda had received assurances from Kenya that it would extend the line and the decision has been conveyed to China Exim Bank.

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Uganda has started compensating locals who live on the land where the SGR will pass, the minister said.

Last October, Uganda received a 21.5 million euro grant from the European Union to rehabilitate the 375-km railway line from the eastern border town Tororo to the northern district of Gulu.

The planned SGR with an entire length of 1,724 kilometers will consist of four major sections: Malaba-Kampala section, Tororo-Gugu section, Kampala-Mpondwe section, Bihanga-mirama Hills section.

When the SGR is completed, it will link Uganda with neighboring countries of Kenya, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.