top of page

China's Belt and Road Initiative: Kenya and a railway to nowhere


The first section of Kenya's Chinese-built railway was opened with much fanfare in 2017 - but two years later work on the tracks stopped in the middle of the country and the master plan of linking it to other landlocked countries in East Africa seems to have derailed.


This means the project is not bringing as much money as was hoped at this stage, while Kenya is left servicing loans totalling around $4.7bn (£3.9bn), mainly borrowed from Chinese banks.


Yet it is hard to believe that Kenya's Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is not a success when passengers disgorge from a packed train of around 12 carriages at the Syokimau railway terminus in the capital, Nairobi - the last service of the day.

They have travelled non-stop from the port city of Mombasa, 470km (290 miles) away on the Indian Ocean.

bottom of page