NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) freight
service shipped 197,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU)
containers in the first half of 2019, a 155.8 percent growth in
cargo over the corresponding period in 2018 when it shipped
77,020 TEU containers, the operator of the SGR said.
Dai Yunjie, spokesperson for Africa Star which operates the SGR
service, attributed the expansion in volumes to an aggressive
marketing strategy targeting importers and exporters in Uganda,
Rwanda, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of the Congo, to use
the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR freight services as their preferred
"We have also set up our marketing team and provided
practical and feasible advice to Kenya Railways Corporation and
relevant authorities for incremental freight transportations."
Dai said in a statement issued on Monday evening.
According to Africa Star, the passenger traffic in the first
six months of 2019 was similar to the number ferried in the
corresponding period last year.
Kenya’s extended modern
railways revitalize construction sector: report
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The construction of Nairobi-Naivasha Standard
Gauge Railway (SGR) has boosted the growth of Kenya’s
construction sector in the first quarter of 2019, says a report
released on Wednesday.
According to the report by Architectural Association of Kenya
(AAK), the construction sector expanded by 5.6 percent in the
first three months of 2019 thanks to implementation of the
120km-long modern railway project.
"It is key to note that this growth was supported by the
construction of phase 2A of the SGR and other public
infrastructure developments especially road construction," said
the report dubbed Status of the Built Environment.
The report summarized key features in the built environment
in the months of January to June this year.
The first phase of the SGR project connects Nairobi to the
port city of Mombasa while phase 2A of the modern railway line
connecting Nairobi to the resort town of Naivasha is almost
The study findings indicate that a number of infrastructure
projects are in the pipeline and are being undertaken and
financed by China and could contribute to the growth of the
construction sector, including
the 51 billion Kenyan shilling (488 million U.S. dollars)
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), and
Westlands Expressway project that will be constructed and
funded by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC),
through a private-public partnership (PPP) framework that
will see the firm fund the project and later recoup its
investment from toll fees.
It said that the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA)
has already announced the start of the construction of the
16.7km western bypass located on the outskirts of Nairobi that
includes 17.4km service lanes, seven interchanges, five
underpasses and three footbridges.
"The project is financed by the Exim Bank of China and is
being undertaken by the CRBC, at a cost of 163 million dollars,"
said the study.
It noted that CRBC is also set to secure a 23.9 million
dollars contract to refurbish the Nairobi commuter railway
"The Nairobi commuter railway track is part of the 95.9
million dollars fund set aside to ease traffic congestion in
Nairobi, and is aimed at facilitating the operation of 11
second-hand locomotives, 20 halts, the refurbishment of mini
stations in the city such as the Kitengela railway station,
upgrading of the Ruiru, Kikuyu, Syokimau and Embakasi lines and
the Nairobi central station," said the report.
It said that Kenya seeks to construct houses under the
affordable housing scheme in order to reduce the country’s
housing deficit especially for the low-income segment of the
It revealed that the residential real estate sector also
recorded an increase in activities in the first six months of
2019 and were mainly driven by the government’s focus on the
affordable housing agenda.
"However, inadequate infrastructure provision including roads
and sewer systems within the interior parts of these satellite
towns have been the main inhibitor to the fast growth of
master-planned communities," said the report.
Kenya export processing
zones sales to hit U.S. $866 million dollars in 2019
by Ronald Njoroge NAIROBI (Xinhua)
-- Sales made by companies based in
Kenya’s export processing zones are expected to hit 90 billion
Kenyan shillings (about 866 million U.S. dollars) in 2019, up
from 770 million U.S. dollars in 2018, a government official
said on Monday.
Benjamin Chesang, manager for research, planning and
innovation at Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) told
Xinhua in Nairobi that the increase is due to the expanded
output volumes from existing firms.
"The key overseas market is the United States which offers
preferential access to Kenyan goods under the African Growth and
Opportunity Act (AGOA) program," Chesang said.
Chesang said that the zones are attractive to both foreign
and local investments because of the tax holidays for
corporations who set up there.
He noted that another key market for the exports zones are
the European Union especially for horticultural produce.
According to EPZA, more than 60,000 individuals are employed
in the 135 manufacturing plants based in the zones.
Chesang said that most of the raw materials especially for
the textile firms are sourced from China, adding that Kenya is
exploring new markets in Africa and as well as China.
The east African nation introduced the export zones in 1990
in order to boost the country’s foreign exchange earnings.