September 26, 2014
Picking Up Steam: The Expansion of Chinese Railways in Africa
by Yun Sun
If everything happens as planned, the construction of the new East Africa railway signed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Kenyan president Kenyatta earlier this year will formally commence in October. The railway will link the Kenyan port city of Mombasa with Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan and is hoped to rejuvenate the existing but outdated East Africa railway system. According to a report by Bloomberg, China Exim Bank will provide 90 percent of the $3.8 billion cost of the project and Kenya will finance the remainder. One of China's largest overseas construction contractors, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) will be the lead contractor of the project. The project has been cheered in Africa as a historical event for East Africa's regional connectivity and integration, as well as in China for another success by Chinese companies in the railway construction business and the expansion of Chinese railway standards in the continent.