Uganda President Yoweri Museveni says he is excited at the prospect of riding on the Madaraka Express from Mombasa to Nairobi.
The Ugandan leader will make the 441km journey on Thursday. Museveni arrived in Kenya on Wednesday on a two-day official visit and held talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Mombasa.
The two heads of state later addressed a press briefing and were also expected to tour the Port of Mombasa.
“You (President Kenyatta) have given me the honour of being the first President to ride on the new railway. I will put it in my album and show it to all the Ugandans,” said Museveni.
Museveni’s railway trip is seen by analysts as a move by Kenya to lure Ugandan business people to transport their goods via the newly built railway line which currently links Mombasa to Nairobi, and is expected to eventually connect Mombasa to Kampala via the border town of Malaba.
Kenya is also keen on enticing Uganda to build its SGR from the border to Kampala.
Uganda is the main Mombasa port user compared to other landlocked countries in the nation.
Built by the Chinese in 2016 at a cost of Sh450 billion, the Standard Gauge Railway is Kenya’s most expensive infrastructure project since independence with the aim of offering quicker and cheaper transport alternatives.