Kenya: SGR, Port to Boost Kenya's 'Cool Logistics' Plan With Netherlands, CS Murkomen Says

18 September 2023

Nairobi — Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has disclosed that the country will collaborate with the Netherlands on the development of Cool Logistics Corridor to facilitate the transportation of fresh produce by sea.

The deal is part of the government's efforts to boost trade and improve the lives of Kenyan horticultural farmers.

The development of the Cool Logistics Corridor will involve building consolidation centers for fresh produce to be transported by sea through Mombasa to international markets.

"The shift will require enhancement of the existing facilities i.e the rail rolling stock, the port and the Inland Container Depots to create a cool logistics corridor from the origin to the port of Mombasa through SGR," Murkomen noted.

Since independence, the Netherlands has been among the top five global destinations of Kenyan goods and the largest in Europe.

Kenyan exports to the Netherlands have more than doubled over the last 10 years to stand at Sh69.7 billion in 2022.

The port of Mombasa is seen as the most visible hinge as a well-functioning port that has been able to attract foreign investments with increased trade activities as a result.

The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) expansion as well as completion of the LAPPSET project are calculated as an important hinge to connect Kenya to the world.

SGR Malaba Extension

Murkomen assured the government is committed to constructing the remaining phases of the Standard Gauge Railway to include the Kisumu and Malaba border through Uganda to Rwanda, DRC.

During the Dutch Trade Mission on Port Development, Murkomen said the SGR railway development will be open to private investment adding that the extension will be integrated with the development of logistics hubs and industrial parks.

"The Government has committed to construction of the remaining phases of the Standard Gauge Railway (phase 2B and 2C, to extend to Kisumu and Malaba border. We are currently working with the Government of Uganda to connect the Standard Gauge railway to Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo," he said.

The State Department of Transport has a Sh2.1 trillion plan to extend the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to Kisumu, Malaba and Isiolo by the end of June 2027.

In July, the country brought Uganda on board in the extension of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line after they inked a deal to source funds to build the rail.

The plan, lifted from the Jubilee Government's grand scheme on SGR is part of the Sh3.42 trillion Lamu Port South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset).

Lapsset is aimed at opening up northern Kenya and revamping the northern corridor by spurring movement within Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

So far, the SGR from Mombasa to Naivasha has been financed by the Chinese at a total cost of Sh656.1 billion.

In 2014, the government entered into a tripartite agreement with the governments of Rwanda and Uganda to construct a standard gauge railway from Mombasa through Kampala to Kigali, Rwanda.

However, the SGR ended abruptly in Naivasha with China reportedly declining to finance the last leg of the modern railway after failing to strike an agreement with Uganda.

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