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Kenya Set To Borrow Ksh300 Billion For Rail, Military From France

[PHOTO/ COURTESY]

The visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to Kenya came with a Ksh300 bond meant for a rail project and the military.

The deal will be signed at the end of the two-day visit which ends today.

The rail project will involve a commuter rail-link between Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD) to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) by 2021.

The money will also be used to upgrade the military equipment.

The projects will be done by a consortium of French companies under the umbrella body, French Business Confederation (MEDEF), which has said that it will invest in other projects of the Big Four Agenda.

“The projects span industry, health and technology. Some of the areas of interest between Kenya and France include economic and technical co-operation, regional peace and security, climate change, reform of the UN, migration and sustainable development among others,” said the State House.

Read: Transport CS James Macharia Bids For Chinese SGR Firm To Get Ksh2.5 Billion Rail Deal

In a bid to kickstart the President Macron visited the Nairobi Central Railway Station.

France is also set o sign an intelligence sharing deal on terror networks and de-radicalization with Kenya.

President Macron’s trip to Kenya is part of a four-nation tour in African which has been viewed as an uprising fight for influence on African countries between China, France and USA.

In what seems as a conflict of inerest, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia wants the Chinese firm that built the multi-billion shilling Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to be awarded a new contract worth Ksh2.5 billion.

The CS wants the firm to be given the contract to refurbish the Nairobi commuter railway network in what is referred to as a single-sourced deal.

Macharia seeks to have the Cabinet to approve the hiring of China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) without subjecting it to competitive bidding.

If the contract is approved, the firm will be tasked to upgrade the railway stations as well as ballasting of the rail network in the first phase of the track rehabilitation.

Writing to the Cabinet, Macharia noted: ““The purpose of this Cabinet memorandum is to seek concurrence of the Cabinet to engage China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) to undertake infrastructure works since we do not have local firms with the required capacity to undertake the works whereas CRBC have the adequate technical capacity, pre-requisite railway experience and ability to mobilise immediately.”

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Francis Muli

Written by Francis Muli

Senior reporter at Kahawa Tungu, Muli has a passion for human interest stories. He believes in unearthing societal rots that have been hidden from the public eye. He has also carved himself a niche in writing business stories. He has worked for various organisations including Kenya Television Service, Business Today among others. Follow him on Twitter @FmuliKE.

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