Are East Africa’s new railways viable?
Jan 31, 2019. Written by Shem Oirere
Some quotes from the article:
„The value of current railway projects in East Africa has risen to more than $US 12.1bn as governments take advantage of funding offered by foreign investors to build new standard-gauge railways (SGR) rather than upgrading existing metre-gauge lines serving Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.“ …
„An emerging issue is whether the new railways are economically viable. Just months after commissioning the 487km Mombasa – Nairobi SGR, doubt persists as to how it will carry enough freight to generate sufficient revenue to repay the Chinese loan. “ …
“There are concerns that East Africa may not have adequate freight capacity that can make the new SGR lines economically viable,” says Mr Anil Bhandari, a Nairobi-based transport consultant. “Probably the first option for expanding rail transport in the region would have been to modernise the existing metre-gauge network.”