Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni shed light on the decision to opt for Kenya over Tanzania for the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project, citing Tanzania’s delays in realizing its cross-border SGR plan. Museveni’s revelation came during discussions with Italian investors set to construct the SGR line on Uganda’s territory.

During the meeting, Museveni highlighted the interest of Italian investors in funding and building a railway line from Tororo to Majanji, complemented by a port at Majanji, as shared by Mauro Massoni, the Italian Ambassador to Uganda.

Expressing his appreciation for the investment, Museveni emphasized its potential to enhance trade from Northern Uganda and neighboring nations. He disclosed, “We are commencing construction of the Standard Gauge Railway from the Kenyan border to Kampala. The construction of the railway from Tanzania will take time.”

Tanzania, meanwhile, has expedited its national connectivity efforts, utilizing funding from China and Turkey to develop a 1,600-kilometer SGR line linking Dar es Salaam and Mwanza. A tentative agreement between Presidents William Ruto and Museveni aims to extend the SGR from Mombasa through Kampala to the Democratic Republic of Congo, ultimately facilitating trade across Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, and DRC.

While China is set to provide a significant portion of the funding for the Naivasha to Ugandan border segment, Kenyan taxpayers will also contribute to the project through the Railway Development Levy Fund, as outlined by Kenyan Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen.