• June 18, 2024
  • Last Update June 18, 2024 3:03 PM
  • Nairobi

State steadfast to ensure smooth transition from the port to rail

State steadfast to ensure smooth transition from the port to rail

Mombasa,

Saturday, May 25, 2024

KNA by Chari Suche

The government has assured Kenya Railways (KR) of a fair and seamless facilitation of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and Meter Gauge Railway (MGR) at the port to allow for a competitive ground to all transport sectors that deal at the port.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport Kipchumba Murkomen said that the government would like to see railway transport play a greater role in Kenya’s socioeconomic development through the expansion of its network, modernization of infrastructure, and adoption of innovative technologies by the year 2027.

Speaking during the launch of Kenya Railways 2023-2027 Strategic Plan, the CS noted that through the enhancement of the Madaraka Express, Nairobi Commuter Rail and Meter Gauge Railway passenger and freight services in Kenya the sector has gained increasing significance as an enabler of Kenya’s national development agenda.

He noted that the plan will outline comprehensive efforts to extend the railway network, particularly SGR from Naivasha to Malaba on the border with Uganda, enhancing wider access and boosting regional trade.

“This is in line with our commitment to fulfill the dreams of our forefathers to have the Indian Ocean coast and the Atlantic coast linked.

He said the country speaks of expanding the infrastructure in order to be competitive.

“We have looked at the books and we find that it is possible to combine the railway levy with money from the private sector. It will make business sense and it will make the northern corridor competitive. We shall do everything possible to make sure that Africa does business with itself,” he added.

He noted that the plan sets ambitious objectives for KR including developing and upgrading rail infrastructure, increasing freight and passenger transport, expanding the port’s market share, building a skilled workforce and institutionalizing ESG standards.

KR aims to significantly expand its network, modernize its infrastructure, and adopt innovative technologies by the year 2027, in order to advance both the Madaraka Express, Nairobi commuter rail and Meter Gauge Railway passenger and freight services in Kenya.

“It also outlines comprehensive efforts to extend the railway network particularly the Standard Gauge railway (SGR) from Naivasha to Uganda and beyond, enhancing access and boosting regional trade. Modernization projects will include upgrading existing lines and stations for safety and reliability,” he added.

Murkomen pledged his support of the strategic plan, stating that it is a monumental step for KR and the nation.

The CS stated that the 2023-2027 Strategic Plan is not just about infrastructure and technology but also people.

“We are dedicated to creating a railway system that serves the needs of our citizens, drives economic growth, and preserves our environment. We believe that through innovation, sustainability, and collaboration, we can build a railway network that will be a source of pride for generations to come,” he said.

He further emphasized the ministry’s commitment to the success of the plan by providing the required leadership and guidance.

He said since the launch of SGR and the continued rehabilitation of the MGR, Kenya has witnessed a tremendous increase in the volume of cargo moved by rail from five percent in 2018 to 26 percent by 2023 of total port throughput.

Also present at the launch was Principal Secretary State Department for Transport Mohammed Daghar who said the KRC Strategic plan has provided a comprehensive framework that aligns with global, regional, national and sectoral development agendas.

Daghar said the plan is linked with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the African’s Union Agenda 2063.

“It is also in line with the Kenya Vision 2030 Fourth Medium Term Plan and the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda. This alignment ensures that the corporation’s objectives are not only ambitious but also grounded in the border development goals of our nation and continent,” he said.

At the same function, KR Board Chairman Abdi Duale said the Strategic Plan will give the corporation a sense of direction for the next five years.

Duale added that the plan will also provide a clear sense of direction, empowering the corporation to achieve its ambitious targets and drive meaningful progress.

“With this roadmap, we are poised to turn our goal into reality and elevate our impact in the transport industry,” he said.

The Strategic plan is a comprehensive roadmap designed to guide the corporation into a new era of growth and development.

It highlights the corporation’s vision and strategies to enhance the efficiency, reliability and sustainability of rail transport in the country.

“Kenya Railways aims to revolutionize the transportation system, changing the way people and goods are transported across the nation. This visionary approach sets the stage for a more connected and prosperous future,” said Duale.

Courtesy; KNA

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