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After Eight Years of Waiting, Uganda Finally Terminated its Contract with China

Ugandan officials have confirmed switching from a Chinese to a Turkish company to build a proposed $2 billion railway line linking the capital, Kampala, to the border with Kenya. The railway aims to link up with one being built in Kenya to improve trade and travel between the neighbors. But analysts say Chinese investors poured doubt on the viability of the project. Under the Chinese deal, the project was to cost Uganda $2.2 billion with 85 percent funding to be sourced by the contractor. Officials at the Uganda standard gauge railway said they read between the lines when China’s ambassador to Uganda said that after the COVID-19 pandemic, China had become more cautious on financing big infrastructure projects in Africa. Even though the Uganda standard gauge railway is meant to connect to Kenya via the Malaba border to connect transporters, Kenya has only built its section from Mombasa up to Naivasha. It’s still not clear when the third phase connecting Kenya to Uganda will commence.