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Uganda Looks to Turkey as Industrial Partner

Uganda has canceled all contractual work it signed with China Harbour Engineering Company to build a 273-kilometer standard gauge railway (SGR) from its border with Kenya to its capital in Kampala, after the project failed to kick off eight years later. The east African nation is now courting Yapi Merkezi, the Turkish firm building Tanzania’s railway, and is awaiting response from it after signing a memorandum of understanding to start the project. Uganda hopes the company will help it find financiers for the project. This was preceded by China’s hesitance to finance the landlocked east African economy with the $2.3 billion needed for the project, seemingly as a precaution, given previous debt defaults by African countries like Zambia and Ghana. Should Kenya and Uganda fail to agree on construction timelines of their railroads, the latter is considering building its railway through Tanzania, which means Kenya will miss out on import and transport revenue that would have been generated if goods transited from Mombasa’s Kilindini habor to Malaba.