Kenyan government: “We will run standard-gauge railway”

The standard-gauge railway that will form the backbone of the modern Kenyan transport system, and which is being built by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) with finance from Chinese banks, will be fully run by Kenyans when complete, the country’s transport ministry has said. 

Irunga Nyakera, Kenya’s principal secretary for transport, said the jobs that are presently being done by Chinese personnel would be transferred to Kenyans, who are presently training on the signals and other technology needed to run the system. 

He added that the government would ensure that all graduates in railway technologies got the jobs that are expected to be created by the multi-billion dollar project, which is nearing completion. 

Nyakera said: "Most Chinese firms are carrying out most of the jobs in the transport sector because we lack specialised personnel who can do them perfectly, but in the next few years most Kenyans will have occupied the jobs." 

"So far, CRBC has directly employed 19,000 workers and an additional 8,000 are employed by subcontractors," he added. 

Nyakera added that a national effort was under way to enhance Kenya’s infrastructure knowledge base, and he praised the Kenya Railway Training Institute’s efforts to ensure that enough skilled people were available when the time came.

Image: Trucks waiting to cross the Kenya-Uganda border (IESE Business School)

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