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Two Competing Views of the New Chinese-built Naivasha Standard Gauge Railway Line in Kenya

The Chinese-financed and constructed Standard Gauge Railway in Kenya is an extremely polarizing issue for many people in Kenya and throughout East Africa. Critics of President Uhuru Kenyatta see it as a financial boondoggle that will never pay for itself, leaving future generations to pick up the tab. Supporters see the railway as a critical step in the country’s path towards industrialization.

Today’s launch of the highly-anticipated Nairobi-Naivasha phase of the SGR sees these competing narratives struggling for dominance, with international commentators like the Chinese state media also adding their two cents.

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