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European State Media Pose Tough Questions About Railway Financing in Kenya While Overlooking One Very Important Point

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta flags off the inaugural Nairobi-Suswa, Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line constructed by the Chinese Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and financed by Chinese government, on October 16, 2019 in Nairobi. SIMON MAINA / AFP

It’s so interesting to see EU/US coverage of the SGR debt issue in Kenya when their state-run media channels constantly point out this new rail line is unprofitable. Sure, but consider that in 2018 Germany spent $13.3 billion to subsidize its rail operations.

The fact is virtually no rail system anywhere in the world is profitable, much less within its first few years of operation. Also, these same international news outlets fail to mention one very important key fact when reporting on Chinese loans used to build infrastructure: debt levels, while rising, are by no means a crisis for most of the continent.

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