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How the Chinese-Financed Standard Gauge Railways in East Africa Marks a New Era of Government-led Infrastructure Development

Kenyan lawmakers are hoping China will consider a debt repayment extension to service the remaining $3.3 billion that was borrowed to build the Standard Gauge Railway. Simon Mania/AFP

The founding Dean of Strathmore Law School in Nairobi and a visiting scholar at Oxford University, Luis Franceschi, wrote a pair of compelling columns last month in the Daily Nation newspaper that serve as a kind of master class on the enormous legal and economic implications associated with the rise of East Africa’s Chinese financed and built Standard Gauge Railway network.

Franceschi focuses primarily on the cost of Kenya’s SGR’s construction, noting that it was more than double the cost of similar railways in Ethiopia and Tanzania.

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