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Ruto Decisions Raise Questions About SGR’s Financial Future

President William Ruto is moving to resurrect this previously-shelved Nairobi-to-Mombasa road project that would run parallel to the SGR.

Repaying Kenya’s $3.7 billion loan to China for the Standard Gauge Railway is key to Kenya’s broader financial future. However, two decisions by the country’s new President, William Ruto, will make that much harder, raising the danger that the burden could fall on taxpayers.

First, he recently reversed his predecessor’s decision to locate cargo processing services away from the Port of Mombasa to the SGR-linked inland port of Naivasha. The move reinforced the government’s pressure on importers to use rail instead of trucking and relieved congestion at Mombasa. However, it also cost thousands of jobs. 

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