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Why Kenya Will Struggle to Repay the Chinese Loans for its Standard Gauge Railway

The Chinese-built Standard Gauge Railway depot in Nairobi. Simon Mania/AFP

Newly-elected Kenyan President William Ruto’s fulfillment of a campaign promise that reversed his predecessor’s mandate that cargo from the Port of Mombasa has to be transported via the Standard Gauge Railway instead of trucks may have been smart politically, but it will likely cripple the railway’s ability to become financially self-sustaining.

Consider the SGR’s financial performance in the first half of this year:

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