Kenyans are anticipated to take over Standard Gauge Railway’s (SGR) operations, media reports said. The SGR line was launched in 2014 to connect Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.
To date, the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR is the biggest infrastructure project in the country since independence. The localisation of SGR operations has reached nearly 80 percent. The significant rise of Kenyans working in SGR increased through technical skills transfer in 123 railway specialties.
It is reported that 1,072 Kenyans had undergone training to perform duties independently and 252 Kenyans were upgraded for leadership positions.
Recently Africa Star Railway Operation launched a report on 1,000 days of SGR operations at Syokimau, Kenya. According to the report, SGR has marked 1,000 days for smooth operations on the basis of safety, efficiency and responsiveness to customer needs.
The number of Kenyans in leadership roles in SGR is expected to increase as the percentage of localisation goes up. Now 252 Kenyans are in leadership positions in SGR across the Mombasa-Nairobi-Naivasha route.
The company’s general manager Li Jiuping told the media, “Kenya’s SGR passenger trains have transported 4.17 million passengers, while the freight trains ferried 771,000 TEUs of bulk cargo. We firmly believe safety is the bottom line in railway operation. This is achieved by enhancing the safety management system, establishing a safety and supervision team to constantly oversee safety matters, and promoting public security capacity.”
The Mombasa-Nairobi SGR is vital to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The main contractor for SGR development was the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).