Humanities

Kenya built up by the Belt and Road

Seetao 2022-07-25 17:00
  • Driven by the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway, the construction of an integrated economic corridor will be promoted
  • Mombasa-Nairobi Railway is a flagship project connecting the Belt and Road Initiative and Kenya 2050 Vision
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17 Minutes

The Mombasa-Nairobi Railway, which connects Mombasa, the largest port in East Africa, and Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, is a modern railway built with Chinese standards, Chinese technology, and Chinese equipment. It is an important achievement of China-Africa joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative. In May 2017, when President Xi Jinping met with Kenyan President Kenyatta, who came to China to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, he emphasized that the construction of the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway should be used as a driving force to promote the construction of an industrial and economic corridor integrating roads and ports, and jointly build Mongolia. A new pattern of three-in-one cooperation between the Inner Railway, Mombasa Port and Mombasa Special Economic Zone. Not long ago, the Nairobi Expressway, the first expressway in East Africa, also opened for trial operation.

Create a new development pattern

On May 31, 2017, in Mombasa, a coastal port city in Kenya, the African country, locals sang and danced to celebrate the most important day in Kenya's development history - the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway, the largest infrastructure construction project since Kenya's independence, was completed and opened to traffic. Kenyan President Jomo Kenyatta said excitedly at the opening ceremony, "With the new railway for the Kenyan people, we will turn a new page and write the history of Kenya in the next 100 years".

Today, the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway has been operating safely for five years, and the safe, fast and comfortable standard gauge railway passenger train service has long become the preferred means of transportation for Kenyans, and the freight volume is also increasing year by year. The Mombasa-Nairobi Railway, which connects Mombasa, the largest port in East Africa, and Nairobi, the capital, is an "economic express road" for Kenya. At the same time, it has also brought great changes to the lives of local people in Kenya.

Concilia: “We have been operating for (more than) five years since May 31, 2017. I joined Mombasa-Nairobi in 2016 when I started my training as an assistant driver trainee. After completing my training in China, I went back to Kenya to attend the opening ceremony of the Mombasa-Nairobi railway."

Concilia is a well-known star driver in Kenya. She is the first female driver of the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway. Kenyan President Kenyatta has twice rode the train driven by her. She has now driven more than 140,000 kilometers independently and safely. Recalling the experience of training in China, she is filled with emotion.

Concilia: "My first experience of driving a train was in Baoji, China, and I was very nervous. I have accumulated a lot of experience over the years, and now I am not as nervous as I was when driving a train. In the past 5 years, Working in the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway has taught me a lot, such as train driving and train management. I have been promoted from an assistant driver trainee to driving passenger trains and freight trains. Now I am the deputy director of the maintenance operation workshop, responsible for the training business, Responsible for training local employees in train driving skills."

In the past five years, she has gone from a young novice driver to today's highest-level driver-instructor driver, and has begun to train other students with the knowledge she has learned from China. The changes in the past five years have been huge for her.

Concilia: “African Star Railway Operating Company has been operating in Kenya for 5 years and has boosted Kenya’s economy at a macro level. The data on the movement of goods and passengers through the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway shows that the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway has boosted Kenya’s tourism industry. Kenya’s economy is getting better and better in terms of exporting goods. This huge project of Mombasa-Nairobi is our biggest infrastructure project since independence and our country’s biggest development achievement.”

The Mombasa-Nairobi Railway is the flagship project of the comprehensive connection and organic integration of China's Belt and Road Initiative and Kenya's "Vision 2030". representative results. The completion and opening of the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway is of great significance to promoting the development of Kenya and regional countries and accelerating the process of industrialization in Africa. Since its operation, Mombasa-Nairobi Railway has always followed the core values of "safety, efficiency, respect and integrity". At present, the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway runs an average of 17 freight trains and 6 passenger trains per day. By the end of 2021, the cumulative passenger transport will be about 6.8 million, and the cumulative freight transport will be about 1.57 million standard containers.

With the continuous deepening of the high-quality joint construction of the Belt and Road between China and Africa, a large number of projects such as railways and highways built by China for Africa have been successfully implemented, bringing significant changes to Africa's economic and social development. The Nairobi Expressway, which just opened to traffic on May 14, 2022, once again attracted the enthusiastic attention of the people of East Africa.

"Welcome to the Nairobi Expressway, please show your pass. Please wait."

The Nairobi Expressway is the first toll expressway in East Africa. The first toll expressway in East Africa built by a Chinese company has a total length of 27 kilometers and connects Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi Central Business District, Kenyan Presidential Palace and other areas. Traffic congestion and improve the efficiency of urban operation.

Brian Venali, 24 in 2022, was the first toll collector on the Nairobi Expressway. Born in a rural family in western Kenya, Brian received a one-month training course before taking up his job, covering toll standards, service with a smile, traffic laws and other related knowledge. Bryan said the Expressway job changed the trajectory of his life and is where his dreams come true. "I told my dad that I got the job, and he said the Chinese are good and work with them. I'm proud of that. I need to do my best. By doing this, we will develop our country, Give back to our society."

The Nairobi Expressway is also a livelihood project that promotes the employment of local people. It is understood that the expressway created 3,000 jobs during the construction period, benefiting 200 subcontractors and hundreds of local building material suppliers. 500 jobs will also be created during the operation period. Brian is full of hope for the future of himself and his hometown.

Bryan: "A lot of Kenyans have access to jobs. That's what makes me proud and happy because it's a new opportunity, we can learn new things, we can develop our country. Maybe in the future, we can There are more toll roads across the country. We are very grateful for the partnership between China and Kenya, which has really brought development to our country." Keywords: One Belt One Road, One Belt One Road News, One Belt One Road Project

From the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway to the Nairobi Expressway, roads connect cities and open up economic arteries. The trains carry not only passengers and goods, but the spacious roads carry not only cars, but also Kenyans' hopes for social development and a better life. It is the profound friendship between China and Kenya that has a long history. This reflects the determination of China and Africa to jointly build the Belt and Road with high quality. It is believed that the construction of a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era will surely move towards a higher level of development.Editor/XuNing