President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday flagged off the first standard gauge railway cargo train at Port Reitz in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa, about 500 km southeast of the capital, Nairobi.
He said the move showed how the country can achieve greater heights if Kenyans work together with a common purpose.
“This indicates what we can achieve if we work together as a nation. The foundation we are laying today is not just for us; it’s for generations to come,” he said.
Calling upon all citizens to stand together and remain united in order to make Kenya prosperous, President Kenyatta said the historic moment was not just for his Jubilee coalition administration but a proud moment for every Kenyan.
“We have invested about US$600 million at this Mombasa Port in the last two and a half years. That shows that we mean business, we have continued to invest in making it easier for Kenyans to do business,” he added.
The Chinese-built railroad is aimed at cementing Kenya’s position as the gateway to East Africa and is billed as the biggest infrastructure project since independence.
The launch preceded the unveiling of the maiden passenger train from Mombasa to Nairobi on Wednesday.
Financing of the second phase of the standard gauge railway project from Nairobi to Naivasha has already been sourced from Chinese government, officials said.
The railroad is set to reduce the cost of moving goods in the country, making Kenya an economic powerhouse in the region.