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China, Debt and the Future of Kenya

The investigative series Africa Uncensored broadcast a riveting one-hour documentary on Kenyan national TV last night that explored the country's ballooning national debt. The program highlighted how, as Kenya's largest bilateral creditor owning an estimated 70% (or $6.2 billion) of its ...

Nigerians Share First Impressions of The New Chinese-Built Lagos to Ibadan Railway

Passengers have had a week to try out Nigeria's brand new Chinese-built standard gauge railway that links Lagos to Ibadan. The new service is operating on a limited schedule with just two trains a day but that'll expand to 16 daily departures shortly once construction of the ...

Africa’s Newest Chinese-Financed and Constructed Railway Begins Operating in Nigeria

The newest Chinese-built railway in Africa is now officially in service following a Tweet on Monday from the office of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari that launched the new Lagos to Ibadan line. The $1.59 billion standard gauge railway was 

With Chinese Loans Coming Due, Ethio-Djibouti Railway Suffers Heavy Losses Due to Theft, Vandalism

The Chinese-financed and constructed Ethiopia-Djibouti standard gauge railway is bleeding money due to rampant theft and vandalism, according to a report in the Addis Standard newspaper. The situation is now so bad, say company officials, that the trains have been forced to reduce their speed ...

The Case For Kenya’s Embattled Chinese-Financed Standard Gauge Railway

Critics of Kenya's multi-billion-dollar Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) definitely have the upper hand these days as the railway sinks deeper into debt. But George Sunguh, managing editor of African Ports Review, argued today in Business Daily that the skeptics are wrong.

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Unpacking the Chinese Government’s New Development Vision

This weekend the Chinese government released a new white paper on development. It comes in unassuming guise – it’s basically a MS Word Doc with the workaday title of China’s International Development Cooperation in the New Era. But in its own way it’s eye-popping.If (like me) you have an irrational fetish for long lists of country names, this document is for you. The bulk of the white paper outlines the different kinds of ...

Passenger Traffic’s Up on Kenya’s New SGR But Will It Be Enough to Save the Embattled Railway?

Travelers are making their way back to Kenya's Standard Gauge Railways, especially the line between Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa, according to new data published by the Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC). 43,235 people took the Mombasa ...

Uganda Confident It Will Secure $2 Billion China Exim Bank Loan to Build New Standard Gauge Railway

The Ugandan government is reportedly in talks with the China Exim Bank to secure a $2 billion loan to build a new Standard Gauge Railway, according to the Daily Monitor newspaper.  The head of Uganda Railways Corporation, Stanley ...

The Nested Tragedies of Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway

Recently we've seen two new pieces of research on Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR,) which make for fascinating – if depressing – reading. They show that the project was doomed from the start by corruption and bad dealing from ...

Why Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway Was Doomed From the Start

Kenya's new multi-billion dollar standard gauge railway (SGR) was destined to fail even before it launched, argued Kenyan legal scholar Luis Franceschi in a new opinion column in the Nation newspaper. Franceschi joins a growing number of analysts who have long asserted that ...

Kenya’s Spiraling Debt Crisis Worsens as the Cost of Chinese Loans Mount, Currency Weakens and Exports Soften

Kenya is rapidly becoming the next flashpoint in the Africa debt crisis amid a dramatic increase in borrowing that threatens to submerge the economy. The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) warned on Friday that the country's ballooning debt is ...
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