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The Messy Politics of Building a Railway in Kenya With Chinese Money

Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is the showcase in Africa for China’s debt-led infrastructure development drive. While critics accuse China of saddling Nairobi with unsustainable levels of debt to build the rail line that goes from the port of Mombasa to the capital Nairobi and then on to Naivasha in the Rift Valley, the reality is actually a lot more complicated.

It turns out that Kenya lawmakers worked hard to circumvent their own laws, conceal the terms of the deal, and, most likely, pocketed millions for themselves along the way.

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