Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is attending the two day Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, said he will be seeking China’s support in promoting regional integration in Africa through the ambitious initiative.
Before he left for China, President Kenyatta said he would lobby for the Chinese-built Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) in his country to go beyond its borders, into Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC.
“It will be priority to see to it that it (the Standard Gauge Railway) ends not just in Naivasha but to Kisumu and into the hinterlands in Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC, to open up Africa’s potentiality,” local media outlet Daily Nation quotes the president to have said.
He said the railway had the potential of connecting the continent and beyond, not just Kenya.
“I do not see it as a Kenyan railway but as an African railway. It is a railway line that links Asia to Africa and ultimately to the Americas as we look forward.”
Also, Uhuru said he would use the opportunity to urge China to accept more African-made goods into its market.
“We will try to push for more African goods into the Chinese market so that we can have an opportunity for both of us to benefit,” he said.
The Belt and Road Forum is part of Beijing’s 2013 initiative to develop land and sea trade routes in Asia, Europe and parts of Africa to mimic the historical Silk Road covering about 60 countries.
Notable world leaders in attendance include Russian President Vladimir Putin and the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
The Forum was officially opened by Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday morning.