Uganda’s military engineers to learn railway construction in China

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A team of Ugandan military engineers is scheduled to travel to China where they will be trained in railway construction.

The military officers will receive a three-month special training in construction of a Standard Gauge Railway.

Uganda plans to construct a standard gauge railway line linking Kampala to Kenya.

The training is part of the memorandum of understanding reached between China Harbour Engineering Company, the firm contracted to construct the Standard Gauge Railway and the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces.

The military officers will acquire knowledge of how to repair and sustain the engineering service for the train when it begins operations.

“Security is the basic infrastructure, so apart from providing the basic infrastructures, UPDF (Uganda People Defense Forces) have been and will continue to be in the vanguard – in the struggle to liberate our country from all political, economic and social ills.” James Mugira, Uganda Peoples Defence Forces said

In the same agreement China Harbour Engineering Company also agreed to build a polytechnic institute in the eastern border district of Tororo.

China is investing heavily in East Africa and its Exim Bank is willing to finance the railway project connecting Kenya, Uganda and later Rwanda.

“We have been very impressed by the extremely high standards of the talents in Uganda… we are positive that these Ugandans will succeed in their specialized training – this kind of preparation is exactly what Uganda needs right now to ensure that the SGR project done by Uganda and make it a Ugandan project.” Wang An, from China Harbour Engineering Company said.

The construction of the Standard Gauge Railway is expected to cut the cost and the number of days it takes to transport goods from Mombasa to the Uganda from 14 to two.

Kenya has already begun operating the high speed rail link connecting the capital Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa.