Chinese train service operator plans to hire more Kenyans

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A train launched to operate on the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line constructed by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and financed by Chinese government arrives at the Nairobi Terminus on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

The Chinese firm running the standard gauge railway (SGR) in Kenya is seeking to hire more Kenyans as it expands its local employees’ base.

Africa Star Railway Operation Company Ltd. is hiring train crew, passenger stewards, cargo and track and bridge maintenance workers, among others, the firm said in a notice on Saturday.

Some of the jobs are available along the Nairobi-Mombasa route, which is popular with domestic tourists.

Others are on the ongoing extension from Nairobi to Naivasha, in particular at Suswa, Ngong and Mai Mahiu.

“Priority will be given to candidates residing in areas mentioned,” said the firm, which operates both passenger and freight services and maintains the high-speed railway line.

Cargo freight on SGR surged 156 percent in the first half of the year, with the service ferrying 197,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit containers, up from 77,020 in the same period in 2018.

This was due to more importers from Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo using the service as they ferry goods from the Kenyan port in Mombasa, according to Dai Yunjie, spokesman for Africa Star.

Similarly, the number of passengers using the train rose to 764,000 in the first half of the year.

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