UK firm lands deal in Sh28b Nairobi Railway city project

Wednesday, January 19th, 2022 09:20 | By
United Kingdom minister for Africa Vicky Ford in Nairobi, yesterday PD/NJENGA KUNGU

By Jacktone Lawi

The development of the much-awaited Sh28 billion Nairobi Railway City has gathered momentum after a UK consortium landed the deal to design the Rail Transit System (RTS) of the new modern station.

New reports indicate that the mega project, which is expected to further change the skyline of the city, will be implemented in phases for 20 years, with the first phase due for development between 2020 and 2030.

A statement from British High Commission, Nairobi disclosed that the UK-based Atkins Global has been tasked with the responsibility of designing Nairobi’s new station and associated public realm, which will provide the masterpiece of the Nairobi Railway City.

Pension scheme The multi-modal urban development undertaking is going to be built between Haile Sellasie Avenue and Bunyala Road in the area adjacent to Uhuru Highway on a 425 acres piece of land majorly owned by the Kenya Railways and its pension scheme.

Speaking at an event in Nairobi to relaunch British International Investment (BII), currently known as CDC Group, UK’s Minister for Africa Vicky Ford said the partnership between the two countries will deliver world-class projects, characterised by outstanding expertise, without forcing new debts on Kenya.

“Our economic partnership is delivering impressive results, and we have some ambitious, exciting, plans for the future. Plans that will deliver for Kenya, and for the UK, long into our shared future,” she said.

“For the UK, our revitalised and rebranded development finance institution, British International Investment, (formerly CDC) will be key. The relaunch is also about new leadership, a new strategy, and a bigger role in delivering clean, green, infrastructure in developing countries.”

The UK’s development finance arm is also planning a pump another £37 million (Sh5.66 billion) investment into Equity Bank. The investment in Equity Bank is set to help the bank serve more Kenyans, especially small businesses, and to boost business prosperity and help drive Kenya’s economic growth.

The RTS project is expected to regenerate Nairobi’s Central Business District and was initiated by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who had personally requested UK support when he met Prime Minister Boris Johnson in January 2020.

When President Kenyatta met Johnson for bilateral talks last year, this was among the deals the two countries pledged to support in a bid to step up cooperation in key economic and infrastructural projects.

The project is a collaboration of the Railway City Development Authority, Kenya Railways and Nairobi Metropolitan Services. UK also announced that it will provide an additional Sh61million to help Kenya build a green manufacturing industry, increasing its support to the Ministry of Trade, Industrialisation and Enterprise Development and the wider Kenyan manufacturing sector in this area.

Economic partnership Kenya is already the third biggest portfolio for BII, with Sh42 billion investments across 83 companies supporting 36,350 jobs nationally.

“We will continue to build on this economic partnership by focusing on infrastructure through the Build Back Better World initiative launched by G7 leaders in the UK last summer.”

UK-Kenya trade is worth around £1.1 billion (Sh165 billion) annually, and the UK is Kenya’s fifth largest trading partner (importer of Kenyan goods) after, Uganda, Pakistan, US and Netherlands.

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