ADB approves Shs1.2 trillion loan for Uganda's railway projects

A cargo train belonging to Rift Valley Railways in Kampala, while right are people awaiting to board a passenger train in Kampala in 2011. PHOTO by Stephen Otage

What you need to know:

  • Works Minister Edward Katumba Wamala reiterated State commitment towards infrastructure development.

The African Development Bank (ADB) has approved a €302million (approximately Shs1.2trillion) loan “for the full Uganda Railway Corporation (URC) capacity building projects."

“This will fully restore the main line meter gauge rail all URC main line stations, railway workshops, the ports, locomotives, wagons, passenger coaches and also procure some more vessels,” URC managing director Mr Stanley Ssendegeya said.

According to him, the recent Final Investment Decision (FID) signed between government and oil companies will see the Albertine region and Gulu-Pakwach railway line urgently worked on.

“URC is to ensure that the railway line is also back to Kasese and Pakwach through the Malaba border by 2025,” he explained over the weekend.

Over the next three years, URC together with a management firm, Deloite Uganda, will develop a formal plan set to internationalize the nation’s railway systems.

Mr Ssendegeya is now urging government to continue supporting the railway body as it transitions from a declining to a growing entity.

“The Spanish government has approved a project to upgrade a 28 Km railway line in Uganda to concrete,” he informed.

URC officials will have a 3-year capacity building on technical and practical management.

Other projects

The URC is currently conducting the projects emergency works to connect the Naivasha Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to the Tororo-Gulu meter gauge railway line.

Works Minister Katumba Wamala reiterated State commitment towards infrastructure development.

“The president has always prioritized infrastructure development and URC infrastructure has been lying for so many years in a sorry state government will do all it takes to revive them,”

Meantime, the Gulu logistics hub whose construction is now complete awaits commissioning with URC expenses currently prioritized towards payments of SGR system.