Rift Valley Railways (RVR) has revealed that it will build a rail Mombasa port through Kampala to Juba via rail, and from South Sudan to Cairo through the Nile River.
Cargo will move from Mombasa port to Juba via rail, and from South Sudan to Cairo through the Nile River where RVR’s majority shareholder runs a shipping business called Nile Logistics.
Citadel Capital, the Egyptian private equity fund that owns 51 per cent of RVR, revealed the plan in a December brief to investors without giving details such as time frame and costs.
The operator of the Kenya-Uganda railway, last December completed the first phase of the rehabilitation of 500 kilometers of track that links Kenya with Tororo in Eastern Uganda and Gulu in the north, ending two decades of disuse and inefficiency.
The re-launched Tororo-Gulu-Pakwach line is providing businesses targeting East African markets with a faster and more-cost effective way of moving cargo by rail — as well as opening up north and northwest Uganda to rail services.
“Once the first leg has been established, additional railway links can be added to create a cross-continent transportation and logistics network,” said Citadel Capital in the investors brief.
Currently, the bulk of cargo from Egypt to Kenya and neighbouring land-locked countries is hauled through the Indian Ocean to of Mombasa port.
The new line will ferry heavier and bigger containers faster and will relieve pressure on the region’s roads, which have been damaged by heavy traffic, officials said.
Uganda- Egypt trade
Bound by River Nile Egypt and Uganda cooperate in various fields. The two countries are adopting a common policy to enhance trade relations in all its aspects. In 2009 there was an increase in the volume of the trade to 35.5 Million U.S $.
Egypt exported goods to Uganda worth $59 million (Shs149 billion) and this has since gone down to $21.7 million (Shs54 billion) between April 2011 and December 2012.
Export revenues from Uganda to Egypt have also dropped to $1.8 million (Shs4.5 billion), as of the first half of 2012 from $5.7 million (Shs14 billion) in 2011.
Uganda exports mainly coffee, tea, fish powdered pilk, sim sim (Sesame) and leather, among other commodities to Egypt.
The imports from Egypt to Uganda include clothes, electrical appliances and furniture, among others.