The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) will provide a $301 million loan to upgrade the Kampala-Malaba Metre Gauge Railway (MGR) in Uganda, the development finance institution said in a statement.

The railway line is part of the East African Community’s Northern Corridor, which links Uganda’s capital, Kampala, to Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa.

The East African Community Railway Rehabilitation Support Project aims to bolster rail services and lower transportation costs.

The work entails the immediate rehabilitation of 265 kilometres of MGR tracks between Malaba and Mukono, including the line to Jinja Pier and Port Bell on Lake Victoria.  

The rail tracks will also link rural-based special agricultural processing zones, promoted by African Development Bank, to markets and other vital logistics hubs.

The Kampala-Malaba MGR is part of the multi-modal Northern Corridor route, which includes road transport from Mombasa in Kenya to Uganda and neighbouring countries, including Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Eastern DR Congo. In addition, the corridor has maritime links with Lake Victoria’s inland waterways.  

The project is aligned with Uganda’s Vision 2040 national strategy and the East African Community’s Vision 2050, which strives to deepen trade and transform East Africa into a globally competitive upper-middle-income region.

(Writing by P Deol; Editing by Anoop Menon)