A Chinese construction firm said Monday it has recruited some 2,464 Kenyans for the initial work of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGS) project expected to make the movement of goods easier across the country.
Wen Gang, President Assistant of China Communications Construction Company Ltd., said in Nairobi that his company will impart skills and transfer technology to the locals so as to help the country in the manufacture of components for the SGR project locally.
"We will continue recruiting local people to impart skills and also ensure transfer of technology," he said in a statement issued after holding talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.
At the peak of the project over 30,000 locals would have been employed directly while 40 percent of the work would be sub- contracted to the local companies, he said.
Wen added his company will deliver quality work on time.
Speaking during the meeting, Kenyatta welcomed the company's pledge to partner with local companies to boost the steel manufacturing industry in the country.
Kenyatta lauded the support of the private sector in developing its infrastructure, noting that his government attached great importance to the improvement of infrastructure in its effort to grow the economy.
He also praised the Chinese company for working with county governments in implementing the railway.
The railway is aimed at providing efficient and cost effective rail transport for both freight and passengers.
It is intended to reduce the cost of doing business by reducing the cost of transport, a move that will see Kenya become a competitive business hub for the East African region and beyond.
Passenger trains will have a speed of 120 kilometers per hour while those for freight will be designed to move at 80 kilometers an hour.
It will take passengers four hours and 30 minutes to travel from the country's coastal city of Mombasa to the capital Nairobi while freight will take eight hours. The project is slated to kick off on October 1 and take 42 months to complete.