Finance Minister Matia Kasaija and EU Head of Delegation to Uganda, Ambassador Attilio Pacifici exchange MoUs.
By Najib Mulema
The European Union (EU) has approved to finance the project for the rehabilitation of the Tororo-Gulu Railway.
A grant of EUR 21.5 million (about Shs91 billion) will be disbursed from the European Development Fund (EDF) to rehabilitate this key transport infrastructure in Northern Uganda. The Government of Uganda will contribute with counterpart funding equivalent to EUR 13.1 million (Shs55 billion).
The agreement deal was inked by EU Head of Delegation to Uganda, Ambassador Attilio Pacifici, together with the Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija.
The objective of the project is to reduce the transport costs within Northern Uganda and beyond, including South Sudan and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Once rehabilitated, the Tororo-Gulu railway will allow a significant part of cargo currently moving on wheels along the Northern Corridor to transfer to rail.
“With this project the EU continues to support the transport sector in Uganda and the promotion of a multimodal transport plan focusing on the development of environmentally friendly transport modes such as railways and waterways. The project is also a mark of the EU’s commitment to continue supporting Northern Uganda,” said Mr. Pacifici.
Mr. Kasaija thanked the EU for supporting Uganda’s economic growth and development.
Together with the Gulu Logistic Hub, also funded by the EU, the Tororo-Gulu Railway Rehabilitation Project will crucially contribute to improve performance of Northern Uganda’s key value chains by facilitating cheaper import of export of products. It will contribute to achieve the overall objective of private sector development and job creation in Northern Uganda as well as to implement the Ugandan Green Growth strategy and Vision 2040.
The railway line used to be a pivotal economic artery along the East African Northern Corridor linking the port of Mombasa and Eastern Uganda to Northern Uganda, as well as to South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. The line has been out of service since 1993 because of unrest in Northern Uganda and unfair competition of overloaded trucks.