NAIROBI, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan government has invested in robust training programs for personnel to manage the Chinese-built Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) once it is commissioned in June 2017.
Principal Secretary for transport Irungu Nyakera said in a commentary published by a local daily on Thursday that the government has prioritized creation of a large pool of trained professionals to operate the modern railway.
China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) is implementing the 472 kilometer high-speed railway project connecting the coastal city of Mombasa to the capital, Nairobi.
So far, an estimated 30,000 Kenyans have been recruited by CRBC to work in various sections of the standard gauge railway project.
Irungu said a partnership between CRBC and the government has boosted skills transfer to local technicians working at the modern railway project that is expected to unleash economic transformation in the eastern African region.
He revealed that Kenya Railways Corporation has teamed up with CRBC to deliver cutting-edge training programs to a diverse cadre of professionals to operate the standard gauge railway.
"To its credit, CRBC has offered partial scholarships to qualified Kenyans with diplomas either in engineering or business related courses to undertake basic training in a number of areas, including traffic management, telecommunications control, locomotive and rolling stock engineering," Nyakera said.
He disclosed that 102 Kenyans have benefited from the four-month courses on railway management sponsored by CRBC that kicked off in April.
CRBC has also sponsored 25 Kenyans to study degree courses in railway engineering and management at China's Southwest Jiaotong University.
Irungu said the skills gained by Kenyan youth studying in China will boost the east African's nation capacity to operate the high speed railway.
"Kenyan trainees will understudy the Chinese and eventually take over from them, thus engendering much needed sustainability. The trainees will also get internship and attachment opportunities on the new railway sites, giving them invaluable exposure," he said.