Around 1400km of new railway will be constructed in Uganda and Rwanda. This includes the section from Malaba on the Kenya/Uganda border via Kampala to Mirima Hills on the Uganda/Rwanda border and then on to Kigali. There will also be branches to other towns in the two countries.

Six Chinese companies are to be invited in July for engineering, procurement and construction contracts for the Ugandan part of the project.

"This is another demonstration of the strong commitment and political will of our leaders for joint regional integration projects aimed at promoting regional trade and the free movement of people and goods," says Rwanda Transport Development Agency director general Mr Guy Kalisa.

The railway will connect with the new standard-gauge line in Kenya from Malaba via Nairobi to Mombasa, the first phase of which is under construction and is due to be completed in March 2018.