Naivasha, Kenya 11 June 2015 – As part of an ongoing initiative to build the capacity of urban actors in Kenya, UN-Habitat and the Embassy of Sweden hosted a pre-study tour workshop in Naivasha in May, 2015. The forum brought together Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC), Nairobi City County (NCC), Nairobi Metropolitan Services Improvement Project (NaMSIP), the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (MTI), the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development (MLHUD), among other international experts to identify areas for further study in the re-development of the central Nairobi railway area.

In recognition of its value, Dan Kiara, Director of NaMSIP, noted the capacity-building workshop as being “of great importance towards conceptualizing, planning and implementing the Kenya Railway City Project in Nairobi”, especially for stakeholders like NaMSIP whose mission is to strengthen urban services and infrastructural developments including solid waste and disaster management.

As populations grow and the rate of urbanization intensifies, the demand for efficient urban services is particularly fundamental in Africa which, along with Asia, still ranks supreme among the top emerging markets on the globe. Given the limits in land and resources, the urgency to transform existing public spaces into socio-economic assets is critical for an urbanized Africa.

Mobility fueling development

Kenya has been identified as one of Africa’s key growth centres. According to the World Bank’s 2015 economic update this growth, coupled with political devolution and increased public-private investment in infrastructure, is greatly increasing Kenya’s prospects, especially in the energy and standard gauge railways arena.

The Central Nairobi Railway re-development site is a 100 hectare plot that extends southwards of the city square from Haile Selassie Avenue, and is part of the Nairobi Master Plan under Vision 2030. The site owned by the Kenya Railways Association is expected to decongest the Nairobi metropolitan area while providing fast, safe, reliable and affordable transport services within and from the city.