Uganda abandons Belt and Road project, turns towards Turkey

Uganda canceled a deal this week that would have built a railway from its capital, Kampala, to the Kenyan port city of Malaba. The $2.3 billion contract with China Harbour Engineering Company, a subsidiary of a large Chinese state-owned construction business, will be replaced by a deal with a Turkish construction firm. 

Uganda has grown frustrated with China after nearly a decade of financing delays, including two years without a response from the country’s powerful Export-Import Bank, the South China Morning Post reports.

The move marks the latest challenge for China’s troubled Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), an ambitious infrastructure development project that has been criticized for creating debt traps for low-income countries. Kenya joined BRI in 2017, and Uganda joined in 2019.

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