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China to train Ugandan military engineers for SGR construction

KAMPALA, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- A team of ten Ugandan military engineers are scheduled to leave for China where they will be trained in railway construction.

Brig. Richard Karemire, Ugandan military spokesperson, told Xinhua in an interview on Tuesday that the team will go to Hebei Province for a three-month special training in construction of a Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

The training is part of the memorandum of understanding reached between China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), the company contracted to construct Uganda's SGR, and the military.

"We welcome a strategic partner that provides skills to the army. We are a productive force committed to the social transformation of our country," said Karemire.

In the memorandum of understanding, CHEC also agreed to partner to build a polytechnic institute in the eastern border district of Tororo.

Ugandan is in the process of starting the construction of a SGR that will connect it to a similar one in neighboring Kenya.

The SGR will connect landlocked Uganda to the Kenyan seaport of Mombasa, reducing the cost of transportation to the coast.

According to experts, once the construction is complete, the number of days it takes to transport goods from Mombasa to the Ugandan capital Kampala will be reduced to two from the current 14 days.

Kenya has already begun operating the SGR linking its capital Nairobi to Mombasa.

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