Nairobi county, Chinese automaker Foton ink deal to improve public transport

Nairobi county, Chinese automaker Foton ink deal to improve public transport

NAIROBI, July 14 (Xinhua) -- The County government of Nairobi on Monday signed a MoU with Chinese automaker Foton Motors to transform the commuter transport in Nairobi.

A Chinese delegation led by Guo Jinlong, secretary of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, witnessed the signing ceremony.

"The great friendship between Kenya and China has impacted on various socio-economic spheres. Chinese civilization dates many centuries ago and we can learn from it to improve our urban centres," said Nairobi County Governor Evans Kidero.

Under the MoU, Foton Motors will provide 260 buses to the county government of Nairobi to help implement the mass public transport system.

The Chinese vehicle manufacturer will also extend financial support to enable Nairobi county government to secure a soft credit from international banks to buy the buses and repay the loan at a rate of 15 percent.

Senior executives of the Foton Motors revealed that it will assist the county government of Nairobi to develop a cashless payment system alongside a modern terminus.

"Our new agreement with Foton motors will enable us to implement an ambitious urban transport master-plan. We aim to have an efficient and affordable public transport system," said Kidero, who accompanied President Uhuru Kenyatta during his tour of China in August 2013.

During the visit, Kidero invited Chinese investors to help upgrade Nairobi's critical infrastructure like roads, housing, water supply and sanitation.

Rapid population growth in Nairobi has exerted pressure on public transport system. Kidero noted that 2.5 million people in Nairobi depend on public service vehicles.

"We require mass public transport system to ease congestion on our roads and reduce carbon emissions," the Governor said.

He revealed that county leaders will soon visit Beijing and other Chinese cities to learn models on improved commuter transport.