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Kenya hikes fares on Chinese-built railway to tackle mounting debt

Kenya announced Wednesday a sharp increase in passenger fares on the Chinese-built Standard Gauge Railway as the country struggles with repaying loans owed to Beijing and others along with higher fuel prices.

State-owned Kenya Railways said in a statement that the 290-mile journey between the port city of Mombasa and the capital, Nairobi, will cost around $30 in first class, up from $19, and $10 in economy, up from $6.

Kenya Railways cited the global rise in fuel prices: “This increase is informed by changes in the energy and petroleum sector, where prices of fuel have significantly increased, thus affecting the cost of our operations.”

But Ruto has faced criticism from Kenyans over his own foreign travels, with 38 trips since his inauguration in September 2022. That’s more than any of his four predecessors in their first year in office.

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