The Power and Promise of Infrastructure

Uhuru Kenyatta
Uhuru Kenyatta
President of the Republic of Kenya

It can sometimes seem that the Kenyan past is not quite past. Everywhere one turns, there are reminders – disputes, reconsiderations, memorials – of our history. That may explain why we remain in the Commonwealth – despite our complicated, and sometimes deeply unpleasant, shared history with Britain.
But it is worth thinking through a neglected aspect of our past, and its connection to the present. Few now remember just how controversial the somewhat oddly named Uganda railway was at the time of its construction. There seemed little justification for spending the money, and still less chance of ever getting it back. But the railway was built. It would be an exaggeration, but only a minor one, to say that a country grew up around it. In all sorts of ways, the railway made the country: the city from which I now write would not be here, were it not for the railway. Academic studies, and the everyday experience of our people, show that our patterns of trade and travel bear the stamp of those old tracks...

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