Chinese cash is to be used to build a railway in East Africa following the signing of formal agreements in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.
The new railway line will run from the coastal city of Mombasa, through to Nairobi, and will eventually connect cities in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.
China will finance as much as 90 per cent of the cost of the first section of the development, to the tune of at $3.8 billion.
Work is also expected to be carried out by a Chinese firm, a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Co.
In Kenya, the line will replace a narrow-gauge track built more than 100 years ago during British colonial rule.
In a press conference announcing the signing of the deal Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta said: “The costs of moving our people and our goods across our borders will fall sharply.”
Construction work on the standard gauge line is expected to start in October.
The first 380 mile stretch of the line, from the coast to Nairobi, is due to be finished in early 2018.
Passenger trains will travel at a top speed of 75 mph/h, while freight trains will have a maximum speed of 80km/h.