SGR has bettered our lives and we feel proud to work with it, said CRBC Kenya employee

A total of 67 employees received a Long Service Award and 61 received the Best Employee Award. (China Daily/Liu Hongjie)

China Road and Bridge Corporation, which is also known as CRBC, a contractor taking part in the Kenyan Standard Gauge Railway project, staged a ceremony on Wednesday in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi to honor employees who have distinguished themselves.

At the event, Harrison Kinyanjui, a representative of employees who were honored, said the Kenyan Standard Gauge Railway project, which is also known as SGR, had bettered the lives of local employees and that they are very proud to be associated with it.

"We are working with the realization that SGR is a big engine of development in Kenya and beyond," he said. "For this reason, we have kept to our objectives, to give unparalleled commitment, be persistent in excellence and work as one with our Chinese railway experts to have the best SGR for ourselves and for our country."

Kinyanjui, who started out as a train attendant at Kenya's Railway Training Institute, has now been promoted to the position of comprehensive manager at the dispatching center of Africa Star Railway Operation Company. He cited his career development as an example of SGR's localization and the principle of mutual respect.

"As of now, 95 percent of our stations are fully run and managed by local Kenyans, which is a manifestation of this transition. With time, this will happen for all other departments," he said. "We feel very motivated to see that we are given major tasks and operations to handle on our own while being supervised by the Chinese supervisors."

Kinyanjui's comments were echoed by Li Changgui, the general manager of CRBC (Kenya), who said the SGR project provided the Kenyan people with more than 46,000 jobs during the construction process. Li said local hires represent around 90 percent of the total workforce.

He said many employees have made significant contributions to the work of CRBC during the past 34 years and contributed to the company's growth in Kenya. They, in turn, have gained technical and management experience, and many of them have been promoted to technical and managerial positions. Li said they have created value for CRBC while enjoying a rise in the living standards of their families.

In recognition of the contributions of local workers, CRBC established the Long Service Award in Kenya in 2010, and the awards event, which is held every second year. At the latest awards event, 67 Kenyan and Chinese employees were honored for their long service records. Another 61 were given the Best Employee Award.

"On behalf of CRBC, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to all the award-winning employees," Li said. "I wish that you will make persistent efforts to make new and greater contributions to the development of the Kenyan economy, the development of the company, and the deepening of economic and trade cooperation between China and Kenya."

As a representative of the Chinese embassy in Kenya, counselor Wang Xuezheng said at the ceremony that the event was about contribution, loyalty, and friendship.

"This year marks the 55th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Kenya," Wang said. "The past 55 years have witnessed a sound and prosperous development of the relations of the countries. The two peoples are enjoying more and more fruitful results of the two governments."

Wang said the Chinese embassy in Kenya and CRBC will continue to make joint efforts to serve the future development of the China-Kenya comprehensive strategic partnership. And he said employees of the CRBC, both from China and Kenya, will contribute and play their part for the good of themselves and their country.

In his speech, Kinyanjui said: "SGR is a great opportunity for all of us. When many other companies could not give you an opportunity, SGR did. Let us appreciate and protect what we have so far as we hope for the best. This is a chance to build our lives and better the lives of those who depend on us. Let us give our support wholeheartedly to the success of it. Let us focus on the big picture and not get trapped in negative criticisms. Let us be objective, seek ways we can add value, and make progress for ourselves, our company, and our country."

Editor: 曹家宁