Vincent Timbindi Dabilgou and John Peter Amewu
A BID opening ceremony for the Ghana-Burkina Faso Railway Interconnectivity Project yesterday opened at the La-Palm Beach Hotel in Accra to pave way for the completion of the preparatory phase of the project and usher in the construction phase to begin in early 2022.
African Global Development and Frontline Consortium emerged the strongest bidders of the initial 26 whose bids were presented to the Ministry of Railways Development.
President Akufo-Addo, during a state visit to Burkina-Faso in May 2017, agreed with President Roch Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina-Faso to construct a railway line linking the two countries to facilitate trade and accelerate development in line with the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Treaty of 1975 which seeks to promote the free movement of people and goods.
John Peter Amewu, Minister of Railways Development, in a speech, said the two countries have reached a very significant milestone in the procurement process for the project.
He therefore reiterated the commitment of the President Akufo-Addo-led administration to ensure that the project came into fruition for the benefit of the citizenry.
“It’s been a little over 5 months since we gathered like this to update the good people of Ghana and Burkina-Faso on the steps being taken towards the realisation of the vision of the Heads of State of our two sister countries to have a railway interconnectivity between the Port of Tema and the capital city of Ouagadougou..
“As we have already indicated before, as part of the first phase of the project development, the two countries have been working with a common transaction advisor, Messrs TEAM Engineering S.p.A and Vision Consult Limited, who have assisted the two countries in carrying out detailed feasibility studies including the front-end engineering design for the Ghana-Burkina Faso railway line which spans a distance of 1,200 kilometers.
“With the continuous support of the joint committee of experts which has been in place since December 2017, the two countries have targeted to complete the preparatory phase of the project before the end of this year to pave way for the commencement of physical construction works in the first quarter of 2022,” he stated.
Vincent Timbindi Dabilgou, Minister for Transport, Urban Mobility and Road Safety of Burkina-Faso, said President Christian Kabore was committed to ensuring the project started as planned. He said the partnership in the construction of the railway line would consolidate the economic gains of both countries and translate into job creation for a lot of people from both countries.
Present to witness the ceremony was H.E. Pingrenoma Zagre, Ambassador of Burkina-Faso to Ghana.
Eastern Railway Line
The joint committee of experts for the Ghana-Burkina Faso Railway Interconnectivity Project, established in Ouagadougou in January 2018, selected the Eastern Railway Expansion project which starts from Mpakadan to the Tema Port and terminates along Volta Lake, as the route for the project.
The total length of the Eastern Railway line under construction is approximately 100 kilometers. The proposed railway line will then pass through Ho, Hohoe, Jasikan, Nkwanta, Bimbilla to Yendi (about 468 kilometers). The line continues from Yendi, Tamale, Walewale, Bolgatanga, Navrongo and links to Burkina Faso at the Paga-Dakola border (about 212 kilometers).
The Burkina-Faso leg of the proposed line starts from Ouagadougou, Kombissiri, Manga, Beguedo, Garango, Tenkodogo, Bagre, Zabre, Po, Dakola to Paga on the Ghana border covering a total distance of 320 kilometers.
BY Samuel Boadi