Minister for Railways Development, Peter Amewu says the Ghana- Burkina Faso railway connectivity project is on course. The Minister disclosed this at the Bidders’ conference in Accra.
He said the vision to have a railway interconnectivity between Tema Port and Ouagadougou remains a key priority due to its importance in accelerating the socio-economic growth of Ghana and Burkina Faso.
He said the railway line from Mpakadan to Tema, is currently under construction and is expected to be completed by November this year. The about one thousand one hundred kilometre railway interconnection between Ghana and Burkina Faso is expected to begin by the middle of next year all things being equal.
The line will continue from Mpakadan and will go through Kpeve, Hohoe, Jasikan, Nkwanta, Bimbila, Yendi, Tamale, Walewale, Bolgatanga, Navrongo and Paga. The alignment also includes a branch line from Yendi to Sheini, to facilitate the exploitation of the huge iron ore deposits that have been discovered. In Burkina Faso, the railway alignment will go through major towns like PO, Zavbre, Tenkodogo, Manga and Ouagadougou.
This is the timeline from both countries towards the project as three successful bidders have been shortlisted for the project. The bidders’ conference in Accra was to open up some discussions between the two governments, the bidders and the concessionaires on the project.
The three bidders that were engaged at the bidders’ conference which includes Frontline Investors Thelo BD, Mota Angel Africa and Siemens AIIM. They are expected to submit their technical and financial proposals by July this year to enable the two countries continue with the process.
The Minister reiterated the commitment of both governments to continue to remain focused to ensure the realization of the project. He said “It is our expectation that competitive Technical and Financial Proposals will be presented to us in the coming few weeks by mid-July, 2021 and the Joint Evaluation Committee that will be constituted to evaluate the proposals will undertake a detailed analysis to determine the best out of the three (3) for negotiations in the third quarter of 2021.” “There are many considerations that must be taken into the project due to its nature; and we found this as the platform for that because many of them are critical to us as a government and as investors”.
The Minister for Transport, Urban Mobility and Road Safety of Burkina Faso, Vincent Dabilgou, who spoke through an interpreter, said the project will boost the economy of both countries. “To undertake this project and ensure its success, we must be good technically and do everything with consideration to achieve cost effectiveness,” he said. “We in the Burkina Faso see this as an urgent project even more than Ghana, so our government is committed to it.”
The project when completed will facilitate transportation of agricultural goods, construction materials, manufactured goods, petroleum products, containerized cargo and passengers.
The railway line will also have huge economic potential following the discovery in commercial quantities of mineral resources like iron ore, and bauxite.
Story by Adiza Bawa