Following concerns raised on how to revamp the dilapidated rail sector, the Ghanaian government has partnered with Burkina Faso to construct a rail line that connects Accra to Ouagadougou.
The soon to be commenced rail line will resurrect the dying rail sector, facilitate trade and transport speedily and create jobs, according to the Minister for Railway Development, Joe Ghartey.
In an exclusive interview with Eye on Port a television documentary programme, he averred that talks are far advanced with participating parties to construct a country-length railway that discharges into Burkina’s capital, Ouagadougou.
The minister noted that the railway interconnectivity project would complement the developments in the port and trade industry primarily.
He disclosed that, the just ended conference for the Joint Committee of Experts for Burkina-Ghana interconnectivity in Accra resulted in an agreement which is making the facilitation of the project imminent. Currently, official agreements for a transaction advisor for the project and contractor are the only things pending, he stated.
He added that Burkina Faso has proposed an interested contractor, who would take on the responsibility of constructing the rail lines. This contractor, according to him has concluded the feasibility studies and is equipped adequately to carry out the project.
“It is up to a transaction advisor to evaluate and endorse the contractor’s capacity for agreements to be officially finalized,” he noted.
According to the communique issued after the meeting, Ghana has been mandated to procure the transaction advisor. He suggested that it would be best to use the services of a Ghanaian-German consortium who are already abreast and currently working on rail projects in Ghana as it cuts cost and time.
He allayed fears that this project would not break down as it has been entrenched by a treaty to uphold this business relationship between the two countries.
The Railway minister mentioned March, 2018 as potentially the final meeting of the JCE to be held in Ouagadougou with regards to agreements on the contractor and transaction advisor for the project to kick start.
Mr. Ghartey assured that the two governments are very serious about this project and would work tirelessly to make sure the completion of construction does not exceed the projected deadline of October 2020.
Touching on local involvement in the project, he confirmed that, in compliance with the Community Railway policy, the Ministry will commit to provide employment to many Ghanaians adding that not only would the rail interconnectivity project transform the standards of lives of many Ghanaians but would also boost the country economically.