The Governments of Ghana and Burkina Faso have set October 2020 as completion date for the construction of the 1,100 kilometre Accra-Ouagadougu railway project.
The date would serve as a cardinal criterion for the selection of a contractor to execute the project on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) model.
Minster for Railway Development, Joe Ghartey, believes the completion date is achievable as some works have already been done on both the Accra-Kumasi and Accra-Akosombo routes.
He said there is already primary information on the Eastern Expansion for which reason “we don’t intend to reinvent the wheel or invite new people to come and do the same thing.”
The minister disclosed these at the signing of a final communiqué of the second meeting of the Joint Committee of Experts (JCE) for the Ghana-Burkina Faso Interconnectivity Project which took place in Accra from February 19 to 22, 2018.
He indicated that, subject to the National Procurement Authority’s approval, the German-Ghanaian consortium working as transaction advisors would have their scope of work extended into Ouagadougu.
Mr Vincent T. Dabilgou, Minister for Transport, Urban Mobility and Road Safety said the essence of railway is to get the cities of Africa connected.
He said the project was a historical opportunity for the two countries to redo what their fore fathers did by deepening collaboration and cooperation for the benefit of the peoples of the respective countries.
Dabilgou assured of the commitment of the Burkinabe side and appealed to the JCE to put in their best for the realisation of the project.
After four days of deliberation, both countries agreed on the procurement of a transaction advisor to be proposed by Ghana, while Burkina Faso proposes a contractor. The contractor’s proposal would be reviewed by the transaction advisor.
It was also agreed that a bilateral treaty would be signed to govern the relationship between the two countries.
Consequently, a Legal Affairs Committee has been set up by the JCE to draft the treaty for approval at the next meeting.
The next meeting of the JCE is scheduled for March 12 and 13 in Ouagadougou at which the final report of the JCE would be presented to the respective ministers for consideration to pave the way for the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and contracts.
By Godfred Tawiah Gogo