Following concerns of how to revamp the dilapidated rail sector, the Ghanaian government has partnered with Burkina Faso to construct a railway that connects Accra to Ouagadougou.
The soon to be commenced rail line is poised to 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, Joe Ghartey averred that talks are far advanced with participating parties to construct a country-length railway that discharges into Burkina’s capital, Ouagadougou.
Joe Ghartey noted that the railway interconnectivity project would complement the developments in the port and trade industry primarily.
He informed that, the just ended conference for the Joint Committee of Experts for Burkina-Ghana interconnectivity in Accra resulted in a communique reached 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 construction of the rail lines. This contractor, according to him has done 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 said.
According to the communique that was signed, the Ghanaian party 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 in Ouagadougou as potentially the final meeting of the JCE with regards to agreements on the contractor and transaction advisor for project to kick start on the ground.
Joe 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 Community Railway policy, the Ministry will commit to provide employment to so many Ghanaians.
He said, not only would the rail interconnectivity project transform the standards of lives of many Ghanaians but would boost the country economically.