Ghana-Burkina Railway Interconnectivity Project On Course
Joe Ghartey (left) with his Burkina Faso counterpart
The Ghana- Burkina Railway Interconnectivity Project is gaining momentum.
The Joint Committee of Experts (JCE) for the Ghana-Burkina Railway Interconnectivity Project has reviewed and validated the Pre-feasibility Study Report submitted by the Transaction Advisors, Messrs TEAM Engineering S.p.A./Vision Consult Ltd.
The meeting to review and validate the report took place at Manga in Burkina Faso on 8th and 9th October, 2019.
The Transaction Advisors conducted a multi-criteria evaluation of three (3) alternative alignments (Variants) of the proposed railway corridor from the technical, economic and environmental perspectives.
In Ghana, the Ghana-Burkina Railway project lies on the Eastern Corridor of Ghana.
The proposed standard gauge railway line starts from Mpakadan where ongoing construction of railway line from the Tema Port terminates at the Volta Lake. The total length of the line under construction from Tema to Mpakadan is approximately 100km.
The railway line will go through Hohoe, Jasikan, Nkwanta, Bimbilla to Yendi and Sheni. It will then continue to Tamale, Walewale, Bolgatanga, Navrongo and then link Burkina Faso at the Paga-Dakota border, approximately 700km from Mpakadan. In line with the policy of Government to link all regional capitals to the new modern railway network, the proposed alignment will also link the capitals of the Volta and Oti Regions.
The Burkina Faso leg of the proposed line starts from Ouagadougou, Kombissiri, Manga, Beguedo, Garango, Tenkodogo, Bagre, Zabre, Po, Dakola to Paga.
The Transaction Advisors noted that they have already completed a count of all properties likely to be affected by the railway project within the right-of-way and preliminary cost estimates have been determined for land, structures, farm lands, economic trees and so on and would be included in the full feasibility studies.
The Joint Committee of Experts emphasized that it was essential at this stage to estimate all costs associated with the construction of the railway line, including the cost of acquiring the right-of-way and the compensation payable to facilitate investment decision making.
Other areas that were discussed at the joint meeting included, Traffic Studies, Risk Assessment, Financial Analysis, Topographic and Geotechnical Surveys.
The Transaction Advisors to ensure that the designs for the stations takes into account other economic activities that will further enhance the viability of the project and spur the socio-economic advancement of the immediate communities around the stations.
The meeting was jointly chaired by the Chief Director of the Ministry of Railways Development of Ghana, Mr. Siisi Essuman-Ocran and the Technical Advisor of the Ministry of Transport, Urban Mobility and Road Safety of Burkina Faso, Mr. Jean Victorien Toe.
Also present at the meeting were members of the Transaction Advisory Consortium are TEAM Engineering S.p.A. from Italy and Vision Consult Ltd. from Ghana.
Earlier, the Minister for Railways Development, Hon. Joe Ghartey called on the Minister for Transport, Urban Mobility and Safety of Burkina Faso, Mr. Vincent T. Dabilgou at his office in Ouagadougou.
Mr. Vincent T. Dabilgou welcomed the Minister and his team. He thanked Hon. Joe Ghartey for the pragmatic way of managing the project. He said the Ghana-Burkina Railway Interconnectivity project is the responsibility of both Ministers.
He added that it is obvious that the people of Ghana and Burkina Faso are looking forward to this project and so they as Ministers in charge of this project thet cannot afford to fail their countries. He prayed for God’s guidance and grace as they champion the project.
Hon. Joe Ghartey in his remarks, thanked his Burkinabe counterpart for his cooperation and commitment towards the project.
He commended members of the JCE for the coorporation and commitment they have demonstrated so far towards their work.
The Railways Minister reiterated that President Akufo-Addo and President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré were both committed to the project and they as Ministers must make sure the vision of the two Governments is achieved.
He also asked for God’s blessing for the two countries and Africa.
Both Ministers pledged to work hard so that the contract for the Ghana-Burkina Railway interconnectivity Project is signed in the first half of 2020.
BY Melvin Tarlue