Ghana’s economic growth is expected to rise to around 7 percent this year from 6.3 percent in 2018, boosted by its extractive industries, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.
The Fund said in a statement at the end of a staff visit that Ghana, which exports oil, gold and cocoa, had maintained macroeconomic stability since the conclusion of a three-year lending programme with the IMF in March.
Meanwhile, the government plans to transform rail travel in the country over the next 10 to 15 years by building a 4,000kms modern standard-gauge network, the Minister for Railways Development, Joe Ghartey, has said.
Currently, most of the lines are single-tracked and cover some 1,000kms in the country’s south
But major upgrade work has been ongoing, spearheaded by Indian rail engineering companies that are constructing the Tema to Mpakandan line and a section of the Accra to Cape Coast line, part of the Trans-ECOWAS Railway Line.
Ghartey, who was in New Delhi this week for the 13th International Rail Equipment Exhibition (IREE), Asia’s biggest rail conference, commended the Indian government for its support of Ghana’s rail development.
He said that the government of President Nana Akufo-Addo was committed to the development of the country’s rail sector, which had not received the necessary investment since independence in 1957.
Speaking during the inaugural session of the IREE, Ghartey quoted Akufo-Addo’s statement on the state of the country’s railways: ‘One of the tragedies of our post-colonial development is that we ignored our railway sector.’
The Chairman of the Indian Railway Board, Vinod Kumar Yadav, said the bilateral relations between India and Ghana were ‘robust’.
On his country’s rail sector, he said it had experienced transformational growth in the last five years through concerted measures, focusing on attracting local and foreign investments in areas such as freight corridors, high-speed rail, high capacity rolling stock and port connectivity.
The Paramount Chief of Wassa Amenfi Traditional Area in the Western Region, Tetrete Okuamoah Sekyim II, who is also a Ministerial Advisory Board Member, said Ghana would experience great economic transformation with the development and expansion of the rail network.
Ghartey signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES), an engineering consultancy company specialising in urban planning and building airports, ports and highways.
RITES will offer technical help to the Ministry of Railways Development.