THE Nana Akufo-Addo-led government intends to invest $12.9bn in rail network expansion projects in Ghana in a bid to make this mode of transport one of the fundamental channels of mobility across the West African country.
The plan, whose financing will come largely from private investors, is linked to a national rail transport strategy connected with 13 other projects that have been born within the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
The key projects that will benefit from this investment
According to the roadmap drawn up, about $5.8bn of this investment will go towards a project to develop a light rail network (LRT) comprising seven corridors in Kumasi, the capital city of the Ashanti Region.
This city is reportedly faced with challenges related to mobility owing to fairly rapid urbanisation and exponential population growth. The LRT project is scheduled to start in 2025. It will be carried out on the basis of a public-private partnership (PPP) financed 70 percent by debt and 30 percent by equity.
The plan also concerns the construction of a 672 km railway line (the Central Spine) which will run from the centre of Kumasi to Paga, near the border with Burkina Faso. This vast project, the cost of which is estimated at $3.3bn, incorporates several axes of the railway interconnection project between Ghana and Burkina Faso.
The start of work on the Central Spine project is scheduled for 2023 and it’s commissioning six years later.
The projects linked to the UN SDGs are still at an early stage. Among these projects is the Trans-Ecowas project, which will interconnect 12 West African countries members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) via rail.