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RAILWAYS CONSTRUCTION IN OUR COLLECTIVE INTEREST - Bawumia

General News

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has indicated that the construction of  railways lines between Ghana and Burkina Faso would help enhance trade through the exchange of goods between the two countries.

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has indicated that the construction of  railways lines between Ghana and Burkina Faso would help enhance trade through the exchange of goods between the two countries.

 

“We want a railway line between our two countries because it makes sense for us to have one in the area of trade. As you have said, our two countries have been artificially divided by the colonial body but the railway line will bring us very close together to make the cost of transport between our two countries much lower,” the Vice President said yesterday when the Burkina Faso Minister for Transport, Urban, Mobility and Road Safety, Souleymana Soulama, led a team to pay a courtesy call on him at the presidency.

Dr Bawumia added that it was in the collective interest of countries in West Africa and Africa as a whole to essentially get closer together.

“Our president Nana Akufo- Addo already before we came into government had made it clear that we were going to construct the railway line between Accra and Paga and so this agreement to head it all the way to Ouagadougou is a very good one so we are very committed to this,” he assured.

Dr Bawumia said with President Akufo-Addo determined to move the economy forward quickly, “the instruction for us is to start this railway line next year 2018. We have to break the ground to start the construction of this railway line so he wants us to move quickly.”

He continued, “We have to reach an understanding of the gauge of the rail for example and other things. I know that but let's do it quickly because we want to see significant progress and if we delay its really not good for all of us. So I can promise you on our side we are going to work hard and I'm sure your visit here also shows that from your side we are going to work very hard and we will together agree on the common contract quickly so we can move this process forward.”

He stressed that the construction of the railway was not complex so “the technical team should just not make it complex. Let's reach quickly an agreement on the way forward and then we would accomplish it.”

The Minister for Railways Development, Joe Ghartey, had assured that before the end of President Akufo-Addo’s mandate in 2020, the rehabilitation and construction of the Western rail line would be completed.

The Minister for Railways Development also  revealed that over 200 companies so far, from countries like the United States of America, Switzerland, Germany, China and Ghana, have shown interest in the development of Ghana’s railways, and have submitted proposals to this effect.

The selection of the companies who will undertake the rehabilitation and construction of the Western rail line, Mr Ghartey added, would be done in accordance with the tenets of competitive bidding to ensure value-for-money.