By Ibrahim HassanWuyo
The African Railway Roundtable, a rail advocacy society , has tasked President Nana Akuffo Ado of Ghana to use his chairmanship of the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) to revive the moribund Trasn-West African Railway project.
In a statement issued over the weekend and signed by its Director, Olawale Rasheed, the group lamented that ECOWAS has remained silent for so long on the regional rail project which is to connect West African States from Nigeria to Mauritania.
” The new ECOWAS leader should replicate his committment to the regional project at the international level as he has done at the national level.”
“It is on record that President Akuffo Ado has initiated the construction of Trans-West African Railway project as it affects Ghana from Aflao to Elubo. The project will result in direct rail connectivity with the neighbouring states, Togo and La Cote d’Ivoire to boost trade and facilitate economic growth and development in the West African countries affected by the project.”
“The proposed Trans-ECOWAS railway line, a standard gauge line, will commence at Aflao in the East, at the border with Togo and will head towards the West, along the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, connecting towns such as Aflao, Keta, Sogakope, Ada, Tema, Accra, Winneba, Mankessim, Anomabo, Cape Coast, Takoradi, Axim, among others, and terminate at Elubo, at the border with La Cote d’Ivoire, having a total length of approximately 530 kilometres.This is an exemplary example of leadership which should now be extended to the regional level.”
” We urge Mr. President to list the project as a priority by energising the implementation process within the ECOWAS commission. Mr. President is called upon to note that the coping study has been done and various phases have been identified. Records also showed that the Commission has four years ago signed an MOU with a Chinese company. Commission leaders and some West African Heads of State have also met the Chinese leadership on the same project.*
” The region deserves to know the state of the MOU. Is the Chinese firm still interested in the project? If not, it is time to throw the project open for international participation. These and more we task Mr. President to take up as the new ECOWAS leader”, they stated.