Germany has affirmed its preparedness to assist Ghana to improve its railway system by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government of Ghana in Accra.
The leader of a delegation from Germany, Dr Otto Weisheu, who is also a member of the management board of the Bureau of Economic and Political Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, signed on behalf of his government, while Ghana's Minister of Harbours and Railways, Professor. Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, signed for Ghana.
Present at the meeting were Ghana's Ambassador to Germany, Mr Grant Ohemeng Kesse, the Vice President/Regional Director of Africa Mobility Network Logistics DB Iinternational of Germany, Dr Emile Muvunyi, officials from the German Embassy in Ghana, the Ministry of Harbours and Railways, the Ghana Railways Company and the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA).
The MoU will pave the way for the German Railways Company (Deutsche Balm AG) to begin feasibility studies and cost calculation and determine steps to be taken for the realisation of the modernisation on the railway system in Ghana.
In August, this year, the German Railways Company expressed interest in assisting Ghana to improve on and modernise its railway system and Dr Weisheu, at that time, led a delegation to break the news to President John Agyekum Kufuor who was on a two-day visit to Germany.
The offer of help came barely 24 hours after the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, had pledged, during bilateral talks with President Kufuor, to encourage more investment flows from her country •to Ghana.
At the signing ceremony in Accra on Tuesday, Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi said there was every indication to believe that unlike previous agreements, the latest MoU with the government of Germany would yield positive results.
He said the government had, since it took over power in 2001, tried to get investors to help in the railway sector, adding that the government would be happy to begin the project before leaving office in January 2009.
He expressed his appreciation to the German government for accepting to come to assist Ghana and stated that improvement on the railway system would help lessen the transportation problems facing some Ghanaians.
For his part, Dr Weisheu said Germany appreciated the importance Ghana attached to rail transport and was, therefore, willing to help in that direction.
He announced that the German Railways Company was determined to come in with the needed technical expertise and funding and expressed the hope that when the project was implemented, it would help link many areas of the country where natural resources and agricultural produce abound.