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28.11.2008 General News

Ghana – EU Signs Agreement On western Corridor

By ISD (Darling Maame Efua Cann)
Ghana – EU Signs Agreement On western Corridor

Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, Minister of State at the Finance Ministry (right) signs for Ghana, while Mr Filiberto Ceriani Sebregondi of EU, appends for his Commission.

The Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei has announced EU's commitment of 1. 4 million Euro for the delivery of the Western Corridor Feasibility Study which is to be carried out under the Mining Sector Support Programme (MSSP).

According to him, this intervention will go a long way to contribute to the ultimate goal of poverty reduction, especially in transporting people and goods from one place to another.

He made this known at the signing of the contract for the Western Corridor Feasibility Study in Accra, yesterday.

Mr Akoto Osei stated that the overall objective of MSSP includes sustenance of the Ghana's mining sector economic performance for the overall improvement in the national economy through the discovery of new mineral resources and diversification of presently exploited ones.

He explained that the western corridor feasibility study is to be undertaken with a view of obtaining a clear picture of the investment potential and actions required to upgrade the Western Railway Line and the Port of Takoradi.

It is also expected to provide strategic directions for existing railway lines and the likelihood of a future ECOWAS Railway Line to Burkina Faso, as well as the provision of a possible alternative transport for passengers and commodities.

He reiterated that the study is closely aligned to the Government's development agenda in the railway sector and to ensure achievement of the objectives of the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS).

The Head of the delegation of the European Union Commission, Filiberto Ceriani Sebregondi stated that the purpose of the assistance is to support the Government of Ghana in defining different possible technical and financial scenarios for the rehabilitation of the western railway lines that run from Takoradi port to Kumasi, with branches at Nsuta and Awaso, and in the inland port of Boankra, and also look at the possible improvements in the Takoradi port.

He noted that the assistance package will not only be a technical one, but it will also look at detailed plans for the investment and operating costs, and options for the project financing.

He stressed that European Commission is also interested in assisting in the implementation of the findings of the feasibility study and is actively promoting the participation of other financing institutions

He announced that the European Commission's support to the transport sector development programme in Ghana, is valued 76 million-euro approved by the European Development Fund Committee

He pointed out that the programme will include another major project, which is the rehabilitation of the Tarkwa Bogoso - Ayamfuri highway road in the same western region and which will compliment the massive infrastructure investments supported by the EU in the past few years.

The Deputy Minister of Ports, Harbours and Railways, Madam Sophia Honner-Sam expressed government's gratitude to the EU for such kind gesture.