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25.07.2005 General News

Ghana, Burkina railway committee inaugurated


Accra, July 25, GNA - An 18-Member Joint Technical Committee tasked to conduct a feasibility study into the construction of a railway line linking Ghana to Burkina Faso was on Monday inaugurated in Accra. Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, Minister of Ports, Harbours and Railways and Mr Hippolyte Lingani, Burkina Faso Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, jointly head the committee, which would also consider possible sources of funding, for.

Ghana would construct a 600-kilometer rail line stretching form Ejisu in the Ashanti Region to Paga in the North while Burkina Faso would link it to its main cities.

Inaugurating the committee, Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi said Ghana's part of the project was estimated at one billion dollars out of which five million dollars was required to undertake the feasibility work.

He said the area of funding was crucial to the project and that a proposal for funding had been forwarded to the African Development Bank (ADB) for the feasibility, adding: "While we look forward to response from the Bank, we will still explore other internal sources."

Prof Ameyaw-Akumfi noted that the project would go a long way to boost trade cooperation that had existed between the two countries. Mr Lingani said in spite of the challenges the project would face, they were bent on exhausting all avenues to make it a reality, considering the benefits it entailed.

He said the railway would facilitate the transportation of about 350 tonnes of goods from Ghana to Burkina Faso, adding that it would also ensure smooth movement of people.

Mr Lingani said expanding the rails from Paga into to Burkina Faso would cost about 55 billion CFA francs, and that three billion CFA francs would be required for the feasibility work. The Committee would sign a communiqu=E9 on the project after its two-day sitting.