Government says it is committing an extra $1 billion to the development of the new railway network in the country.
An amount of $500 million will be applied to the development of the Western rail line.
The remaining $500 million will be applied to the first phase of the Kumasi to Paga section of the national railway network.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, who announced this during the 2019 State of the Nation Address in Parliament, explained that the $1 billion is in addition to investments already being made in the sector.
He stated that government has embarked on the protracted process of building roads and railways to open up the country.
Tema/Ouagadougou railway line
He explained that the development of the Tema/Ouagadougou railway line is also progressing steadily.
12 Shortlisted companies
According to him, 12 shortlisted companies have been invited to proceed to the next stage of the procurement process.
This year, President Nana Akufo-Addo said, land acquisition would commence beyond the Volta River at Mpakadan, and the strategic investor would be selected.
He made reference to the Accra to Tema railway service, which, he said, has started running on the refurbished line.
“The opening of the Accra/Nsawam line has been postponed, because sand winners have undermined the ground underneath the track near Pokuase.
“It is now being repaired, and the service will start hopefully by the end of February.”
Activities of encroachers
“If we want the railways to work, we would all have to take an interest in and stop the activities of encroachers on the railway lands,” he added.
Narrow-gauge line rehabilitation
President Nana Akufo-Addo stated that the rehabilitation of the narrow-gauge line would be continued from Nsawam to Koforidua.
“Work is continuing on the rehabilitation of the Kojokrom to Tarkwa section of the Western line whilst work on the standard gauge section from Kojokrom to Manso is ongoing.
“To sum it up, the railways are coming in a big way into Ghana, and we shall open up our country for the development that we all desire,” he said.
The total length of the rail network identified as Priority Projects is 1,394 kilometres.
These include Accra – Ouagadougou Line, Trans – ECOWAS Line, Kumasi Light/Mono Rail, Accra Light/Mono Rail, Ashanti Node, Central Line, Tema – Akosombo, and Takoradi – Kumasi (Western) Line.
The rest are Accra – Kumasi Eastern Line (300 kilometres), Kumasi-Paga-Central Spine rail (595 kilometres), Kumasi – Nyinahin Line (58 kilometres), and Tamale – Yendi Line (102 kilometres).
Implementing these Priority Projects will create jobs and facilitate trade and industrial development.
Ease burden on roads
The railway projects will take the burden off the road network and ensure longer lifespan of newly constructed roads.
This will in turn stimulate economic growth. In the process, new towns and cities will be developed while older towns would be revitalised.
The development of the railways sector will completely transform the economy.
There are unlimited opportunities for the private sector in the development of the railway network, in the provision of related services and in the development of associated infrastructure.
The government welcomes various forms of collaboration with the private sector in the development of the rail network, the provision of railway-related services and associated infrastructure in Ghana.