General News of Thursday, 22 November 2018
Feasibility studies on the construction of a Sky Train in Accra will begin in January next year, the Deputy Minister of Railway Development, Mr Andy Appiah-Kubi, has hinted.
The government on November 8, this year, signed an agreement with a South African group, Africa Investment (Ai) SkyTrain Consortium, for the construction of a Sky Train in the capital city.
The initiative formed part of programmes to build a robust rail infrastructure to ease road traffic and also boost economic activities in the country.
“The idea is to lift the rails up so that the trains will provide inner city services in Accra through a route that connects Adentan, Accra Central to the Kwame Nkrumah Circle.
The intention is to extend it to regional capitals including Kumasi, Tamale and Takoradi,” the minister added.
The project, when it eventually begins, will span three years.
Mr Appiah-Kubi disclosed this in an interview with the Daily Graphic and said processes had began for the piloting of the project in Accra.
This was after the signing of an agreement between Ghana and Burkina Faso on transaction advisory services for the construction of a railway inter-connectivity project from Accra to Ouagadougou.
The project stretches from the Tema port through Ho, Hohoe, Yendi, Tamale to Paga at the Ghana-Burkina Faso border through Dakola to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso.
The Minister for Railways Development, Mr Joe Ghartey, signed for Ghana while the Burkinabe Ambassador to Ghana, Pingrenoma Zagre, and the transaction advisors, signed for their respective entities.
According to Mr Appiah-Kubi, the Sky Train project would run concurrently with light rails that would also be brought onboard the country’s rail system by next year.
“The plan is that while we work on the sky trains, we will also construct light rails in various cities to provide inner city ground train services.
For now, we have a transaction advisor for the Accra light rails project which will be done on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis.
We are almost done with the transaction advisor for Kumasi and the same thing will be done for other regional capitals,” he added.
Mr Appiah-Kubi noted that although the various initiatives by the government to boost the rail sector might sound quite ambitious, efforts were being made to execute them.
Mr Joe Ghartey signed the Sky Train agreement for Ghana on the sidelines of an Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, witnessed the signing ceremony.
The agreement allows the (Ai SkyTrain Consortium) to do their feasibility study after which the concessionary agreements would be taken for approval by the Cabinet and the Parliament within 45 days.