30 April 2019

West Africa: Ecowas Regional Transport Integration Project Commences

press release

Feasibility studies on the Abidjan-Lagos Expressway Project has commenced and the West African Growth Ring Master plan (WAGRM) has been completed.

The WAGRM has economic potential that could enhance the collective growth of Ghana, Togo, La Cote D'Ivoire and Burkina Faso.

The Minister for Roads and Highways, Kwesi Amoako Atta, who stated this at a regional consultation meeting by Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) in Accra on Monday, said the projects were an indication that the integration agenda of ECOWAS is on a very good course.

The two-day meeting was to identify priority regional investment projects and programmes in the fields of transport and energy for West Africa which is being financed under the European External Investment Plan (EIP).

All the 17 member states of ECOWAS and some regional development partners are participating in the event.

The Minister praised the facilitation of the construction of the joint border post for Ghana and Togo, which was recently commissioned by the heads of state of the two countries.

He, however, raised concerns over member states failure to comply with the axle load policy which seeks to reduce overloading in the sub-region and also enhance the durability of roads.

According to him, Ghana is complying with the policy while other countries are not, thereby denying Ghana much-needed revenues at the ports.

In 2015, the European Union and West Africa signed a major financing agreement of €1,150 million for various sectors, including transport and energy.

This convention marked a turning point, a new era of European Union and West Africa cooperation, in the infrastructure sector, with investments in the form of mixed financing or "blending" and support for the transport and energy governing bodies.

So far, an initial total amount of €168 million has been invested in energy and 162 million euros in transport," a press release by ECOWAS and WAEMU Commissions stated.

"An allocation of €70 million has also been made to the governing bodies of which €32 million is for energy and €38 million for transport," the statement noted.

According to the joint statement, "these investments have already financed seven energy projects and 10 transport projects in West Africa and the Region wants to plan towards the development of a new European External Investment Plan."

"This meeting was initiated, to this end, in response to one of the recommendations of the last Strategic Orientation Committee (COS), held in Brussels in June 2018, that a regional meeting should be held to define investment priorities in the two key sectors of transport and energy, which are essential pillars for the development and the integration of our region as advocated by the regional organizations, ECOWAS AND WAEMU," the statement said.

Source: ISD

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