Landlocked traders and shoppers find new riches, thanks to improved Lomé-Ouagadougou road

African Development Bank
Publication Date:
12 June 2020
Burkina Faso, Togo, Industry and Infrastructure, Investment, Transport and Shipping

Across West Africa, it is common for residents of border towns to cross to a neighboring country to make weekly, or monthly, household purchases. Adoukonou Ekouya is as a local vendor at the busiest market in Togo, on the border with Burkina Faso. She produces and stores food products, a business she started eight years ago, but she has worked in farming all her life. She describes how her business drastically declined as buyers refused to travel the rugged road to reach her shop. Truck driver Tchede Tadjou says his wife feared for his safety each time he would take to the road for work, leaving her with their two children. He said he would spend large amounts of money on truck repairs caused by damaged roads. Now, he says the highway is safe and smooth. Prior to the Bank's overall $297 million investment in the multinational Road Rehabilitation and Transport Facilitation Project on the Lomé-Ouagadougou Corridor, stretches of the highway were inaccessible. The 975-kilometer highway touches all regions of Togo and extends north to Ouagadougou, the capital of neighboring Burkina Faso. It also serves as the main thoroughfare for goods from the Togolese seaport to the landlocked Burkina Faso, and is a key infrastructure link for regional trade flows. The project is expected to benefit roughly 2 million people, including youths, one million women in Togo and 650,000 women in Burkina Faso. However, considering the regional nature of the project, the impact will be felt far and wide in countries like Mali and Niger. The improved road allows for better access to markets, resulting in increased trade. Commuters also enjoy reduced travel times and operating costs.

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