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Work to start on 1,200 kilometre transnational railway line next year

Construction work on the 1,200 kilometre transnational railway line, linking the Port of Tema in Ghana with Ouagadougou, the capital of neighbouring landlocked Burkina Faso, is set to start within the first three months of the coming year.

The project would be implemented on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis. Ghana's Minister of Railways, Mr. Peter Amewu, says detailed technical and financial proposals had been received and that a joint Technical Evaluation Committee, made up of a team of experts from the two countries, was looking at the proposals to determined which better met the technical requirements for successful execution of the project.

He gave the assurance that the procurement process was going to be open, competitive and transparent.

Three hundred and twenty (320) kilometres of the rail line would be on the Burkina Faso side and that on Ghana's side would cover a stretch of more than 780 kilometres.

There would be 55 stations, 10 of them would be in Burkina Faso, and the rest in Ghana. The Minister said things were moving quickly on the rail transport inter-connectivity project adding that all technical and financial processes would be done with before the close of this year.

When completed it would significantly strengthen economic ties, improve trade between the two neighbouring West African Countries through the transport of freight and passengers.

Freight that are currently carried by road, something that has not been helpful to safety and durability of the country's roads is going to end.

The other high point is that there would be tremendous improvement of food distribution - provide faster and cheaper way to get farm produce from the breadbasket to the market.

The situation where good harvest go bad and badly affect farmers income because of the difficulty of transporting foodstuff to the market is going to be over.

Mr Amewu underlined the government's strong commitment to the successful completion of the rail transport system. Ghana over the last four years has seen a more determined effort by the government to get the run down southern railway network back and running. 

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