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Business News of Saturday, 24 February 2018


Ghana, Burkina reach consensus on rail project

The governments of Ghana and Burkina Faso have signed major agreements on the proposed railway interconnectivity project between the capital cities of both countries.

The signing of the agreements on February 22, 2018 in Accra after a three-day meeting of the Joint Committee of Experts on the Accra-Ouagadougou rail interconnectivity project showed the commitment of the two countries to intensify efforts to commence the construction of the railway line.

In a communiqué issued yesterday in Accra by the Committee of Experts and jointly signed by the Minister of Railways Development, Joe Ghartey and Minister of Transport, Urban Mobility and Road Safety of Burkina Faso, Vincent T. Dabilgou, both countries agreed that Ghana should chose the Transaction Advisor for the project while Burkina Faso nominates a contractor.

The role of the Transaction Advisor, according to the communiqué, will assist the Governments of Ghana and Burkina Faso to review and undertake various studies, including the survey works.

“Burkina Faso agreed in principle with the engagement of a Transaction Advisor to support the two governments in the development of the project by the private sector partner,” it said.

The Transaction Advisor is also expected to go through a procurement process in line with applicable laws of the two countries and engage a private sector investor to develop the proposed railway interconnectivity project between the Port of Tema and Ouagadougou on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.

BUSINESS GUIDE gathered that Burkina Faso has already recommended African Global Development SARL, as the preferred partner for the project, even though another company named Dubai Touch has also engaged the Francophone nation to consider it for the work.

According to the communiqué, the Committee agreed for both states to sign a treaty for the development of the railway project between Accra and Ouagadougou.

The Ministry of Railway Development, Ghana and the Ministry of Transport, Urban Mobility and Road Safety of Burkina Faso, are both spearheading the project.

Procurement Method

The Joint Committee of Experts, realizing the exigencies of the timelines, recommended the adoption of the most efficient method of procurement, such as sole-sourcing or restrictive tendering process for the engagement of the Transaction Advisor,” it said.

Mr. Ghartey reiterated that by the end of October 2020, the much-touted rail interconnectivity between the two countries would be completed.

He said that companies with the required technical expertise would be chosen.

The Minister noted that it was also agreed that the contractor that Burkina Faso has proposed would be the first choice for the work.

This paper understands that the committee shall meet again from Monday 12th March to Tuesday 13th March, this year, in Ouagadougou, to present the potential Transaction Advisor, review and adopt the terms of reference for the Transaction Advisor, set the timelines for selecting the Transaction Advisor and the Private Sector Partner and prepare the final report of the Joint Committee of Experts.

About The Project

The Accra-Ouagadouhou rail project was proposed by President Akufo-Addo and his Burkinabe counterpart, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré and is in line with Article 32 Paragraph (a) of the revised Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Treaty, which encourages member states to evolve common transport and communications policies, laws and regulations among themselves.