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Business News of Saturday, 9 May 2015

Source: Reuters

Gov’t considers introduction of bullet trains

Government is putting in place plans to build a bullet train that will reduce transportation from Accra to Kumasi to 1.4 hours from station to station.

The Minister of Public Private Partnerships (PPP), Rashid Pelpuo, through the Office of the President has engaged a New York Investment bank Chesterfield Faring Ltd. (CFL) to devise a Request for Proposal (RFP).

The CEO of CFL Mr. Lawrence J. Selevan visited with the Honorable Dr. Pelpuo last week in Accra, Ghana. During his stay, Mr. Selevan met with the Departments of Transportation, Housing, and Finance to coordinate the underwriting of the RFP.

In a quote from Mr. Selevan, "I believe that Ghana is ready for a state of the art mass transit system that will speed up the commute for millions of everyday citizens in both Accra and Kumasi”.

The plan is to build an elevated light rail mass transit commuter system linked to the Kotoka International Airport.

Initial estimates for Phase 1 of the RFP is USD $12 billion growing to USD $30 billion over the balance of the decade. Bids will be considered after the master plan of the rail and TOD are completed in the RFP.

“Also, the USD $30 billion should have a 3.0-3.5 multiplier effect increasing immediate economic activity to almost USD $100 billion before the end of the decade, as well as the aftermath of the investment; increasing GDP by almost 3% per annum, growing to over USD $2.0 billion annually”.

“The immediate impact will be apparent as vehicular congestion allows more access and an easier flow of traffic, both for commuters and freight transportation."

The Honorable Dr. Pelpuo remarked, "We sought out the best firm with the greatest vision to improve the everyday lives of all of our citizens through an improved affordable transit system. We will be building beautiful sustainable 'cities within our city' that will be a model for all of Africa into the future."

Mr. Earl N. Caldwell II and Mr. Kevin A. Copeland of The Catalyst Group, a Ghanaian based real estate developer, has provided local guidance to CFL to navigate the local markets, demand drivers, and interpreted the macro vision for the RFP.

The light rail mass transit commuter system will include trade zones, which will have shops, public and private parks and gardens, office towers, hotels and 1,000 unit residential towers.