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Opinions of Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Columnist: Owusu Kizito

Realizing Ghana’s economic transformation through an improved road network

Context and perspective

The story of Africa’s development is changing; so too is Ghana’s. Recent economic indicators persistently point to the fact that six African countries are among the fastest growing economies in the world.

Yet, some of these same countries, such as Ghana face such road infrastructural constraints that could undermine and even negate those advances if nothing is done and done fast.

In Ghana, for example, it is estimated that road transport accounts for 96% of passenger and freight traffic and about 97% of passenger miles in the country that is similar in size (92,455.98 square miles) to Oregon.

Statistics from the Ministry of Roads and Transport, reveal that Ghana’s total road transport infrastructure of 63,122km (2006) linking the entire country had made some improvement by 2011 but remains in dye need for improvement to facilitate its transition from a rural economy to a middle-income country by 2030.

The government, cognizant of the fact that for real development to happen in any sphere, it needs to build, expand and maintain infrastructure, principally its road infrastructure, (given its relative importance) has launched a road rehabilitation program that requires a $1.5bn investment per year for the next 10 years in order to plug the current infrastructure gap.

Goal

The goal of the program is to have Ghana, bestowed with a modern all-season road network capable of spurring economic and social development through easier access for food, cash crops and other economic products from rural areas to the main population centers.

Main objectives

Undertake a thorough assessment of the current road network in Ghana with view to identifying and building roads from scratch; expanding some existing roads as well as maintaining others.

Identify and establish lists of roads in different sectoral categories such: trunk roads, feeder roads and urban roads and earmark as baseline for the program inception so that progress can be measured.

Strategy to be used

Investigroup LLC, through its Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Dr. Owusu Kizito have developed a partnership framework with investment groups to raise $10 Billion in debt and grants from its vast network of private and public financiers over 10 years for the project.

Investigroup LLC will enlist with the cooperation of the government and people of Ghana for buy-in; and, build a dynamic Board from a pool of qualified Ghanaians to steer the affairs of the road construction and rehabilitation program.

Expected results

The overall economic development of the country will be accelerated through increased productivity, better access to hospitals, schools and other infrastructure.

Better access to health facilities will reduce maternal mortality rates and generally strengthen the productivity of the work force.

The road network will bring different ethnic communities closer for better understanding that can consolidate peace and foster economic and social development.

Additionally, it was imperative to link the important areas of Takoradi with the capital city (Accra) via proper road networks to take advantage of the numerous opportunities that will open up with the expansion of the road, including:

Linking the capital city – with its business district and seat of government – with the oil city is important for ease of doing business.

Will provide a direct and indirect services and development output for about four million inhabitants between the two cities.

The road is already part of the regional highway that connects Ghana to our neighboring countries Togo in the east and La Cote D’Ivoire in the west.

The road also serves as economic link between the Takoradi Port and other corridors of opportunity, leading to greater productivity, efficiency and capacity.

Construction and expansion of the road could enhance the movement of goods and services along the corridor.

These projects are just a few of the private-public partnership (PPP) infrastructure projects being considered by the Government of Ghana. Investigroup LLC will be at the forefront to assist in doing this business. We can preserve our talent and grow our economy by avoiding road accidents.

The relative peace and political stability enjoyed by the country, coupled with the availability and effective functioning of important institutions, makes the country an attractive prospect for investors who want to get involved in the quest to develop infrastructure in order to spur growth and development.