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Ghana inks deal for high-speed railway project

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The Government of Ghana has signed a concession agreement with the South African firm Ai SkyTrain Consortium Holdings for the construction of $2.6bn high-speed railway in Ghana’s capital Accra.

The agreement was signed on the opening day of the second Africa Investment Forum, which is being held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo said: “I was here last year and I’m back this year to make sure the project moves forward. This proves how important the Africa Investment Forum is. The signing of this agreement is on track to improve the lives of our citizens.”

Backed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) funding, the Accra Skytrain high-capacity public transport system will be completely automated and cost-efficient.

Featuring pneumatic propulsion technology, the system will have the capacity to transport more than 380,000 passengers annually and create about 5,000 jobs during its implementation phase. It will have a total track length of 194km across all routes.

AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina said: “This is what Africa wants: finalized agreements.

“What we want is for Africa to invest in Africa! We want to see this kind of thing happening all the time. This project will modernise Ghana, providing green transport for its citizens.”

Ghana Railway Infrastructure Minister Joe Ghartey said: “We have worked hard together to get to this stage of the project. We have more work to do to be able to tell the whole world, between now and next year, that the project’s financing is complete and that its operational phase has begun.”

Ghana Investment Promotion Centre CEO Yofi Grant said that the project would reach financial close by this time next year.

Ghartey added: “What we have signed today is a concession agreement but we still have some work to do. We will work hard and work together. We think it is achievable, we must make it work.”

The sky train initiative in Accra involves the development of five routes including four comprised of radial routes that originate at the proposed sky train terminal at a newly developed Kwame Nkrumah circle, and one route that provides and intra-city commuter loop distribution service.

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