Chiefs In Volta Region Welcome Abidjan-Lagos Corridor As A Game Changer For AfCFTA

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Chiefs and stakeholders including the Police, Immigration and Customs located in the host communities of the upcoming Abidjan-Lagos Corridor highway Project in the Volta region have lauded the vision of ECOWAS and the government of Ghana for the project and assured their maximum support before, during and after the construction which is expected to commence in 2024.

The Volta region features prominently in the entire 1,028km highway from Lagos through Benin Togo, Ghana to Abidjan. 567km of the highway traverses Ghana, of which 466km form the Lot 2 of the project stretching from Apimanim to Akanu in the Volta Region and 110km form part of the Lot 1 which stretches from Elubo to Apimanim.

Charing a one-day stakeholder sensitization workshop at Sogakope in the Volta Region, Ing. Mrs. Rita Ohene-Sarfo who is a Director of Policy Planning and Budgeting at the Ministry of Roads and Highways and the Director in Charge of the Abidjan-Lagos Highway Project Implementation Unit for Ghana urged the stakeholders in the Volta Region to corporate with the project’s implementation by avoiding developments on the corridor and availing the Rights of Way for effective construction processes.

She revealed that a feasibility component of the project across some four (4) phases is near completion paving way for an economically viable route which minimizes cultural and environmental impacts. “A detailed design technical study has been completed and financing and execution strategies are expected to be completed by September 2023 to be followed by other components including a road safety audit, trade and transport facilitations and spatial developments.”

Ing. Mrs. Ohene Sarfo explained that the trade and transportation component will consider existing Intra-Africa trade protocols such as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

“It is part of the entire African Revolution of getting Africa to be a continent where other people will come and look up to us. So, we are playing our role on the road and the AfCFTA is also playing its role all aimed at improving our borders and fostering economic integration in West Africa and Africa.”

She added that “This is part of the entire African Continental Free Trade and we are working with the AfCFTA Secretariat to get joint border posts. We have one with Togo, Benin has one with Nigeria and we are hoping to have these joint border posts which is part of a system we are adopting to reduce delays along the corridor.” The Project Director for Ghana explained to journalists.

The Project Director for the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway project who also doubles as the Director for Policy Planning and Budgeting further explained to journalists that the project is enjoying great political will from governments of ECOWAS particularly Ghana and the other four (4) countries involved; Nigeria, Togo, Benin and Ivory Coast and ECOWAS aims to use the highway as transportation catalyst for development in the West African Region.

“Political leaders are very committed; Local Stakeholders are also very interested. Everybody is looking forward to the road. It will have no interruptions, no speed ramps and would play a major role in trade and transport facilitation in West Africa” Ing. Mrs. Ohene Sarfo emphasized.

Deputy Chief Executive of Ghana Highway Authority, Collins Donkor seized the opportunity to advise stakeholders against all unauthorized developments along the corridor highway in order not to hinder progress of work. He cautioned individuals who resort to illegal tactics to profit from government land acquisition processes to desist from doing so with this project, since it will affect its realization and charged the traditional and local government authorities, security agencies and all other stakeholders to support the construction of the highway.

Ing. Nana Pomaa Karikarikari, a principal Engineer with the Ministry of Roads and Highways and member of project implementation unit of Ghana in explaining the project’s alignment said mainly greenfield have been selected for the construction of the highway. “The highway would bypass Accra at about 15km East of Winneba and would continue across the Akuapim range to Miotso and then through the Volta Region to end its Ghana traverse at the Akanu Border post in the Ketu North Municipality” She explained.

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