“I want to put on record that, in the last five years of my administration, more construction activity in the railway sector has gone on than in any period since independence. We have laid a solid foundation, which will receive an even greater impetus by the end of my tenure in 2025. My commitment to the development of a new modern standard railway network is unwavering,” he said on Tuesday, 6th December 2022, when he commissioned the Afienya Road Over Bridge, a key component of the of the new 97.7-kilometre standard gauge railway line from Tema to Mpakadan railway project.
Describing the project as “a brainchild of the first NPP Government of 2001 – 2009, when the highly respected Christopher Ameyaw Akumfi was Minister for Harbours and Railways”, President Akufo-Addo explained that it was conceived to create a multimodal transportation network, involving road, rail and lake transportation, which will facilitate the haulage of cargo and the movement of people from the southern part of the country to the northern sector, through a mix of intermodal transport systems.
According to the President, that the then Ministry of Harbours and Railways, in June 2007, commissioned a feasibility study for a multi-modal transport link between Tema and Buipe, through the Volta Lake.
“The study was successfully completed in 2009, stressing the economic, financial and operational feasibility of the multi-modal freight corridor. Subsequently, the 6th Parliament, at the 14th Sitting of its Third Meeting, held on Monday, 31st October 2016, approved, by resolution, both the Credit Facility and the Commercial Agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the EXIM Bank of India, with AFCONS Infrastructure Ltd., also of India, as the contractor for the project,” he stated.
With the current transportation of domestic freight and transit freight between Accra, Tema and northern Ghana, and further to Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, being essentially road-based via Kumasi, Tamale, Bolgatanga, Navrongo and Paga, the President stated that the over-dependency Ghana’s road network, coupled with the lack of other transport alternatives, particularly between Accra and Kumasi, resulted in congestion, rapid deterioration of roads, and increases in road accidents.