The government of Ghana on Thursday, November 10, signed an agreement with a South African group, Africa Investment (Ai) SkyTrain Consortium, for the construction of the Accra Sky Train Project.
Railways Development minister, Mr Joe Ghartey, signed the agreement for Ghana on the sidelines of the Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The minister emphasized that the Sky Train Project was the solution to the ever-increasing road traffic congestion in Accra, with its detrimental effects on economic activity, pollution and the quality of life.
This should assure the investors that Government is solidly behind it. The economics of this project are also good. We are very excited about the prospects,” he said.
“We have signed an MoU, which will last nine months, where they (Ai SkyTrain Consortium) can do their feasibility into detail. After which we have given ourselves 45 days to take our concessionary agreements for approval by Cabinet and also by Parliament. By January 2020, we should start the construction of the project,” Mr Ghartey said.
The minister was hopeful that the project was going to create more jobs for people in the construction and fabrication industries since their input would be detrimental to the project.
South Africa’s Deputy Minister for Transport, Sindisiwe Lydia Chikunga, who was present at the signing ceremony, stated that their country was happy to have signed the MoU and were looking forward to completing their feasibility and start work in earnest come January 2020.
President Akufo-Addo, who was present at the signing stated that after the deterioration of Ghana’s rail infrastructure over the years, it had become a priority of the government to rehabilitate, revive and expand, and get a railway infrastructure that was fit for purpose.
He said the project “is a good example of intra-Africa co-operation. It is Ghana-South Africa co-operation, meeting and coming together to deal with the problem of urbanisation, which is facing all our countries.”
President Akufo-Addo said Accra, with a population of some 250,000 when Ghana gained its independence, now had a population of roughly six million people.
He added that the Accra SkyTrain Project was going to serve as a very efficient solution to the growing population and help reduce the traffic situation in the capital city.
The African Investment SkyTrain Consortium is made up of Wilson Bayly Holmes, a construction engineering company in South Africa; BUNENGI Group, a project development company focused on developing projects in infrastructure; and AI Capital, the investment and financing arm of the AI Group, one of the most in influential international investment banking advisory groups focused on Africa.