Ghana needs $10bn to implement railway master plan

Ghana needs 10 billion dollars to implement a modern and robust railway system to move people and goods across regions, Mr Kwaku Asante-Boateng, Deputy Minister, Railway Development, has said.

He is therefore calling on development partners to fund Ghana’s Railway Master Plan to reduce emissions in the transport sector and meet her climate obligation under the Paris Agreement.

“In the railway sector not much work has been done due to financial constraints although there is a good plan. We required some investment to develop the sector in order to realise the intent of the plan,” he said.

Mr Asante-Boateng made the appeal at the launch of Ghana’s Roadmap for Resilient Infrastructure, saying said the country was looking for partners to fund the implementation of railways master plan.

The Ghana’s Roadmap for Resilient Infrastructure is the culmination of a 21-month partnership between the Government of Ghana, GCA, the University of Oxford, the United Nations Office for Project Services and the United Nations Environment Programme to identify and propose solutions to address priority adaptation needs in Ghana.

Using modelling and assessment tools, and through an extensive stakeholder consultation process, it provides an assessment of risk of climate hazard on national infrastructure systems.

Mr Asante-Boateng stated that the study revealed that flooding threatened critical passenger and freight transport services, including major highways and the Western and Eastern rail lines.

“Infrastructure provision in most countries, especially Africa, is a necessary factor in achieving sustainable development, but their provision has been delayed due to challenges in financing and calculating funding needs.” he said.

Mr Asante-Boateng said, “It takes longer hours for people living in Kasoa, Adenta and Tema to get to the business centres in Accra due to the congestion in traffic. If we have a highly effective rail system from Adenta to Accra, Tema to Accra, Kasoa to Accra, carbon emissions in the environment will be reduced and the system will be more efficient and reliable.”

He noted that a railway system would take the burden off the road network, and provide efficient and sustainable alternatives to ensure longer lifespan for existing roads and those yet to be constructed.

Dr Kwaku Afriyie, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, said the resilient infrastructure roadmap had presented 35 project concepts in the built, natural, or enabling environment to provide prioritised adaptation options.

He noted that the interconnected dimensions of the infrastructure system would enable and deliver development benefits linked to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and gender and inclusion.

The roadmap also defines actions for implementation, a key one being financing, by highlighting a total of 82 funds (worth approximately US$274 billion) with the potential to finance infrastructure in Ghana.

Of the 82 funds identified, the Government has an existing relationship (over the last 10 years) with 44% of the funds. This means 46 new funding opportunities exist that can increase the range of options for infrastructure financing available to the Government of Ghana.

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