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Afreximbank, Ghana Railway Company to develop Western railway corridor to boost trade

Railway Accra Nsawam File photo

Mon, 26 Jun 2023 Source:

African Export-Import Bank (Afrex­imbank) and Ghana Railway Company have signed a project preparation facility, heads of terms agree­ment and pre-mandate letter, to finance the development and implementation of an integrated 299-kilometre standard gauge railway network.

The network connects Ghana’s western corridor to the Port of Takoradi and provides an essential link to external markets.

The Heads of Terms was signed by Kanayo Awani – Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank, Afrex­imbank, and Dr Michael Anye­tei – Managing Director, Ghana Railway Company Limited.

Under the Heads of Terms of the project preparation facility, the bank will avail early-stage project preparatory funding to finance the preparation of bankable feasibility studies.

Under the terms of the agreements, signed during the Afreximbank Annual Meet­ing (AAM2023), Afreximbank committed to prescribe financial solutions, including project prepa­ratory support, project financing, syndication and financial advisory services, and risk bearing instru­ments, to enable the project attain a timeous financial close.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, Presi­dent and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank said, “The Western Railway Cor­ridor project is a vital transport network for Ghana, and Afrex­imbank’s support is in line with our commitment to help member countries address key trade-en­abling infrastructure bottlenecks through private sector-led invest­ments that will unlock significant pent-up demand for Ghanaian mineral and agricultural commod­ities in regional and international markets.”

“Am particularly thrilled that in this project Afreximbank and its partners are pioneering our innovative non-recourse project finance solution premised on freight volumes and not member countries debt-carrying capacity. Such novel approaches present concrete steps Afreximbank is taking towards paving the way for member countries' economic transformation. We look forward to rolling out this solution to other member countries across the continent,” he said.

The project, when fully imple­mented, is expected to reduce transport costs by 30 per cent, increase the safety and reliability of transport services, and stimu­late Ghanaian trade and economic growth.

About 5,000 jobs are expect­ed to be created directly during the implementation phase, with another 50,000 indirect oppor­tunities created along the railway corridor in addition to the training of 400 citizens of Ghana to par­ticipate in all levels of the project implementation.

The railway line will also facilitate the export of minerals and commodities resulting in at least US$ 950 million of trade per annum.

The bank believes that pursu­ing railway investments along the continent’s trade corridors would expand existing capacities and create new routes, links and path­ways for value-added goods to be transported from manufacturing and processing areas to regional and global markets, thereby pro­moting intra-African trade within the AfCFTA context.

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