The main consortia for the Mpakadan to Ouagadougou stretch of the Ghana-Burkina Faso railway interconnectivity project is set to be chosen this quarter as Government and stakeholders prepare to settle on the most qualified contractors for the project.
The consortium that emerges as the preferred bidder is expected to partner the two countries for construction to begin by March this year.
This opens opportunity for the private sector, enterprises, hoping to get sub-contracts from the consortia for the project since the Ministry of Railway Development has declared that at least 40 percent or more Ghanaian participation will be adhered to in the railway projects in all the contracts it had signed.
The procurement process – which now enters its final stage – initially began with 14 companies that expressed interest, of which four were selected.
Currently, the Ministry in partnership with key stakeholders in the railway sector is working on a Ghanaian Participation Policy that aims to promote local content, indigenous labour and technology transfer as efforts to execute the various projects under the country’s ambitious railways development programme gather momentum.
With the coming into effect of a formal policy framework to support this threshold, it is expected that the level of Ghanaian participation, most especially in engineering and welding, will see massive improvement and this measure will largely result in technology transfer.
The project which is to be on a Built Operate and Transfer basis is an initiative for both countries to enhance economic activity, and each country would take up 50 percent of the cost of consultants working on the feasibility studies on Tema to Burkina Faso rail line via Akosombo in the Eastern Region.
The primary objective of the railway interconnectivity project is to facilitate trade and integrated development between the two countries through an efficient transportation service for both freight and passengers which falls in line with Ghana’s Railway Master Plan.
The proposed railway line is expected to go through Hohoe, Jasikan, Nkwanta, Bimbilla to Yendi and Sheni. It will then continue to Tamale, Walewale, Bolgatanga, Navrongo and then link Burkina Faso at the Paga-Dakota border, approximately 700km from Mpakadan.
In line with the policy of the Government to link all regional capitals to the new modern railway network, the proposed alignment will also link the capitals of the Volta and Oti Regions.
The Burkina Faso leg of the proposed line starts from Ouagadougou, Kombissiri, Manga, Beguedo, Garango, Tenkodogo, Bagre, Zabre, Po.