The proposed construction of a 1,008km highway that will connect Abidjan to Lagos is set to receive a major boost, as the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Union (EU) prepare to inject $9 million into the project.
According to Marcel Alain de Souza, President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States, an agreement has been reached with the AfDB and the EU to inject the much-needed funding for the project.
“We have discussed with the former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and other private sector players to support us. 42 years of integration, ECOWAS has not achieved 15 per cent of its goal and 70 per cent of trade in the region is done through this route. So, hopefully, the construction will start in six months’ time,” Mr. Marcel de Souza stated.
The Abidjan-Lagos corridor, which will pass through five countries: Côte d’Ivoire; Ghana; Togo; Benin and; Nigeria will serve local sea ports where transit about 90% of the region’s exports and 60% of its imports are transported.
Mr. Alain de Souza, explained that the money promised by the two institutions will cover only the operational stage of the project, given that the related feasibility study which could begin next January, is financed by each participating country, with a million dollar each
When completed, the project is expected to contribute immensely to the region’s integration, as well as help improve sub-regional trade among ECOWAS member states.