The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) signed a $22 million agreement for the technical design to develop the Abidjan-Lagos highway.
The signing of the Grant Retrocession Agreement between ECOWAS and AfDB and the contracts for the feasibility, environmental, socio-economic and detailed engineering designs was done in the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja.
The ECOWAS Commission President, Jean-Claude Brou, revealed that the signing was in recognition of the decision of the Presidents of Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and Benin in 2014 on the construction of the highway.
According to Brou, “with the approval of the member states, the ECOWAS Commission forwarded financing requests of approximately 89 million dollars to several development partners, including AfDB and European Union, to fund the technical and project preparation studies”.
He said that “we thank the AfDB for their swift response and subsequent identification mission undertaken in Dec. 2018 for possible financing. The EU contribution of €9.13 million was mobilised through the African Development Bank who also contributed approximately $11.06 million making it a total of $22.72 million for the project”.
Brou also revealed that the contracts were signed with three major consulting firms to undertake feasibility, environmental, socio-economic and detailed engineering designs for the six-lane highway.
He said the 1,080 km Abidjan-Lagos corridor would connect some of the largest and economically dynamic cities in Africa and also link vibrant seaports which served landlocked countries of the region.
The Senior Director of AfDB, Mr Ebrima Faal said “promoting regional trade is enshrined in articles establishing AfDB and is a key pillar in the High Five priorities of the bank. That is why the bank is investing heavily in high quality regional transport infrastructure throughout the continent”.
Faal noted that the objective of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Study was to undertake all the needed technical studies for the effective implementation, operations and economic development of the highway.
Speaking on behalf of the other consultants working on the project, Mr Mayne David-West from Pearl Consultants and Civil and Structural Engineers, said the project would take two years and would connect to the planned East-West coastal road.