Ghana’s government through the Ministry of Railway, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Russian railway company, Geo Services, for the construction of a proposed 947km (593 miles) railway line and other rail routes from Accra to Paga, a town north of the country, near its borders with Burkina Faso.
The project, which is expected to be on a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis, will open up the hinterlands, food growing, and mineral rich areas for accelerated economic growth.
The Chief Executive Office of Geo Service, Sergey Kamnev, speaking during a meeting with the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Flagstaff House in Accra, said after various deliberations with their Ghanaian counterparts, the Russian Federation decided to collaborate in the railway and energy sectors.
Ghana’s rail network that is currently operational, which is approximately 947 kilometres, is faced with an obsolete network and poor track infrastructure, resulting in the closure of greater part of the Western and Eastern lines and the entire Central line — leading to a high incidence of derailments that lead to loss of operational hours and damage to rolling stock.
It is estimated that the rail sector commanded an over 70 percent market share of freight and passenger transport in the country during colonial days until the 1970s, and carried over 2 million tonnes of freight and 8 million passengers annually between the 1960s and 1970s.
The Parliament of Ghana earlier this year approved a GH¢ 500 million budget for the ministry, compared to the GH¢ 10 million which was allocated to the sector last year.