The African Development Bank has thrown its weight behind a concession agreement for the construction of a high-speed railway in Accra, Ghana’s capital.
The signing took place on the opening day of the second Africa Investment Forum, running from Monday to Wednesday in Johannesburg.
“It’s a great day for Ghana!” said Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo. “I was here last year and I’m back this year to make sure the project moves forward. This proves how important the Africa Investment Forum is. The signing of this agreement is on track to improve the lives of our citizens.”
The Accra Skytrain project, representing an investment of $2.6 billion, is a high-capacity public transport system that is completely automated and cost-efficient, using pneumatic propulsion technology. The system will transport more than 380,000 passengers annually and create some 5,000 jobs during its implementation phase.
“This is what Africa wants: finalized agreements,” said Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group. “What we want is for Africa to invest in Africa! We want to see this kind of thing happening all the time. This project will modernise Ghana, providing green transport for its citizens.”
Solomon Assamoah, fund manager for infrastructure investment, believes that this project will profoundly transform Ghana’s economic capital. “This is a major contribution to infrastructure development in Ghana, and in Africa as a whole. We need mass transport. This project will help overcome traffic gridlock,” he explained.
Joe Ghartey, Ghana’s minister for railway infrastructure, stressed the work ahead: “We have worked hard together to get to this stage of the project. We have more work to do to be able to tell the whole world, between now and next year, that the project’s financing is complete and that its operational phase has begun.”
Ghana Investment Promotion Centre CEO Yofi Grant expressed confidence that the project would reach financial close by this time next year.
The agreement was signed at a press conference during the 2019 African Investment Forum.
The Africa Investment Forum is an innovative, multi-stakeholder transactional marketplace conceived by the African Development Bank, aimed at raising capital, advancing projects to the bankable stage, and accelerating financial closure of deals.
The Forum runs from 11-13 November in Johannesburg, South Africa.