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Ghana's railway developments Ghana's railway developments

AL-AMIN IS-HAK AL-HASSAN, Director for Policy and Planning at the Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA), gave an insightful update on the current and forthcoming projects within Ghana’s railway sector. He emphasized the ongoing developments and strategic plans that aim to rejuvenate and expand the rail network across the country, highlighting the importance of a robust railway infrastructure for economic growth and regional connectivity.

Al-Hassan elaborated on the GRDA’s pivotal role in the development, ownership, and maintenance of railway infrastructure. The Authority is responsible not only for building and maintaining railway lines but also for regulating railway operations to ensure safety and efficiency. Despite the hurdles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the GRDA has persisted in advancing its ambitious projects. Several railway lines are currently under construction, signaling a period of significant progress and transformation. There is a notable interest from investors in introducing innovative solutions in construction, rolling stock, as well as signalling and telecommunication systems. Clearly, there is a significant amount of activity and progress within Ghana's railway sector, reflecting the dedication and strategic vision of the GRDA.

The Ghana Railway Master Plan, revised in 2020, targets the development of approximately 4,000 kilometers of railway by 2035. Notable progress includes the Western Railway Line from Takoradi to Kumasi and the Eastern Railway Line from Accra to Kumasi, both of which are crucial for enhancing internal connectivity and trade. Furthermore, the Ghana-Burkina Faso Railway Interconnectivity Project aims to link the ports of Tema in Ghana to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, facilitating smoother and more efficient cross-border trade. Another critical project is the coastal line, envisioned as the ECOWAS extension, which aims to connect Lomé in Togo to the east and Côte d’Ivoire to the west. These milestones signify substantial progress, which was highlighted during the interview, showcasing the strategic importance of these projects for regional integration and economic development.

The topic of private sector participation in Ghana’s rail network was also discussed, focusing on the Railways Act, which incorporates the objective of private sector involvement in operating and developing railway infrastructure. This framework aims to attract private investment, enhance operational efficiency, and introduce modern technologies. The Ghana Railway Development Authority collaborates with various international partners and investors, such as the India Exim Bank and Amandi Investment Limited, to fund and construct these crucial railway projects. These partnerships are essential for mobilizing the necessary resources and expertise to drive the sector forward.

Looking ahead, the GRDA is concentrating on integrating advanced signalling and telecommunication systems to enhance railway operations. Ensuring interoperability with neighbouring countries such as Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, and Burkina Faso is a key focus, promoting seamless connectivity across the region. This strategic approach aims to create a cohesive and efficient railway network that supports regional trade and mobility.

In conclusion, Al-Hassan expressed his gratitude to his colleagues in both the Ministry of Railway Development and the Ghana Railway Development Authority, acknowledging their hard work and dedication. The future of Ghana’s railway sector appears promising with these strategic initiatives and collaborative efforts paving the way for significant advancements. The continued focus on innovation, investment, and regional collaboration is set to transform Ghana's railway infrastructure, driving economic growth and regional integration.

Source: Railways Africa