Ghana and Burkina Faso have agreed to constitute a 20-member expert committee to facilitate the development of a railway interconnectivity from Accra to Ouagadougou.
The two countries will each contribute 10 members to the committee. The committee is expected to develop an action plan and timelines for implementation and has three months, commencing January 2018, within which to complete its assignment and submit a report.
The meetings of the committee will be held twice every month and the venue alternated between Ghana and Burkina Faso.
A communiqué was issued on Thursday at the end of a three-day meeting between the two countries for the establishment of permanent joint experts committee for railway interconnectivity between Ghana and Burkina Faso.
The communiqué was signed by Mr Joe Ghartey for Ghana and Mr Suleymane Soulama, the Minister of Transport, Urban Mobility and Road Safety of Burkina Faso signed for his country.
According to Mr Ghartey, both parties agreed to review the existing Protocol Agreement on the establishment of a joint committee of railway experts between Ghana and Burkina Faso dated May 17, 2004, revise and confirm the terms of reference for the joint experts committee.
He said both parties have agreed to pursue rigorous investment promotion, conduct market research to test investor interest and attract strategic investors to implement the project.
Both countries have also agreed to accelerate the procurement process using the International Competitive Bidding method of procurement as provided by the National Laws to meet the 2020 timeframe and adopt the build, operate and transfer model of public-private partnerships.
Mr Ghartey said the ongoing project at the Tema Ports would enhance transit trade between the two countries, adding that, the development of rail interconnectivity from the Tema Port to Ouagadougou will further improve the transport and logistics chain on the corridor.
Mr Soulama pledged the commitment of Burkina Faso to collaborate with Ghana to implement the railway interconnectivity project from Accra to Ouagadougou.
A six-member delegation from Burkina Faso, led by Mr Soulama, visited Ghana from Monday December 18 to 22 to hold bilateral discussions with Mr Ghartey on the establishment of a railway interconnectivity project. The discussion was to facilitate the implementation of the project to boost trade and development between Ghana and Burkina Faso.
Ghana’s team was made up of representatives from the Ministry of Railways Development, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General’s Department.
The rest are from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Ghana Railway Development Authority, Ghana Railway Company Limited and the Ghana Shippers’ Authority.
The Burkina Faso delegation had officials from the Ministry of Infrastructure, Ministry of Economy, Finance and Development and Burkina Faso Railway Heritage Management Company.