GHANA – 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.

With AfDB’s support, Ghana was able to finalize the signing of the concession agreement.

The signing took place on the opening day of the 2019 Africa Investment Forum, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“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,” Ghana’s President said.

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.

According to a statement from AfDB, 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.

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, noted that although the country had worked hard to get to the signing stage, they still had a lot to do.

“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 Africa Investment Forum (AIF) where the concession agreement was signed is an innovative, multi-stakeholder transactional marketplace conceived by the African Development Bank.

AIF is aimed at raising capital, advancing projects to the bankable stage, and accelerating financial closure of deals.