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Government seeks $10b to execute railway master plan

Government is seeking to attract an estimate of $10 billion, after considering cost of track and associate infrastructure, to revamp Ghana’s dilapidated rail system and also create an economic corridor along the rail lines, according to the Minister of Railway Development, Joe Ghartey.

The “Master Plan” is a five phased rail development which will cover all regions and pass through various trade districts across Ghana.

He emphasized how this development will serve the industrial sector and further the cause of “One District One Factory Policy” by making transport of raw materials cheaper.

Mr. Ghartey said, "Some figures per a study I reviewed today stated that without rail transport by 2020, one may not be able to get around Accra."

He was speaking at the ‘Railway Sector Investment Opportunity Meeting’ by the Ghana - Israel Business Chamber in Accra.

Advertising the “Master Plan” to prospective investors at a dinner held at the Israeli Embassy, Joe Ghartey highlighted the benefits to be accrued to both investors and Ghanaians.

He said, a project of this sort will enhance the activities of the agricultural, tourism and all other sectors that readily make use of long travels.

Mr. Ghrtey said government is commissioning feasibility studies to advise on the mapping of routes for the various railway lines.

He said, “We are in the process of commissioning feasibility study for this plan. This is a proposal by engineers who did the master plan. It passes through Takyiman but the feasibility study can tell us for example that instead of teaching, we should divert so this is the proposal going onto the next stage.”

He expressed concerns over the encroachment of the rail lines but was optimistic the projects will take off smoothly.

Over 200 local and foreign investors expressed interest in investing in the project, according to Mr. Ghartey.