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As part of efforts to develop the Ghana – Burkina Faso Railway Interconnectivity Project, the Governments of the two countries have shortlisted three bidders for the project. The three competitors for the project were on Thursday 22nd April 2021 issued Request for Proposal (RfP) documents as part of the final stage of the procurement process for the selection of a strategic private sector investor to partner the two countries for the development of the interconnectivity project under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

The Transaction Advisors for the project, Messrs TEAM Engineering SpA and Vision Consult Limited at a Bidder’s Conference meeting issued the RfP to the representatives of the three bidders who have formed consortia bringing together relevant expertise for the development of the project. The three consortia are African Global Development Sarl, China Railway No. 10 Engineering Group Co. Ltd. and Frontline Capital Advisors respectively.

At the Bidders’ Conference held in Accra on Thursday 22nd April 2021, the Minister for Railway Development, Hon. John-Peter Amewu disclosed that, the two countries have been working with a common Transaction Advisors who has assisted in carrying out detailed feasibility studies and the Front-End-Engineering Design for the project as part of the first phase of the project development.

According to him, the second phase of the implementation of the project, which focuses on the procurement process for the private sector partner, commenced simultaneously with the conduct of the feasibility studies covering the entire stretch of over 1000 kilometers from Mpakadan to Ouagadougou.

The policy direction according to Ghana’s Railway Master Plan is to connect to economic and industrial zones, as well as, all regional capitals by rail. Therefore, the route or alignment would connect the major towns and cities in Ghana from Mpakadan, where the section of the rail line from the Tema Port is currently under construction such as Kpeve, Hohoe, Jasikan, Nkwanta, Bimbila, Yendi, Tamale, Walewale, Bolgatanga, Navrongo and Paga. The Burkina Faso section of the rail line would traverse major towns like Po, Zabre, Tenkodogo, Manga and Ouagadougou.

The Minister reiterated the two countries’ commitment to ensure the realization of the transportation linkage. “I am happy that today, we have had an interesting interaction with the last three (3) bidders in the process, and from what we have gathered, we can confidently report that the project is on course”.

Following Hon. John Peter Amewu’s appointment by the President, he paid a 3-day visit to Ouagadougou upon the invitation of the Minister responsible for Transport, Urban Mobility and Road Safety, Hon. Vincent Dabilgou in Burkina Faso.

Both countries have agreed that commencement of physical construction works in respect of the project is expected to be within the first quarter of 2022 after a private sector concessionaire has been successfully procured by the end of November, 2021.

The Railway Development Minister commended the Transaction Advisors, TEAM Engineering S.p.A. of Italy and Vision Consult Limited of Ghana for the diligent and thorough work done so far.

On his part, the Minister for Transport, Urban Mobility and Road Safety of Burkina Faso, Hon. Vincent Timbindi Dabilgou expressed his excitement on the good job done by the Transaction Advisors to ensure that the three pre- qualified bidders have the necessary information required to enable them come out with a competitive Technical and F inancial proposals for the project.

He recounted the history between both Ghana and Burkina Faso, stating that both countries have a similar history in the area of railways which have been left unattended and allowed to deteriorate over the period, hence it is a good step to have a railway line that would link both countries. Mr. Dabligou expressed worry on how the railway sector in both countries has been left to deteriorate, noting that they have not been ambitious enough.

He indicated that Government in both countries are committed to the realization of the project hence it was prudent to ensure the project succeed with the stage it has gotten to. He commended the three bidders who have qualified for the Request for Proposal stage and encouraged them to take advantage of the opportunity given as this project would open the continent up for more international businesses.

In attendance at the Bidders’ Conference was the Ambassador of Burkina Faso to Ghana, His Excellency Pingrenoma Zagre as well as, some members of the Joint Committee of Experts from Ghana and Burkina Faso.