President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commissioned the Afienya Road Over Bridge Project which is part of the 97.7-kilometre Tema-Mpakadan Railway Line.
President Akufo-Addo also inspected one out of the eight Mpakadan railway stations along the railway line stretch, as well as the 300-metre bridge across the Volta River at Afienya and Asuogyaman districts respectively.
The entire Tema- Mpakadan railway project, according to the President, is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2023.
At the commissioning ceremony on Tuesday, the President said the project is expected to address the imbalances between transport modes for long-distance transit and domestic freight movements from Accra-Tema-northwards and vice-visa using the Volta lake transport system.
He said the Tema-Makapda-Buipe transport project when completed would link the Tema Port to the Lake Transport network, a distance of some 400 kilometres to open up the lake to the transportation of cargo, fuel, cement and agricultural produce.
In particular, President Akufo-Addo said existing operations at the Tema Ports would be improved, resulting in reduced vessel waiting time, container dwelling time and reduced freight transport cost.
The Project was conceived to create a multiple-module transportation network involving road, rail and lake transportation.
The road-rail-lake transport project intends to facilitate the haulage of cargo and the movement of people from the southern part to the northern sector of Ghana through a mix of the inter-model transport system.
Currently, the transportation of domestic freight and transit freight between Accra, Tema and northern Ghana and further to Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger is essentially road based via Kumasi, Tamale, Bolgatanga, Navrongo and Paga.
President Akufo-Addo said the over-dependence on the road network, coupled with other transport alternatives, had resulted in congestion and rapid deterioration of the country’s roads as well as increased incidence of road accidents.
As part of efforts to address these challenges, President Akufo-Addo said the then NPP government in 2007, commissioned a feasibility study for a multi-modelling transport link between Tema and Buipe through the Volta Lake.
Subsequently, in 2016, the Parliament of Ghana approved a resolution, both the credit facility and the commercial agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Exim Bank of India with AFCON Construction Limited as a contractor of the project.
Its implementation, President Akufo-Addo stated, is the manifestation of the strong historic links and relations between Ghana and India.
President Akufo-Addo said construction, operations and maintenance work of the railway infrastructure amongst others, would provide direct and indirect employment to a significant number of Ghana.
The project is part of a series of infrastructure projects lined up in the railway sector to develop and extend railway services across the country.
He reaffirmed his government’s commitment and determination to provide the enabling environment and support for the development of a modern railway system that would benefit this generation and the generations yet unborn.
President Akufo-Addo commended the Chiefs and people of the communities who had been directly and indirectly affected by the construction of the railway project.
“Your patriotic support has led to the successful execution of the work so far and I believe as the direct beneficiary of the project, you will continue to support, maintain and safeguard this national asset…to live beyond its lifespan.”
The Minister of Railway Development, Peter Amewu, said the Afienya Road Over Bridge had been constructed as part of a standard gauge railway line from the Port of Tema to Mpakadan in the Asuogyaman District of the Eastern Region.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD
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