On Tuesday 6th December 2022, His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo Addo commissioned the 900m Afienya road over bridge and inspected the Afienya railway station and the 300m Volta Rail Bridge at Senchi all along the Tema-Mpakadan railway project.
The President in his speech described the project as “a brainchild of the first NPP government” from 2001-2009 with the then Minister for Harbour and Railways, Christopher Ameyaw Ekumfi. The President explained that, the project was conceived to create a multi modal transportation network involving road, rail and lake transportation which will help facilitate the haulage of cargo and the movement of passengers from the northern sector to the southern sector of Ghana. He said the project represented another mile stone in the country’s drive to expand and develop its infrastructure.
He further stated that, currently the transportation of domestic and transit freight between Accra, Tema to Nothern Ghana and further to Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger is road based via Kumasi, Tamale, Bolgatanga, Navrongo and Paga has created the over dependency on Ghana’s road network together with the lack of other transport alternatives particularly between Accra and Kumasi has resulted in the congestion, rapid deterioration of road and the increase in road accidents. For this reason, there was a commission by the president for a feasibility study for a multi modal transport link between Tema – Mpakadan and Buipe, through the Volta Lake with the then Ministry of Harbours and Railways in June 2007.
The President further stated that, the feasibility study was successfully completed in 2009, stressing the economic, financial and operational feasibility of the multi modal freight corridor. In October 2016, there was an approval by resolution both by the Credit Facility and the Commercial Agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Exim Bank of India, with AFCONS Infrastructure Ltd as the main contractor for the project. He again stated that, the implementation of the project was a testimony of the strong historic ties between Ghana and India.
He said the project would address the imbalance between transport modes for long distance transit and domestic freight movement from Accra, Tema and northwards and vice versa using the Volta Lake transport and enhance safety. He also said, the project, when successfully operational would link the Tema Port to the lake transport network especially the North-South movement over a distance of 400km. It would open the Volta Lake for the transportation of not only fuel and cement but also the container cargo and agricultural produce from the northern enclave in the Afram plains to the port of Tema and other destinations. The project is expected to reduce the pressure on the road network especially on the Eastern corridor which is under vigorous construction. It would also minimize the cost of transportation of bulk commodities, provide affordable and reliable alternative means of transport of passengers who are not served by the road transport along the corridor.
President Akufo Addo was happy with the progress of work on the project and urged the contractors, AFCONS Infrastructure Ltd to complete the outstanding works on schedule.
The president in his speech concluded that, “I want to put it on record that, in the last five years of my administration, more construction activity in the railway sector has gone on than in any period since independence. We had laid a solid foundation which will receive an even greater impetus by the end of my tenure in 2025. My commitment to the development of a new modern standard railway network is unwavering”.
In attendance of the Commissioning was the Minister for Railways Development, Hon John Peter Amewu, Deputy Minister for Railways, Hon Kwaku Asante-Boateng, Minister Roads and Highways and MP for Atiwa West Constituency, Hon. Kwasi Amoako Attah, MP for Ningo-Prampram, Hon Sam George, Chief of Afienya Nene Tetteh Afutu Nartey III, Greater Accra Regional Minister Hon. Henry Quartey, India High Commissioner to Ghana, H.E. Mr. Sugandh Rajaram, State Protocols, DCE of Ningo-Prampram Hon. Lattif Amanor, CEO of GRDA Mr. Yaw Owusu, Deputy CEO of Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA), Madam Sussana Delali Kudjoe, Chief Director of MoRD, Mr. Desmond Boateng, Ag. Managing Director of Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL), ING Dr. Michael Adjei Anyetei, and former MP for Ningo-Prampram, Hon. E.T Mensah, Management and Staff of GRDA, MoRD, AFCONS Infrastructure and TEAM Engineering.