The Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA), held a Stakeholders Workshop on 15th March 2023.
The purpose of the workshop was to engage various stakeholders of the railway sector on the outcome of the 2020 Railway Master Plan.
The railway master plan is a layout for the development of the railway sector in the country. The first version was delivered in 2013 and has since been reviewed into the current 2020 version.
The Masterplan serve as a guide to the country in constructing its rail network with the aim to link every capital city of the 16 regions and all industrial towns and hubs by the year 2035 to serve as an efficient mode of transport for the movement of goods such as bauxite, manganese, cocoa and to the various ports and processiong hubs as well as transporting passengers to various cities in the country.
The CEO of The Ghana Railway Development Authority, Mr Yaw Owusu mentioned that, an efficient transport system is critical in decentralising the growth of the economy. Although developing the rail sector is capital intensive, it has its long-term benefits to the nation. He further on stated that, we need to make constructing the Railway network a national priority by changing the narrative of our transportation.
The 2013 Railway Master Plan has seen investment made into the sector leading to projects like the;
- the 97 kilometer Tema-Mpakadan Railway line which is due for completion.
- the 80 kilometer Railway line from Takoradi to Huni-Valley via Nsuta and Tarkwa.
- A 6 kilometer double line from Kaase to Adum in Kumasi.
It is hopeful that by 2035 when the Masterplan is implemented, Ghana would have made a remarkable advancement in its rail sector to help relocate commercial activities from already congested urban areas.
The Deputy Minister of Railways Development, Hon Kwaku Asante-Boateng stated that, there is the need to find an alternative means of funding since the cost of constructing the national rail network is huge.
In all, the country requires at about $30billion to build about 4,000 kilometers of rail network across the country.
Stakeholders present at the Workshop were Lands Commission, GRIDCo, Ghana Highway Authority, Ministry of Information, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Ministry of Energy, Volta River Authority, Ministry of Railway Development, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Roads and Highways, Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana Ports and Harbour, Forestry Commission, AFCONS Infrastructure Ltd, TEAM Eng, amongst others