ECOWAS plans to improve road communication in the region by building a highway that links Abidjan, Accra, Cotonou, Lome with Lagos
| By Maureen Chigbo | May 6, 2013 @01:00 GMT
THE Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, is to construct a homogenous highway from Lagos to Abidjan. The Abidjan-Lagos corridor covers a total distance of 1,028 kilometres and carries more than 75 per cent of the trade in West Africa. It will connect Lagos, Accra, Cotonou, Lome and Abidjan, which are considered as some of the largest and economically most dynamic cities in Africa. In addition, the road will provide links to vibrant sea ports serving Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger – the three landlocked countries in the region.
ECOWAS ministers of works/road infrastructure, transport, finance and justice from Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo, came out of their one-day meeting on Monday, April 22, in Abuja, with an agreement on an implementation plan for the construction of the proposed highway. A supra-national agency is to be set up to manage the project implementation phase to ensure uniformity in approach and standards for the road whose development will be regionally coordinated.
Also at the meeting were the World Bank, the African Development Bank, AfDB, the African Finance Corporation, AFC, the French Development Agency, AFD, the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Organisation, ALCO, Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA, Osprey Investment Group of the United Kingdom, and the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, EBID.
The meeting followed a directive given to the minister by the heads of state of the five countries at the 42nd ordinary summit of regional leaders on February 28, in Yamoussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire, to further improve the Lagos-Abidjan corridor. The ministers deliberated and agreed on an implementation plan with a clear indication of responsibilities and corresponding implanting into stakeholders. They also benefited from presentations from some of the development and technical partners, such as the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Organisation, ALCO, the World Bank and the African Development Bank who have some on-going activities on the corridor. Their report will be presented to the Presidents of the concerned Member States on May 25, summit in Addis Ababa.
ECOWAS and its development partners have made several interventions in order to facilitate transportation on the corridor. These include improvement of road infrastructure, restructuring of border posts as well as soft transport facilitation interventions to improve the free flow of persons, trade and transport.