THE ministers in charge of Road Infrastructure from Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo have applauded the steady progress in the execution of the Feasibility and Detailed Engineering Design Studies for the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Feasibility Study.
They also commended the injection of an additional US$16 million from the African Development Bank, AfDB, and European Union, EU, to bridge the funding gap for the technical preparatory studies and establishment of the corridor management Authority.
The Ministers made the call at the 13th Steering Committee Meeting of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development Project, convened by the implementation Agency for the Project, the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, on 18th October 2019, at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra, Ghana.
Opening the Steering Committee Meeting, the Vice President of Ghana, Mahamudu Bawumia, representing Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of the Republic of Ghana, commended the ECOWAS Commission, Member States and Development Partners for their relentless efforts towards the project.
Vice President Bawumia highlighted the significance of such a major infrastructure project to the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA. The President urged Development and Financing Partners to continue supporting the project, which “is economically viable and has enormous potential”.
He concluded by calling for the speedy establishment of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Management Authority “ALCoMA” to provide dedicated technical hands to fast track all components of the project.
Key conclusions were made by the Ministers, in consideration of recommendations by technical experts (Directors of Roads) from their three-day quarterly Experts’ Meeting on the progress of the project, which was combined with a Validation Workshop on alignment options stage of the feasibility and preliminary design phase of the Detailed Engineering Studies.
Among others, the Ministers urged the ECOWAS Commission to strengthen their monitoring of Consultants in the execution of respective Contracts for the Feasibility and Detailed Engineering Studies. These included the conduct and performance of Consultants’ Team Leaders, key personnel and general responsiveness to the requirements of the Clients (Corridor Member States). They also called on Consultants to ensure adequate consultations with all related Authorities and Stakeholders at the national levels on critical issues such as alignment definition, national development plans as well as social and environmental impacts of their proposals before concluding draft reports for submission to ECOWAS.
A unique feature of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor project agreed between ECOWAS and Development Partner’s is the inclusion of a Young Professional program which is aimed at mentoring young engineers and related knowledge disciplines by attaching about 15 young graduates to Consultants undertaking the designs for hands-on training and capacity building.
This is in line with the “ECOWAS of People” vision and seeks to contribute to the reduction in youth unemployment in the Region. The Ministers tasked the Commission to ensure that all Consultants adhere to the Young professional mentoring program by providing them all logistics and ensure their involvement in all technical assignments of the study.
The Steering Committee noted with appreciation, the indication from the AfDB to embark on a joint preparation Mission with ECOWAS to prepare financing proposals for the second phase of the Corridor, the Praia-Dakar-Abidjan Corridor Development Project.
The Corridor Highway Project once completed has a high potential of boosting intra-regional trade and enhancing the implementation of the protocol of free movement of persons, goods and services in the ECOWAS Region.
The Abidjan-Lagos Corridor is a flagship project of ECOWAS and is a key priority project under the Continental Program for Infrastructure Development for Africa, PIDA.
– Nov. 6, 2019 @ 18:49 GMT |