On 31 November 2011, Niger, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin and Burkina Faso agreed to a 2,700km new rail construction project to link the four countries. Two of the region’s main ports – Cotonou in Benin and Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire – are to be the endpoints, with rails running the full length of Benin, continuing through Niger’s capital Niamey and Burkina Faso’s Ouagadougou, from where an existing line continues back to the coast. According to a joint statement released in Niger, "A roadmap will be drawn up soon in order to secure financing for this important regional economic integration project and allow for construction to begin in 2014."
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