Update On Ghana's Ambitious Railway Projects, Insights From GRDA

In a recent Coffee with the Editor, AL-AMIN IS-HAK AL-HASSAN, Director for Policy and Planning at the Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA), provided an update on the current and future projects in Ghana’s railway sector. He highlighted the ongoing developments and the strategic plans aimed at revitalising and expanding the rail network in Ghana.

He explained that the Ghana Railway Development Authority is responsible for developing, owning, and maintaining railway infrastructure. In addition to that, the GRDA is also responsible for regulating railway operations. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Authority has continued to advance its ambitious projects, noting that several railway lines are currently under construction. Investors remain interested in introducing innovations in construction, rolling stock, as well as signalling and telecommunication systems. As far as Ghana and its railways are concerned, a lot is happening.

The Ghana Railway Master Plan, revised in 2020, aims to develop approximately 4,000 kilometres of railway by 2035. Current progress includes the Western Railway Line from Takoradi to Kumasi, and the Eastern Railway Line from Accra to Kumasi. Additionally, the Ghana-Burkina Faso Railway Interconnectivity Project aims to link the ports of Tema in Ghana to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. Then there is the coastal line, which is more or less the ECOWAS extension to connect Lomé in Togo to the east and then Côte d’Ivoire to the west. Progress Milestones are also mentioned in the interview!

Private sector participation or open access to Ghana’s rail network was also a topic of discussion, having already incorporated in the Railways Act with the objective or rather foresight of private sector participation in operating and developing railway infrastructure. In addition, the Ghana Railway Development Authority collaborates with various international partners and investors, such as India Exim Bank and Amandi Investment Limited, to fund and construct railway projects.

Looking forward, the Authority is focused on integrating advanced signalling and telecommunication systems to enhance railway operations. Interoperability with neighbouring countries like Togo, Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso is a key consideration, ensuring seamless connectivity across the region.

In closing, Al-Hassan expressed gratitude to his colleagues both in the Ministry of Railway Development and at the Ghana Railway Development Authority.

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