President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday said Ghana is making strides in the railway sector to facilitate the transportation of people and goods.
"I am glad to report that we are m0aking significant and verifiable progress in the railways sector...."
"The Tema to Accra line has been operational for two years, and the Accra to Nsawam line would soon be. The Takoradi to Tarkwa line was inaugurated few weeks ago, and is proving to be very popular and being enthusiastically patronised."
Delivering the 2020 State of the Nation Address in Parliament, President Akufo-Addo said there were other suburban lines that would soon be brought into the everyday lives of the citizenry and mentioned the Tema to Ouagadougou or the Accra to Paga lines.
"What started as the Tema to Paga railway line has become the Ghana to Burkina Railway Interconnectivity Project. Approximately eight hundred (800) kilometers of this rail line will be in Ghana, and two hundred (200) kilometers in Burkina Faso," he said.
He said Cabinet had approved the final route for this line, which was approximately one hundred (100) kilometres, Tema to Akwamu Mpakadan line and is the first section of the Tema to Ouagadougou rail line.
At the environs of Juapong, a branch line from Tema to Mpakadan would continue through Hohoe, Nkwanta, Dambai, Yendi, Tamale, Walewale, Nalerigu, Sheini, Bolgatanga and then to Paga as the remaining seven hundred (700) kilometers of the Tema to Ouagadougou Railway line, the President said.
Consultants of the project had submitted their final report, and the two Governments have begun the final stage of procurement for the strategic investor.
The President hinted that the strategic investor would be chosen this year and the preparation for construction had already commenced with the choice of the final route, the acquisition of land, and the right of way to start immediately.
The contractors had assured the Government that the Tema to Mpakadan line, which included a three hundred (300) metre rail bridge over the Volta River, would be completed in August.
He said work was ongoing to develop the railway network in other parts of the country, citing that there would be activity on the Eastern Line in 2020 and construction would commence on the Kumasi to Nyinahin via Aduadin rail line.
"In addition to the inter-city and regional railway lines, Government is committed to developing suburban rail lines and inner-city light rail to ease the oppressive traffic situation within our cities," he said.
President Akufo-Addo said the Western Line was receiving attention; thus the Kojokrom to Manso section, approximately 22 kilometre section of the line, with a 350 metre viaduct being developed.
The contractor has been asked to speed up work by developing a new standard gauge line within the Port of Takoradi, to convert the Takoradi to Kojokrom narrow gauge line into a standard gauge line, and also continue the development of the new standard gauge line from Manso to Huni Valley.
He said the Kumasi Section of the Western Line would also receive attention this year, since government had decided to develop the Western Line from Takoradi towards Kumasi and from Kumasi towards Takoradi, adding that the development of the Kumasi to Aduabin section of the Western Line would commence this year.