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Ghana and Burkina Faso have agreed in principle to reactivate the Permanent Joint Experts Committee to facilitate the development of railway interconnectivity between the two countries, according to a communiqué released in Accra.
This follows a six-member delegation from Burkina Faso, led by Mr. Souleymane Soulama, the Burkina Faso’s Minister for Transport, Urban Mobility and Road Safety who visited Ghana between Monday December 18 to Friday, December 22, 2017 at the behest of Joe Ghartey, Ghana’s Minister responsible for Railways Development.
The communiqué read by Mr Ghartey stated among others that the Permanent Joint Experts Committee would have a membership of 10 representatives each from both countries. It said one member each from the respective countries would also be co-opted from the Shipper’s Authority.
The committee according to the communiqué has a three-month period, commencing January 2018, within which to complete its assignment and submit report. It said the meeting of the committee would be held twice every year and the venue would be alternated between the two countries.
The first meeting of the Joint Experts Committee, the communiqué noted will be held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on January 15, 2018. It will review the existing protocol agreement on the establishment of a joint committee of railway experts between Ghana and Burkina Faso on May 17, 2004.
The Joint Experts Committee per the communiqué will brainstorm on the agreement with regards to the alignment of the corridor for the railway line from Accra to Ouagadougou taking into consideration, possible trade hubs, mineral deposits, industrial parks and energy centres among others along the corridor.
The Committee is also tasked to revise and confirm the terms of reference for the Joint Experts Committee. The Committee based on the communiqué is expected to develop and agree on the action plan for implementation of the project.
The communiqué stated that Ghana and Burkina Faso shall pursue rigorous investment promotion, conduct market sounding to test investor interest and attract strategic investors to implement the project. With regards to a procedure for the appointment of a common contractor for the project, the communiqué said the two countries agreed to accelerate the procurement process using the international competitive bidding method of procurement as provided by the national laws of both countries in order to meet the 2020 timeframe.
On financial model for the project, the communiqué noted that the two countries agreed that build, operate and transfer model of public-private partnerships will be adopted.
Source: Adovor Nutifafa