A concession deal to build a US$2.6 billion light rail system in Accra, Ghana, has been reached, with financing set to be provided by the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund and the African Investment SkyTrain Consortium.
The deal, which has been signed by the government of Ghana, is set to create an elevated, air-propelled monorail system known as the Accra SkyTrain – the first of its kind in Africa.
A long-discussed topic, the rail project was the subject of a memorandum of understanding, which was signed one year previous to this month’s deal.
After a feasibility study was conducted, financing for the project was agreed during the 2019 Africa Investment Forum, a conference organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and held in Johannesburg, South Africa, this month.
According to the AfDB, Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo, said, “It’s a great day for Ghana. I was here last year and I’m back this year to make sure the project moves forward.
“This proves how important the Africa Investment Forum is. The signing of this agreement is on track to improve the lives of our citizens.”
Yofi Grant, chief executive of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, said at the signing that he was confident that the project would reach financial close by this time next year and that work on site would begin soon after.
The CEO of the Ghanaian Infrastructure Investment Fund, Soloman Asamoah, said that when it was complete the SkyTrain would provide a transportation service to 380,000 people in Accra every day.
According to Ghanaweb.com the African Investment SkyTrain Consortium consists of: Wilson Bayly Holmes, a construction engineering company in South Africa; BUNENGI Group, a project development company focused on developing projects in infrastructure; and Ai Capital, the investment and financing arm of the Ai Group.
Doubts have been raised about the ambitious nature of the project, with much of the country’s existing infrastructure in need of development.