Launching of Axle-load Control on Bamako-Ouagadougou-Accra Corridor

18/11/2004
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Launching of Axle-load Control on Bamako-Ouagadougou-Accra Corridor

Tunis, 18 November 2004. Burkina Faso, Ghana and Mali will launch on 18 December an axle-load control system along the road corridor linking their capitals, within the framework of Road Programme 1 (RP1) financed by the African Development Fund (ADF), with other donors.

The decision to implement the Axle-Load Control Programme along the Bamako-Ouagadougou-Accra road corridor was taken by the ministers of transport of the three countries at the close of their meeting on 24 September in Accra.

In Ghana, the control will be launched from the TemaPort. In the other two countries the control will operate from the major haulage centres and on the Bamako-Ouagadougou-Pô corridor ?before 31 December 2004?, the ministers said in a resolution adopted at the end of their meeting in the Ghanaian capital.

The meeting also mandated the Ouagadougou-based West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) Commission, which is coordinating the road development project to ?take the necessary steps for the effective implementation of the axle-load control? on the Lome-Ouagadougou-Niamey, the Cotonou-Niamey and the Cotonou-Ouagadougou corridors before 31 December 2004.

The Bamako-Ouagadougou-Accra road development project (RP-1), estimated to cost 274 million US dollars, is apilot programme of the New Partnership for Africa?s Development (NEPAD) with funding from the ADB, the World Bank, the West African Development Bank (BOAD) the European Union, China and the Danish cooperation agency, DANIDA.

Development Partners working involved in Regional Transport Facilitation Programmes are of the view that ?the success of the project will determine on future actions of development partners with regard to support to regional infrastructure programmes, transport facilitation and road transit in the sub-region,?

In this regard, a joint ADB/World Bank mission in May conducted a preliminary appraisal of the Abidjan-Lagos, Cotonou-Niamey and Bamako-Ouagadougou-Niamey corridors which are among sub-regional roads being targeted for development under the NEPAD initiative.

The donors have concluded that these roads deteriorate faster than they should because of improper use, especially the undue wear and tear caused by overloaded vehicles.

Recent studies among ECOWAS countries indicate that the problem of overloading of trucks was getting worse, as between 70% and 90% of vehicles that ply the roads do so in contravention of the axle-load limit of 11.5 tonnes stipulated by ECOWAS. More that 60% of the hauliers infringe the 13-tonne limit used for the calibration of the dimension of the highways.

Such overloading result in accelerated deterioration of transit roads, steep rise in the unit cost of road works and significant rise of the cost of periodic repairs and rehabilitation of the roads, a situation that has neutralized efforts by the ECOWAS countries to maintain lasting mechanisms for road maintenance through second generation road repair funds.

The axle-load control option is expected enhance the maintenance of road infrastructure of the corridor in particular and the development of the West African sub-region in general.

The process of the return to the axle-load limit will include measures to eliminate other obstacles and anomalies such as too many road blocks and illegal fees which drivers often cite to justify overloading.

Both transporters and development partners agree that ?These measures should be coordinated at the regional level failing which the differences between countries could be viewed as biased treatment and injustices by transporters which could become a source of conflict and engender non respect of the rules?.

The Bamako-Ouagadougou-Accra road development project tagged RP-1 Highlights

The Project in which the ADB is investing 100 million dollars in loan and grant is intended to strengthen sub-regional integration among member countries of the UEMOA and ECOWAS and to open up access to hinterland countries..

Specifically it is expected to:

Help open up landlocked countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger that do not have direct access to the coast toward the Ghanaian ports

Promote economic activities and the development of the private sector

Reduce the overall cost of transportation through road transport transit facilitation measures

Improvement of the durability of investment in roads through axle-load control.


Contacts

Felix Njoku Phone: +216 71 10 26 12