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On September 28, 2016, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) approved a USD 83.9 million (UA 60 million) loan for the Accra Urban Transport Project to contribute to integrated transport and urban development solutions in the Greater Accra Region in Ghana. The loan will finance a modern 3-tier highway interchange at Pokuase and 10 kilometres of interconnected urban roads, facilitating the movement of people and the transportation of goods in a rapidly developing industrial zone. The infrastructure will be operational by 2020.
“The city of Accra is facing the challenge of rapid urbanization and motorization, which has crippled the current transportation system resulting in huge traffic congestion and gridlock and negatively affecting urban mobility and productivity. The project will help ease congestion and enhance the competiveness of Accra as a major industrial and regional trade hub in West Africa,” explained AfDB Transport and ICT Department Director, Amadou Oumarou,
Located in northern Accra, the Ga West area is an industrial zone with many factories and agro-industries, which require direct and quick transportation of goods to suppliers in the city, to the airport and port for import/exports and to the hinterland. Because of its rapid expansion, the area suffers a lack of transport infrastructure and basic services. That growing mobility demand will be addressed by the Pokuase interchange and by an urban traffic management system, which will connect 10 km of secondary roads in the area to the interchange. “The project will stimulate industrialization, provide income generation opportunities, promote affordable transport services and generally improve the livelihoods of people in the project area” listed Mam Tut Wadda, project team leader at the AfDB.
In addition, at the Pokuase crossroad is a critical missing link of the Central Road Corridor, the strategic road connecting the Port of Tema to Ghana’s second city, Kumasi, and to Burkina Faso. These investments complement the previous AfDB’s loans dedicated to Accra’s development: the expansion of the main international airport (2015) as well as the 15-km dualised carriageway from Awoshie linking with this interchange project (2009).
Promoting a long-term approach of urban planning, the project includes an institutional support for the conception of the Great Accra Master Plan, a development strategy conducted in partnership with the local municipalities. The plan will provide a common platform to develop integrated and collaborative decision-making tools for city planning and management.
The Bank’s leadership role in urban transport development in the Greater Accra has stimulated interest and alliances with several Development Partners to explore and develop solutions to urbanisation problems which would be piloted in Accra and extended to other cities in the continent thereafter.