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Tunis, 16 December 2008 – The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved supplementary loans of 43.10 million Units of Account (UA*), about US$ 64.13 million, to help finance the rehabilitation and upgrading of three major highways in Ghana.
The Tema-Aflao Rehabilitation Road project and the Akatsi-Dzodze-Noepe Road Upgrading project are aimed at promoting regional integration as well as contributing toward the government’s goal of poverty reduction and economic development by reducing travel time and vehicle operating costs.
The Multinational UEMOA-Ghana Road Programme is designed to improve the accessibility of land-locked countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger to Ghanaian ports due to reduced transport costs and enhance the state of the road corridor. On completion, the projects are expected to boost trade between Ghana and other countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
These projects, to be executed by the Ghana Highway Authority will mainly benefit the population in Southeast Ghana, transport operators, importers, road users, as well as agriculture, trade and processing industries sectors.
In addition, the projects are expected to provide employment opportunities for casual laborers and small businesses during road construction and maintenance. The project also includes implementation of HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention education campaigns. Road safety being a major public health issue in Ghana, major safety features such as weighbridges, gantry signs, guard rails, pedestrian walkways, reflectors, stop signs and speed bumps will be installed along the roads. The improvement of the roads will reduce erosion and air pollution. Furthermore, the projects will improve the living conditions of the people in the area.
The supplementary loans will cover additional project costs, largely due to unforeseen global increases in the price of petroleum products and other road construction materials during the period (2003- 2006). Higher labour costs and currency appreciation over the period also increased the overall cost of the project.
The Bank Group’s supplementary support is in line with the priorities of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and consistent with the institution’s intervention strategy in the transport sector as contained Ghana’s 2009-2011 Country Strategy Paper mid-term review.
The African Development Bank Group started operations in Ghana in 1973. To date, the Group’s cumulative commitment in the country stands at US$ 1.6 billion for 94 operations.
* 1 UA = US$ 1.48797 as at 16/12/2008