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Experts Laud Progress On The Impending Abidjan-Lagos Highway Project As Ecowas Concludes 3-Day Consultation And Validation Workshop

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) has organised a Stakeholder Consultation and Validation Worksop for the Spatial Development Initiative (SDI) study of the Interim Report for the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor from May 14 to 16, 2024 in Accra, Ghana.

The three-day Worksop brought together experts from the ECOWAS Department of Infrastructure, the ECOWAS Project Preparation and Development Unit (PPDU), the Canadian Pacific Consulting Services (CPCS), representatives of the Ministries of Infrastructure of the Corridor countries and project focal points, some representatives of other State Department and Agencies who are considered stakeholders of the Project, the African Development Bank, the European Union, UEMOA, the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Organization (ALCO), the World Bank, JICA, AFEXIMBANK, Trade Mark Africa (TMA), the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, the and the West African Development Bank (BOAD).

The experts deliberated on the results of the SDI study, including a comprehensive roadmap for the development of the Abidjan-Lagos corridor, considering economic, social, environmental and logistical factors, that will enable them to obtain funding and support from international organisations, governments and private investors.

The SDI study aims to

(i) identify and unlock the region’s inherent and latent economic potential, and ensure the commercial viability of the project as well as the economic and industrial value chains,

(ii) provide tools and methodology for an economic survey,

(iii) propose a mechanism for building consensus among all key project stakeholders,

(iv) shed light on existing institutional arrangements and propose alternative options, and finally

(v) carry out detailed socio-economic assessments and market analysis of the selected priority projects

Mr Sediko DOUKA, ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalisation, represented by Mr Chris APPIAH, Acting ECOWAS Director of Transport, at the opening of the all-important workshop, emphasised that the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Project was being implemented not just as a road project but as an integrated “Economic development corridor” which will also catalyse the deployment of other important sectors such as Trade, Industry, Agriculture, Energy, Environment, ICT and Tourism.

The Chairman of the Committee of Experts, Engr. Ibi TERNA M., of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Works and Housing in his opening remarks called on all public and private stakeholders to participate in the realisation of the noble vision to bring about a lasting transformation of the ECOWAS region’s economic landscape.

The Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development Project, being implemented by ECOWAS, is a 1,028 km supranational motorway that forms a major part of the trans-African road network. The corridor highway will link the main ports and urban areas of West Africa, namely Lagos, Abidjan, Accra, Cotonou and Lomé. It will thus help boost trade and integration in West Africa, in particular by providing seaport access to landlocked countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Chad) by linking other corridors along the north-south axis.

The Abidjan-Lagos corridor is one of the ECOWAS priorities set out in its “Vision 2050”. It is also one of the projects included in the Priority Action Plan of the African Union’s Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), which is implemented by the African Development Bank.

The main objectives are (i) to facilitate the movement of people and goods and (ii) to accelerate regional and international trade and transport by improving road infrastructure. Ultimately, the transport corridor will be transformed into a development corridor to stimulate investment, sustainable development and poverty reduction in the region.

 

 

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