The tender process is now being opened for the feasibility study into the planned highway project to link Nigeria’s commercial centre Lagos with Abidjan, the commercial centre for Ivory Coast. The project will be managed and funded jointly by a series of partners, with the ECOWAS Commission, the African Development Fund (ADF) and the African Investment Facility (AflF) of the European Development Fund all being involved. The studies will be carried out for different sections of the route and are all expected to take 18 months to carry out.
The first stretch is from Abidjan in Cote d’lvoire and runs through to Takoradi in Ghana, a distance of around 295km. The second section runs around 389km through Ghana from Takoradi and through capital Accra to Akanu. The last is around 300km long and runs from Akanu and across the border, through Noepe, capital Lome and Agonmey Glozoun in Togo, across the border again to Athieme and Cotonou in Benin, to Seme-Krake at the Benin/Nigeria border and on to Lagos. A shortlist of six firms that best meets the profile of the firm needed for the study into each section will be drawn up after the expression of interest.
The highway will provide an important economic lifeline for West Africa. Ghana and Nigeria have undergone healthy economic growth in recent years and this new route will help transport and trade between the nations. Environmental factors will be have to be taken into account during the feasibility studies while the complexity of political negotiations between the five nations along the route may extend the project’s completion date.