The Africa Investment Forum is catalysing financing for the Abidjan-Lagos highway project.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Communication and External Relations Department of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) on Tuesday in Abuja.
The construction of the 1,081-kilometer Abidjan-Lagos highway is expected to have a significant impact on the economies of five West African countries – Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria.
The project is valued at 15.6 billion dollars and led by the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS).
The AfDB said that the transformative Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project was the largest investment opportunity showcased at the Africa Investment Forum virtual boardrooms held from March 15 to March 17.
The President of the Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina during the event said that the Abidjan-Lagos Highway project was the most important infrastructure project in West Africa, adding that it would facilitate free movement and trade in the region.
Adesina said that the new highway would start at Bingerville, in the eastern suburbs of Abidjan, and terminate at Mile two (Eric Moore) in Lagos.
“Three sections are planned for the construction of this dual three-lane highway: Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) – Takoradi (Ghana), 295 km, Takoradi (Ghana) – Akanu (Ghana), 466 km; and Noepe (Togo)- Cotonou (Benin)- Lagos (Nigeria), 320 km.’’
According to him, eight border posts will also be built along the corridor.
The statement noted that Abidjan-Lagos highway the AfDB had provided 22.4 million Euros in funding to finance preparatory studies for the implementation and management of the corridor project.
The boardroom session was co-chaired by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou and Solomon Quaynor, the AfDB’s Vice President in charge of Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialisation .
Brou echoed Adesina’s comments on the importance of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway project.
“The Abidjan-Lagos Corridor is one of the main instruments that will ensure the development of our region and consolidate the economic resilience of West Africa.
“It is an integral part of the African Union and AUDA-NEPAD’s major continental road development projects,’’ he said.
Among the 45 transactions featured during the virtual boardrooms meetings, the Abidjan-Lagos highway attracted significant interest from private, public and institutional investors.
The Abidjan-Lagos highway forms part of the Dakar-Abidjan-Lagos cross-border coastline that would have a direct impact on 14 of the 16 West African countries.
They are Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
The Abidjan-Lagos highway is also one of 16 projects included in the priority action plan of the AU’s Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), which is being implemented by the AfDB.
The project is also a priority within the framework of the new ECOWAS Vision 2050 which, among other objectives, aims to “make ECOWAS a fully integrated and interconnected economic region’’.
Furthermore, the Abidjan-Lagos highway will complete the Enugu-Bamenda corridor linking southeast Nigeria in West Africa to southwest Cameroon in Central Africa.
The 443-kilometre highway, costing about 430 million dollars is being financed by the AfDB and the project is currently being finalised.
This integrating corridor will link the most economically dynamic cities and ports and the most densely populated agglomerations in West Africa (Lagos, Abidjan, Accra, Cotonou and Lomé).
It will also increase trade and integration in West Africa, notably by providing maritime port access to landlocked countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Chad) through its connection with other corridors along the North-South axis.
The Abidjan-Lagos highway will boost transport (roads, railroads, ports and airports) in West Africa.
It will also help to accelerate implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, a market of 1.3 billion consumers and a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of about three trillion dollars.