Two rail-line construction companies, African Global Development Sari and Frontline Consortium, have submitted a detailed financial and technical proposal to be evaluated as part of the bidding process for execution of the Ghana-Burkina Faso railway line project.
This is to enable the Ministry of Railway Development from both countries award the contract to the company that best fits and meets all criteria. It also forms part of efforts by the two countries to complete the project’s preparatory phase by close 2021 to pave the way for commencement of physical construction work in the first quarter of 2022.
This was disclosed at a bid-opening session in Accra to give updates on progress of the project and for a quick examination of proposals presented by the construction companies for evaluation and selection.
The Minister for Railway Development, John-Peter Amewu, assured that the processes involved in construction of theabout-1,000km Ghana-Burkina Faso railway interconnectivity project, including evaluation of the proposals and awarding the contract will remain transparent and devoid of biases – as both countries are looking for the best competitive bidder that will deliver value for the benefit of their citizenry.
“We began with about 26 bidders, and today it’s been pulled down to 3 – of which we are getting two at the final. It is clear the process began in a transparent nature, and I entreat the expert committee, advisors and consultants to continue on that key trajectory of transparency,” he said.
He hinted that official opening of the Financial Proposals has been scheduled to take place in Burkina Faso after completing the evaluation process for Technical Proposals.
“A Joint Technical Evaluation Committee – comprising experts from Ghana, Burkina Faso as well as the transaction advisors – will then proceed after today’s opening session to conduct a detailed evaluation of the technical proposals submitted by the respective bidders to determine their completeness and responsiveness in relation to the technical requirements for a successful execution of the railway interconnectivity project,” he said.
According to Mr. Amewu, the preferred Bidder will be chosen by end of this year, and actual construction work will commence early 2022.
On his part, the Minister for Transport, Urban Mobility and Road Safety in Burkina Faso, Vincent Timbindi Dabilgou, reiterated Burkina Faso’s commitment to ensuring that the project comes to fruition for the benefit of citizenry in both counties.
The two ministers further assured the people of Ghana and Burkina Faso that the procurement process will continue in an open, competitive and transparent manner – in line with the applicable laws of Ghana and Burkina Faso to ensure that the most technically and financially competitive bidder is selected as the preferred partner for development of the strategic project to facilitate socio-economic advancement for the two countries.
Ghana-Burkina Faso railway interconnectivity project
In 2017 the governments of Ghana and Burkina Faso, under the leadership of their respective heads of states, agreed to construct a railway line that will connect the major towns and cities along the corridor from the Tema Port in Ghana to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso.
A section of the line from Tema Port to Mpakadan is currently under construction with funding secured by the government of Ghana under a credit facility from the EXIM Bank of India. The line will continue from Mpakadan through Kpeve, Hohoe, Jasikan, Nkwanta, Bimbila, Yendi, Tamale, Walewale, Bolgatanga, Navrongo to Paga. In Burkina Faso, the rail line will traverse major towns like PO, Zabre, Tenkodogo, Manga and finally terminate at Ouagadougou.
The two countries put in place a Joint Committee of Experts in 2017 to ensure this project comes to reality with common Transaction Advisors Messrs. TEAM Engineering (S.p.A.) and Vision Consult Limited, who have jointly assisted the two countries in carrying out detailed feasibility studies – including the Front-End Engineering Design for the proposed railway line which spans a distance of about 1,200km.
Upon assumption of duty, Ghana’s Minister for Railway Development, Hon. John-Peter Amewu, visited Burkina Faso to discuss the project’s second phase. On 22nd April 2021, Minister for Transport, Urban Mobility and Road Safety, Hon. Vincent Timbindi Dabilgou, and his team from Burkina Faso joined Ghana’s team in Accra, where the two parties engaged three (3) pre-qualified consortia in a Bidders’ Conference event.
During the Bidders’ Conference, the three (3) consortia shared ideas and expectations on remaining steps in the procurement process. The three (3) pre-qualified Bidders were issued with Request for Proposal documents by the Transaction Advisors for the preparation and submission of Technical and Financial Proposals for development of the project.
The vision to link Ghana and Burkina by rail to facilitate trade and accelerate economic Development is in line with the Economic Community of West Africa States’ (ECOWAS) Treaty of 1975, which seeks to promote the free movement of people and goods.