The Chinese eyes railways

Government’s efforts to revamp the country’s railways have caught the attention of the Chinese government, as the Director-General of the National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) of China, Mr. Wang Jianjun, is currently in Ghana to have discussions toward the project.

It is estimated that that government will require US$7billion to revive the railway sector in Ghana.

The US$7billion projection for revamping the railways caters for construction of the Eastern Line from Accra to Kumasi, the Western Line from Takoradi to Kumasi and the Central Spine from Kumasi to Paga – with two branch-lines from Kumasi to Nyinahin where there are bauxite reserves, and Tamale to Yendi areas where significant iron ore reserves can be found. The distance to be covered by these railroads would be 1,400km.

To make Ghana realise this dream, the Chinese government – through the NDRC which is led by Mr. Wang together with five leading Chinese financial institutions – will be in Ghana for a two-day working visit to ascertain progress on the Chinese commitment toward Ghana’s industrialisation and railway development projects.

The team includes industry players from some of China’s biggest financial and manufacturing corporations: such as Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Sinosure, Bank of China, China EximBank, China Development Bank, SANY Group Co. Ltd, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and some other stakeholders.

Mr. Wang is also expected to hold discussions on the ‘1District, I Factory’ initiative (1D1F).

China’s NDRC boss is scheduled to have meetings concerning Ghana’s railway project and other priority projects spelt out by the Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led government.

He is also expected to meet Vice-President Dr. Mahammudu Bawumia and other government officials to further deliberate on projects aimed at strengthening infrastructure development and industrialisation.

“These high-level meetings between Ghana and China over the last 12 months show the renewed trust and sincerity in building and growing the bilateral relationship between our two countries,” said Mr. Edward Boateng, Ghana’s Ambassador to China.

The NDRC will also hold talks with its counterpart, the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) of Ghana, on a variety of issues including some lessons drawing from the Chinese module of development as well as the formation of a working unit to help assist and drive Ghana’s industrialisation process.