President Akufo-Addo has asked the United States government for support to revive Ghana’s literally dead railway industry.
According to him, the railway network bequeathed the country by its colonial masters were largely not built upon and has thus deteriorated with time.
That, he said, is the reason it has become extremely necessary to develop the sector to meet the increasing transportation needs of the nation.
He made the appeal when he received a bipartisan congressional delegation from the US at the Jubilee House yesterday.
“The colonial powers left us with a limited but efficient railway infrastructure in the country.
Unfortunately, instead of building on it, and expanding on it, we have allowed it to deteriorate,” he confessed of how previous governments had literally left the industry in ruins.
That, he said “has proven very costly” since his government is now struggling to revive the almost dead industry with the construction of new rail lines.
“We have now embarked on a very extensive programme of expanding and developing our rail infrastructure, and we think that there is space there for American investment,” he noted.
He, therefore, told the congressional delegation “we are looking for a major American investment, and I am particularly excited about the possibility of attracting American investment in our rail infrastructure. It is an important development for us.”
That, he said, was because the US have a lot of expertise and capabilities in the development of railway infrastructure and transportation.
President Akufo-Addo called for US support to address some of the security concerns in the West Africa sub-region, where the growing incidence of terrorism has become major source of concern.
He said the new accord, Accra Initiative, which is designed to ensure a collaboration between major West African countries, such as Ghana, Ivory Coast, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, among others, needs support from the region’s partners, particularly the United States, in order to guarantee the territorial integrity of all West African states.
“The issue of security is primordial for us. We are determined to do everything we can with our limited means to make sure that it does not germinate here in our country,” he emphasised.
Barbara Lee, a member of the US Congress and chair of the subcommittee on State Operations, who led the delegation, said they were on a fact-finding mission on the African continent to gather sufficient evidence in order to go back to the US congress to make recommendations on how best the US can support Africa’s development.
“We will also be conducting oversight on our foreign relations assistance programmes. We have been able to visit the fishing harbour, the canoe village in Tema, and also the shea processing plant,” she said.
So far, she told the President “we are very excited to see the progress in the manufacturing and processing of shea butter. We intend to continue to work with you and to strengthen this relationship.”