We’re co-funding Abidjan-Lagos highway to foster regional integration-EU
London, Feb. 20, 2019 (AltAfrica)-The European Union has said it co-funded the Abidjan-Lagos Highway Corridor to stimulate investments, strengthen the competitiveness of the territories and encourage regional integration for growth and job creation.
The EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS stated this on Tuesday in Abuja in a statement on its website.
The Head of Co-operation, EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Kurt Cornelis, said the project fit into the framework of the cooperation between EU and Africa, particularly West Africa.
According to him, the cooperation aims to strengthen the competitiveness of the territories, stimulate investments and encourage regional integration for growth and job creation.
He said, “The EU is contributing $10.38m while the African Development Bank has approved a $12.6m financing package, bringing the total finance for the feasibility studies to $22.7m.
“The stakes for the region are high, as this corridor links five West African countries, connecting the main ports of the region and two railway lines. It also connects several North-South corridors, as well as serving directly four further countries in the hinterland.”
Cornelis added, “The construction of a motorway and the establishment of a management system facilitating the borders will contribute to an increase in trade volumes in the axis. It already accounts for 75 per cent of the commercial activities of the region.”
He explained that access to efficient infrastructure and effective measures to facilitate transport would encourage the arrival of investors to finance and develop the creation of industrial clusters.
Cornelis also noted that the development of trade and industrial production would directly benefit the local population, estimated at around 40 million people along the corridor.
This, he said, informed the decision of the EU to contribute nearly 45 per cent of the budget of this preparatory project in the form of a donation.
According to the statement, the ECOWAS Commission and the AfDB have signed a retrocession agreement for the 1,080km Abidjan-Lagos Highway project in Abuja.
It said alongside the agreement, contracts were also signed to cover three aspects of the feasibility – socio-economic, environmental impact assessment and detailed engineering design studies for the highway.
The proposed Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway, a six-lane motorway, will connect some of the largest and most economically dynamic cities in Africa, (Abidjan, Accra, Cotonou, Lomé and Lagos) while covering a large proportion of West Africa’s population. It will also link very vibrant seaports in West Africa to all the landlocked countries of the region, namely Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
According to the statement, the recently-signed agreement for a study on the technical, implementation and operational aspects of the project comes nearly five years after the Presidents of Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigerian and Togo signed a treaty on the establishment of the highway in March 2014.