GHANA: The minister responsible for public-private partnerships, Dr Rashid Pelpuo, has appointed New York investment bank Chesterfield Faring to devise a request for proposals for PPP contracts to develop a light rail line in Accra and an inter-city link between the capital and Kumasi.

The elevated light rail line would connect a new trade zone and transit oriented development with the airport.

The main line rail line would link Accra and Kumasi in less than 1½ h, compared to up to 6 h for the 250 km trip by road. The stations would be at the heart of transit oriented developments include shopping, office and hotel facilities and a total of 80 0000 residential units, along with parks and gardens.

The government ‘sought out the best firm with the greatest vision to improve the everyday lives of all of our citizens through an improved affordable transit system’, said Pelpuo. ‘We will be building beautiful sustainable “cities within our city” that will be a model for all of Africa into the future.’

Phase 1 is provisionally estimated at US$12bn, with the total investment growing to US$30bn over a decade. The government envisages attracting finance from South Korea, Japan and elsewhere.

‘I believe that Ghana is ready for a state-of-the-art mass transit system that will speed up the commute for millions of everyday citizens in both Accra and Kumasi’, said Chesterfield Faring CEO Lawrence J Selevan.