Will Ghana’s “Skytrain” Ever Get Off The Ground?

In 2019, the government of Ghana and (Ai) Sky Train Consortium of South Africa signed off on the “Accra Sky Train” project to help with easing of traffic in the city of Accra.

The project was to build a fully automated and highly efficient, and public mass transit system that would use air propulsion technology to drive lightweight, high passenger volume vehicles. The estimated cost of the project was valued at $2.6 billion.

The proposed network would have five routes, four of which are radial routes that originate at a new terminal at the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, and another route that loops around the city.

The signing ceremony took place in South Africa where President Nana Akufo Addo was on hand to sign off on the project.

It is meeting an important infrastructure need and hopefully the step that is being taken today with the signing of the concession, means that the project itself is that much nearer conclusion. That is what we’re hoping for so that the people of Ghana could benefit from the progress of the relief that a modern system of commuting in our capital city is going to bring“, the president said.

Current State Of The Project

Fast forward to 2021, there haven’t been many updates on construction for the project or any timeline given for completion.

An initial timeline from investors stated that construction to start in August 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic could be a factor in the stalling of the project but Government officials from the Railways Development Ministry have stated that the project will still be constructed.

The last update in early 2021 was that the contract details were sent to the Attorney General’s (AG) Department for approval. This sounds like standard procedure but so far, there is no word from the department on if due diligence has been completed on the contract or when that might be done.

A Repetition Of The 2010 Accra Monorail Project?

This is not the first time a governing administration has embarked on a mass transit rail project.

In 2010, the Government administration at the time was ready to embark on a monorail project with assistance from the Intercontinental Commerce Corporation (ICC), a USA firm. The project was estimated to cost $1.5 billion.

The proposed Monorail project was to take 12 months to complete and was to provide over 15,000 jobs for Ghanaians during the construction period.

Unfortunately, the project never went past the planning stages and it never materialized.

There haven’t been many updates on the Skytrain project since early 2021 and there’s no evidence that the project will take off. But we’ll have to wait and see if this Skytrain project will fall the wayside of the 2010 Monorail project.

If so, it will be another missed opportunity to help ease the increasing traffic situation in Ghana’s capital city of Accra.

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