The government of Ghana has signed a memorandum of understanding with a South Africa-based consortium to build a $2.6bn light rail system in the country’s capital, to be called the "Accra Sky Train".
The deal was done during the Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg, in the presence of Nana Akufo-Addo, the president of Ghana.
Joe Ghartey, Ghana’s railways minister, signed the agreement with the Africa Investment SkyTrain Consortium, which includes the Development Bank of South Africa and Canadian engineer WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, reports Ghana News Agency.
Mr Ghartey said the project was essential to reduce road congestion in Accra.
The scheme is still at an early stage. Pre-feasibility studies have been completed and a feasibility study is about to begin.
Nevertheless, Mr Ghartey said the government was hopeful that it would go ahead.
"There is confidence in the project. The promoters are very serious, and that is why we invited the president, himself, to witness the signing," Ghartey was quoted as saying by news site Ghana Guardian.
He added: "This should assure the investors that government is solidly behind it. The economics of this project are also good. We are very excited about the prospects."
Soloman Asamoah, the chief executive of the Ghanaian Infrastructure Investment Fund, said the project would be rolled out in phases, with the first covering 256km at a cost of $1.2bn.
He added that, once complete, the Sky Train would move 380,000 out of Accra’s 6 million people a day.
Image: Fishing vessels off the coast of Accra (Wikimedia Commons/Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed/CC BY-SA 4.0)