Mota-Engil, the Portuguese contractor that has built up a large business in Africa, has this week signed a deal worth $570m to extend and improve Ghana’s first-ever motorway.
A press release signed by Kwasi Amoako-Attah, the Ghanaian minister for roads and highways, said the contract was signed on 16 December, after receiving approval from the country’s Public Procurement Authority and the Central Tender Review Board.
The project will upgrade and extend the motorway between the capital, Accra, and the city of Tema, which is also the country’s largest port. The existing 19.5km road will be reconstructed and expanded into a two-lane dual carriageway, with an extra lane added in urban areas. A number of interchanges will also be modernised.
Work will take place over a period of 48 months.
The original road was completed in 1965 under the administration of Kwame Nkruma, Ghana’s first president, and it was the first motorway in the country. However, it was built with insufficient lighting, which made it a challenge for the drivers that used it. As part of the contract, Mota-Engil will add lighting to the road.
The company had previously headed a consortium of companies that was to have carried out the same work as part of a public-private partnership, the first in Ghanaian history. According to press reports, that deal was called off in November.
Image: A toll booth on the Accra to Tema motorway (Enock4seth/CC BY-SA 3.0)