The west African state of Togo has announced plans to build a 760km railway from the capital of Lomé to Cinkassé on the border with Burkina Faso, with an option to extend the line to the Burkina Faso capital of Ouagadougou.
The project, which is envisaged as a public-private partnership, forms part of Togo’s national development plan for 2018 to 2022. At present Togo has a single 40km rail line between Tabligbo and Dalavé, which carries carrying phosphate and ore.
The plan, launched in Lomé this month, aims to invest $8bn to turn the state of 7.8 million people into a regional logistics hub.
It also hopes to develop agricultural processing, manufacturing, and mining industries and improve social infrastructure. Of that sum, the government hopes to attract around $5bn from the private sector.
The rail line will be developed by state-owned economic development agency Togo Invest Holding. Germain Meba, the president of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Togo, said neighbouring Ghana’s plans for a line to Ouagadougou had spurred Togo to develop its proposal in an effort to stay competitive.
Togo is hopingÂ to attract external funding. Togo presented its plans to Chinese companies last September in Beijing. In particular, it discussed the Lomé logistics corridor with China Road and Bridge Corporation. In June it will hold a Togo-EU forum in the hopes of attracting interest from European companies.
The plan is intended to create 500,000 jobs by 2022, and achieve GDP growth of 7.6%.
Image: Togo’s capital of Lomé (SebEsteban/CC BY-SA 4.0)