The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has indicated that construction of the 1028-kilometer Abidjan-Lagos highway project is set to commence in January 2024, beginning with the procurement for the main construction and the actual construction work.
At a workshop convened in Lagos by the project implementation Unit of the Commission’s Spatial Development Initiative to exchange ideas and comprehensively assess the highway project’s physical, economic, and social aspects.
Ebere Izunobi, the chairman of the Spatial Development Initiative, revealed that experts from five member countries, namely Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Benin Republic, and Cote D’Ivoire, were convened to discuss the project aimed at transforming the lives of people living along this corridor.
He emphasized that transport infrastructure has been accorded top priority in the ECOWAS commission’s programs.
ECOWAS collaboration on the project
Furthermore, he disclosed that the project was deliberated upon and approved during the meeting of the Heads of state. The highway, known as the “Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway,” spans approximately 1028 kilometres, connecting major cities and traversing an area with significant economic potential.
Izunobi reiterated SDI’s commitment to collaborating with individual countries to ensure that nations along this corridor embark on developmental projects, such as establishing port services along the coastal area, constructing companies, facilitating the transportation of raw materials, and promoting the importation of goods and services, among other endeavours.
- “Spatial Development Initiative is the organization responsible for designing the project. We are currently in the design phase, and by the end of this year, once the design is completed, along with the environmental assessment and engineering design, the project tender documents will be made available in the market.
- “The success of the road project hinges on its ability to connect, facilitate, and boost business development. That’s why the ECOWAS commission, which is coordinating the project on behalf of member states, has engaged a consultant to oversee the project’s development along the corridor.”
Ashoke Maliki, the Head of Road and Railways at the ECOWAS Commission, highlighted that the Abidjan-Lagos highway corridor is a crucial socio-economic link within the ECOWAS region as part of the trans-African road and motorway program.
He emphasized that the project encompasses more than mere highway construction, as it involves a comprehensive and coordinated system of intermodal transport and logistics infrastructures and services that facilitate trade.
What you should know
The Abidjan-Lagos Corridor spans approximately 1,080 kilometres and is estimated to cost $ 15.6 billion. It proposes to link some of Africa’s largest and most economically dynamic cities, including Abidjan, Accra, Cotonou, Lomé, and Lagos.
It also encompasses a significant portion of West Africa’s population and connects bustling seaports serving landlocked countries, such as Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger.
The project was conceptualized to have a rail line along the corridor to facilitate movement of goods and services
The project was approved in 2016 and is expected to be completed in December 2024. However, delays mostly related to funding have stalled its progress and a new completion date will be set.