The ECOWAS Commission recently hosted an online meeting of Ministers responsible for Infrastructure, Transport, Telecommunication/ ICT, Energy and Water Resources sectors of ECOWAS Member States. The meeting of Ministers was preceded by an Experts meeting which was held online on May 31, 2021.
The meeting was attended by Honorable Ministers (or their representatives), the ECOWAS Commissioners in charge of Infrastructure, Energy and Mines, Telecommunication and Information Technology, Heads of the ECOWAS National Offices, Experts from Member States and the Commission and representatives of the Development Partners such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), West Africa Development Bank (BOAD) and the Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA).
The objective of the Meeting was to validate the ECOWAS Regional Infrastructure Masterplan study report and to recommend it for adoption by ECOWAS Council of Ministers. The Masterplan is the strategic framework for regional infrastructure development to meet projected economic growth and development needs of the ECOWAS region for the horizon 2020-2045.
The opening ceremony was marked by a welcome statement by Mr. Pathe Gueye, Commissioner for Infrastructure, ECOWAS Commission and a keynote Speech by Honorable Kwasi Amoako-Attah, Minister of Roads and Highways of the Republic of Ghana.
The speakers emphasized the importance of developing a regional framework and strategy for the development Infrastructure which would provide the basis for sustainable development for the Member States of the Community.
The Masterplan comprises of 201 projects comprising of 145 investments projects and 56 soft projects (technical studies, project preparatory activities, institutional forms and capacity building) at a cost of US$122 billion US Dollars over the 25-year horizon (2020-2045).
Among the projects retained in the Masterplan are the following:
a) In the Transport sector, there are 15 road projects, 13 railway projects, 4 air transport projects, 9 Maritime projects, 3 Inland Waterway projects and 3 Integration projects.
b) In the Energy sector there are 2 Institutional facilitation Projects, 4 Capacity Building projects, 17 Pre-Investment studies, 57 Power Generation Investments projects, 31 Power Transmission Investment projects and 4 Petroleum Investment Projects.
c) In the ICT sector, there 6 investment projects were identified.
d) The Water sector projects are all institutional enhancement projects aimed at enhancing co-ordination for the regional exploitation of water resources.
A GIS based Website has been developed to enhance the implementation of the Masterplan. The website permits users to filter, search and view projects contained in the masterplan on a map, by country or by sector. The website can be accessed at http://www.map.ppdu.org.
Following the presentation of the report of the Experts meeting on the Masterplan, the Honorable Ministers lauded the experts for their diligent work and unanimously endorsed the report. Honorable Ministers thereafter recommended the adoption of the Regional Infrastructure Masterplan to the ECOWAS Council of Ministers.