Construction of phase one of the projects under the Sinohydro agreement between government of Ghana and Chinese company, Sinohydro Corporation Limited of China is set to commence soon at a cost of US $646m.
Mr Kwasi Amoako-Attah, the Minister of Roads and Highways, confirmed the reports and said a total of 442 kilometers of roads will be constructed under the first phase which will begin by the first quarter of this year.
Its important to take note that 70% of of the projects under the Sinohydro Bauxite Barter Arrangement has been allocated to the Roads and Highways Ministry for execution, which would involve the construction of roads, interchanges and bridges to ease traffic congestion and ensure free movement of goods and services. We will begin with construction of 10 major projects,” said Mr Amoako-Attah.
Improving the road infrastructure in Ghana
The roads that fall under phase one of the agreement include; 100-km Kumasi Inner City roads, Takoradi PTC Roundabout Dual Carriageway, 84-kilometre Accra Inner City roads, Tamale-Interchange and the Sunyani Inner City roads.
The minister further added that the government will adopt smart, progressive and innovative methods to improve the road infrastructure in the country as well as contribute to the socio-economic development of our people.
Phase 2 of the Sinohydro Agreement would start in June Mr Amoako said that that officials from Sinohydro and Ghana Highway Authority are touring the regions to familiarize themselves with the areas where the projects would be implemented.
“My Ministry’s vision is to build a Ministry of Roads and Highways that can honor its financial obligations and where value for money is not compromised. I want to assure this nation that as the mangers of the roads sector we will do everything possible to deliver to the proud people of this country and build healthy infrastructure that is comparable to any infrastructure in the world and give value for money,” Mr Amoako-Attah emphasized.
Sinohydro Bauxite Barter Arrangement
The Bauxite Barter Arrangement was signed in 2017 between the government of Ghana and Sinohydro Corporation Limited of China. In the deal Sinohydro would implement various contracts for Ghana in exchange of five per cent of its refined bauxite (alumina/aluminium).
The deal also states that Ghana has to settle their side of the deal in 15 years and in turn get US $2bn that would be used to build roads, bridges and other infrastructures. The government of Ghana intends to pay off the Chinese company with the money they receive after processing bauxite into raw product that sells at a higher value.
The project has faced criticism by civil society organizations on the grounds that it will be mined beneath the forest posing environmental concerns. The Ghana Integrated Bauxite and Aluminum Development Corporation (GIBADC) was established to deal with environmental concerns of bauxite exploitation. The government of Ghana estimates a total reserve US $460bn of untapped bauxite