The Transaction Advisors for the Project and the Joint Committee of Experts from the two countries are to work collectively to select the winner by the first quarter of 2019, and expected to start field construction by the middle of 2019.
The private investor to be selected is expected to construct more than 1,000 kilometres standard gauge rail line from Tema to Ouagadougou on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.
The project is expected to be completed within four years.
The next stage of the selection process would be the issuance of Request for Qualification (RfQ) documents to the 12 shortlisted firms for further evaluation after which they would proceed to the final stage of selection – the Request for Proposals (RfP)
A Joint Evaluation Committee with membership from relevant public institutions from Ghana and Burkina Faso conducted a detailed evaluation of the Expression of Interest Proposals submitted by the companies.
Afterwards the shortlisted companies were announced following the publication of the Expression of Interest advertisements, which was simultaneously carried out in Ghana and Burkina Faso in the English and French languages.
This came to light when government officials from Ghana and Burkina Faso signed the Contract for Transaction Advisory Services with Messrs TEAM Engineering of Italy and Vision Consult Limited of Ghana, the Transaction Advisors, in Accra on Friday.
The Minister of Railways Development, Mr Joe Ghartey, signed the Agreement for Ghana while Mr Perigzenoma ZAGRE, Burkina Faso’s Ambassador to Ghana, signed on behalf of Mr Vincent Dabilgou, the Burkinabe Minister of Transport, Urban Mobility and Road Safety.
The Transaction Advisors of the Project are supposed to review existing studies on rail transport and undertake further studies including survey works on the designated corridor.
They are also to act as technical advisors for the selection of the private investor and during the procurement process as well as offer other technical services during, before and after the project.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, during a state visit to Burkina Faso in May 2017, agreed with Burkinabe’s President, Mr Roch Marc Christian Kabore, for the construction of railway interconnectivity between the two West African neighbours.
The move is aimed at accelerating economic growth and development between the two countries.
To that end, the two countries established a Joint Committee of Experts made up of technocrats from both countries in January 2018, to work out the modalities for the Project and ensure it mutually benefits the two nations.
Mr Ghartey, during the signing of the contract, said the ceremony was a very important milestone for the two countries towards the realisation of the vision of the two governments.
He said the successful completion of the railway inter-connectivity would strengthen trade and integration and improve socio-economic activities between the two countries.
Mr ZAGRE, the Burkina Faso Ambassador to Ghana, on his part, entreated the Transaction Advisors to work assiduously to justify the confidence reposed in them by the two countries.
He said the successful completion of the project would enhance the bilateral ties between the two West African neighbours.