Ghana remains an active player in international affairs, especially in the West African region and on the continent of Africa, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated.
“Ghana’s voice is loud and clear on issues at international fora,” President Akufo-Addo said on Thursday in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to Parliament.
“Good neighbourliness underpins our foreign policy and we try to be at peace with all. I have been intimately involved in trying to find a resolution to the difficulties in Togo, and we hope that they are coming to an end.”
He said communications inside and with the outside were critical for the modern existence of any nation.
He noted that roads, inside the country and those leading out to neighbouring countries, have been in a dreadful state for a long time.
“Everybody has by now heard about the arrangements we have made with the Chinese Company, Sinohydro, and it is a matter of great relief to me that I am able to say that work will now be starting on the roads that have been designated to be part of that project,” he said.
“It is worth stating that we are very much aware that there are many more roads that do not come under the SinoHydro deal, which are also in a bad state and we continue to seek ways to build a road network worthy of our nation,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo said the Accra to Tema railway service had started running on the refurbished line.
He said the opening of the Accra/Nsawam line had been postponed, because sand winners had undermined the ground underneath the track near Pokuase.
He said it was now being repaired, and the service would start hopefully by the end of February.
“If we want the railways to work, we would all have to take an interest in it and stop the activities of encroachers on the railway lands,” he added.
He said that the rehabilitation of the narrow-gauge line would continue from Nsawam to Koforidua; adding that, work was continuing on the rehabilitation of the Kojokrom to Tarkwa section of the Western line, whilst work on the standard gauge section from Kojokrom to Manso was ongoing.
President Akufo-Addo said apart from all the investment being made, the government was committing an extra one billion dollars to the development of the new railway network.
He said $500 million would be applied to the development of the Western line, and $500 million would be applied to the first phase of the Kumasi to Paga section of the national network.
He said the development of the Tema/Ouagadougou railway line was also progressing steadily.
He said 12 shortlisted companies had been invited to proceed to the next stage of the procurement process.
The President said this year, land acquisition would commence beyond the Volta River at Mpakadan, and the strategic investor would be selected.
“To sum it up, the railways are coming in a big way into Ghana, and we shall open up our country for the development that we all desire,” he said.
The President said the Government recognises the significance of aviation to the country’s economic and social development.
He said operations at the Kumasi, Tamale, Takoradi airports had been revamped, with the resurgence in domestic airline operations through the introduction of new domestic operators like Unity Air and Passion Air.
He said soon, the flag of Ghana would be flown again, as the Government had identified strategic investors to launch a Home-Based Carrier.