One thing most Ghanaians expected to hear from President Mahama during the NDC manifesto highlights was the construction of railways across the country because they are already working on the Takoradi railway line. It therefore was not a surprise when the President pointed out that construction of the Tema to Akosombo railway line a key priority for the NDC when they win the 2016 elections.

Railways operations in Ghana began in 1898 under the Gold Coast Civil Service with their headquarters in Sekondi though construction of some rail lines started before that. The original 340 kilometres Eastern Railway was built in 1923 by the British for the purpose of hauling minerals and cocoa. There were no port facilities when Railways began operating in Ghana, so the trains were used to transport large quantities of varied items, nationwide.

Rail is the way and President Mahama and the NDC have scored maximum points with Ghanaians having focused on it. By not ignoring the rail sector and deciding to step up their quest to make the rail sector viable in their next term of office, there is cofindence that trade will increase both within Ghana and West Africa.

There is little room for doubt about fulfilling this promise because the NDC have already tackled the Takoradi railway line which the opposition, while in government, left to rot to the point where people were selling the railway metal components as scrap.

Let’s just take a look at how construction of the Tema to Akosombo railways will help us.

Our roads will have an extended lifespan because big trucks won’t have to transport heavy cargo from the Tema harbour through Akosombo using the Eastern corridor road to get to the Northern enclave.

Railways are purpose-built and only trains can use them, so trains will carry these goods from the Tema Harbour to Akosombo and the ferries will carry them to the northern enclave via sea.

We are gradually having a great integrated transport system and taking some massive pressure off our roads as well us saving users of the roads some hectic traffic situations caused by these big trucks on our roads which often lead to waste of productive hours.

In conclusion railways are faster, cheaper and makes distance “meaningless” hence the obvious way to go in our quest to integrate our transportation system as a nation. Making movement easier and faster.

President Mahama and the NDC could not have said it better and this promise tells us they know where they are taking the nation and have a clear idea on which direction to turn at what time.#JMToaso

Nana Ohemaba

Greenbook Ghana Initiative

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