The Steering Committee agreed at its just-ended third ministerial session in Yamoussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire, that the money would help fund preparatory activities and provide further evidence of commitment by the countries for public and private sector operators interested in investing in the project, a six-lane highway expected to carry some 75 per cent of goods transported in the region, linking most of its major ports, the ECOWAS Commission said.
The Committee, comprising Ministers of the Road Infrastructure and Works of Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo, also mandated the ECOWAS Commission to engage with partners to submit proposals for transaction advisory services and the mobilisation of external funding for the project.
In addition, it mandated the Commission to finalise a joint funding request for the five countries to the African Development Bank (AfDB) to be signed by their Ministers of finance.
The one-day meeting was convened to review the rules of procedure, which defines the institutional framework for the project, an integral part of its Treaty, particularly the options for funding to fast track the project, as well as the joint request to the AfDB and the signing of the Treaty.
Previous meetings of the Committee were held in Abuja, Nigeria and Accra, Ghana with the fourth now scheduled to be held in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
A minute’s silence was observed at the meeting’s opening ceremony in honour of South Africa’s first black President Nelson Mandela, who died 5 Dec. at the age of 95.