Engineers and sector Experts in Trade, Industry, Tourism, Private Sector and Agriculture, met at a Validation Workshop for the Spatial Development Initiative Study (SDI) for the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development Project, which took place in Lagos, Nigeria between 13th and 15th September 2023, marking a significant step forward in the comprehensive development of this vital corridor.
The Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway is a six lane Dual Carriageway Highway from Abidjan-Lagos which is approximately 1,028 km long and connects some of the largest and most economically dynamic cities in Africa, namely: Abidjan, Accra, Cotonou, Lomé and Lagos and covers a large proportion of West Africa’s population.
It also links very vibrant seaports which also serves all the landlocked countries of the region, being Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Chad.
The development objective of the Highway project when fully implemented is to generate increased social and economic activities, promote cross-border trade and integrate the economies within the ECOWAS Community.
This will contribute to reducing the poverty within the population that depend on the transport modes of the corridor for livelihood.
The concept of SDI involves the scoping of all the physical, economic, technical, political, economic and commercial aspects of the Corridor catchment area.
The objective of this study is to develop a comprehensive Corridor Investment Plan with “anchor projects” in all economic sectors (Agriculture, tourism, industry, trade, health, education, etc.) that will naturally lead to a holistic growth of the Corridor.
The plan will also identify and create industrial clusters, with new economic activities to spur on the development of the region.
The holistic development of the Corridor will enhance regional connectivity, trade, and socio-economic development of the ECOWAS Region.
This Workshop, being hosted by the Executing Agency for the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Project, ECOWAS Commission, attended by key stakeholders, development partners and project Directors/Engineers from the Ministries in-charge of Road Infrastructure in the corridor Members States (Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo), considered an essential milestone in the SDI Study, where participants reviewed and validated the findings, data, the criteria and recommendations of the SDI Study, ensuring the accuracy and relevance of the proposed initiatives.
There were also discussions and consensus-building among diverse stakeholders, on project identification criteria and conditions, with the goal of prioritizing and agreeing on key projects and interventions for developing a holistic Investment Plan for the Corridor.
Feedback from the meeting will be used to shape the scoping and project selection process, for the eventual packaging of investment information for each economic activity in the Plan.
This will lead to the next milestone of the Study. Eventually, the projects prepared and packaged in the Investment Plan which will be structured with the Highway Component, as well as presented to private investors and public financiers.