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ECOWAS MINISTERS TO MEET ON CONSTRUCTION OF LAGOS-ABIDJAN HIGHWAY

By Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)
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ABUJA, Nigeria, April 22, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- ECOWAS Ministers of Works/Road Infrastructure, Transport, Finance and Justice from Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo, will meet on Monday, 22nd April 2013 in Abuja to agree on strategies towards the construction of a homogenous highway from Lagos to Abidjan.

The one-day meeting follows a directive from the Heads of State of the five countries who met on the margins of the 42nd ordinary summit of regional leaders on 28th February 2013 in Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire for the ministers to further improve the Lagos-Abidjan corridor.

The ministers will deliberate and agree on an implementation plan with a clear indication of responsibilities and corresponding implanting stakeholders. They are also expected to benefit from presentations from some of the development and technical partners, such as the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Organization (ALCO), the World Bank and the African Development Bank who have some on-going activities on the corridor.

Their report will be presented to the Presidents of the concerned Member States at the margins of the 26th May 2013 summit in Addis Ababa.

Also expected to attend the ministerial meeting are the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Finance Corporation (AFC), the French Development Agency (AFD), the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Organization (ALCO), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Osprey Investment Group of the United Kingdom, and the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID).

The Abidjan-Lagos corridor covers a total distance of 1,028 kilometres and carries more than 75 per cent of trade in West Africa. It connects Lagos, Accra, Cotonou, Lome and Abidjan, which are considered as some of the largest and economically most dynamic cities in Africa. In addition, links vibrant sea ports serving Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger – the three landlocked countries in the region.

ECOWAS and its development partners have made several interventions in order to facilitate transportation on the corridor. These include improvement of road infrastructure, restructuring of border posts as well as soft transport facilitation interventions to improve the free flow of persons, trade and transport.