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Weeks Says Transport Key To West Africa’s Integration
By Robert Dixon
MONROVIA, September 7 (LINA) - The Commissioner for Infrastructure of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has said transportation is key to advancing regional integration and development within ECOWAS countries.
According to Dr. Antoinette Weeks, the transport sector is also an essential element for promoting economic growth and social development within the ECOWAS region.
Dr. Weeks made the statement Tuesday at the start of a two-day workshop in Monrovia on ECOWAS Feasibility Study on the Dakar-Lagos Corridor Missing Link with participants expected to validate a draft report on the study.
She said though the region faces many challenges within the sector that is often a result of scarce infrastructure, poor institutional arrangements, limited financial and manpower resources, the Commission believes that the advancement of a state-of-the-art road along that corridor is necessary.
“This will be vital in fostering economic growth, improving the free movement of goods, people and services, promoting top-notch highway infrastructure as well increasing peace, security and stability within the region,” Weeks stressed.
She said the Dakar-Lagos Corridor is part of the Trans-Africa Highway (TAH) Network within the ECOWAS region and that such initiative falls under the “Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).
Weeks noted that the corridor, when completed will cover a distance of about 4, 500 kilometers and will connect the coastal capitals of eleven ECOWAS member states.
She believes that the development of the Dakar-Lagos Corridor will contribute to the socio-economic development of West Africa as it will connect the most populated and economically viable parts of the sub-region.
“It will also connect with other corridors along the North-South Axis of the continent by linking landlocked countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger,” Weeks added.
The Dakar-Lagos Corridor is one of the seven flagship development projects which have been selected by the ECOWAS Commission to be fast-tracked and implemented.