The African Development Bank (AfDB) estimates that deficient infrastructure reduces Sub-Saharan Africa’s output by about 40 percent, and believes that, to attain middle-income levels, Africa must double its investment in infrastructure. African nations at present invest about 2-3 percent of GDP in infrastructure. By contrast, China invests about 9 percent of its GDP in infrastructure projects. According to Stephen Hayes, infrastructure is probably the single most important need for Africa to develop. Stephen is the president of the Corporate Council on Africa, a group that promotes US-Africa ties.
Ghana has a total motorable road network of 71,063 km, and one of the key planks of President Mahama’s transformational agenda was to expand and modernise the road network to open up the country in order to reduce road traffic accidents and congestion, boost economic activities and move goods and services freely, create and stimulate positive synergy and enhance social cohesion and integration.
It is against this background that I doff my hat for His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama for his passion for infrastructure development in this country especially in the road sector, and I would like to take the opportunity to throw some light on the Fufulso-Sawla road, which was commissioned by him years ago when he was president of the Republic.
The 145 kilometres road which was in a very deplorable state for many, many years was funded by the African Development Bank at a cost of 157 million dollars, and has brought a lot of relief to travelers along the western corridor of the Northern Region which includes communities such as Laribanga, Fufulso, Sawla, Damongo and others.
It also serves commuters to West Gonja, and links the Northern Region to the Upper West Region which is another huge assuagement to the people living in those regions. Prior to its completion, the Fufulso-Sawla road was notorious for armed robbery operations because vehicles have to slow down on most parts of the road.
Hitherto, travelers frustratingly spent about four hours from the Fulfulso Junction to Damongo, but now the same distance is covered in less than an hour without any armed robbery attacks.
Additionally, the road is very strategic and leads tourists to important historic sites like the Mole Game Reserve, the Mystic Stone and the Ancient Mosque at Laribanga.
Former President John Dramani Mahama left indelible prints in the sands of time; he was on the threshold of breaking Nkrumah’s record on infrastructure development in Ghana when he left office.
Anthony Obeng Afrane