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Communique of meeting of ECOWAS ministers of infrastructure, roads, works & justice on Dakar-Abidjan highway 

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1. The first meeting of the Ministers of Infrastructure/Roads/Works & Justice on the Dakar-Abidjan Corridor was held on 14th April, 2016 at Kairaba Beach Hotel in Banjul, The Gambia.

2. The meeting was convened by the ECOWAS Commission to introduce the Dakar-Abidjan Corridor Highway Project and agree with Member States on the modalities for its implementation.

3. The meeting was in compliance with the desire expressed by the Presidents and Heads of States and Governments (HOSG) of member States involved in the Project (Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire), to extend the planned corridor development project on the Abidjan-Lagos Section to cover the entire Dakar-Lagos Corridor which is the Trans-African Highway Number 7. 

4. The Meeting was attended by the following Infrastructure/Works and Justice Ministers or their duly mandated Representatives:

• Republic of Côte d’Ivoire

• Republic of The Gambia

• Republic of Guinea;

• Republic of Guinea Bissau, 

• Republic of Liberia

• Republic of Senegal,

• Republic of Sierra Leone,

5. Also in attendance were representatives from the African Development Bank (AfDB), Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), Osprey Investments Group, Roughton International, Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Organization (ALCO), The ECOWAS Project Preparation and Development Unit (PPDU).  

6. The proceedings of the Ministerial meeting covered the following issues:

a) Program context, lessons and Components;

b) Report of the Technical Experts Meeting;

c) Draft Implementation Work Plan; 

d) Recommendations.

7. Regarding the presentation of the project by the ECOWAS Commission on summarizing the project context and components, Honourable Ministers appreciated the potential impacts of the project and made the following key issues to be considered for the project:

a) The project it has the potential to improve socio-economic sectors which has a direct impact on the lives of populations. 

b) Integrate components on health and environmental issues related to the corridor. 

c) To develop a legal framework for the Dakar-Abidjan Corridor using the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Treaty as a good reference point. This should have provisions to address key legal implications of the project including the land acquisition, compensation payments and resettlement issues to ensure that the project is executed as a single unit.

d) The specific needs and peculiarities of each of the Member States should be catered for by the project. 

e) The legal framework for the project should seek to harmonize road design and construction standards to ensure harmonious corridor. 

8. Regarding the Report of the Technical Experts meeting, the Ministers adopted the recommendations and noted the following: 

a) Provide information on the financing implications and realistic timelines for the activities covered in the Project Work Plan.

b) Make specific provision in the project to address axle load control, accountability, environment and corridor health implications.

c) Ensure that all project documentation and proceedings of meetings are prepared in all the three (3) official languages of ECOWAS being Portuguese, French & English.

d) Project preparatory studies on economic feasibility and detailed design should cover the corridor as a whole to ensure the uniform viability of all portions of the Corridor. 

9. The Ministers adopted the Experts meeting report and proposed project work plan which will serve as the road map for the implementation of the project.

10. Having considered the documents presented by the ECOWAS Commission and the Chairperson of the Experts meeting, the Honourable Ministers hereby recommend as follows:

a) ECOWAS Commission to ensure all the issues raised by the meeting are considered in the drafting of a Treaty and the Terms of References of the studies of the different components of the project.

b) The setup of a Steering Committee consisting of Ministers of Works/ Infrastructure to provide oversight responsibility and to drive the implementation of the project to the Heads of State and Government of the Seven (7) concerned Member States. 

c) The Steering Committee will call for the participation of Ministers of Justice when needed to ensure all legal and institutional issues related to the project are well considered.

d) To the Heads of State and Government of the Seven (7) concerned Member States to nominate a champion President who would promote the project not only amongst donor partners but also bilateral partners.

e) In order to demonstrate the political support and commitment of the Member States, Honourable Ministers recommend Heads of States and Government to consider contributing funds towards project preparation.    

11. The recommendations of the Ministers meeting will be presented to the Heads of States and Governments on the margins of the next ECOWAS Summit. Based on the Work Plan, the next meeting of Ministers will be held in August, 2016 after the Presidential briefing session. 

12. Lastly, the Ministers’ Meeting expresses its profound gratitude to His Excellency Sheikh Professor Dr. Alhaji Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh, Babili Mansa, President of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia, the Government and People of The Gambia for the warm welcome and authentic African hospitality extended to it during its stay in The Gambia.

Done at Banjul, this 14th day of April, 2016

MR LANCINA COULIBALY BE Conseiller Technique en charge des Routes et des Ouvrages d’Art représentant Monsieur le Ministre des Infrastructures Economiques

Cote d’Ivoire

HON. LANGLEY CLAUDE

Deputy Minister of Public Works

Liberia

MME CAMARA OUMOU

Ministre des Travaux Publics Republique de Guinée

HON. (MRS) SEISAY KADIJA O

Deputy Minister of Works & 

Infrastructure

Sierra Leone

Mr. JOSE ANTONIO DA CRUZ ALMEIDA Ministre  des Travaux Publics, Construction et Urbanisme

Guiné Bissau

MR. SAGNA JULES AUBIN

Secrétaire General du Ministère des Infrastructures, des Transports Terrestres et du Désenclavements

Senegal

HON. BALLA GARBA JAHUMPA

Minister of Transport, Works, Infrastructure and National Assembly Matters 

(Chairman) 

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