African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $120m corporate loan to support Ghana Airports Company Limited's (GACL) capital investment programme, which aims to strengthen the country's airport infrastructure.
The programme will involve the construction of a new terminal at Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra along with the renewal of other airports managed by GACL including the airports at Kumasi, Tamale, Ho and Wa.
Under the programme, the airport will be upgraded to serve as a gateway for West Africa and a regional aviation hub in addition to improvement in other vital infrastructure in the region.
The programme will increase air passenger handling capacity and improving airport safety standards and efficiency at KIA and the regional airports.
During the two-year construction period, the KIA expansion is expected to generate an estimated 900 temporary jobs. About 760 permanent jobs are likely to be created during operations and maintenance phase.
Said to be AfDB's first private-sector investment in Ghana's transport sector, the loan is expected to provide much needed long-term finance and will enforce environmental and social standards to enhance the development impact of the project.
In line with AfDB's Ten-Year Strategy as well as the Bank's Country Strategy for Ghana, the nature of the programme focuses on improving infrastructure and integration to regional markets, improving the country's economy by focusing on the growing tourism, oil and gas sectors.
The programme is also in line with the priorities identified in the National Airport System Plan 2014 and supports the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda which emphasises the need for rehabilitating and expanding infrastructural facilities in the transport sector.
The project is estimated at $400m and is to be financed with corporate loans from AfDB and other development financial institutions as well as commercial banks.
Ghana has been serving as a platform in connecting regional landlocked countries to international markets while also supporting inter-African trade making the development of national airport infrastructure a crucial step towards enhanced connectivity to markets and reducing the cost of doing business.
Image: Kotoka International Airport (KIA). Photo: courtesy of Sm105.