ECOWAS partners Chinese conglomerate on key infrastructure projects
A new agreement between ECOWAS and a Chinese construction conglomerate aims to advance key infrastructure projects, including the Trans-West African Coastal Highway and the Trans-West African Railway. The ECOWAS Commission signed five memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with CGC Overseas Construction Group (CGCOC) during a ceremony on 20 January in Abuja. When completed the West African highway would link 12 countries, from Mauritania to Nigeria with feeder roads into landlocked countries. The railway network would see trains racing between Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria and Togo. Other projects addressed in the MoUs are the West African Telecommunication Infrastructure Facilities, the West African Regional Aviation Field and the construction of a new ECOWAS headquarters and related facilities. Speaking at the signing ceremony, ECOWAS Commission President Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo commended the Chinese corporation for taking an interest in high-impact investment that could affect the lives of million of people West Africa. In his remarks, the Deputy Chairman of CGCOC, Li Xuhui, said the agreement marks the beginning of long and fruitful relationship between ECOWAS and China in the interest of growth and development in West Africa. The signing of the MoUs follows a high-level ECOWAS mission to China in 2015. Commission President Ouédraogo led the delegation as part of a drive to build stronger relationships with the international community.