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Meeting report of the steering committee meeting on the Abidjan – Lagos corridor programme

Steering committee meeting on the abidjan – lagos corridor programme

Abidjan, COTE d’IVOIRE, Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire 3rd – 4th November 2016 


Meeting Report


  1. Successive ECOWAS Summits of Heads of State and Government have reiterated the importance of infrastructure as the basis of and vector for economic development and regional integration. Likewise, the ECOWAS Commission prioritizes transport infrastructure in its Vision 2020 strategic document “Towards an ECOWAS of Peoples”.


  1. In this regard, the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of States and Governments in its 42nd Ordinary Summit in February 2013 decided to construct a homogenous Highway Corridor to connect the capital cities of Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire referred to as Abidjan – Lagos Corridor Highway. A Steering Committee was formed comprising o the Ministers in Charge of Road Transport/Highway/Infrastructure/Works matters from the five Member States and the Commissioner for Infrastructure of the ECOWAS Commission and Chaired by Nigerian Minister in Charge of Road Transport/Highway/Infrastructure/Works to facilitate the implementation of this decision. The Treaty defining the legal, regulatory, institutional and implementation modalities was signed by the Heads of States of the five countries in June 2014.


  1. The inaugural Steering Committee Meeting (SCM) was held in June 2013, which outlined the main strategic orientation of the development of this corridor. There were further meetings of the Steering Committee with the last one held in June 2014. Given that the five Member States have been able to mobilize financing from the African Development Bank to finance the feasibility and technical studies for the Corridor, it was deemed opportune to convene another meeting of the Steering Committee. To this end, the Government of Cote d’Ivoire initiated a Steering Committee meeting to assess the progress registered and map out a clear way forward.


  1. The Steering Committee Meeting was attended by representatives of the five ECOWAS Member States, the ECOWAS Commission, African Development Bank (AfDB) and Abidjan Lagos Corridor Organization (ALCO). The full list of participants is attached as Annex A.


  1. The proceedings of the meeting and recommendations made are outlined in this report.


  1. The opening ceremony was marked by two statements made by the ECOWAS President and the Minister for Infrastructure of Cote d’Ivoire.
  2. In his opening remarks, the Honourable Minister of Infrastructure of Cote d’Ivoire, Honourable Patrick ACHI welcomed all participants and expressed the delight of the Government of Cote d’Ivoire to host this meeting. Honourable ACHI outlined the historic importance of this flagship project and provided a genesis of the efforts made towards the realization of this project. The Honourable Minister cited that after a strong start, the activities of the Steering Committee unfortunately lost momentum and hence the need to revitalize the consultative process. The strong political will to accomplish this project was reiterated by the Honourable Minister. To this end, no effort will be spared by the five Governments towards the implementation of this Project concluded the Honourable Minister.
  3. In his remarks, the President of the ECOWAS Commission – H.E. Marcel Alain DE SOUZA, reaffirmed the political commitment of the Authority of Heads of State and Government to put in place appropriate regional framework to ensure efficient infrastructure service delivery in ECOWAS countries. His Excellency, President DE SOUZA highlighted the initiative of the ECOWAS Commission towards finalizing a treaty in June 2014 and noted that the necessary financing has been secured from the African Development Bank to undertake detailed engineering study on this corridor. He further stressed that the realization of this project will transform the vision of the founding fathers of ECOWAS into concrete reality and urged all participants to adopt a pragmatic approach to ensure implementation of this project commences as soon as possible.


  1. In declaring the meeting open, the Minister for Infrastructure of Cote d’Ivoire, Honourable ACHI urged participants to make pertinent recommendations and thereafter wished participants fruitful deliberations.





Designation of the Bureau

  1. The following Bureau was designated:
§  Chairman              -  ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure

§  Moderator                        -  Cote d’Ivoire

§  Rapporteur                        -  Nigeria


Adoption of Agenda and Programme of Work

  1. The meeting considered and adopted the following agenda:


  1. Presentation 1: Progress on Ratification of Treaty
  2. Presentation 2: Current Status & Perspectives of the Abidjan – Lagos Development Highway Study
  3. Presentation 3: Abidjan – Lagos Corridor Highway Development (Implementation Status and Next Steps)
  4. Presentation 4: Physical and Geometric Characteristics of Corridor and Conclusions of Pre-feasibility Study
  5. Presentation 5: Progress by Country
  6. Presentation 6: Financing of Project






  1. The meeting considered all the items on the agenda and made the following comments:

Presentation 1: Progress on Ratification of Treaty

 Each country presented the progress made in ratifying the Treaty as follows:

  1. Benin indicated that the Treaty is yet to be ratified but the process of ratification has commenced.
  2. Nigeria indicated that the Treaty is yet to be ratified but the ratification process of is on course
  3. Ghana indicated that the Treaty has been approved by Cabinet and has been submitted to Parliament and is expected to be ratified in second quarter of 2017
  4. Togo indicated that the Treaty is yet to be ratified but due diligence towards ratification process is ongoing
  5. Cote d’Ivoire indicated that the Treaty is yet to be ratified but ratification process is on course.

Presentation 2: Current Status & Perspectives of the Abidjan – Lagos Development                                 Highway Study

  1. The AfDB presented the progress achieved on the Project citing the ongoing activities of the Bank on the corridor. The presentation also outlined the main components of the Study (Feasibility, Detailed Design, Study on Corridor Management) and the breakdown of the Financing as follows:
  • ADF Loan of UA3.0 million distributed equally to the Republic of Benin, Republic of Ghana and Federal Republic of Nigeria;
  • 0 million ADF Grant, distributed equally to the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire and Togolese Republic;
  • 0 million ADF Grant to the ECOWAS Commission; and
  • EUR 9.13million mobilized from EU Commission (Africa Investment Facility Window).


Total – UA 16.28 million equivalent to USD 22.72million.

Discussions on Presentation 2

  1. The meeting made the following comments on Presentation by AfDB:


  1. It was noted that the implementation timeline proposed by the AfDB follows the Bank’s classic procurement cycle. However, the need to fast-track the process was recognized by all parties and restricted tendering will be considered in this regard for the procurement process. Consideration will also be given to dividing the Corridor in different lots (sections) and undertake the Corridor Development Studies.
  2. It was clarified that the activities of the Corridor Authority need not wait the completion of the studies and the Authority can be operational immediately.
  3. In the spirit of making rapid progress, the specific tasks required from each Member State towards the realization of the project will be defined and a timeline indicated for the accomplishment of these activities.

Presentation 3: Abidjan – Lagos Corridor Highway Development (Implementation Status and Next Steps)

  1. The ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure – Dr. Antoinette Weeks – made a presentation outlining the measures taken by the ECOWAS Commission towards the corridor development. The presentation elaborated on the activities already undertaken in a chronological order up to 2013 including previous Steering Committee Meetings. The Roadmap indicating the timelines for the next steps (studies, resource mobilization, implementation) detailing activities up to 2017 was also presented.

The presentation also highlighted the need to focus on the entire Dakar – Lagos Corridor and efforts currently being made by the ECOWAS Commission to finalize the draft Treaty and related legal documents for the Dakar – Abidjan Corridor (Section of the Dakar – Lagos Corridor) for signature by the Corridor Presidents in advance of December 2016 Summit of HOSG

Presentation 4: Physical and Geometric Characteristics of Corridor and Conclusions of Pre-feasibility Study 

  1. The main findings of the Pre-feasibility study on the Dakar -Lagos Corridor Missing links were presented by the ECOWAS Project Preparation and Development Unit (PPDU). The presentation elaborated on the geometric features of existing alignment, corridor missing links and outcome of the economic assessment.

 Comments on Presentations 3 & 4

  1. The meeting made the following comments on Presentations 3 & 4:
  1. The issue of alignment was extensively discussed and the need to establish a definitive alignment for the entire Lagos – Dakar Corridor notable the Dakar – Abidjan section was emphasized.
  2. The Pre-feasibility Study will update its data of IRI in the light of the recent study on measurement of roughness conducted by ALCO.
  3. Some inaccuracies were noted in some details of road sections in the Pre-feasibility Study and rectification of these errors will be done in the light of the information provided by Member States during this meeting.
  4. It was noted from the conclusions of the Pre-feasibility Study that all the Missing Links in Cote d’Ivoire were located in West Cote d’Ivoire.

Presentation 5: Progress Made by Country

  1. Each Member State provided an update on latest interventions. The presentations by each country is attached as Annex B.

Project Financing

  1. The issue of Project Financing was discussed and the meeting agreed that the Financing Agreements with the African Development Bank for the Study would be signed by Member States and ECOWAS Commission.
  1. In concluding, the meeting made the following recommendations:


  1. The five Member States were invited to take all necessary measures to ensure that the Treaty is ratified by 30 March 2017.
  1. Member States undertaking Feasibility Studies on sections of the Corridor are requested to provide details on these studies to ensure synergy with the upcoming AfDB funded Study and avoid duplication of effort.


The five Member States and the ECOWAS were invited to take necessary measures to ensure signature/ratification (if applicable) of their respective Financing Agreements with AfDB for the execution of the Study, by January 30, 2017 (Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and ECOWAS Commission) or March 30, 2017 (Benin, Ghana and Nigeria).


  1. The meeting strongly recommends that the Bank considers using a restricted tendering procedure for the recruitment the Consultant in charge of undertaking the Corridor Development Study.


  1. All five Member States are requested to appoint a focal person to work closely within the Study Delivery Team to facilitate and enhance co-ordination.


  1. It is recommended that the Steering Committee Meeting be convened every quarter to monitor and evaluate progress on the corridor development.
  1. The closing ceremony was graced by ECOWAS Commissioner for Macro-Economic Policy – Mr Mamadou TRAORE. He thanked all the participants and commended them for their contributions and active participation throughout the meeting. He urged participants to adequately brief their respective authorities on the outcome of the meeting.



FOR THE MEETING                                                                       

Dr. Antoinette WEEKS


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