Railway Key To Development — Otumfuo

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has said the railway sector holds the key to the rapid growth of the country, for which reason he has urged the government to pursue its agenda of developing the industry to link up cities and towns.

He said developing the rail sector would not only improve the transportation system in the country but also lead to the creation of businesses and jobs.

“It is going to create jobs because there will be local participation, which will include people who stay near the lines. And the impact will be greater when it is finished because everywhere rail line passes, everything changes,” he added.

He commended the government for taking steps to revive rail transport in Ghana following a sod-cutting ceremony for the Kumasi-Obuasi line project.

The Asantehene said this when the Minister of Railway Development, Mr Joe Ghartey, led a team from the contractor working on rail lines in Kumasi, David Walters Company Limited, to pay a courtesy call on him at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.

The visit was to thank the Otumfuo for sending a representative to witness the sod-cutting ceremony at Kaase last Wednesday.

It was also to seek the support of chiefs in the area against encroachment on demarcated areas for the rail project.


According to Otumfuo Osei Tutu, most developed countries owed their development to reliable railway systems which facilitated the transportation of people, goods and services.

He said an effective railway system would reduce the pressure on roads and save the money which would have been spent on road maintenance.


Mr Ghartey expressed gratitude to the Asantehene for his backing and said the ministry would further need the support of Nananom to clear encroachers along the rail lines to ensure uninterrupted work by the contractors.

He said on completion of the project, Kumasi would become the centre of railway activities that would be linked to other parts of the country.

“The lines from Accra-Tema, Takoradi and Paga in the Upper East Region will all converge on Kumasi, the converging spot,” he added.

He said the ministry, together with the contractors, had been engaging stakeholders, including those who would be affected by the construction of the lines.

He said the three categories of people who might have to be compensated due to the project had been identified, including trespassers, people who were given lease by the railway company and those whose lands would be affected by the project.

While with the last two categories compensation was proper, he said, it would be difficult to compensate the trespassers, as that could set a bad precedence.