Accra, Aug. 31 — Dr. Thomas Mensah, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, Silicon Valley of Ghana, has reiterated the need for a high-speed rail system in Ghana, to accelerate the nation’s socio-economic development.
High-speed rail is a type of rail transport that operates significantly faster than traditional rail traffic, using an integrated system of specialized rolling stock and dedicated tracks.
While there is no single standard that applies worldwide, new lines above 250 kilometers per hour (160 mph) and existing lines above 200 kilometers per hour (120 mph) are widely considered to be high-speed.
He said in other words, Ghanaians could not for 50 years go from Tema/Accra to Kumasi in five hours on a single lane road.
“You cannot develop that way. You cannot develop when it takes you 12 hours to travel from Accra to Tamale on a single lane road. So, on my hundred-year development agenda, I say we should have a high-speed train in Ghana. Some people call it the bullet train. But I want it to have the speed of the train in Japan, have the speed of the train in China… You get to move Ghana from where it is to where it should be. You sit on a train and you are in Kumasi in one hour.“
Below is a video of Dr. Mensah sharing his high-speed rail vision
Dr. Mensah made this appeal in his presentation at the fourth National Development Forum public lecture series in Accra.
The forum, which was organized by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), was under the theme: “Mastering Technology for Innovation and Transformation of Ghana’s Future.”
Dr. Mensah said to accelerate Ghana’s socioeconomic development there was the need to expand infrastructure and industry.
He said Ghana at this stage of her development needed high-speed train systems, aircraft maintenance facility and underground drainage systems to solve the problem of annual flooding in the cities.
He said high-speed trains are now in some African countries such as Morocco, Kenya, and Ethiopia; hence, Ghana could not afford to be left behind.
“If Kenya can do it, then we can. It’s not that we can’t, money is not the problem. The consensus is to get the train from here to Burkina Faso,” Dr. Mensah said.
Professor Samuel P. Owusu-Ofori, Adjunct Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), who chaired the forum said innovation without transformation was something else.
“So, as the youth innovates, those who are in-charge should try to use the knowledge or whatever they have created to benefit the country.“
Prof Stephen Adei, the Chairman of the NDPC, said the forum was meant to engage on pertinent national issues, which hopefully they would have it sustained for the years to come.
He said the technology revolution is here and that Ghana must strive to benefit from it.
Prof Samuel Mensah Sackey, Director, Technology Programme, KNUST, called on the government to help establish Ghana’s maiden Technology Park at the KNUST, to help transform the nation into a major technology giant in the ECOWAS sub-region.
Source: Iddi Yire, GNA