Abidjan-Lagos Corridor a popular attraction during PIDA Week
The six-lane, 639-mile-long roadway connects Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Accra, Ghana; Cotonou, Benin; Lagos, Nigeria; and Lome, Togo. Along the corridor are many seaports, which also boost intra- and inner-regional trade activity in the region.
“The corridor is one of the most important developments in the region; it accounts for about 75 percent of trade in the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) region,” Edy Anthony, a transport expert with Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Organisation (ALCO), said. “When you connect one country with another; one region with another, you reduce transport and trade barriers, expanding business opportunities between countries."
Anthony said the roadway has been a boon for local economies. It was approved by the presidents of Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin, Nigeria and Togo. Currently, the African Development Bank (AfDB) is considering investing $16 million to conduct studies on portions of the corridor.
“It will ensure a more efficient border-crossing system and facilitate regional integration,” Chris Appiah, transport and policy expert for ECOWAS, said.
Silvester Kasuku, director general of Kenya’s Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Development Authority, agreed.
“You cannot go wrong with creating synergy to achieve bigger socio-economic change on the continent,” Kasuku said. "We do recognise that Africa is in a global growth frontier. The more connected we are, the bigger the trade, the many markets we open, and the greater our economies will become.”
PIDA is supported by the AfDB, the African Union Commission and New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).