President Nana Akufo-Addo on Wednesday cut sod in Tamale to begin the construction of the Tamale Interchange to improve travel time and reduce conflicts among the various modes of transport on the road thereby enhance trade and economic growth.

This marked the beginning of phase one of the US$2 billion Master Project Support Agreement (MPSA) between the government and the Sinohydro Corporation of China to construct a number of infrastructure projects including roads, bridges, housing facilities and extension of electricity to rural communities across the country.

This phase of the project, would involve the construction of 441 kilometres of road and two interchanges at a total cost of US$500 million.

The Tamale Interchange project, which is expected to be completed within 30 months, is about one kilometre (km) long and links the Kumasi Road through the Point 7 Road, the Central Taxi Rank, Central Market intersection with the Melcolm Road and Bolgatanga Road.

It also includes the construction of 10 km of ancillary roads around the interchange to improve traffic management.

President Nana Akufo-Addo said the beginning of the Sinohydro deal meant that “Ghana will witness a dramatic and very welcome change to our infrastructure especially in the roads sector”.

The government has signed the MPSA with Sinohydro Corporation for the delivery of two-billion-dollar worth of priority infrastructure projects across the country in exchange for the delivery of Ghanaian manufactured aluminium products to Sinohydro.

This has necessitated the establishment of the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation to oversee the development of the exploitation of the full value chain of the nation's bauxite resources to ensure a vibrant aluminium industry.

President Nana Akufo-Addo said “this arrangement is not going to add to the country’s total debt stock” and that all the regions were going to benefit from it.

A project risk management and implementation team had been formed to ensure smooth implementation.

In compliance with the local content law, 30 per cent of the work to be done under the project would be undertaken by local contractors.

"Thousands of jobs will be created for our youth and our country will be opened up for sustained economic growth and development, thereby help put Ghana onto the path of progress and prosperity.”

“I am excited about the prospects of this project for our nation” and he urged the relevant authorities to see to it that there was proper monitoring and supervision of the construction works to achieve value for money.

He warned that the government would not countenance any delays in the execution and delivery of the project.

Mr Shi Ting Wang, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, said the beginning of the Sinohydro deal was another important milestone of economic cooperation between the two countries.

He assured that China was ready to forge even stronger business relations with the country to help realize the government’s Ghana beyond aid agenda.

Ya-Na Mahama Abukari (II), Overlord of Dagbon Traditional Area, whose speech was read on his behalf, expressed gratitude to the President for his strenuous efforts to promote peace and development in the area.

source: GNA