ECOWAS coastal road nearly complete, says Kouyate

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- Nearly 87 percent of the ECOWAS road network known as the Trans-coastal road linking Nouakchott and Lagos had been completed, the body's executive secretary, Lansana Kouyate, said in Dakar Saturday.
In an interview with PANA, Kouyate also said that 83 percent of the Trans-Sahelian road between Senegal and Chad had been built.
The construction of the 9,000 km and 11,000 km interconnecting roads, respectively, is meant to open up landlocked ECOWAS countries by combining national and regional road networks, he said.
"We are now building interconnection roads," Kouyate explained, adding that there was so much lack of information to the extent that the achievements of ECOWAS in the economic sector is not known.
Citing the example of the common brown insurance card issued by ECOWAS, he said that before this document was issued, "a Senegalese road haulier who had problems in Mali, didn't know which insurance to talk to".
Today, the brown insurance card has solved this problem because it is issued by all the states, the executive secretary contended, adding that a law "regulating the road transit was already being applied by most States".
As far as energy is concerned, he cited what is known as "the West African Power Pool" which is strongly backed by donors.
Initiated by the secretary of ECOWAS, the gas pipeline project which will go from Nigeria to Ghana, in a first stage, passing through Togo and Benin, "is progressing and it will reach other countries," Lansana Kouyate said.
In the field of telecommunications he said that "not long ago, to call the Gambia via Senegal, one had to pass through Paris and London because our countries were not directly linked by fax, telephone, telex," he added.
"The ECOWAS Intelcom I project opened direct lines between countries," Kouyate said, conceding however that "telephone is still a problem in ECOWAS countries because there is no fluidity in communications".
The Intelcom II programme has been initiated by the international telecommunications union (ITU) and is meant to improve telephone links, he said.
As for trade, Lansana Kouyate said that Ecobank, established in 11 countries of the community, is also an ECOWAS bank.

07 october 2001 20:21:00

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