Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- Ministers of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), who have been meeting here since Monday, have identified regional projects requiring an investment of 4.
1 billion dollars over the next 10 years.
The ministers responsible for energy, environment, infrastructure and information technologies in the 15 member countries of ECOWAS, ticked the proposed projects in line with the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
A technical committee has been set up to put finishing touches to the proposals for consideration at the ECOWAS summit, scheduled for 15-17 April 2002 in Dakar.
Proposed projects relate to the development of energy, infrastructure, environment, and the new communication and information technologies -- the four sectors being coordinated by Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade.
Regional infrastructural development entails completion of the 4,460 km coastal highway from Nouakchott in Mauritania to Lagos in Nigeria.
The other highway ticked for completion stretches for 4,560 km across the Sahel from Dakar to N'Djamena in Chad.
During the same period, ECOWAS members intend to modernise a total of 11,466 kilometres of roads with a view to facilitating interconnection and linking with landlocked countries, besides crossing the Sahara.
The roads sector alone requires an investment of 1.
6 billion dollars.
Regarding the energy sector, the ministers have agreed on completion of the 600 km West African Gas Pipeline running from Lagos to Takoradi (Ghana) in 2003.
The pipeline will also serve Cotonou (Benin) and Lome (Togo).
Inter-connection of national grids in the ECOWAS sub-region is estimated to cost 779 million dollars while 7.
4 billion dollars is needed for development of water supply projects.
Meanwhile, the ECOWAS ministers have recommended to all member countries to create a special fund for the development of new communication and information technologies.
The ministerial meeting could not come up with a clear-cut proposal regarding sub-regional environment projects and put off the issue for future consideration.