Brazil To Finance Tamale Int�l Airport Project

The government of Brazil has approved a request from Ghana for an urgent consideration of financing for the Tamale International Airport project. The project is estimated to cost US$174 million. Responding to the Vice President, John Mahama�s request in a bilateral meeting in Brasilia last week, the Brazilian authorities said the request is feasible and are ready to urgently finalise discussions. A Brazilian Infrastructure Development Company, Queiroz Galvao, will handle the construction, which is to be financed by Brazil�s national EXIM bank, BNDES. Queiroz Galvao has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Transport, and completed the necessary designs and phasing for the works. Mr. Mahama said the Tamale International Airport, which will be managed by the Ghana Airport Company Limited, will be self-financing and will repay the financing from its operations. He therefore requested the Brazilian authorities to unlock the financing of the project from the ongoing discussions of a Master Facility Agreement (MFA), to be handled as a single-purpose project. The construction of the International Airport in Tamale will be the fulfillment of a major campaign promise by President John Atta Mills, but will be part of the policy to transform the savanna regions of Ghana with a view to bridging the inequalities between the North and South. According to Mr. Mahama, the project will start with the expansion of the runway to accommodate large body aircrafts and also the construction of an international standard terminal building. The next phase will be the provision of ancillary services including hangers, maintenance area, catering and ground handling. The last phase will be the construction of a cargo village targeting fresh fruit farmers that are setting up camp in the Savanna regions and the various processing companies being set up in the area. Brazil is already the sole buyer of the products of the PBC Shea Factory recently inaugurated in Buipe in the Northern region, while a number of Brazilian private sector agriculture companies are partnering with SADA and other local companies to set up commercial farms in the region. Brazil�s Deputy Minister for Industry and External Commerce, Alexandro Teicheira, indicated that his government remains commitment to its bilateral dealings with African countries, especially Ghana, and will work on the Project financing request once they receive a formal request to take out the project from the ongoing MFA discussions. He also advised against Ghana�s attempt to amend the finalized proposal for the northern part of the Eastern Corridor Road. This he said is because it will lead to the reopening of the entire negotiations and delay the project. Vice President Mahama returned to Ghana over the weekend.