The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $120 million corporate loan to support Ghana Airports Company Limited’s capital investment programme.
It entails the construction of a new terminal at Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra, and the rehabilitation of other airports managed by GACL including Kumasi, Tamale, Ho and Wa Airports.
According to a statement issued by the bank and copied to press, the total loan facility for the programme is $400 million to be financed with corporate loans from AfDB and other development financial institutions as well as commercial banks.
It said the programme would support the country’s ambition of modernising vital infrastructure in Ghana through upgrading the airport to a gateway for West Africa and a regional aviation hub.
The programme would also increase air passenger handling capacity and improve airport safety standards and efficiency at KIA and the regional airports.
The statement said through strengthening the country’s airport infrastructure, the programme is expected to boost the economy, in particular the growing tourism and oil and gas sectors, through facilitating connectivity to markets and reducing the cost of doing business.
It said developing national airport infrastructure would be critical building blocks for regional integration as Ghana has been serving as a platform in connecting regional landlocked countries to international markets and support inter-African trade.
The statement said the expansion of KIA is expected to generate an estimated 900 temporary jobs during the two-year construction period and about 760 permanent jobs during operations and maintenance phase.
The project aligns with both internal and external policies and strategies. It supports the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda which emphasises the need for rehabilitating and expanding infrastructural facilities especially in the transport sector.
At sector level, the programme is in line with the priorities identified in the National Airport System Plan 2014.
The AfDB’s financing would play an important role by providing much needed long-term finance, enforcing environmental and social standards and working to enhance the development impact of the project.
The infrastructure nature of the programme is part of AfDB’s 10-Year Strategy as well as the bank’s Country Strategy for Ghana, which focus on improving infrastructure and integration to regional markets.