President Cuts Sod for Manso-Huni Valley Railway

President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has cut the sod for the construction of the Manso to Huni Valley stretch of the Western Railway.

Expected to be completed in 42 months, the almost 78-kilometer railway will be one of the major haulage lines in the country that will help revamp the operations of the Ghana Railways Company Limited.

It will change the infrastructure from a narrow gauge to a standard gauge, which is the new standard for rail lines in the country.

The project will be executed by Amandi Investment Limited at the cost of €500 million, with funding from the Deutsche Bank Credit Facility.

At the sod cutting ceremony at Manso in the Wassa Amenfi Central District in the Western Region on Tuesday, July 5, President Akufo-Addo warned saboteurs who had resolved to steal the lines for scrap.

He gave the assurance of the availability of the funds required for the project, saying: “Let me reiterate also the government’s determination to provide the enabling environment for the development and growth of the rail transport sector to the internationally acceptable standards.”

The President said aside from the activities of illegal miners having a negative impact on the railway right of way within the Tarkwa Municipality, which had led to the modification of the design and high construction cost, “some unpatriotic people have resorted to stealing the vital components of the steel, including the rail tracks.

President Akufo-Addo warned that such developments were not just worrying but stalling development efforts.

“I want to sound a strong word of warning that individuals perpetrating these criminal acts when caught, the law will take its course and the appropriate sanctions would be applied,” the President warned.

He said owing to the importance of the railways sector, the time had come for everyone to lend support to the development of the rail sector to return it to its profitable and vibrant days.

The President said over the last five years, the government had laid a solid foundation for the sector by committing to the development of the sector.

He recalled that between 2012 and 2017, the only addition to the lines was a kilometer narrow gauge from Sekondi-Takoradi and Kojokrom.

“Let me say upon resumption of office in 2017, I was determined to change the statistics – because the presence of efficient railways system is important to the progress and prosperity of our nation,” the President said.

That, he said, had led to the re-establishment of the Ministry of Railways Development which was fast yielding results.

Key among the rail projects currently ongoing was the development of a new standard gauge railway line between Tema and Mpakadan in the Asuogyaman District in the Eastern Region, the President said.

President Akufo-Addo noted that the development of the Western Railway Line was on course, with the 22-km section of the line from Kojokrom to Manso scheduled for For his part, the Minister of Railways, John Peter Amewu, said rail transportation provided the most appropriate means of haulage of heavy goods such as minerals, bauxite and petroleum products.

“With the vastness of the commodities, others in line for transportation along the corridor include cement, cocoa, and timber, which also have the haulage potential on their respective projected volumes,” he said.

The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah, reminded the people of the government’s commitment to the development of the country.

He cited some ongoing projects and indicated that the government would not let the region down.

The western rail line which starts from Sekondi-Takoradi to Kumasi was constructed in 1903 and is the major route for the transportation of minerals and other bulk commodities such as cocoa, bauxite, manganese, cement, flour, and petroleum products.

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The Hon. Regional Minister is pro-business, believes in sustainable development and is a lead advocate for the oil and gas local content in the parliament of Ghana. He is an experienced politician and business development advocate.

The Hon. Regional Minister as a student of Mfantsipim School, he produced the first science magazine of the school in 1993.

He holds a BSc(Hons) Biochemistry degree from the Kwame Nkrumah University of
Science and Technology(Ghana) and a Master of Arts degree in Democracy,
Governance, Law and Development from the University of Cape Coast(Ghana). In
2014 he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree (DL Honoris Causa) by AIUCC,
Missouri USA.

Joining Parliament in 2009 till date he has served on many Parliamentary Committees and
delegations including Foreign Affairs, Roads and Transport, Education and Subsidiary
Legislation Committee that developed the current local content law, LI 2204. Hon. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah became a member of the 2016 New Patriotic Party Manifesto Committee on Energy and a member of the 2017
Government Transition Team on Energy.

He founded the IT Company, e-Base Africa Ltd with his elder brother and became the Managing Director in 2001. His leadership introduced broadband internet in the Western Region and KNUST Kumasi.

For his commitment and pragmatic leadership ethics, he still serves on the Boards of
Raybow International Hotel, ORPED International, Western Regional Coastal
Foundation (an Oil & Gas not-for-profit), Citizen Advisory Council and Students in
Free Enterprise of Takoradi Technical University.

His vision is to make the Western Region a model one hinged on three main pillars of:
i. Entrepreneurial Governance System,
ii. Enterprising Western Region, and
iii. working to achieve the thematic areas of the Sustainable Development Goals mainstreaming and empowering the Youth
He recently received the award of the most outstanding business leader of the year – Public Sector at the prestigious Ghana Business Standard awards 2019 and the Pan African Leadership and Entrepreneurship Development Centre in partnership with Dynasty Group – Qatar presented by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Prime Minister of the State of Qatar.

She was the Member of Parliament for Tarkwa Nsuaem constituency from 2001 to 2016 for 4 terms. Whilst in Parliament, she became a Parliamentary Leader for 12 years as a Deputy Chief Majority and Minority Whips.

On issues of women empowerment, Mrs. Gifty Kusi has had a lot of training and experiences. She was the Chairperson of the Women’s Caucus in the Parliament of Ghana and the Convener of Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians for Africa and the Africa Representative to the international Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians to conferences.

As a member of the Gender and Children Committee, she became the Ranking Member for the committee from 2012 to 2016.

She also attended the West African workshop on Women in Politics in Sierra Leone organized by Gender and Youth Division, Commonwealth Secretariat in London

Her training also took her to the United Nations Sessions of the Committee for the Status on Women (CSW) on three occasions at the New York Headquarters in New York, USA. She also attended the Committee On Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Conference in Geneva UN Office to defend the status of Ghanaian women.

She attended the session to defend the Child Rights of the Ghanaian Children in Geneva with the Minister of Gender and Children on two occasions.

She attended a 3-Month Internship Programme, at the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights and African Women Leadership course in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in 1999.

She served on the Committee on the Drafting of Affirmation Action Bill presently before Cabinet and also attended the session on African Commission On Human Rights and Peoples’ Rights held at the Gambia

She also attended a workshop to Review Laws on Female Genital Mutilation and to Advocate for Law Reform and on Early Childhood care and Development sponsored by Ghana Association of Women’s Welfare and the Ministry of Gender and Children all in Accra

She is a women activist who has presented papers at various conferences on energy, mining and women issues. She also served for 12 years on the Health Committee as a Vice Chairperson and as a member. She attended many conferences on health and the World Health Assembly by the WHO in 2014.

Mr. Ataogye is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Administrators and Management Consultants Ghana (2018); a Chartered Professional Administrator (ChPA) and a Chartered Management Consultant (CMC).

He was appointed into the Ghana Civil Service (and later the Local Government Service) in May 1990 and has been responsible for the management of the Assemblies’ and the RCC’s Human, Material and Financial Resources; superintending their operations/management, planning co-ordination, resource mobilization as well as service delivery and project implementation.


Mr. Ataogye has a: “let’s fix it” attitude – a true problem solver. He demonstrates strategic and transformational leadership. He is an experienced Administrator / Co-ordinating Director of high repute and is very affable with effective communication and negotiation skills.


Mr. Ataogye, as a student of Nandom Secondary School (1980-1982) and Notre Dame Seminary Secondary School, Navrongo (1975-1980) held the post of House Prefect in both schools.


He holds a BSc(Hons) Administration (Management) from the University of Ghana, Legon and a Master of Governance and Leadership (MGL) from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). He also has to his credit, certificates from GIMPA for the Chief Executive Programme, Post Graduate Diploma in Public Administration and Post Graduate Certificate in Public Administration.


National Service Assignment

Mr. Michael B. Ataogye fulfilled his National Service obligations at the Navrongo Secondary School (1983/84), where he taught French and Economics and later in 1989 at the Asutifi South District assembly, Kenyasi in the Brong Ahafo Region.



In 2005, he was awarded the Best Senior Staff for Good Human Relations, Staff Motivation and Initiative; and for Leadership provided for the Landscaping and Beautification of the Asante Akim South District Assembly Grounds at Juaso.


He was commended by the Head of Civil Service for Good 2004 Annual Administrative Performance and Reporting (Asante Akim South District Assembly, Juaso).


He was also commended by the Civil Service Council for Excellent Performance in the Execution of the 1999 Performance Agreement of District Co-ordinating Directors (Aowin Suaman District Assembly, Enchi).


Additional Assignment

Mr. Ataogye served as a member of the Management/ Governing Board of Kumasi Rattray Park (June 2015-December 2016) and a member of the Governing Board of Prempeh College, Kumasi (Feb 2015-Feb 2019).


For his commitment, innovative and pragmatic leadership as well as ethical conduct, he served on the Boards of the following institutions;


He was the Chairman for the Social Committee on the Resettlement of Atuabo Community near Tarkwa (1996-1997) and Chairman for Ejura-Sekyedumase Mutual Health Insurance Scheme (Jan,2009-Nov,2019).


Training/Career Development Courses and Seminars attended

Among the several training courses, seminars and workshops attended are the following:


Thesis and Dissertations presented

Mr. Michael B. Ataogye researched and worked on the following topics;