Kumasi is set to become the first city in Ghana to have an Electric Light Rail Transportation (Tram System) as part of government’s effort to ease traffic congestion in the Ashanti Region’s capital.
The Tram system is one of the sophisticated means of transport found mostly in Europe. This type of transportation system operates on a rail that travels on tramway tracks on public urban streets.
The tram technology expected to be deployed in Kumasi is currently being developed by Knights A.S. of the Czech Republic in collaboration with the Ministry of Railway Development of Ghana.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Knights A.S., Dr. Karl Laryea, at the company’s 25th Anniversary launch in Accra, said the system when fully deployed will transform existing urban transport infrastructure in the Ashanti Region.
The tram system will operate three main lines aimed at decongesting the city of Kumasi and for easy flow of traffic. It will also significantly reduce travel time within the second-largest city in the country.
To make this project a success, Dr. Laryea said there is need for a massive transfer of know-how to indigenous who will manage the tram system when built.
“In this regard, Knights A.S. of the Czech Republic has facilitated the signing of an MoU between the KNUST and Czech Technical University in Prague for Ghanaian professors and technicians to be trained in the Czech Republic – who will impart the knowledge gained to Ghanaian students in the Engineering and Transportation Faculties of the KNUST on how to operate and maintain the tram system,” he said.
Knights A.S. has been very active in various sectors of the Ghanaian economy. The company is developing a complete poultry project with breeder farms, a complete hatchery of over 20 million eggs for day-old chicks, a feed mill, and a 16,500-bird capacity processing plant per hour.
“This facility when built will produce thirty (30) percent of the poultry meat consumed in Ghana locally; thereby reducing our dependence on foreign imports and supplies, and create jobs for youth of the country,” he said.
Dr. Laryea said Knights. A.S of Czech Republic, through its first subsidiary BIGA International Limited in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, has introduced two unique tractors called the GLOBAL Multipurpose Mini Tractor and CABRIO Compact Tractor for small- and medium-scale farmers.
The company in 2019 signed an Export Contract Agreement with the Ministry of Roads and Highways for the Finance, Design, Fabrication, Supply and Installation of 50 composite modular steel bridges in all 16 regions of Ghana.
“The 50 modular bridges project with a contract sum of €47.5million is the largest single contract supervised by Knights Ghana Limited, a subsidiary of the company, to date,” Dr. Laryea said.
According to Dr. Laryea, the bridge projects are at various stages of completion and the project is on schedule to be completed by May 2023.
One of the strategic bridges Dr. Laryea mentioned was the Weija Bridge, which he said will provide a very crucial crossing for vehicular traffic – not to mention schoolchildren and women who hitherto crossed the Weija River in makeshift canoes.
“We are also building a bridge at Oterpkolu on the Kpong Odumasi road, which will replace a 128-year old makeshift bridge built by our former colonial masters with a concrete bridge.”