Pan-African bank Ecobank is working with authorities in Cote d'Ivoire and Nigeria on the Abidjan-Lagos corridor project, a transnational highway which passes through five West African countries.
Thierry Tanoh, group chief executive of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), confirmed the bank's support at a press conference during its annual general meeting and 25th anniversary event in Lome, Togo on 20 June.
Starting in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, the corridor runs through Ghana, Togo and Benin, terminating in Lagos, Nigeria.
The World Bank has put the cost of the project at $257.5m with a closing date of September 2016.
"This is a project that is dear to our hearts," said Tanoh. "We want the group to set out responsibilities for the project, which is revolutionary, not only in terms of infrastructure, but also for trade within Africa.
Ultimately we are going to support the project and we stated clearly to the authorities that we want the Ecobank group to be a leader in this project," he said.
Conceived by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Business Roundtable in conjunction with the African Business Climate facility and the African Development Bank, the project seeks to promote trade within the region as well as provide enhanced access to export markets for land locked countries such as Burkina Faso and Mali.
The transport sector vision of ECOWAS envisages the corridor to ultimately serve as a Pan-African road network that runs from Mauritania in the north, to Mombasa, Kenya, in the eastern.
As a Public-Private Partnership, stakeholders involved in the project include national governments of the five states through which the corridor runs, ECOWAS, the AfDB, the World Bank among others.