His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has cut a sod for the construction of one of the most iconic and ambitious projects in the history of Ghana’s Tourism investment, which is estimated at 1.2 billion U.S Dollars. This massive project is going to be a game changer in turning the fortunes of Tourism in Ghana, thereby improving the country’s GDP.
The project which is dubbed the “Marine Drive Tourism and Investment Project,” is under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) and the Ghana Tourism Development Company (GTDC) and is expected to create 36 thousand (36,000) jobs during the first phase of the project. Additionally, it would employ about one hundred and fifty thousand (150,000) people upon completion.
At the sod cutting ceremony, President Nana Akufo Addo, intimated that Ghana is saddled with huge infrastructural deficits which is approximately at U.S $1.5 Billion per annum. Hence, his administration resolved to help fix the yawning infrastructural imbalances in the country.
The President stressed that the Tourism Industry in Ghana is one of the Sectors his government under the New Patriotic Party is aggressively working on to change the status quo, therefore, the ambitious Marine drive project is going to transform the Accra beach front into a leisure and business tourism enclave.
“I am confident that all of us, gathered here, will be present again here, very soon, to witness the official commissioning of this project”, he assured.
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Friday the 15th of December, 2017 in Accra, when he had the privilege of cutting the sod for the construction of the long awaited project which was on the drawing board for six decades, spanning from the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s regime.
The project is expected to cover a total of 241 acres of land, which stretches from the Accra Osu Christiansborg Castle, to the Arts center in the Gamehsie enclave which is under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arraignment.
He added that the iconic project is also expected to boost local tourism in Ghana as well as create jobs for those within the catchment area of the project, thereby improving the country’s GDP.
President Akufo Addo indicated that countries all over the world which have coastlines, have built magnificent edifices facing the oceans which is a contrary situation in Ghana, adding that his administration would change that phenomenon in this direction.
He commended the Ga Chiefs and other relevant stakeholders in the Tourism sector for their unwavering support to the speedy initiation of the project.
On her part, the Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, Hon.Catherine Abelema Afeku, remarked that the Marine Drive Tourism and Investment Project is part of a larger vision to promote a tourism outlook in the country that would be uniquely and distinctively Ghanaian.
She indicated that, the project will reinforce the synergistic links between the tourism industry and other sectors of the economy such as agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing, construction, aviation, insurance and banking sectors, to ensure prosperity is spread to the widest swath of our population and, therefore, all and sundry must endeavor to give it the needed support.
Marine Drive project, was first mooted by Ghana’s first President Since 1963, Marine Drive project, was first mooted by Ghana’s first President Since 1963, and between 2002 and 2005, the late Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City, Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, also moved the project a step further by helping to put a design of the project on paper.
Then in 2014, the then Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts Minister, Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, took it a step further by getting Cabinet’s approval. But again, it stalled because of challenges with the Allodial owners of the land. And subsequently the current progress engineered by the Nana Addo Administration revitalized the project.
Meanwhile, the project is anchored on the vision of changing the face of tourism in Ghana and when completed, is expected to feature Hotels, Restaurants, Amusement Parks, a cultural village, Recreational Centres, Malls and a Convention Centre.
The lead consultant to the Marine Drive Tourism and Investment project is the, Messrs David Adjaye and Associates, who is a renowned and world-acclaimed Ghanaian architect, Sir David Adjaye, who has also included a monument that would be built within the project area to celebrate him, and also honour the founding fathers of our nation, who are the legendary ‘Big Six.’
By Alhassan Abubakar Sadik