President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo has cut the sod for the commencement of the much talked Marine Drive Tourism Investment Project and called on all stakeholders to support the Project wholeheartedly.
The Project which covers 241 acres of beach front which stretches from the Osu Christianburg Castle to the Center for National Culture [Arts Center], according to the President has the objective of developing the Accra coastlines.
The Project which is expected to be in phases will have facilities such as board walk, restaurant, a 3000-seater concert hall, landing site for fisher-folk, modern fish market, commercial properties, malls hotels, office complexes as well as founders’ park or circle to honour Ghana’s founding fathers.
When completed, the Project will be a tourism hub for investors and tourists as well as increase tourist arrivals and receipts. It will also create more direct and indirect jobs for the people especially the youth in the area.
On her part, the Sector Minister for Tourism, Hon. Catherine Abelema Afeku expressed her sincere gratitude to President Akufo-Addo for his unflinching support and commitment for the Project.
She was optimistic the Project will change the face of Ghana’s capital when completed, and that for the first time in the history, Accra will be facing the sea but not the other way round.
The Tourism Minister further expressed the hope that the Project though spans over a ten year period [2013 to 2023], but its implementation process could be completed earlier than scheduled with adequate preparation and commitment.
According to her a number of activities have been undertaken and several outputs have been achieved since approval was given for the Project’s implementation. She mentioned among other things meeting with both the Osu and Gbese Traditional Councils, stakeholder consultations with the Arts and Crafts Dealers Association, performance of traditional rites and signing of Memoranda of Understandings [MOUs] as some of the key activities that took place along the line.
Madam Catherine Afeku promised that they will continue to engage and sustain the wider stakeholder consultations with Ministries, Departments, and Agencies [MDAs] local communities, media, site occupants, vegetable growers amongst others for the smooth implementation of the Project.
The Ministry will continue with the project implementation process earnestly with support from all stakeholders. To that end, She appealed to the chiefs and people of the Osu and Gbese areas, occupants of the site and all stakeholders to cooperate with them despite the initial inconveniences the project may cause their daily activities.
She also thanked her predecessor, Madam Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, for the good work she did during the preparatory stages of the project.
“This is a dream come true, the beautiful Marine Drive Tourism Investment Project is officially taking off and there is no turning back’’ the Political Head of the Tourism and Creative Arts Ministry assured.
The Project has the core objectives to help decongest the city center of non-conforming uses and re-instate a new land use structure befitting the state capital as well as create an environment to attract high levels of investment in the city center.