Works have begun on the Marine Drive Project, which is to transform the beach front into a commercial and tourist destination.
The Project Coordinator, the Accra Marine Project, Dr Kwame Nyantekyi-Owusu, disclosed this in Accra last Thursday when he briefed members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade and Industry and Tourism.
It was to inform them about the vision, the commencement, and strategies in place to ensure that the project’s objectives are attained in the coming year.
Present at the briefing were Freda Akosua Prempeh, Minister of State at the Office of the President; Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, the Chairman of the Committee; the Board Chairmen for Ghana Tourism Authority and Ghana Tourism Development Company, Seth Agyei Baah, Lawyer Kwame Boateng, a private legal practitioner respectively; the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyemang; ABP Consult represented by a director, J. B Asafo-Boakye and the Marine Drive Accra project team among others.
Dr Nyantekyi-Owusu said the 241-acre prime beachfront tourism enclave would enhance Ghana’s position as the most sought after tourist destination within the West African sub-region as well as provide job opportunities for the Ghanaian youths.
The Accra Marine Drive Project would also provide essential infrastructure to support the country’s developing cultural and creative industries.
The Accra Marine Drive project is a 241-acre urban redevelopment scheme of Accra’s waterfront.
The project’s origins can be traced back to the era of Ghana’s first President of the Republic when Dr Kwame Nkrumah sought to establish Accra as a major tourist destination.
The government in 2016, acquired the 241-acre land parcel for development by means of compulsory acquisition under Executive Instrument 59 (E. I 59).
In 2017, President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government continued to pursue the project’s development objective in line with the vision of Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
Under the renewed vision of President Akufo-Addo, the Accra Marine Drive Project would become the single largest tourism investment project to be initiated by the government of Ghana since independence.
Dr Nyantekyi-Owusu explained that the plan was to develop the entire parcel of land, stretching from the Osu Klottey Lagoon (behind the Christianborg Castle) to the Accra Community Centre.
He indicated that the area had been re-zoned in line with the project’s vision and to allow for more modern developments to be undertaken.
Mr Nyantekyi-Owusu explained that the project scope had been designed to cover the provision of key infrastructure such as roads, drains and telecommunications, construction of a public spaces and amenities including a promenade and boardwalk.
“Upon completion, the Project SPV, which is a wholly Government of Ghana owned entity, will issue leases on commercial basis to prospective developers. All developers will be vetted to ensure that their proposed development schemes are consistent with the vision and master plan of the Accra Marine Drive Project,” he said.
He said the infrastructure and facilities development had been grouped in phases to allow for a market-driven rollout of the horizontal infrastructure and vertical developments by private developers.
“The total infrastructure development budget has been estimated to cost some US$ 214,000,000, for all three phases,” he said.
‘’The enclave will focus on key tourism categories such as: business activities to be situated along the Accra High Street; leisure, along the seafront; and cultural tourism, which involves the preservation of noteworthy national heritage sites such as the Osu Castle, Black Star Square, Asomdwe Park, Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum. The facilities to be developed as part of the project vision include an amphitheatre and facilities to encourage street arts and cultural displays at the promenade,” Mr Nyantekyi-Owusu stated.
After the extensive presentations, the members were shown a 2.5-minute artists impression video.