Accra, Dec. 17, GNA - Mrs Catherine Abelema Afeku, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, has stated that the Marine Drive Tourism Investment Project (MDTIP) would create over 150,000 local jobs.
She said the project was a beacon of hope for the country and would create the support that the local people needed by working to harness tourism as a tool to creating jobs, supporting traders, alleviating poverty, and improving education.
“Our focus for this project is expanded and sustainable economic growth, increase GDP and establishing Ghana as a premiere tourism destination for Africa,” she said.
Mrs Afeku made this observation at the sod-cutting ceremony of the MDTIP in Accra.
She said the project, which covers 241 acres of beach front, stretching from the Osu Christiansburg Castle to the Centre for National Culture, was proposed by Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, in 1963.
The core objective of the project is to decongest the city centre of non-conforming uses and reinstate a new land use structure befitting the capital city, intensify the use of land to be consistent with the high values of land and counteract the apparent scarcity of land in Accra.
It is also to create an environment to attract high levels of investment in the city centre.
Mrs Afeku said there had been a paradigm shift and effective development strategy as well as political commitment to implement the project to make Ghana more competitive on the global tourism market.
She said a Ministerial Project Steering Committee, Project Implementation Committee and a Project Management Unit had been formed to see to the attainment of this iconic edifice.
Mrs Afeku congratulated her predecessor, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, for the good work done during the preparatory states of the project as well as the chiefs and people of Osu and Gbese Traditional areas for their cooperation and support.
She expressed the hope that the project would change the face of the capital city when completed and, for the first time in the history of the country, Accra would be facing the sea but not the other way round.
The MDTIP seeks to develop the entire stretch of the land containing the marine drive into a world class beachfront tourism enclave to meet the needs of business and leisure tourists, whilst making Ghana the preferred competitive and tourism destination in West Africa.
The project is anchored on the vision of changing the face of tourism in Ghana and when completed, would feature hotels, restaurants, amusement parks, a culture village, recreational centres, founders’ circle to honour the nation’s founding fathers, malls and convention centre.
It would also have a 3000-seater concert hall, landing site for fisher folks, a wharf, modern fish market, commercial properties and office complexes.
The project, when completed, would be a tourism hub for investors and increase tourist arrivals and receipt.
It is being executed by two anchor developers; Attachy Constructions and Fridoug Limited, with four consultants - Viz Adjaye and Associates, Consortium, ABP Consult and SIC FSL.