Dr. Kwame Nkrumah dreamed of building Accra beachfront, a beautiful skyline 60 years ago making Ghana the ladder of the African continent. Unfortunately this project could not happen under his reign as planned.
In other parts of world, beachfront is a major tourist attraction, generate revenue and create jobs. Their beaches are well developed with hotels and restaurants among other things that make the visitors enjoy while on holiday.
Dubai, one of the major tourist site in the world, has white sand beaches and hotels. It’s the government strategy to maintain the flow of foreign currency into the emirates to boost the economy.
In Ghana, most of our beaches have turned into defecation and garbage site destroying the environment and affecting the people living around the area.
Government have come and gone, several years have passed but the dreamers plan hasn’t been executed after six decades.
However, there have been positive signs that the Marine Drive Project will be executed after 241 acres of land, stretching from the Osu Christiansborg Castle to the Art Centre, was released for the project few months ago.
A visit to the project site revealed bulldozers, earthmovers and excavators clearing the site to pave way for construction to begin. The place is clear with only few portions left which the bulldozers and excavators are still working on to get the whole place done.
The minister of tourism have said that countries like Kenya, South Africa, and Seychelles have developed their sites and could now boast of Arts and Crafts Village which deals in various wares.
On Friday 15th December, 2017, the President Nana Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the commencement of the Marine Drive Project.
In a brief ceremony the president said, “I am confident that all of us, gathered here, will be present again here, very soon, for the commissioning of this project.
This Marine Drive Project when completed will have facilities such as shopping malls, hotels, beach resort, restaurant, play grounds, art and craft village, fish markets, conference facilities, among other tourism amenities.
Marine Drive Project could be one of the biggest projects in the tourism sector, and will provide jobs for the teeming youth as well as transforming the tourism sector.
This development project in the tourism sector will draw more attention to the government to continue to develop all the beachfront in the country and other tourism sites to boost the economy just like Dubai is doing with tourism in the emirates.
I am using Dubai as an example because of how the emirates have positioned itself in building a tourism country for visitors.
According to World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), tourism contributed US64 billion to the United Arab Emirates economy in 2016 and the figure is expected to double over the next 10 years.
This figure shows how tourism in Dubai is helping the emirates economy.
Our leaders should learn from other countries when they travel for investment and conferences.
For instance the Odaw River and the Korle Lagoon, which is the river bank in the heart of the capital city is now a refuse dump.
This should have rather been a neat blue sea, across the city from one end to the other with restaurants and hotels alongside the river bank, and boat on the river to cruise in the centre of the city.
Such river bank are seeing in many developed countries including UK, Canada, USA, Singapore and many other countries being developed for tourist attraction.
I hope that the Marine Drive Project will be the gateway to most of the tourism sites in the country. This project shouldn’t only focus in Accra coastal alone but should be extended to other cities throughout the country.
I’m keeping my eyes open to monitor the progress of the work by visiting the site often to get more assurance that the project will be a dream come true.
The dreamer dreamed of an imposing skyline that will attracts visitors and tourists to tell the beauty of African story to the world.
A story that will make the world respect Ghana and Africa as a whole. After 60 years, Marine Drive Project will be a dream come true and will tell the story of the dreamer to the world.
By Francis Quasie
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