Government sells Accra’s coastline to investors.. as cabinet approves marine drive project

Cabinet has approved the redevelopment of portions of the Accra coast line under the Marine Drive Tourism Investment Development Project after extensive consultations with all stakeholders, Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts Minister has said.

The Marine Drive Project covers an area of 200 acres stretching from the Osu Christianborg Castle beach front to the Baiden Powell, near the Kwame Nkrumah Musoleum.

The project will have tourist resort with facilities such as hotels, casinos, shopping malls, office complex and theme parks among others.

“We have met all stakeholders who matter in this project and I am happy to inform you that, the Marine Drive Tourism Investment Development Project will begin sooner than anticipated,” she said in a speech read on his behalf by Gideon Aryeequaye, Acting Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority at the 25th anniversary celebration of Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra.

The multi million-dollar project is expected to be executed on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis in line with government’s PPP policy approved in 2011.

Public Private Partnership is a contractual relationship that enables the public sector to harness the expertise and efficiencies of the private sector in the delivery of certain facilities and services traditionally procured and delivered by public institutions.It is structured in such a way as to attract huge amounts of investments from the private sector.

The country’s development partners, including the World Bank and DFID, are supporting a project to move the PPP process forward with a total of US$30million over a five-year period. This is to assist in improving the legislative, institutional, financial, fiduciary and technical frameworks for PPPs, and develop bankable projects.

Ghana is presently faced with a huge infrastructure gap, and needs an average of US$1.5billion per annum for the next decade to address it; the tourism sector is one of the sectors in dire need of such investment.

Mrs. OfosuAdjare said: “This project is also in line with government policy on the Public Private Partnership where the government, in this case the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, took the bold initiative to use urban regeneration strategies as a way of attracting investment into developing that beach front into the state of the art tourism and hospitality enclave,”

She was optimistic that: “When completed, the project will transform the entire coastline from Osu to down-town Accra and position the community as an attractive destination for tourism, job creation and income generation for the youth.”

She further urged investors to capitalise on the many opportunities in the hospitality value chain and invests since their returns are guaranteed.