The sod cutting ceremony for the rehabilitation and modernisation of the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park (KNMP) project took place on Tuesday, 19th July 2022 at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, Accra. The project aims to create job opportunities and boost tourism in Accra.
Dr Mohammed Awal, Hon. Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture in his speech, said that the World Bank Tourism Development Project (WTDP) had provided USD 3 million for the rehabilitation and modernisation of the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and would take a maximum of nine months to complete. He added that the current condition of the park is not pleasant and can not be used to attract visitors. It is also not able to generate sufficient revenue to maintain and sustain the park. This is because the government has not been able to support the park with necessary budgetary resources leading to its deterioration.
The work needed to be executed entailed the total rehabilitation of the mausoleum and museum, the construction of a new Presidential Library, training centre, a restaurant, a VVIP lounge, an artistic freedom wall, and music and light fountains to boost night tourism at the park. He added that the Nkrumah Park project is expected to create fifty additional new jobs and many other indirect jobs when completed and would also help boost local and international tourism.
According to the Hon. Minister, when the renovation of the park is completed, it will befit the status of Ghana’s first president Dr Kwame Nkrumah and give recognition to the country’s other founding fathers of our nation: Edward Akufo-Addo, Ako Adjei, Obetsebi-Lamptey, William Ofori-Atta and J.B. Danquah.
It would further help concretise the Pan-African Triangular Centre: the George Padmore Library, W.E.B. Du Bois Centre for Pan Africanism, and the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park; thereby consolidating Ghana’s position as the foremost centre of Pan Africanism and diaspora research.
The Minister for Information, Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah indicated that tourism is the third largest contributor to the GDP in Ghana and can create job opportunities and incomes. It is therefore important to invest in tourism infrastructure to boost economic activities in the country.
Adding her voice to what had been said by earlier speakers, the Mayor of Accra, Mrs Elizabeth Sackey, said she was confident that the park when completed would create opportunities for the people of the Greater Accra region.
She also added that the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, under her leadership, had put together plans to boost and improve tourism in the city of Accra by developing the James Fort and beautifying the Accra Post Office and other tourist attractions in Accra.
A representative of the World Bank, Dr Patrick Wulling said that the World Bank was pleased to support the government in its strategy to invest in the tourism sector through the refurbishment and modernisation of the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park. According to him, the sector has immense potential to bring fortunes to the economy of Ghana.
Present at the ceremony were: the Minister of Roads and Highways, Hon Kwasi Amoako-Attah, Samia Yaaba Nkrumah, the daughter of Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana of whom the park was named, diplomatic corps, dignitaries, heads of agencies and staff of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, as well as students from the Holy Trinity Cathedral Senior High School in Accra.