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General News of Monday, 29 January 2018


Ghana to own Akwaaba Hotels - Afeku

Madam Catherine Ablema Afeku,  Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts play videoMadam Catherine Ablema Afeku, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts

Madam Catherine Ablema Afeku, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, says Ghana would soon construct Akwaaba Hotels across the country to provide affordable hotel accommodation to both domestic and foreign tourists.

She said those hotels would be funded under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, through the Ghana Tourism Development Company (GTDC), which would use the land as equity, while the private sector investors provide the funds for the actual construction.

The Minister said some investors had already entered into agreements with the GDTC so that the allodial owners of the land would be brought on board to avoid any land litigation.

She added that, the move was aimed at promoting domestic tourism, whereby an average Ghanaian can afford to spend time with the family there.

Madam Afeku made the disclosure when she took her turn at the Meet-the-Press Series in Accra, on Monday.

The event provides a platform for the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to respond to critiques, criticisms and provide further explanation on implementation of government programmes and policies as well as receive feedback from the public.

Madam Afeku added that, other investors had shown interest in the Akwaaba Hotel initiative and were reviewing the feasibility studies conducted, and also looking at some locations in other regions for the project.

She said: “Through a study conducted by the Ministry, we realised that hotel accommodation in the country is too expensive and is a deterrent to tourists.

“Therefore we needed to have a chain of indigenous hotels like the Kimpinskis, Holiday Inns and Ibis, which are owned by other nations and would be a legacy for President Akufo-Addo,” she explained.

The Tourism Minister stated that, 33 sites had been identified for development into tourist sites across the nation and that a legislative instrument had been approved by Cabinet to facilitate the process, which would give the Ministry and its agencies oversight responsibility over those sites.

Madam Afeku reminded the media about the Marine Drive Project, which the President cut the sod for commencement of work on December 15, last year.

She said the project comprised a 214-acre land stretching from Osu Klortey Lagoon to the Accra Community Centre, which would be developed into a tourism enclave.

The Minister said the idea of the project was mooted by the country’s First President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, and would have facilities like hotels, malls, concert halls, restaurants and children’s recreational centre.

She said an Advisory Board had been inaugurated to oversee the implementation of the project.

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