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Entertainment of Monday, 14 August 2006

Source: GNA

Committee to coordinate relocation of Accra zoo inaugurated

Accra, Aug. 14, GNA - A 10-member committee with a mandate to coordinate all activities necessary for the transiting of the animals in the Accra Zoo to the Kumasi Zoological Gardens was on Monday inaugurated by the Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines (MLFM), Professor Dominic Fobih.

The committee with Mr Adjei Yeboah, Deputy Minister of the Ministry, as chairman, is also to facilitate the preparation of the design and the construction of a new zoo befitting the national capital at the Achimota Forest

The animals at the Accra Zoo, built as a private zoo for the First President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah at the Flagstaff House in the 1960s, and later turned into a public one, would be moved to Kumasi by the end of next month to make way for the construction of a Presidential Complex at the Flagstaff House area, where the current zoo is located. The movement of the animals to Kumasi is estimated to cost of 1.2 billion cedis.

Prof. Fobih said the announcement of the relocation had generated a lot of concern among stakeholders and hence the need for a body that would co-ordinate the activities relating to the movement of the animals.

"The relocation of the Accra Zoo is a blessing in disguise as our long cherished dream of a new zoo for Accra is about to come to reality," he said.

Prof. Fobih said the Government had pledged to provide the seed money for the commencement of the construction of the new zoo, which is expected to meet international, educational and eco-tourism standards. The new zoo, he said, was to be completed in phases within a maximum period of five years at a cost seven million dollars. Prof. Fobih said the Committee as part of its mandate was expected to source local and international funds to support Government's effort in providing a new zoo befitting the capital city.

He urged the members to begin to think about restocking the zoo to include animals that had never been seen in Ghana before. Other members of the Committee include Mr Ofori Frimpong, Executive Director Wildlife Division; Togbi Kporku III, Chairman of the Accra Zoo Board; Nii Nortey Owoo II, Osu Mantse, representing the Ga Traditional Council; Mrs Ayorko Doku of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and Mr Agyarko Tabi of MLFM, who is to be the secretary.

Other representatives, yet to be appointed would be from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning; Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations, Conservation International and the Forestry Commission.