Both the Daily Graphic and the Ghanaian Times newspapers reported that $1.55 billion had been secured to construct a modern city on the 160 acre land between the Osu Castle and the Arts Centre in Accra.
The project, which is a private venture put together by Togbe Afede, the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, will beautify Accra, upon its completion in four years.
Somewhere last year, The Chronicle came out with several ideas to turn Accra into a modern city. We, for instance, suggested that the Accra Metropolitan Assembly enter into negotiations with slum dwellers, for the possible reconstruction of their buildings by private investors, with the former being allocated specific flats at no cost.
We also suggested that government buildings in prime areas such as Ridge, which is our ‘down town’ area, should be demolished, and replaced with modern flats, through collaboration with the private sector.
The Chronicle is therefore happy that private individuals have come up with such an ambitious project that will see the construction of a 21-storey building, being described as the World Trade Centre (WTC), a modern hotel complex, shopping malls, and educational institutions among others.
Whilst welcoming this project, we wish to caution that modern tall buildings come with modern facilities. We cannot be constructing skyscrapers that will be using elevators, when we have erratic electricity supply in the country.
Again, we cannot be building skyscrapers when our National Fire Service has not been equipped to fight fire in buildings above four storeys. At least, the recent fire outbreaks in the country, especially in Accra, have exposed the logistical constraints of the Fire Service.
The Chronicle is therefore advising the government to start making investments in the energy sector, especially the electricity sub sector, to ensure uninterrupted supply of power, before this ambitious project is completed.
Similarly, the government must start sourcing for funds to equip the Ghana Fire Service to effectively deal with any fire situation that may occur in any of the tall buildings.
If we fail to start planning now, we will be caught on the wrong foot, and the world will laugh at us, not forgetting the potential loss of investment in the country.
The Accra WTC is surely going to be the business hub in Ghana, therefore, any disaster will affect the nation, both at home and abroad. The era where proper planning was relegated to the background, should be a thing of the past. We must start thinking ahead of time, as happens in the advanced countries.
Source: The Chronicle
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