Fear Grips Traders At Accra Art Centre As Government Cuts Sod For New Project

Government will today April 13, 2017 at the Art Centre in Accra by authorities of the Centre for National Culture for the construction of an ultra modern structure.

The sod cutting is believed to be part of plans to relocate traders to the Kawukudi park as stated early this year.

The matter therefore triggered a lot of emotions as traders who could not hide their disappointment said they have been betrayed by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration for not fulfilling its promise.

Speaking an Accra-based radio station, the Chairman of the Kente Section at the Centre, Mr. Charles Kofi Appiah said he was only informed on Wednesday morning about the sod cutting and therefore quickly informed his people about it.

He indicated that the message did not go down well with his members as most of them shouted in shock and expressed various looks of disappointment.

Expressing worry about the exercise, Mr. Kofi Appiah said the Art Centre currently has over a 1,000 traders at the Kente section and a relocation will collapse a lot of businesses.

He further indicated that there are more than 500 traders at the centre who deal in other crafts and added that the matter if not well handled can cause a lot of problems.

Some traders expressed regret voting for the NPP government adding that “we have been betrayed by the NPP”.

It would be recalled that Traders at the Art Centre in Accra last February expressed their displeasure about plans by the incoming minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Catherine Abelema Afeku to relocate the area to Kawukudi.

According to them, they voted against the former National Democratic Congress (NDC) government because it had hinted of ejecting them from their current place.

“Nana Addo during his campaign visits promised he was going to refurbish the place and make it more attractive to tourists but the latest plan is averse to the earlier agreement. We will be disappointed if he allows his minister to go ahead to implement this plan”, a leader of the traders stated.

The Minister for Toursim, Arts and Culture, Catherine Abelema Afeku, during her vetting revealed that as parts of plans to make Ghana a tourism destination hub in Africa, plans were far advanced to relocate the famous Arts Center to Kawukudi.

This initiative which forms part of the Single Automation Platform, she noted, will enable the country to have a modern arts village that will rival that in Kenya and Senegal.

“This will have a bigger space and wider market reach to promote our unique textiles Kente Family – thus Agotime, Kpetie and Bonwire Kente, and smock from the Northern Region.

Commenting further, she said the project will offer an opportunity to work with the Handicraft Association to promote locally made goods in the country.

That aside, there will be the opportunity to create an online platform for them to sell their goods and create opportunities for the people.