Although Ghana possesses diverse natural, historical and cultural and man-made resources/ attractions for tourism development, these resources are largely undeveloped to make Ghana competitive effectively in the global tourism landscape. Consequently, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, in collaboration with relevant sector Ministries, submitted a Joint-Memorandum to Cabinet for consideration and approval to develop the Marine Drive Enclave. The collaborating ministries are the Ministry of Works Housing and Water Resources, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, and Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology.
Marine Drive Investment
The Marine Drive Tourism Project is the single largest tourism investment project to be initiated by the Government of Ghana since Independence. The 241-acre prime beachfront tourism enclave project is envisaged to position Ghana as the most sought-after tourist destination and the destination of choice within the West African sub-region as well as provide job opportunities for many young people in Ghana within the hospitality industry. The project is basically:
Plan and develop the entire parcel of land, stretching from the Osu Klottey Lagoon (behind the Christianborg Castle) to the Accra Community Centre, covering an area of 241 acres and
Re-zone stretch of land into a Tourism Enclave.
The enclave will focus on 4 key categories of tourism in the broad locations (as indicated below):
Business Tourism - Along the Accra High Street.
Leisure Tourism - Along the sea front.
Cultural Tourism - Existing Osu Castle, Black Star Square, Asomdwe Park, Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, Arts Centre and new performing arts facilities.
Eco Tourism - Traditional Fishing and related economic activities, including cottage industries and small scale sub-urban farming.
The expected beachfront development will include:
Christianborg Castle Museum
Casino with corporate facilities
7 hotels (average 400 keys, each)
3 Sports Clubs
Spa/Beauty Clinic & Massage Parlour
Jetty / Water Sports
5 Corporate offices/Banking Offices
Amphitheatre/ Music Studio
Police post and security facilities
Management and maintenance facilities
Transport management facilities
In Ghana, the tourism, culture and creative arts industry has established strong linkages with other sectors of the local and national economies through entrepreneurial activities, the ownership of small, medium and large scale formal and informal businesses, and the supply of goods and services consumed by tourism businesses and tourists.
According to the United World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in 2009, Ghana had the third-highest market share of tourism arrivals in West Africa, behind Nigeria and Senegal. In terms of tourism receipts, Ghana out performed both Nigeria and Senegal, recording a significant 3.4 percent share of Africa tourism receipts compared to Nigeria’s 2.1 percent and Senegal’s 1.6 percent.
However, the ensuing periods have seen Ghana’s share of Africa tourism receipts decline from 3.8 percent to 3.4 percent, whilst both Nigeria and Senegal’s shares increased because of intensive tourism investments promotions (UNWTO, 2011).
The above analysis implies a paradigm shift and effective development strategies are required to make Ghana more competitive and increase her share in the global tourism market arena. It is against this background that a concept has been prepared- ‘Marine Drive Investment Plan’ for implementation, between 2013 and 2023, with the objects of
Adopting an integrated approach to developing and promoting the entire stretch of land for tourism and cultural purposes. Presently, the Ministry has oversight responsibility, through its implementing agencies (Ghana Tourist Development Company Limited and the Ghana Tourism Authority), for the development and promotion of the following sites (i) Palm Court; (ii) Hearts of Oak Park; (iii) the Arts Centre; (iv) Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum; and (v) the National Symphony Orchestra.
Increasing the tourism, culture and creative arts industry’s role in local and national development.
Increasing local content through promotion of a strong linkage between the tourism, culture and creative arts sector and agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing, construction, aviation, insurance and banking sectors.
While the linkages will create access to markets for Ghanaians through the supply and value chain linkages, it will help increase employment and income opportunities particularly for the unemployed.
Objectives Of The Project
The core development objectives of the project are to:
Decongest the city centre of non-conforming uses and re-instate a new land use structure befitting the capital city.
Intensify the use of land to be consistent with the high values of land and also counteract the apparent scarcity of land in Accra.
Create an environment to attract high levels of tourism-related investment in the city centre.
Promote investment in tourism and tourism-related facilities.
Create jobs and income opportunities, particularly in the local communities.
Create revenue streams for Chiefs and People of Osu and Ga Traditional Councils.
Tackle waste and sewerage challenges along the coast.
The project will be executed in phases through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement in the form of a Joint Venture Partnerships (JVPs) or Single Purpose Vehicles (SPVs). The project finance models will include Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) and Build Operate and Transfer (BOT). The rest include but not limited to loan or suppliers’ credits. The land will not be sold to the prospective investor but used as part of equity for the project. The project has been designated as a Free Zones one which means that the project will enjoy tax free benefits. Therefore, all the building materials, machinery and equipment and services imported for the construction of the project will be tax free.
Traditional Rites & Sod Cutting of Project
On December 17, 2017, the President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo cut the sod at a colourful ceremony graced by the Chiefs and people of Osu and Ga Mashie, current and former Ministers of State as well as Members of Parliament, members of the diplomatic corp, business leaders and heads of organizations.
Prior to the above, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture on 18th April, 2018 witnessed the performance of traditional rites by the Osu and Ga Traditional Councils to pave way for the commencement of the project.
Anchor developer has been working on the project site to clear land and prepare for the construction of the sub-structure. The Governing Board of the project considers various funding options for the provision of utility services.