There’s been plenty of posturing around making Ghana a hub for trade and commerce lately — something that may not be unrelated to the recent decision of the African Union (AU) to site the secretariat of the newly agreed African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Accra — causing many to wonder if the country’s government was just talking a big game.
Well, it appears they aren’t as there’s now some action to back up all that talk. The government of Ghana, through the office of the Minister for Planning, have just revealed that it will be splashing the cash in an effort to change the face of the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre.
The Minister for Planning, Professor George Gyan-Baffour, has said that the government has budgeted an estimated amount of USD 2 Bn for the redevelopment of the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre.
Prof Gyan-Baffuor made this known at the Ghana Trade Fair Centre Redevelopment Investor Conference held in Accra yesterday (July 25, 2019).
He stated that the redevelopment of the Centre into a state-of-the-art trade exhibition site will generate additional tax revenue from new businesses and investors both locally and internationally.
It is expected that the project will require about three years from start to finish and three phases have been mapped out with one of the phases targeting the development of a 12,000-seater trade convention centre.
Besides that, modern hotels, retail shops, and many other facilities are expected to be erected on the site, alongside the convention centre. All this is aimed at breathing new life into Ghana’s domestic trade and investment sectors.
As part of the perks of the new project, an estimated 10,000 jobs are expected to be both directly and indirectly created throughout the value chain. These jobs will cut across project planning, construction, and post-construction management.
According to the minister, once fully functional, the revamped trading centre will also churn out USD 150 Mn worth of business annually, alongside those jobs.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour also reiterated that his office has mandated the Ghana Trade Company to ensure that the design concepts of the new trade centre have tourism at its core. He talked up the establishment of various theme parks and hotels, as well as retail outlets that will serve the entire sub-region.