The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, 4th July 2023, commissioned the renovated and modernised Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, a year after he cut the sod for the commencement of work on the project.
The Park, which was built in 1991 and opened to the public in 1992, in the time of the 1st President of the 4th Republic, His Excellency the late Jerry John Rawlings, had not seen any renovation since then, resulting in significant deterioration of the edifice.
It is for this reason that President Akufo-Addo instructed the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, to close it down temporarily for renovation to be undertaken.
Addressing the gathering at the ceremony, the President noted that the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park has not only been renovated, but it has also been completely modernised to befit the status of the final resting place of the man who led us to independence in 1957, and became Ghana’s first President, the justly-celebrated Kwame Nkrumah.
“The Park now has facilities including a presidential library, receptive facility, mini-amphitheater, restaurant, freedom wall, and a digitalised payment and access system. The mausoleum has also been fully refurbished, with the tombstone upgraded, and the museum expanded with an audiovisual tunnel. There is also an upgraded VVIP lounge, expanded recreational area, a modernized gift shop, and a fountain area with synchronised audiovisuals, the first of its kind in West Africa,” he said.
The President continued, “The thirty million cedi (GH¢30million) modernised Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park is in line with plans by Government to make the Park one of the best tourism and heritage attractions in West Africa. As the outstanding pan-Africanist of his generation, the burial site of Dr. Nkrumah must be appropriate to his status and exceptional contribution to the liberation of Africa from colonialism and imperialism.”
The Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, which attracted some ninety thousand visitors annually before the renovation, is now expected to attract over one million tourists annually.
To this end, the President charged the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and its agencies to devise effective marketing and promotional strategies to achieve the target of one million domestic and international tourists’ visitations to the Park.
As part of measures to make Ghana the hub of tourism in West Africa, the President indicated that Government is building museums and other tourist attractions in various parts of the country.
“The construction of a Museum and Heroes Park for the “Big Six”, a Memorial Park in Cape Coast for the Aborigines, a Memorial Enclave in Tamale for the founders of the erstwhile Northern People’s Party to symbolise their participation in the drive for national independence, and the completion of ongoing works at the Bonwire Museum and the Yaa Asantewaa Museum both in Ejisu, are in the offing. You will recall also that the National Museum had to be closed down for seven years from 2015 to 2022 due to lack of maintenance. It was in my time, in 2022, that the renovation of the museum was completed,” he added.
In seeking to delight visitors who throng our tourist attractions, President Akufo-Addo noted that the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and the Ghana Tourism Authority have embarked on product improvement and customer service orientation for operators in the hospitality and tourism value chain.
To this end, the President indicated that some six thousand (6,000) frontline operators will be imbibed with the necessary customer care skills and competencies over the course of the next one year to enable them handle both domestic and international tourists.
Ghana, the President reiterated, has the potential to be the tourism and business hub of West Africa for several reasons.
“We are host of the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat; we have political stability and proven democratic credentials; and we have a rich and diverse culture. The Kotoka International Airport in Accra is the best airport in West Africa, with easy connectivity to many countries, whilst Ghana is the home of modern pan-Africanism and global African diasporan activities. Above all, we are a warm and hospitable people,” he said.
He reiterated Government’s determination to maintain Ghana’s ranking as the number one country in the Region on the West African Digital Competitiveness Index so as to support service delivery, and enhance our regional competitiveness.
“The improvement in our road networks and the construction of several interchanges across the country are expected to ease travel, and open up tourist destinations. Also, the completion of airports in Kumasi, Tamale and Ho will boost further domestic and international tourism, thereby creating jobs for people, the President added.