Work on the Accra marine drive investment project will finally start in 2017. This forms part of the Akufo-Addo government’s plan to develop Ghana’s tourism sector to meet international standards. The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, made this revelation when he presented the 2017 budget statement and economic policy in Parliament on Thursday, March 2

. Speaking on the tourism and creative arts industry, Mr. Ofori Atta said that “in 2017, the government will kick-start the Accra marine drive tourism investment project covering over 240 acres of land from the Osu Christianborg Castle to the Arts Centre.

This he said, will transform the area into a tourism enclave that will create jobs. Ofori Atta also noted that, the “tourism and the creative arts industry is one of the underdeveloped sectors in our country, despite the immense growth potential and opportunities for job creation. When developed, the sector can positively impact the lives of many Ghanaians, communities and small enterprises in our country, providing needed jobs for our teeming youth.”

As part of this plan, the government will partner with the private sector to develop the Efua Sutherland Park, also in Accra, into an ultramodern world-class recreational centre. He stated that, government’s objective is to transform the country into a major meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition centre, adding that to facilitate this plan, “government will aggressively develop Ghana’s tourist sites to promote and market tourism.”

The Accra marine drive project, which seeks to link Osu to Abokobi in the Ga East District as the two towns share a common heritage, was part of the Mahama government’s list of projects for the tourism industry. On World Tourism Day in 2016, the former Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, announced that  a 13- member Osu Tourism Development Committee had been set up as part of preparation for the project. However, work on the project did not begin before the Mahama government was voted out.