A ground breaking ceremony for the second phase of the reconstruction of the Kumasi Central Market has been performed by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
The 248 million Euro project is being financed by the Bank of Germany and will be constructed by Messrs Contracta Construction Company of the United Kingdom (UK).
Expected to be completed in 48 months, the project when completed, would have 6,500 leasable commercial spaces, 5,400 cold stores, 800 kiosks, 50 restaurants and 1,800 square kilometres of community facilities as well as a police station, fire station, post office among others.
It is expected to create 900 direct and 2,500 indirect jobs to the youth.
The ceremony, which coincided with the unveiling of a giant statue of His Majesty, Osei Tutu II, at the roundabout of the Kejetia Market, formed part of activities lined up for the 20th anniversary of the enthronement of the Asantehene.
President Akufo-Addo was full of praise for the Asantehene’s efforts in ensuring the completion of the first phase of the Kejetia Project.
The President said government would not relent in its efforts in ensuring infrastructural development throughout the country and mentioned the approval of 155 million Euro for the completion and equipment of the maternity block of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital that had been stalled for 40 years.
He recalled that in the run up to the 2016 general election, the government, in its manifesto stated that “we will embark on a sustainable and integrated infrastructure development programme across the country, and the redevelopment of the Kejetia market and other projects demonstrate my government’s unwavering commitment to deliver significant infrastructure projects that will create jobs and enhance economic development across all regions in the country.”
President Akufo-Addo noted that the central market when completed would not only address and mitigate the underlying causes of fire outbreaks but would provide better conditions for mobility in the area, allow traders to receive their merchandise and customers to access the market safely in a convenient manner.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu was thankful to the government for honouring him with his statue.
He turned his attention to the authorities handling the allocation of the Kejetia Market and urged them to expedite action to ensure whoever is due is treated fairly.
The Asantehene did not understand why for the past three months the market had not been allocated to the owners whose names had been documented, and therefore cautioned the authorities not to mess up with the traders to which there was thunderous cheers from the traders who had thronged there in their numbers.
He pointed out that if the authorities would not do due diligence to ensure the traders were fairly treated, the second phase of the project would be seen as a ploy by the traders.
Mr Ian Walker, British High Commissioner to Ghana said Britain is proud to be part of the second phase of the Kejetia market with the provision of 70 million pounds adding that Kumasi is a major business hub in West Africa.
This, he said, is on top of 67 million pounds funded through Contracta UK towards the expansion of the Kumasi Airport to open up Kumasi to the sub-region and the wider world.
He noted that in the last three years the British Government had supported projects in Ghana to the tune of 570 million Pounds.
“As Ghana moves beyond aid just as the UK moves beyond the European Union (EU) we want Ghana and Africa to be full of opportunities,” he intoned.
FROM KINGSLEY E. HOPE, KUMASI