Office for the Old Accra Project inaugurated
Accra, June 21, GNA- Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations on Thursday asked the people of James Town to resolve issues amicably instead of using violence which destroys the image of the Ga community and tourism potentials. "This will drive tourists away as no body will go for tourism in an area where there is violence and uncertainties".
Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey, who was addressing the people of James Town during the inauguration of the Old Accra Development Agency building said tourism was one of the major economic gains, which had helped the development of the country, and there was the need for people in tourist towns to observe peace in their communities. Describing the Agency as a symbol of hope and unity, he said the people of James Town should aspire to achieve greater things adding, " Tourism can bring back the prestige and heritage of the people and the land".
The sector Minister urged them to promote the area, especially in the area of boxing since the community had produce good and international boxers over the years, saying it could attract international boxers into the country.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Mr. Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson said although the area was noted for its historical importance, it had experience rapid decline in economic opportunities, rapid population growth and general degradation. He noted that the 2015 Old Accra Strategy which was put in place through the collaborative efforts of AMA Amsterdam Municipality, the sector ministry and the Netherlands Embassy has five thematic areas; Local Economic Development, Sanitation, Housing, Tourism and Education. Mr. Agyiri Blankson said the Agency would facilitate the smooth implementation of projects initiated under the strategy such as Ussher Forts rehabilitation, Old harbour development and rehabilitation of the Brazil House, among others.
Nii Teiko Tagoe, Project Manager of the Old Accra Project noted that the total cost of the building was 1.3 billion cedis with the government through the ministry contributing 430 million cedis. The Accra Metropolitan Assembly gave the land for the building and a cash of 200 million cedis, whiles the Dutch government through its sister relations with AMA bore the rest of the cost. Tjeerd Herema, Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam, who inaugurated the building expressed the hope that the Agency Building would contribute towards the cultural heritage of the people and promote tourism. He also presented boxing accessories to the two boxing training centres in the community.