The Takoradi Mall officially opened its doors to customers yesterday in a frenzied atmosphere.
Excited residents believed that the mall would open a new chapter in the business environment in the Western Regional capital of Sekondi/Takoradi.
Built by a Ghanaian international upstream oil and gas service company, Amaja Oil Fields, at a cost of $40 million, the mall sits on a staggering 11,000 square metres of land and currently employs 1,000 people in various units.
The Second Lady, Mrs Samira Bawumia, who graced the occasion, said the country’s transformational agenda was a shared responsibility in which the private sector had a big role to play.
The country, she said, had a lot of opportunities to propel growth and urged the private sector to invest in other areas such as health care, education and agriculture to push the growth agenda even faster.
“The burden of prosperity we constantly seek as a people can no longer be carried by government alone; let us all join hands to create jobs and opportunities for our people,” Mrs Bawumia said.
She commended Shoprite, a retail supermarket in the mall for its decision to sell produce from farmers in the region.
“The farmers, I am told, have undergone special training and also provided with seedlings to grow fruits and vegetables locally to be sold in the mall.
“This is very commendable and I urge the managers of the mall to exhaust all other opportunities available to boost local production,” Mrs Bawumia said, adding that, “this should be replicated in the beverages department, poultry, clothing, accessories and all other departments in the mall,” she said.
According to her, “I have no doubt that the Takoradi Mall is capable of injecting renewed energy in the manufacturing industry while creating local entrepreneurs and boosting spending in the region.”
The Chief Executive of the Petroleum Commission, Mr Egbert Faibille Jnr, also commended the owners of the project for their foresight.
“With gains made from the oil and gas industry and the desire to grow the economy of Takoradi, the Chairman of Amaja Group, Mr Africanus Mensah, has diversified the business portfolio and ventured into what we are witnessing today.
This is an example of the local content we refer to in the industry,” he added.
For his part, Mr Mensah appealed to the chiefs and people of the region and agents responsible for the management of land to resolve challenges faced by investors over land acquisition in the area.
He recalled how he and a team of investors had to buy the same piece of land for the project three times from different owners.
Mr Mensah said the project was to support the growth of the country and bring back the vibrancy of the city.
“As the oil industry evolves, there is the need to create the ambiance for other industry workers who visit and work in Takoradi to stay and spend part of their income in the local economy,” he stated.