Business activities are gradually picking up at the $298 million Kejetia Market Complex, a month after traders and other businesses began occupying spaces in the imposing new facility located in the heart of Kumasi.
A modern car terminal located on the ground level of the three-storey market building and a tailoring section on the first floor are the busiest areas in the market complex at the moment.
The tailors, in their hundreds, previously operated at the Kumasi Central Market.
Retail shops are also coming to life, albeit slowly, as traders arrive in small numbers to take charge of their stores, having received the keys to them from the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA).
The economy of Kumasi is comprised largely of trading companies and the consensus among the people who have taken occupancy of the market is that it currently presents opportunities for small-scale businesses to thrive in an environment of safety and serenity.
The Kejetia Market project was begun in 2015 and completed in 2018 but opening it for business became a headache for the KMA as there were challenges regarding space allocation to traders.
At the sod-cutting event for commencement of the second phase of the Kejetia Central Market Redevelopment Project in May, this year, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, asked the KMA to immediately open up the market for business, since any delay in opening it was a disservice to the traders who were moved to allow the facility to be constructed.
Things smoothen out
On a visit to the market last Monday, some drivers, tailors and petty traders the Daily Graphic spoke to said they were delighted that after initial hitches that delayed the opening of the market, the giant project was now seeing life.
Many traders were also seen gathered on the occasion in readiness to receive the keys to their stores.
The traders who were visibly in haste appealed to the KMA to speed up the stores allocation process so that trading activities could gain steam.
A private security firm has also been contracted to take charge of the security of the facility.
At the transport terminal, a driver, Mr James Osei, who plies the Kumasi-Tepa route, said the environment at the new market was one of the best in the country.
He said it was refreshing to have the market open for business.
Some traders who also spoke to the Daily Graphic later on, including Mrs Vida Peprah Boadu and Ms Lydia Akoto, said they occupied their stores about a month ago and patronage had been on the average.
At the tailoring section, Mr Kwaku Owusu,73, said his current shop was the best ever in his 55 years work as a tailor.
He said sanitation, security and everything that ensured a congenial atmosphere for smooth operations were in place.
The Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Osei Assibey Antwi, told the Daily Graphic that the market was going to be the turning point in the life of Kumasi as a city.
"It's a gradual process, but I can say that the market is picking up and soon Kumasi will be the winner," he said.