The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has said rehabilitation and modernization work on the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park will be finalized and opened to the general public by end of the second quarter this year.
Renovating the facility, popularly known as Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, is expected to transform it into a world-class tourism park. Tourism minister Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal told the B&FT that more than 90 percent of rehabilitation work has been complete
“By end of June the mausoleum, which had been abandoned for a long time, will be fully renovated and commissioned,” Dr. Awal said.
The park, according to the minister, is expected to contribute significantly to the country’s 1.2 million anticipated international tourist arrivals in 2023, with an estimated corresponding revenue of US$3.4billion.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the mausoleum according to the ministry and Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) was registering an average of 98,000 visitors annually.
However, about 400,000 tourists are expected to visit the facility after its rehabilitation.
Renovation of the facility started in August last year, and is being supported by the World Bank Tourism Development Project – entailing total refurbishment of the mausoleum and park, construction of a new Presidential Library, a training centre, new restaurant, VVIP lounge, an artistic freedom wall, a befitting car park, music and a light fountain, and many other ancillary works.
At the start of renovation work on the edifice in August last year, World Bank Group Programme Leader and Lead Specialist Dr. Patrick M.D Mullen said there is a need to expand the economic impact of tourism to bring massive benefits for Ghanaians.
He said: “The decision to renovate the mausoleum is a feasible strategy which the World Bank supports, and is proud to be associated with a nation with a proud history such as Ghana. The renovation is important – not just for Ghanaians to memorialise and celebrate Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, but the entire region and the world”.
When completed, the park is expected to create an additional 50 jobs and many indirect jobs, and boost the country’s travel and tourism trade.
With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and resumption of international travel, Dr. Awal indicated that Ghana continues to anticipate a surge in visitor-numbers – with an overall medium-term strategy to reach two million tourist arrivals by 2025, with not less than US$5.2billion revenue.
This year, government, through the tourism ministry is projecting the creation of some 150,000 jobs in the tourism value chain; including training and capacity building for some 6,000 sector players.