President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has inaugurated the redeveloped Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park (KNMP) in Accra. Popularly known as the ‘Nkrumah Mausoleum’, the $3.5million World Bank Funded redeveloped park is located at the old Polo Grounds on a 5.4 acre land in the heart of the city.
The redeveloped project has introduced a new reception centre made up of a host of offices, a modern library, an eatery, a gift shop, an infirmary, and a conference facility digitally controlled.
Also included in the new additions is the introduction of an audio-visually synchronised fountain which lights up the park at night and also a mini-amphitheatre for lectures and performances for mini groups, as well as a picnic area for the youth.
It also has its museum refurbished, expanded and fitted with digital audio-visuals which chronicle the life of the Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah the first President of Ghana, among others.
At a very colorful ceremony organised as part of the inauguration, President Akufo-Addo said the redevelopment of the KNMP was in line with government’s plan to make the park one of the best tourism and heritage attraction in West Africa.
He said with the stature of Kwame Nkrumah as the foremost Pan Africanist and the first President of Ghana, it was only appropriate that his burial site was given the status of his exceptional contribution to the liberation of Africa from colonialism and imperialism.
President Akufo-Addo explained that the redevelopment of the facility was to help increase its annual inflow of visitors from the current 90,000 tourist to about 1,000,000 visitors annually.
He said there was the need for the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture (MoTAC) and its agencies to devise all the necessary marketing strategies to attain the 1,000,000 foreign and domestic tourist visitations to the park.
The President explained that as part of measures to make Ghana the hub of tourism in West Africa, government was building museums and other attractions across the country.
“The construction of a museum and Heroes Park for the big six, a memorial park in Cape Coast for the aboriginist, a memorial enclave in Tamale for the founders of the erstwhile Northern Peoples Party (NPP) to symbolise their participation in the drive for national independence and complete ongoing works on the Bonwire Kente Museum and the Yaa Asantewaa Museum both in Ejisu are in the offing,” he emphasised.
He said museums and other tourist attractions are the living energies of culture and history, and represent the very essence of a people, stressing that “it is therefore important that they are kept in the best possible shape to attract both domestic and international visitors.”
President Akufo-Addo said the MoTAC and the Ghana Tourism Authority had embarked on product development with customer service orientation for the tourism and hospitality value chain.
He said about 6000 frontline operators would be imbibed with the necessary customer services skills and competencies in the course of the next one year to handle both domestic and international tourists.
The Country Director of the World Bank, Mr Pierre La Porte on his part said the bank was happy to have contributed to the redevelopment of the park to bring it to a world class standard.
He said Dr Kwame Nkrumah was more than just a Ghanaian Politician but in so many ways a revolutionary and a visionary, stressing that “he spearheaded the Gold Coast independence movement into modern day Ghana. He led the country to independence from Britain in 1957 and in the process had a domino effect on many other Africa Countries for their independence”
Mr La Porte said Kwame Nkrumah for his contribution to the liberation of the African Continent was considered the most influential personality of the 20th century. He also commended the team for the wonderful job done in redeveloping and refurbishing the park.
On her part, Samia Yaaba Nkrumah, daughter of Kwame Nkrumah, expressed her profound gratitude to the government for the facelift given to the park.