Today, July 4, 2023, the redeveloped Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park will be commissioned by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The Park, which cost approximately $3.5 million, holds great historic significance as it is dedicated to the memory of Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, and serves as the final resting place for him and his wife, Fathia Nkrumah.
The Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park is situated on the former British colonial Polo Grounds in Accra, where Dr. Kwame Nkrumah declared Ghana as an independent nation.
It was built in 1990 by the late Jerry John Rawlings, the former Head of State, in order to commemorate the first President and preserve Ghana’s heritage. The park was opened to the public in 1992 and has since attracted about 98,000 visitors per year, making it one of Ghana’s top 10 most visited sites.
Over the years, the park had been in need of significant renovations. The fountains, one of the major attractions, were not functioning properly, affecting visitations.
In addition, the museum’s roof leaked whenever it rained, making it difficult to conduct informative tours. The VIP lounge, where state guests signed visitor books, and the main corridor to the washrooms were also in a deplorable state.
Recognizing the importance of tourism in Ghana’s development, President Akufo-Addo declared tourism as a means of social advancement upon assuming office in 2017. In 2018, his government secured a $40 million loan from the World Bank through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture to improve the country’s tourism environment. This included addressing constraints on the sector, developing tourism sites and destinations, and financing tourism enterprises and training.
On July 19, 2022, the Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, initiated the rehabilitation and redevelopment of the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and Mausoleum. After completion, the park will be commissioned today by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The New Patriotic Party, the governing party, understands and appreciates the significance of the park and its contribution to Ghana’s history, thus sparing no efforts to uplift it to a status befitting the first President of Ghana.
This redevelopment is expected to generate much-needed resources for the country, aligning with the government’s aim to boost the economy through tourism.
By Vincent Kubi