GHANA’S NEW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Kotoka International airport remains the only international airport in the country. With the country's growing economy and political stability as compared to other African countries, there is increase tourists and inflow of investments in the country. Hence in the years ahead, Kotoka will not be able to handle the increasing number of flights considering its location since it is almost located in the center of the capital city and room for expansion is very limited, therefore the need of this new international airport.
Recently, the minister for transport, Alhaji Collins Dauda at the Meet-The-Press series at the ministry of information, proclaimed the government is to finalize financial arrangement for the Tamale airport to be upgraded into international standard for the country. According to him the airport will operate as a hub for sub regional flights, thereby easing pressure and congestion at the Kotoka international airport due to the increasing number of international flights and passengers.
Again, according to Hon Collins Dauda, Ghana Airports Company Limited is acquiring land at Prampram to site another new international airport in Accra. The question I am asking His Excellency Prof. John Evans Atta Mills and Hon. Minister for transport is does Accra need another international airport? One has to travel to the capital city to just acquire a police report, to my astonishment. That is the kind of baroque city we are building as a nation. Instead of decentralizing certain important facilities that promote development in this country, we are rather concentrating everything in the capital city.
Also, is Mr. President aware of the 122 million dollars loan from Woori? Obviously it seems appropriate for one to judge the President is not acquainted making reference to current developments in the country, the agreement between Government of Ghana and IMF and also Woyome's controversial 58 million Ghana cedis saga. On November, 2008, the then minister of Aviation, Mr. Joe Baidoe-Ansah, said 122 million dollars has been made available by the government to upgrade the Kumasi airport to international standard. This project was funded by Woori, a South Korean bank and was to be executed by GK Airport Company Limited, a South Korean construction firm. It was to be completed in this year 2011. Unfortunately this project was halted when the NDC government assumed office in January 2009. I am therefore asking Prof. Mills why the project was halted. Is this the ''GREAT ASHANTI PROJECT' Mr. President is afraid of?
I am also challenging the minister for transport to let the whole world know the criteria for selecting Tamale as against Kumasi for this new international airport. What economics sense does this make? Did the government mull over the market economics of these cities? Did the government also considered the intercity connections and the population of the surrounding cantons of Kumasi as compared to Tamale? The whole world wants to know. From Hon. Collins Dauda statement, one reason for upgrading Tamale airport is to enhance efficiency in the handling of future Hajj operations since the region is characterized by a large Muslim population, HELLOO! So construction of international airport now depends on Hajj?
Let face the facts. Kumasi is Ghana's second largest commercial and industrial city playing host to foreign visitors, businessmen and traders coming from abroad. Moreover Kumasi is now a center for education, research and also the heart of Ghana's cultural which most capital cities in Africa cannot even be compared to Kumasi. Hence Kumasi hosts thousands of people from the international community every year. Also most people patronized Kumasi airport than the other regional airports in the country. Therefore establishing an international airport in Kumasi will upsurge the country's economy.
The government should take a critical look at this issue and make a decision for the benefit of the country.