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19.05.2007 General News

Trade Fair Centre to be transformed into City


Minister of Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development and PSI, Mr Alan Kyerematen, has announced that discussions were far advanced with a strategic investor from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to transform the current Trade Fair Centre into a Trade Fair City.

He said the new project would comprise office blocks for corporate organisations, a financial centre, a commercial hub, hotels, exhibition centres, a premier residential project and shopping malls.

He also said an overpass would be built across the road to link the fair to the hotels along the beach area.

Mr Kyerematen announced this during a visit to the Trade Fair Round Pavilion, whose massive superstructure caved in and collapsed on April 16.

This is the second time the Minister has visited the place to ascertain the cost of the damage and assess moves by government to rehabilitate the whole Trade Fair Site since the place has not seen any major renovation for the 45 years that it has been established.

Mr Kyerematen said in spite of the fast growth in information technology and e-commerce, trade fairs and exhibitions remained a major important means for goods promotion and services in the global market.

He called for regular and comprehensive renovation work at the site to preserve the buildings.

"The incident which happened exactly a month ago without any warning signs should be a wake up call for all of us to take a second look at the building complex," he said.

Mr Kyerematen also tasked the Architectural and Engineering Services Limited (AESL) to undertake a technical assessment of the collapsed structure and expand their scope of work to cover detailed technical audit of the entire trade fair to help pave way for comprehensive and thorough renovation exercise on all structures and facilities.

Ms Esther Dzifa Ofori, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Trade Fair Limited (GTFL), called for the immediate removal of the collapsed structure to avoid injury or loss of life and damage to property especially during the storms.

She said the structure was not damaged by any strong wind or storm but came down because it had outlived its lifespan since as it had seen any major rehabilitation for a long time.

Ms Ofori said even though there was no injury or loss of life the damage caused was colossal and constituted a major national tragedy particularly at a time when the promotion of trade and investment through fair and exhibitions was high on government's agenda.

Source: GNA