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01.09.2005 General News

Committee to plan face-lift of Accra inugurated

GNA

Accra, Sept. 1, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Thursday inaugurated a 23-member Committee, to plan the proper development of Accra and give it the much-needed face-lift, befitting the status of national capital.

Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City, chairs the Committee, whose membership include some Ministers of State, representatives of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, Regional House of Chiefs, Institute of Planners, Ghana Institute of Architects and the Old Accra City Development Association.

The Committee would among other things determine the economic, social, spatial and sectoral policies of the City, formulate strategic development plans and supervise their implementation, and approve all development plans and programmes.

It would also promote strategic development projects, as may be necessary including, mass transit, relocation of bulk markets and the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.

President Kufuor expressed disquiet about the present physical development trend of Accra, saying; "it is boiling in ways that makes it more of a slum than a well-laid and planned capital".

This, he said, gave cause for concern since as the first stop for all visitors coming to Ghana; it was unhelpful to the nation's image. He, therefore, asked the Committee to think through the developmental problems facing the city and fashion out appropriate plans to salvage the situation.

President Kufuor said members should settle down to serious business and work out a master plan to influence perceptions of government both at the national and district levels so as to attract substantial budgetary resources.

"Accra is growing by leaps and bounds and would soon engulf some districts and that is why the Committee should help plan its proper development into the future," he said.

President Kufuor said building of roads; recreational facilities; stadiums, seaport and modern markets were critical areas that must engage its attention.

Obviously not happy about under-representation of women on the Committee, the President directed that they should constitute at least 25 per cent of the membership.

"They are real power in our social system. Find a place for them, the market women and other women groups and take their views seriously," he advised.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said the Committee had come to address a major weakness that had impeded the proper development of the city. He gave the assurance that they would work assiduously on the President's vision of transforming Accra into a modernised capital. The members of the committee include Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, Defence Minister; Mr Charles B. Bintim, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development; Dr Richard Anane, Minister of Road Transport; Paapa Owusu Ankomah, Interior Minister and Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyeman, Minister of Works and Housing.

The others are Miss Christine Churcher, Minister of Environment and Science; Professor Dominic Fobih, Lands and Forestry and Sheikn I. C. Quaye, Greater Accra Regional Minister. 1 September 05

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