The renovation work at the Ohene Djan (Accra sports stadium) and Baba Yara stadia (Kumasi sports stadium) will cost the nation a total of $55 million and will be completed on schedule for the 2008 African Nations Cup, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports has disclosed.
While work in Kumasi is estimated to cost $25.5million, the cost of renovating the nation's premier stadium will cost an extra $4 million as a result of extra work to be done including the demolition of the Osu stand and its reconstruction to meet international standards.
He also indicated that the renovation work at the nation's flagship stadium would be done alongside the upgrading of the El Wak Stadium to host sporting activities while the Ohene Djan Stadium remains closed to the public.
Briefing the media yesterday after holding a closed-door meeting with a three-man inspection team of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), which is in the country to assess Ghana's preparation for CAN 2008, Mr Osafo-Maafo said he informed the inspectors about the commitment of government to ensure a successful hosting of the tournament, indicating that construction work was already underway at the four venues — Accra, Kumasi, Essipong and Tamale.
The inspection team is led by Messrs Slim Aloulou, a CAF executive member, Suleiman Habuba, CAF's Director of Communications and Jean Marie Weber, a marketing advisor to the continental body.
The team later visited the Ohene Djan Stadium in the company of some members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) where they were briefed by the contractor on the scope of renovation work to be done and the timeline for the project, and also to see at first hand the extent of work done.
As the stadium workers were busily removing the metal railings and roofing sheets at the stands, while the plastic seats at the Osu Stand had been unscrewed, with only a skeleton of National Sports Council staff remaining at the stadium waiting to relocate to the Azumah Nelson Sports Complex at North Kaneshie.
Mr Jimmy Castagna, Technical Director of Micheletti and Company, the principal sub-contractors for the project, explained that the permanent removal of the running tracks was necessitated by the need to expand the seating capacity of the Ohene Djan Stadium to 40,000 as demanded by CAF.
Today, they will visit Essipong in the Western Region where a new 20,000-seater stadium is being constructed by the Shanghai Construction Group from China and move to Kumasi and Tamale tomorrow.