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05.08.2019 Feature Article

Traffic Management Center Is Long Overdue

President Akufo-Addo,Ghana
LISTEN AUG 5, 2019

That the establishment of a Traffic Management Center (TMC) in Accra is the first of its kind in the West African sub-region, should come as absolutely no news at all (See “President Akufo-Addo Commissions Traffic Management Center in Accra” / 8/3/19). The West African sub-region is among the least technologically advanced in the world. What is of utmost significance here, therefore, is that, finally, Ghana, under President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is steadily and rapidly being moved into the mainstream of modern technological advancement.

The project itself is not likely to be completed until very close to the 2020 general election. It could have been scheduled well ahead of the 2020 general election, but it well appears that Ghana’s political culture, at least for now, will continue to revolve around our electoral calendar. We need to quickly move away from this opportunistic mindset of development planning. But, of course, as the jaded saying or cliché goes: “Better late than never.” I vividly remember that this idea of urban decongestion also came up during the Mahama tenure, when a Deputy Minister from South Korea was dispatched to Accra by the Seoul government, together with some civil engineers and other city-planning experts, only to have the then sector minister, Mr. Fiifi Kwetey, virtually become a no-show.

The preceding incident, as I vividly recall, occurred sometime between 2014 and 2015; and the South Korean Ambassador to Ghana at the time had quite a bit of work-ethic reprimand for Mr. Kwetey. It was a very embarrassing but all-too-appropriate and even righteous reprimand that was the norm under the Mahama tenure, during which period the Second-Deputy Chinese Foreign Minister held an “unauthorized” press conference in Accra to lambaste the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on the latter’s gross mistreatment and abuse of Chinese nationals engaged in the Galamsey industry who, by the way, as we learned from the visibly livid Chinese Foreign Minister, had been specially and specifically invited into the country by either highly placed Ghanaian government officials and/or Ghanaian citizens engaged in the Galamsey business.

And so it is quite refreshing that the dream of having the nation’s capital auspiciously decongested is, finally, coming to fruition under the progressive and visionary tenure of the Akufo-Addo-led Administration of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Of course, it is also quite certain that Mr. Kwasi Amoako-Atta, the Minister for Roads and Highways, is fully aware of the fact that Accra is not the only Ghanaian city or metropolis that suffers from acute traffic congestion. Nearly every one of the country’s 16 regional capitals, to varying degrees, also suffers from some form of chronic traffic snarl, most especially cities like Kumasi, Ghana’s unofficial second capital but official cultural capital, Tamale and the twin-cities of Sekondi-Takoradi and Koforidua, the Eastern Regional Capital, for ready examples.

What the preceding observation means is that other Traffic Management Satellite Centers, if not full-fledged centers, ought to be in the works by now, if this is not already the case. Equally significant, of course, is the need for the reconfiguration of our urban drainage systems to ensure that the sort of periodic fatal flooding of our nation’s capital and other towns and cities across the country is drastically reduced or practically made a veritable and virtual relic of the past. But what I took to be the most important lesson worth reminding ourselves of, was, of course, President Akufo-Addo’s solemn call for the regular maintenance and the necessary periodic upgrade of the newly commissioned Traffic Management Center. This is what the socioeconomic concept of “sustainable development” is squarely about. We need to do at least this much for ourselves and our children and grandchildren.

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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
August 3, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., © 2019

The author has 4888 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

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