The 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) has justified the call for the national capital to be moved out of Greater Accra; Mr Habibu Adams, Senior Economist, office of the Senior Presidential Advisor, Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo has stated.
He said the 2021 PHC results indicated that the southern part of the country was getting congested with the number of people and structures per square kilometre of land space dangerously high.
Mr Adams stated at the Ghana News Agency, Tema, Industrial New Hub Boardroom Dialogue platform, and suggested that as a first point of transformation a new Parliament building, and the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) could be relocated.
He added that all the multinational companies such as google, twitter, the automobile companies and many others who intended to open their offices for their African operations could be directed to open their head offices in the new capital.
The Senior Economist, reiterated that a new national capital could be developed around the Tamale Airport through Savannah to Bono East Regions.
He said Accra was currently chocked with serious traffic and sanitation issues; “If care is not taken, in the next ten years, Accra will need an interchange per kilometer to allow for free movement of vehicles. There will be too much human and motor traffic to an extent that the economic costs to the country would be dire.
“Already Accra has captured Kasoa from Central Region and tension is beginning to brew between Greater Accra and Eastern Region”.
The Senior Economist explained that the Tamale International Airport (TIA) should be made the main international airport for Ghana for very strategic reasons.
He argued that Tamale was the closest to the rest of the World and cut the journey by one-hour when flights take off from there. “Citizens from neighbouring countries like Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali would find it convenient to pick flights to Ghana and do the rest of the journey by road”.
Mr Adam noted that government could acquire large acres of land five times the size of Heathrow or Dubai airport at no cost or less cost to government and make it an Aviation Hub of West Africa.
“Government through the private sector can set up the Maintenance, Repairs and Overhaul (MRO) of airplanes as well as the cargo village especially for perishable goods which could reach Europe and the rest of the World faster than when they take off from Kotoka International Airport in Accra,” he explained.
“The African Continental Free Trade Centre headquartered in Accra in addition to the Marine Drive project, when completed could add close to one million people to the population of Accra in addition to the almost six million people on the overstretched land of Greater Accra,” he said.
Mr Adam noted that: “It is therefore high time we start working towards correcting that monumental mistake. Many countries including; Kazakhstan, Burma, Bolivia, Portugal, Indonesia and on the African continent, we have Nigeria, Burundi, Cote d’ Ivoire and Tanzania have either moved their capital or are in the process of moving their capital”.
He suggested that to cure the problem, each region should be given part of the national agenda to lead. “We can have tourism hub, educational hub, automobile hub, financial hub, petroleum hub among others to be led by the various regions”.
He stressed that making the Tamale International Airport the Hub, would provide economic justification for all other airports in the country the government currently wanted to build.
“With passengers arriving at the Tamale International Airport, they will be compelled to take flights to the various regions Accra, Kumasi, Ho, Cape Coast, Takoradi and Sunyani. This will boost the domestic aviation industry”.
He said “these actions should be deliberate policy of government to decongest Accra and move the services sectors to the less endowed regions”.
Mr Adam noted that one of the tragedies of our national development had been the failure of successive governments to carve our development path based on the potential of the various regions.