Squatters at the Kawokudi area in Accra have up to the end of Sunday to vacate the location as an ejection exercise is scheduled to take place on Monday.
A statement from the Tourism Ministry explained that no compensation will be paid to the affected persons. One hundred and fifty-two (152) out of 154 as at close of day on Wednesday 20th June 2018, were provided with what the ministry described as facilitation for transportation out of the location.
The ejection of the squatters from the place is to enable the construction of the new Arts and Crafts Village to commence in earnest, which will, in turn, pave way for the relocation of the Arts and Craft Centre so the Marine Drive Project can start.
The Marine Drive Tourism Investment Project (MDTIP) according to the statement ‘represents a dream that has existed as long as independence – a dream of transforming Accra’s beachfront into an iconic city centre destination with a beautiful skyline that showcases Ghana’s dignity and pride to the world.’
The project is a Public-Private Partnership initiative spearheaded by the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture (MOTAC) covering a total of 241 acres of land and seeking to harness Arts, create a cultural village, boost tourism to form the synergies and provide the much-needed jobs for the youth, especially those within the catchment area, and increase economic growth.
As to be expected with major changes in land and infrastructure, co-operation from the immediate community is an essential pre-requisite. Consequently, it became necessary to move the vendors at the Arts and Crafts Centre temporarily to a different location for the Marine Drive Project to commence.
The National Commission on Culture (NCC) under MOTAC readily offered land at Kawukudi but the land has been occupied by squatters. MOTAC through the Project Management Unit (PMU) of the Marine Drive and the Community Youth Cultural Centre (CYCC) of the NCC has for the past eight months engaged the squatters with their opinion leaders and Chief Moro Baba Issa. A compromise was reached. This was at the background of a similar eviction notice served two (2) years ago.