Plans underway for Ningo-Prampram City Extension
A preparatory meeting to discuss a Planned City Extension project at Ningo Prampram as a national priority was convened at National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).
A presentation by the District Assembly revealed that the project had become necessary because of rapid and unplanned urbanisation process in the Greater Accra region resulting in large scale haphazard development. It continued that, unless meaningful interventions including the proposed plan city extension are implemented, this trajectory will likely continue as the population of Accra is projected to increase from 2.5 million to 4.2 million in the next ten years.
The presentation placed the proposed planned city extension project in the recent national planning efforts captured by the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA II) and the National Spatial Development Framework (NSDF). It was noted that, as the largest district in Greater Accra, Ningo Prampram is perhaps the most suitable district for the slated project to help curtail the ills of urbanization against proper city planning and implementation.
When completed with implementation, the district will be transformed into a champion for sustainable urban growth and development in West Africa. Thus, the planned city extension methodology could be replicated across Ghana, and even the West African sub-region. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed between May 2015 - December 2017 while the final phase, involving implementation, will be completed between January 2017-December 2019. Although the project is going to be funded by the UN-Habitat, an estimated funding of $400,000 will be needed for initial activities of the project. A project team, comprising of the steering committee members and the project management team will be trained and equipped for the successful execution of the project.
It was suggested that for the project to be successful, lessons must be learnt from the challenges of similar projects in the past such as the South-East Greenbelt project which was contracted to some consultants about 15years ago, but the implementation of which did not come to fruition. Thus a successful project will require more innovative strategies.
A successful project will also require thorough engagement of key stakeholders including those related to land ownership. For example, there could be likely issues related to land titles and litigation once the project starts. It was suggested that institutions such as the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and the Ghana Chamber of Commerce be considered as key stakeholders to help bring in potential investors.
It was advised that as a national priority project, it may be prudent for the government to acquire and manage the land through various initiatives including Public, Private Partnership (PPP) where the Traditional authorities will be afforded the equity in the land. Equally, a company can be established to float shares or laws of Ghana can be used to acquire the lands and compensations paid to the original owners of the land.
To be able to market the project to potential investors, the project document will need to be conceptualised very well. Thus, a retreat was suggested to be scheduled, involving all stakeholders, from 2nd-3rd July, 2015. This will afford the stakeholders the opportunity to be part of the process from the planning stages to completion. The estimated budget for the entire project was pronounced to be approximately USD 2 million.