“As Africans, this is a Mecca for Pan-Africanism. This is a place where we draw inspiration and strength to carry forward and accomplish the unaccomplished mission and promise of our independence,”Samia Nkrumah, Politician, Pan-Africanist & Daughter of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah
Yesterday marked a momentous occasion as the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, a significant historical site in Ghana, reopened its doors to the public after undergoing extensive renovations over the last year. The event was graced by esteemed dignitaries, including the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo Addo, who commended the refurbished park as an attraction that will draw tourists from around the world. The World Bank’s involvement in funding various projects aimed at transforming Ghana’s historical sites into world-class centers was also highlighted by Pierre Laport, World Bank Country Director for Ghana. This reopening signifies the country’s commitment to preserving its rich cultural heritage while embracing its potential as a thriving tourism destination.
A Celebration of Heritage
The presence of prominent figures including the Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, Minister of Finance Ken Ofori Attah, CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman, emphasized the significance of the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park as a symbol of national pride and historical value. The park, dedicated Ghana’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, a founding father of Ghana and a pivotal figure in the fight for independence, holds great cultural and historical importance. Because of him, Ghana became the first sub-Saharan African country to gain its independence. The extensive upgrades and renovations carried out on the park will help in its longevity for future generations. The memorial includes a brand new Presidential Library, restaurant, and new gift shop. The museum has been upgraded and the water fountains designed with the capabilities to synchronize to music, the first of its kind in West Africa. Adinkra symbols decorate some of the buildings and the VIP lounge has also been upgraded.
President Nana Akufo Addo, in his keynote address, expressed his delight at the revitalized Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park. He emphasized the role it will play in attracting visitors from all corners of the globe, positioning Ghana as a premier cultural and heritage tourism destination. The President’s presence at the reopening ceremony underscored the government’s commitment to preserving Ghana’s historical sites and promoting tourism as a catalyst for economic growth. “The 13 million cedi modernized Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park is in line with plans by government, to make the park one of the best tourism and heritage attractions in West Africa,” President Akufo-Addo said in his address. “As the outstanding Pan Africanist of his generation, the burial site of Dr. Nkrumah must be appropriate to the status of his exceptional contribution to the liberation of Africa from colonialism and imperialism.”
The attendance of the country head of the World Bank highlighted the organization’s involvement in supporting Ghana’s efforts to upgrade its historical sites. The World Bank’s funding plays a crucial role in transforming these sites into world-class centers, ensuring they meet international standards and appeal to a global audience. By investing in the preservation and enhancement of Ghana’s cultural heritage, the World Bank is contributing to sustainable tourism development and promoting economic opportunities for local communities.
Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture’s Vision
Hon. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, the Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, spoke passionately about the significance of the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park’s refurbishment. He emphasized its potential to cater to visitors from diverse backgrounds, especially the historical diaspora community who have a strong interest in African history. He highlighted the park’s role in celebrating our diversity and how tourism has the potential to stimulate the economy by generating between $6-7 Billion dollars per annum over the next few years. He also said it would be a source of job creation in Ghana, while helping to preserve the country’s unique cultural identity. “Ghana has heritage and political tourism, and that’s what we want to leverage to make tourism in Ghana the most attractive destination on the continent,” Hon. Awal said. He went on to say that the W.E.B. DuBois Centre would also upgraded soon along with the Osu Castle. He explained the value of linking all heritage sites to make Ghana’s tourism more attractive.
A Testament of Family Pride
Samia Nkrumah, the daughter of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, expressed her immense pride in the renovations undertaken at the memorial park in honor of her father. She emphasized the role her family played in the establishment of a Presidential Library within the park, further enriching the visitor experience and preserving the legacy of Dr. Nkrumah. The integration of the library serves as a testament to the Nkrumah family’s dedication to showcasing their father’s work and the invaluable contributions he made to Ghana’s independence. She said, “We are honouring one of our own. One of our fathers, one of our ancestors. our dear father, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah.” She took the time to thank President Akufo-Addo for his support, encouragement and consent to renovate the site. She also thanked Hon. Minister Awal for his role in helping make this happen.”
“As Africans, this is a Mecca for Pan-Africanism. This is a place where we draw inspiration and strength to carry forward and accomplish the unaccomplished mission and promise of our independence,” she continued.
The reopening ceremony saw a diverse range of attendees, including dignitaries, members of the diplomatic corps, the diaspora community, representatives from the travel and tourism sector and students. Their presence showed the collective enthusiasm and support for the restoration of this important historical site. The reopening of the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park marks a significant milestone in Ghana’s ongoing efforts to preserve its historical sites and position itself as a world-class tourism destination. With its upgraded facilities and renewed focus on visitor experience, the park is poised to attract tourists from around the world, offering them an opportunity to immerse themselves in Ghana’s rich history and legacy.
Story by: Ivy Prosper