Five-million passengers a year are expected to pass through a new terminal being constructed at Ghana’s Kotoka International Airport (KIA), in Accra, once it has been completed in April next year.
The project, funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB), with a $120-million facility, will not only improve air transport in the country but also contribute towards boosting the country’s economy, reducing the cost of doing business and improving competitiveness.
“This terminal is being built for a successful economic future. Its large capacity is a confident statement of intent,” said AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina during a three-day visit and tour to Ghana to strengthen cooperation with the country last month. He noted that an airport terminal facility capable of handling five-million passengers proved that Ghana was back on the African map as a political and economic force.
“This will help the economy and society of Ghana considerably through enhanced regional integration and employment. This is also a tangible implementation of the [AfDB’s] High 5s strategy in Ghana. I understand that the construction process is right on time and the quality of the infrastructure is excellent. I want to commend all the staff who have been working on this,” Adesina commented.
Ghana Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta described the project as strategic to the country’s economic transformation agenda.
He thanked Adesina for the AfDB’s State visit and highlighted that the bank and the Ghanaian government had discussed aviation, agriculture, energy and industry. “With the type of performance [Adesina] is seeing here, we are sure to get more funding from the bank,” Atta said.
The country’s aviation sector has emerged as a crucial driving force behind global socioeconomic development and an even more crucial force for emerging economies in Africa. Ghana’s aviation industry has had significant growth in the past decade, owing to the discovery of petroleum and gas reserves in the country, sustained domestic demand and growth in the tourism sector.
KIA is Ghana’s only international airport. The country has four domestic airports. From 2007 to 2014, the number of carriers operating at KIA increased from 15 to 42. In general, Ghana’s airports do not have capacity to cater for the expected increase in demand in air traffic – hence, the need for significant investment in its airport facilities.
During the tour, Ghana Aviation Minister Cecilia Abena Dapaah commended the AfDB for providing funding for the project, which was on schedule. She said she hoped that the project would cater for the expected demand growth in air traffic.
She highlighted that, once completed, KIA would be the largest piece of infrastructure in the country. “This is in line with the vision of President Nana Akufo-Addo to make Ghana the hub of the West African region and a destination of choice,” said Dapaah, concluding that the project was set to increase business by creating a significant number of jobs in the aviation sector.