The Kwame Nkruma Interchange
A misguided strategy or another case of poorly timed order in infrastructure development
It’s a shame to see the investments into infrastructure in Accra ill planned or ill timed by way of sequence of development projects that can actually empower the mass as well as provide a solid means to incorporate disciplined programs, civic education and as well uplift the mass from the chaos and bustle of a small growing city.
I believe in socialism, and therefore I am not one sided in political affiliation, whether NDC or NPP, so far as people can live in freedom and with justice, more importantly as a catalyst to the growth of Africans. My fear comes though in the wake of embracing infrastructure projects and plans that look like attemptint to address our social welfare, but in essence end up becoming investment and management traps.
I am an admirer of social system, and an advocate of similar systems in Africa as a caveat to rapidly implement the tenants of a orderly societies at large. That not withstanding, I also believe in well timed capitalist systems as essential to fuel healthy competition and innovation by allowing freedom at the person level to explore and create new opportunities based on sound social foundations.
However, while I say this, I am passionately saddened to see so much being sunken into certain infrastructure projects in #Ghana’s #Accra with the rudimentary basics to infrastructure development missing. I don’t hold a degree in Urban development except use of common sense. So I find it quite worrying that those who are in-charge of our urbanization and rapid infrastructure development programs miss out on the integrated view and thinking that is needed to so much avoid the traps and mistakes of other societies.
I have, and keep iterating the need to have a metro rail network within Accra and indeed also Kumasi metropolis as part of a two pronged effort that the government can use to instill discipline in transport services, mass movements and as well accord the larger populace affordable transportation and commute systems in and out of the heavily populated central business areas. Most importantly, use these social infrastructures as a means to instill or introduce discipline into the minds of commuters, offer safe transports and provide them something close to what is applicable in other developed countries – a means to educate the minds and offer them a hope of remaining at home.
A metro rail network brings so much potential to Accra, as well as to Kumasi, and as it can well imply adopting a new model of public private partnership (PPP) for such an investment – from transit point, trains, metro stops etc. This means an opportunity to transform the current GPRTU bodies from merely being tunnel focused on road based services into other areas that can equally provide an investment opportunity that can trigger an avalanche of innovation in the transport sector. This means, members of such organizing bodies don’t get starved out of their day-to-day earnings, but are also part of the system of inducing discipline, responsibility and accountability into our development programs.
A well structured program that brings GPRTU and it’s members on-board into Metro Rail Network as well as other innovation centered transportation is a plus that can as part of a broader and integrated development agenda open the doors for foreign direct investment championed and funded for the sake of trying out new and innovate transportation systems. All in the name of providing green affordable and innovative means to re-invent transportation or bring modernized means of mass transport to the larger populace. A way that can help alleviate the current stance of traffic and road indiscipline and therefore an option to buying a car (an opportunity to reduce emissions and have a greener African place)
I won’t delve into the tertiary or even secondary benefits such projects can have on the city, but the fact that there is consistently a shy away from this shows interests that are wrongly aligned or naive advisers to government on development time and time again. This huge investment into an interchange at circle is one such example that further increases the need for metro rail network.
Ethiopia has recently launched theirs, as a means to truly support the mass needs for transportation. It also serves as a way to discipline the minds of Ghanaians on timeliness and maintenance, which should in themselves be part of a wider civic program that needs to be institutionalized. I see government after government looking for the magic formula to kick start infrastructure development, and yet the rudimentary aspects of such have not been considered, even from a blueprint point of view.
Is this running on one spot or setting us back eventually? I leave you to judge this in the future.