The construction of the $1.2 billion Accra Eco park has begun after a sod cutting ceremony was held to signal the beginning of the project.
The ecotourism project is being undertaken by the Forestry Commission and its private partner, Aikan Capital Limited and is scheduled for completion between the next five and seven years.
The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in 24 months.
President John Dramani Mahama, in a speech read on his behalf, said government had decided to convert the Achimota Forest into a world-class recreational facility and a major tourism destination in West Africa rather than allow further encroachment and dumping of waste into the forest.
“This development will preserve the only green belt in Accra, and allow the forest to continue to function as a carbon sink and clean the air and at the same time create jobs and business opportunities for the private sector,” he said.
The project involves the construction of amusement parks, orchards, arboretum, wildlife safaris, museums, eco-commercial enclaves and eco-lodges but with little disruption in the natural vegetation as possible.
It will also have a spiritual enclave to cater for spiritual/worship activities that bring more than 180,000 people annually to the Achimota Forest.
There are also plans for high seating capacity conference rooms to be sited outside the main forest area.
Ghana News Agency