June 19, 2013
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has prepared and submitted a Spatial Development Framework (SDF) and Structure Plan (SP) for eight Districts of Greater Kumasi in the Ashanti Region for government's review and final consensus. The districts include the Kumasi Metropolitan, Afigya-Kwabre District, Kwabre East District, Ejisu-Juaben Municipality, Asokore-Mampong Municipality, Bosomtwe District, Atwima-Kwanwoma District and Atwima-Nwabiagya District. The SDF and SP have been prepared under the Ghana-JICA Technical Cooperation Project, implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Science Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and the Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD).
A consortium of consultants comprising Oriental Consultants Co., Ltd., CTI Engineering International Co., Ltd. and Almec Corporation helped in preparing the SDF and SP. The goal of the project is to contribute to the promotion of efficient and effective development of the sub-Region.
JICA in collaboration with TCPD of MESTI held the final national seminar at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Kumasi on the 19th of June 2013. The objective of the one-day meeting was for the consultants to present the final draft of the SDF and SP to high-level government officials and decision makers and to seek consensus. It was also to get feedback to the many proposals in the SDF and SP to enable the finalization of the plan.
The Chief Representative of JICA, Mr. Jiro Inamura, stated "The issue of the urban development of Greater Kumasi is critical. Kumasi is projected to be a huge metropolitan city with the population of 5 million in 20 years. This means that the Kumasi area should play a bigger role for the economic development of Ghana as a whole, while accommodating such a huge urban population. In this regard, Kumasi and its environs should have well considered development plan". He stressed that in order to shift ourselves smoothly to the implementation stage of the Comprehensive Urban Development Plan, the earliest government's authorization of SDF and SP is necessary, so that the authorization can facilitate the participation of sub-projects or spin out projects by various MDAs and MMDAs.
In his presentation, the Study Team Leader, Mr. Sasaki noted that the Ashanti Region's economy and its central city's economy have declined largely, compared to the Greater Accra, Central and Volta Regions. He mentioned the rapid population increase in the Kumasi city, the sub-region at the growth rate of over 4.6% and traffic congestion is particularly severe in the city centre; hence, the prospects of the Greater Kumasi sub-Region were not bright enough at the moment. As one of the solution of these problems, the SDF and SP have proposed a new outer ring road to ease traffic congestion in all corridors leading to the Kumasi City centre, among other modern development features.
The Ashanti Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC), National Development Planning Commission, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP) and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) also supported the Comprehensive Urban Plan.