Ghana International Trade Fair Centre left to rot

Business News of Saturday, 10 September 2016

Source: peacefmonline.com

2016-09-10

Trade Fair GhanaGhana International Trade Fair Centre

Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President, established the Centre 40 years as part of an industrialisation programme to expand international trade especially inter-African trade.

The Ghana Trade Fair Company Limited was incorporated as a Limited Liability Company under the Statutory Corporations (Conversion to Companies) Act 1993, Act 461 in April 1997.

With this vision, successive governments have failed to make the facility something worth fighting for and now has turned into a white elephant.

The Company took over the assets and liabilities of the Ghana Trade Fair Authority (GTFA) which was established as a State Owned Enterprise under PNDC Law 215.

The Authority had the mandate to commercially manage the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre as a commercial enterprise.

Before then the Trade Fair Centre was managed by the Trade Fair Secretariat which was a unit within the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The Government of Ghana owns 100% shares of the Company.

Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President, established the Centre 40 years as part of an industrialisation programme to expand international trade especially inter-African trade.

He said his dream of holding the 1st Ghana International Trade Fair in February to March 1966, a few months after hosting the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Conference in 1965, was curtailed following the overthrow of his government.

Lieutenant General J A Ankrah, who became the Head of State after the 1966 Coup, therefore officially opened the 1st International Trade Fair on February 1, 1967.

A total of 17 foreign countries, seven African as well as over 40 infant Ghanaian industries participated in the 1967 Fair. Today foreign nations have registered to participate with nine African countries having over 126 established industries as well as several small and medium scale enterprises taking part.

But today the trade fair company limited is not what we all know it to be, or some of us have witnessed in the past.

Hitherto, when there is an exhibition, people from across the country troop in to see the beauty of Ghanaian products beings exhibited and people go there to purchase the best of products, and one is guaranteed of getting the best.

The trade fair due its patronage, one might even get lost in it but today instead of people going to the trade fair to exhibit their products, companies and agencies have now resorted to the use of conference centres and other event centres to do their fair due to the bad nature of the trade fair centre.

A look at the outside of the trade fair and the sheds which was a sight to behold, one could see that it is a shadow of itself, and it does not represent the vision of Dr Nkrumah.

Traders are now at a loss as they do not get where to exhibit their products and the trade fair centre until having a major international event, just sit without anything going on.

A look at the building shows clearly that we have lost our maintenance culture. The facility’s painting is in bad shape with paint peeling off and the wall also in cracks.

The inside of the sheds are abysmal as you see there roofings rusting and the building in bad shape.

We have left it, and now it has become another neglected asset left to its faith which we will eventually sell out to foreigners because we cannot maintain and will look on as it gets spoilt.

We have political leaders going round with promises of building event centres for the creative arts industry when they come to power but have this big national asset rotting before our eyes.

Meanwhile, if the facility is maintained properly, it could generate the country lots of revenue and a national asset that will be forever cherished by generations.

This is how far today’s Ghana has become as we have no sense of purpose and do not feel the need to care for our properties. Nkrumah will be crying in his grave.

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