President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced that the Aburi Gardens will soon be redeveloped as part of government’s plan to boost Ghana’s tourism potential.
He said he has already held discussions with the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Awal Mohammed, about the redevelopment of the Aburi Gardens, which has resulted in the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, including the project in the yet-to-be-read 2022 budget.
“Aburi Botanical Gardens is of great important to me. Indeed, the history of the Gardens is known to us all. It is important to the country, and we will protect its heritage for future generations. Nana, you made mention of Kew Gardens. The time has come for the world to also know about the potential of Aburi Gardens”, President Akufo-Addo reiterated.
He stated these on Wednesday when he paid a courtesy call on Nana Otuobour Djan Kwasi II, the Chief of Aburi, as part of his three-day tour of the Eastern Region.
The Aburi garden had been a major tourists site in the country, generating revenue to the state until its facilities deteriorated.
Its redevelopment will therefore restore its enviable glory as a destination of choice for thousands of local and foreign tourists.
About Aburi Botanical Gardens
The garden started with an area of 64.8 hectares. It was opened in March, 1890 and was founded by Governor William Brandford-Griffith and Dr John Farrell Easmon, a Sierra Leonean medical doctor. Before the garden was established, it was the site of a sanatorium built in 1875 for Gold Coast government officials.
During the governorship of William Brandford-Griffith, a Basel missionary and Jamaican Moravian, Alexander Worthy Clerk, supervised clearing of land around the sanatorium to start the Botanic Department.
In 1890 William Crowther, a student from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, was appointed the garden’s first curator.
The gardens played an important role in encouraging cocoa production in Southern Ghana, by supplying cheap cocoa seedlings and information about scientific farming methods.
After Hevea brasiliensis was sent to Aburi from Kew in 1893, the gardens also encouraged rubber production in Ghana.
Nana Otuobour Djan Kwasi II, Chief of Aburi, who is also the acting President of the Akuapim Traditional Council, expressed his appreciation to the President for the massive infrastructural development that has taken place in Aburi, since the assumption of office of President Akufo-Addo in 2017.
He highlighted the asphalting and redevelopment of the Akuapem inner roads, the new hospital in Aburi, and several other government projects, as examples of some of the projects undertaken by President Akufo-Addo’s Government, which have been extremely beneficial to residents of Aburi.
President Akufo-Addo also inspected ongoing work on the KOM Presbyterian Clinic, which is part of a €40 million contract award to Messrs Contracta Construzion Italia S.R.L. for the retooling and equipping of four selected health facilities in the Eastern Region.
This project, which officially commenced in October 2019, also involves work on the Atibie Hospital in Kwahu, Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital, and the Kibi Government Hospital.
With the project nearly ninety percent (90%) complete, it is expected to be completed on 29th November 2021.
The scope of work being undertaken by the contractors include works on main administration block, Accident and Emergency, OPD, theatre centre, CSSD, male ward, female ward, laboratory, x-ray unit, pharmacy, family counselling unit, eye clinic, and mortuary.
It will also have a health education area, laboratory, paediatric ward, antenatal dedicated waiting area, kitchen and a medical gas system.