By Fred Yaw Sarpong
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 eight districts are 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 Company Limited, CTI Engineering International Company Limited 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.
In order to get feedback from stakeholders, JICA in collaboration with TCPD of MESTI recently held the final national seminar at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Kumasi. 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. The feedback from the seminar was incorporated into the final draft.
The Chief Representative of JICA, Mr. Jiro Inamura has said that “The issue of the urban development of Greater Kumasi is critical. Kumasi is projected to be a huge metropolitan city with the population of five 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 Metropolitan and District Assemblies (MDAs) and Municipal, Metropolitan and District Assemblies (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.
According to JICA, 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) supports the Comprehensive Urban Plan.