The Tema Park will be the first of its kind in West Africa.
An indigenous construction firm, Berock Ventures Ltd (BVL), is constructing the GHĘ16.5million national Information Communication Technology Park which will serve as hub for ICT in the entire country.
The 20 hectare project will commence with a first phase of 7.25 hectares in the Free Zones Enclave in Tema. This phase is being funded by the World Bankís International Development Association and is expected to be completed in 15 months.
The project comprises the installation of external lighting, road-works, associated footpaths & cycle tracks, electrical and telecommunication services and associated ducting.
There will also be various electrical sub-stations and equipment plinths, underground water tanks, and an underground fire tank and street lighting.
Alhaji Haruna Iddrisu
The Minister of Communications, Alhaji Haruna Iddrissu, jointly performed the sod-cutting ceremony with the Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms.Hannah Tetteh, for Phase-one of the Technology Park at the Tema Free Zones Enclave on Monday
Mr. Iddrissu noted that technology parks across the globe have been recognised as an important mechanism for innovation and stimulating technology transfer, the formation and growth of high-tech entrepreneurial start-ups, regional economic development, and a source of revenue for firms.
He cited Smart Village in Egypt, Innovation Hub in South Africa, Silicon Valley in America, and the Cambridge Science Park in England as shining examples of technology parks that have managed to persuade large companies to invest in them by offering access to research centres, high-quality laboratory facilities and available infrastructure.
ďThese parks also provided companies with ready access to innovative projects which yielded enormous benefits.Ē
Mr. Iddrissu observed that the premier technology park will stimulate the start-up and growth of technology-intensive, knowledge-based businesses in the country as well as provide infrastructure and business support services designed to assist export-oriented small and medium ICT/ITES business to optimise their potential.
He announced that his Ministry plans to develop the Park by public/private partnership or solely the through private sector. An investment drive, he stated, will be initiated to identify prospective investors for the park and the Ministry will put in place a management team to see to efficient management of the Park.
Work on a second Park to be based in Cape Coast -- where the University of Cape Coast has provided land -- will begin by September; for which US$5million has so far been secured. The collaboration with the university, he hopes, will promote innovation and skills development in the academia.
He announced that in future technology parks will be initiated in the other regions to generate wealth and create jobs.
Berock Ventures, which won the contract through competitive bidding, is one of the best local construction firms and has executed a number of projects including ultra-modern hostel facilities for the University of Ghana, Legon, designed to accommodate 1,800 students; water projects funded by the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA); and a 15-storey building currently under construction in Accra.
Managing Director of BVL, Courage Dogbegah, said the quality that the company attaches to its works will be replicated on the ICT Park project. He said they have the requisite machinery and qualified personnel to execute the project to the highest standard, and on time.
He emphasised that the decision to settle on BVL to execute this project is a show of confidence in an indigenous company, adding that they will not let government down.
Mr. Dogbegah said excellence is the hallmark of BVL, and its work on the ICT Park project will be a testimony to the level of professionalism attached to their work.
He added that winning this contract is also an opportunity for Berock to make a strong case for Ghanaian construction companies, adding that the work will be done with all seriousness to further encourage government to give contracts of similar magnitude to well-organised indigenous firms.
The project is being collaborated by the Micro, Small and Meduim Enterprises (MSME) project of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Information and Technology Enabled Services (ITES) secretariat of the e-Ghana Project under the Ministry of Communications.
The main objective for the government taking the initiative is to stimulate the private sector to invest in provision of technology parks and other ICT infrastructure that provides fuel for the building of wealth and consequently results in job opportunities.