The Accra Eco-Park is expected to create about 4,000 jobs during its construction phase and about 2,000 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs when it becomes operational; according to the Forestry Commission.
A brief sod cutting ceremony was held to mark the start of the project which will be financed by the Forestry Commission and a private partner Aikan Capital Limited.
The eco-park will be inside the Achimota Forest Reserve which has over the years been heavily polluted by the dumping of waste and encroachment by estate developers.
When completed, the park will have a museum, an amusement park, orchards, an arboretum safari expeditions among others. There will be no disruption to the historic use of the Achimota Forest Reserve for worship purposes as there will be the creation of a spiritual enclave. One million trees are expected to be planted to improve forest cover.
According to the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Nii Osah Mills, the Nairobi National Park in Kenya serves as a good example for Ghana to learn from.
“The Accra Eco-Park development has, therefore, been conceived to provide a unique opportunity to demonstrate to the business community and the public that ecotourism is a viable, environmentally friendly, employment-creating, sustainable income-generating venture,” he said.
Nairobi National Park alone contributes eight million dollars in revenue to the Kenyan purse.
The Achimota Forest Reserve now serves as the home of animals from the Accra Zoo. The once popular zoo was relocated to make way for the construction of Flagstaff House; Ghana’s presidential palace.