Ghana launches “Hope City”

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High-tech city will be an “IT” hub and home to Africa’s tallest building

Hope City

Ghanaian President John Mahama  has officially launched a project to build a $10bn IT hub near the capital, Accra, within three years. Hope City will have Africa’s tallest building, at a height of 270m.  It will be built on empty land, will employ about 50,000 people and house 25,000.

Mr Mahama said the private sector would spearhead the building of Hope City. The head of local technology giant RLG Communications, Roland Agambire, told the BBC that his company was investing in Hope City with the aim of making Ghana globally competitive.

“What we are trying to do here is to develop the apps [applications] from scratch,” he said.” This will enable us to have the biggest assembling plant in the world to assemble various products – over one million within a day,” he said.

The IT hub would be made up of six towers, including a 75-storey, 270m-high tower, “the highest in Africa”, RLG Communications says on its website. It would include an IT university, a residential area, a hospital, as well as social and sporting amenities.

The six towers recall the architecture of Ghana’s mud houses, the Ghanaian Chronicle reported. The project aims to bring all ICT players under one roof and to engender paperless business practices in the country.

Mr Agambire said the crucial partnership signed with the world’s largest software and programmes developer, Microsoft Corporation is to ensure the exportation of made-in-Ghana and made-in-Africa technology across the world.

“What we are also seeking to do with Hope City is collaborate with Microsoft in a new initiative to create economic opportunities for over 300 million youth across the whole of Africa between the ages of 15 and 24”, he said.

The Senior Vice President of Microsoft in charge of Corporate Business Mr Ali Farmawey reiterated that ICT is the “enabler of a better tomorrow” and remains crucial in every facet of development.

Ghanaian policy think tank Danquah Institute meanwhile was demanding clarification from the government on the state’s financial commitment to the $10bn project. It said details of the partnership were “extremely scanty.” It wondered why the 2013 budget did not mention anything concerning the project. “The 2013 budget is surprisingly quiet on the Hope City project, which is due to start this year and to be completed in 2016,” the statement added.

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