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Good infrastructure and investment opportunities

The Royal La Palm and Labadi Beach hotels are no doubt among the best hospitality facilities in Accra and for that matter the country.

The two have hosted and continue to host major international events apart from serving the domestic market.

Patrons who visit these places would admit that the facilities are first class as compared to any of their kind in any part of the world - and service delivery is superb.

These notwithstanding, there are many who, if given the option, may prefer an alternative. The reason is simple; the beach road leading to these magnificent hotels from all directions is not customer-friendly, to put it mildly. 

From the Osu side, the road has developed huge potholes - some cutting across the road and leaving no room to manoeuvre.

When coming from the Teshie end, the story is not different. Motorists have to indulge in acrobatics, weaving their way in a zigzag manner after crossing the bridge over Kpeshie Lagoon in order to avoid the craters in the middle of the road.

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Beachfronts in all major cities are prime zones that are developed to yield maximum returns. Unfortunately ours are not so and have rather become refuse dumps and places for open defecation. 

The siting of Labadi Beach and Royal La Palm Beach hotels, I believe, are pioneering attempts to upgrade our coastlines and turn them into recreational and money spinning zones.

An addition to this effort is the high-rise apartment building under construction which will beautify the beachfront of the capital city and bring it closer to what is common in other cities of other countries. 

One would expect that for a country that is making strenuous efforts to attract global attention for the much-needed foreign investment, such bold private initiatives would be backed by state support in the form of good road network. 

Location and accessibility are two factors that drive the hotel industry. Therefore, no matter the quality of facilities and services, a hotel is likely to lose a big chunk of clientele if accessibility becomes a problem. I, as an individual, am disappointed by the neglect of this important road in the capital. 

Incidentally, along this same road could be found the Military Academy and Training School (MATS), the Ghana Armed Forces Staff and Command College and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC).

These are very important national institutions that require that visitors to these places should not have any doubt about the importance we ourselves attach to them. If there is any programme to give this road a major facelift, I dare say it is slow in coming. 

I have decided to use the Beach Road to illustrate the point that we cannot claim to be courting foreign investors when we fail to do some of the most basic things that would send the signal that we mean business.

A good road network opens enormous opportunities to not only foreign investors but to local entrepreneurs and industry that will rely on good roads to access raw materials and to reach their potential markets.

A lot of the country's tourism potentials have remained largely untapped or woefully underutilised because of bad roads or a complete lack of them.

Kotoka is the only airport in the country which links us to the outside world. It may come nowhere near those in Dubai,  Istanbul, Heathrow (London),  JFK (New York) and many others that are in a class of their own. But this is what we have for now and the last thing we could do is not to take good care of it.

For more than a week now the Cargo Village has been exuding a powerful stench which has become unbearable for workers and customers who go to transact business there.

The information I got was that the unfriendly odour was coming from a burst sewage pipe. Whatever the cause, this should not have been allowed to last for more than a day.

As if we have not shown enough disinterest in the functioning of our only international airport, livestock from the nearby police barracks have found the inner perimeter of the airport a free-range grazing ground. This cannot be the gateway to West Africa! 

Ghana, our beloved country, has a lot of competitive advantage in the sub-region which it could exploit to maximum advantage but which, unfortunately, it is not able to do. Apart from the proverbial hospitality, we have a stable, if even sometimes acrimonious, political climate. 

We have been spared almost all the misfortunes of others which include civil and religious strife. Even Ebola has passed over us (I strongly believe so). So what is our problem? 

Let us all think seriously about this. In a race, you do not look backwards to see those behind you. Instead of taking consolation by looking at those behind us, let us do the most prudent thing by aiming at those ahead of us with determination to overtake or at least be at par with them.

 

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