Prince Charles tours Osu Castle

BY: Kate Baaba Hudson

The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, last Saturday paid a familiarisation visit to the Christianborg Castle at Osu in Accra.

Prince Charles, who was welcomed with some cultural performances, for a while took a view of the coastline, after which he was briefed by the Head of Education, Ghana Museums and Monuments Board, Mr Samuel Acquaah.

He later conducted Prince Charles round the upper floor of the castle, where he was briefed on plans for the castle’s restoration and redevelopment into a museum.

The Prince also used the spiral staircase, beside which were the cells where captured African slaves were imprisoned before they were transported to the “new world” through the ‘Door of No Return’.

Just outside the Osu Castle walls, the Prince was greeted by Sir David Adjaye, an architect who, together with Mr Kofi Bio, also an architect, took the Prince through a prototype of the Marine Drive Project and described current plans for the development of the beach.

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The British High Commissioner, Mr Iain Walker, was part of the Prince’s entourage.

Marine Drive Project

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President Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the beginning of the Marine Drive Project on December 15, 2017 at a colourful ceremony in Accra.

The multi-million public-private partnership project seeks to transform the stretch of the beach front from the Castle to the Arts Centre in Accra into a vibrant business and commercial enclave.

It covers an area of over 240 acres and will transform Accra’s skyline and improve tourism in Accra.

Meanwhile, more than 100 institutions and individual investors have expressed interest in partnering the government to develop the multi-million-dollar project.

The investors are already in touch with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, seeking approval to build hotels, restaurants, theatres, cinemas and casinos.

Related: When Prince Charles visited Jamestown

Osu Christianborg Castle

The Christianborg Castle was built in the 17th century and was originally operated as a Danish slave trade fort.

It is estimated that over 1.5 million Africans were traded through the castle and that, overall, six million human beings were traded from West Africa.

Below the Christianborg Castle at sea-level were dungeons, now filled in, where enslaved Africans were kept for as long as six months while awaiting shipment overseas.

When Ghana gained independence from Britain in 1957, the castle was renamed Government House and became the seat of the Ghanaian Government.

In February 2017, President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo announced plans to convert the castle into a Leadership Museum that will exhibit Ghanaian Heads of State.

Read also: Prince Charles tours Osu Christiansborg Castle