Hope City Project – Did Ghana Taste Silicon Valley for Hours?
The George Walker Bush road through to parts of Accra- Cape road was branded with Hope City Fliers and traffic started to build up on the day of announcements and sod cutting. It was a great day because the first gentleman of Ghana, President John Dramani Mahama was himself there to witness the history making multi-million dollar tech driven project which was going to see Ghana joining the league of ‘Silicon nations’.
See below an extract from President Mahama’s speech:
“Government is particularly excited that this business initiative is being led by a local company, RLG and the project has many potential for the sustainable creation of jobs for our young people. I want to assure that government will offer the necessary support to Rlg and any such business entity to guarantee the successful execution of this and similar project”.
The Rlg’s Hope City project was expected to commence on March 2013 at a cost of $10 Billion. Hope City was going to be a world class ICT project aimed at bringing all ICT players under one roof and to engender paperless business practices in the country.
The six high rise towers building was expected to be designed with the architecture of Ghana’s mud houses in mind and was going to house over 25,000 people and create over 50,000 jobs when completed in the next five years; starting from March 2013. It was reported to be having a computer hardware assembly plant, ICT training center, banks, shops, pleasure, sports, medical and educational facilities all occupying a 150,000 square meters of space at Kasoa.
Hope City was going to be home of innovations and training talents; a home to see many startups and talents receiving professional trainings and work from a state of the arts facilities to grow to companies. Per the information put out by Rlg about the Hope City Project, Ghana was going to be a champion of providing key technological needs and providing infrastructure as well as deepening the growth of Ghana’s economy.
See below an extract from Rlg CEO, Roland Agambire’s speech:
The Hope City project will be one of the “hopes that this country will ever witness in the history of its life time”.
“It is my dream to see hope city export technology across the globe. Today Ghana sits in the middle of the world and it is much easier to export anything from this country to any part of the world”.
Then came the silent period when the all the buzz about the Hope City project died out. Then lots of people took to social network platforms to ask what was happening with the Hope City project.
Suddenly a communique was released informing us that the venue for the Hope City project was changed from Kasoa in the Central Region to Prampram in the Eastern Region. The news about the change in site for building Hope city and their inability to state categorically when the whole project was going to begin started making interested people especially young talents somewhat believed that Hope city was never going to happen now or may be never.
Anytime thoughts are given to this project, these questions come in mind: if Rlg communications was not ready to start this project, was there any need to be in a hurry to put all that information out; to the extent of having a grand opening concert which reported saw Chris Brown taking away $1million? Was President Mahama fully briefed that the project will not happen any moment soon? Where is the investment the state was expected to contribute to the successful completion of the project? What is really the main set back to holding HOPE CITY back? Was the whole brouhaha a planned attempt for Rlg to gain more attention?
Rlg has a great opportunity to clear the air on this. One press release explaining why the project did not happen and when it’s going to happen will help stop all these fuss about the Hope City project.
The Hope City project no doubt is a great idea and its completion will definitely help develop several thousands of talents and build infrastructure for the many startups started by young talents in Ghana. Ghana has many talented young forces that are developing innovative products and such project could have been a backbone to really catapult them to higher heights.
Until Rlg officially communicate to Ghanaians and the world when the project is likely to happen, the assumption will be that the Hope City project in itself has been made Hopeless.