The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku-Mantey, has said that the ongoing Marine Drive project will include a performance theatre.

He said on Citi TV’s breakfast show on Friday, November 5, 2021, that the original plan makes provision for a place where artistic performances can take place.

“The original Marine Drive drawing is not going to eliminate the Arts Centre concept. If the Marine Drive is ready today, we should find a whole auditorium in it, which is going to have about 2,500 people,” he said.

He made this statement in response to concerns raised by some creatives that it is wrong to demolish the theatre of the Arts Centre in Accra to make way for the Marine Drive project.

He however mentioned that some parts of the Arts Centre would be retained and added to the project.

The main auditorium at the Arts Centre

“We can’t touch some of the things because of heritage. That is why we said we are still going to leave the Arts Centre in there as part of the Marine Drive. So some part of it for the sake of tourism will look as it used to be” Deputy Minister added.

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Some of these concerned creatives including playwright and poet, Oswald Okaitei, had asserted that the marketers of the artworks could be moved to the new place being put up by the government at Kawukudi, but the performance centres and the art galleries should be kept and integrated into the Marine Drive facilities.

“The Arts Centre has archaeological and historical value, and in terms of promoting the arts, there are people who live in Chorkor, who live in Bukom, who reside in Osu who do not have money to get vehicle to the rehearsal centre. Once you demolish that place it means all these people need to walk to Kawukudi,” he said.

Oswald Okaitei

The issue of lack of performance centres has been a major problem in the arts and entertainment industry.

While industry stakeholders have called for the establishment of ultra-modern theatres across the country, the government has promised to renovate the various regional arts centres and make their theatres convenient for concerts and other entertainment activities.

Mark also added that the new location for the arts centre is near completion and has about 700 stores for the arts marketers. The arts manufacturers will be moved to Dodowa.

The Arts Centre is situated on 241-acres of land at the beachfront which has been marked for the project.

The Marine Drive Tourism Investment Project is a 241-acre redevelopment scheme to build Accra’s waterfront initiated by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

It is a scheme that would establish an iconic skyline for Accra and transform the capital city’s centre into a world-class tourism enclave. 

The project is expected to be completed by 2027.

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