Work on the redevelopment of the Kumasi Central Market, the largest open market in West Africa, is expected to commence soon as authorities reach the final stage in resettling the affected traders.
The state-of-the-art project is being financed by the Deutsche Bank of Germany, with export credit guarantee from the United Kingdom (UK) Export Finance.
It constitutes the second phase of the multi-million dollar Kejetia/Central Market Redevelopment Project, expected to modernise trading and commercial activities in Ghana's second largest city, to boost revenue generation.
The old central market had since the middle of the 1800s been the hub of commercial activities, attracting all sorts of merchandise and traders from neighbouring West African countries.
In spite of the critical role it played in the socio-economic fortunes of the people, its sustainable development and growth has been affected by perennial fire outbreaks, congestion and loopholes in revenue generation.
Mr Emmanuel Danso, the Consultant to Messrs. Contracta Engenharia LTDa, the Brazilian firm executing the project, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi, said resettlement of the traders had so far been smooth.
The exercise, he noted, had brought on board the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), the Central Market Traders Association, Market Redevelopment Steering Committee, traditional authorities and key stakeholders.
The affected traders are being resettled at various markets, including the newly-constructed Kejetia Market, which constitutes the first phase of the Redevelopment Project completed in November, 2018.
The new facility comprises 8,420 leasable commercial spaces, 6,490 lockable stores, 1,420 counter stores and 60 food courts, a public transport terminal, banking facilities, fuel and gas storage tanks, a clinic, and police and fire stations.
Initiated by the Central Government under the supervision of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, with KMA as partners, the multi-million dollar project, when completed, would be managed by the Kumasi City Markets Limited.
Ms Mary Nkrumah, representing the Central Market Traders Association, said all outstanding issues relating to the documentation and allocation of keys to the traders to facilitate their resettlement at Kejetia were being dealt with.
A visit by the GNA to the Market saw about 70 per cent of it fenced, as some of the remaining traders worked assiduously to evacuate their merchandize.