The Ghana Trade Fair Company Ltd. has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Stellar Holding to establish a joint venture company to finance and redevelop the company.
An estimated investment of $1 billion, according to the agreement, will be sourced by the Singaporean company for the development of 65 acres of the 140-acre Trade Fair site, situated at La in Accra.
Witnessed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last Thursday, Dr Agnes Adu, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Trade Fair Company, signed on behalf of Ghana, while Mr Sunder Kithani, Chief Executive Officer of Stellar Holding signed on behalf of his company.
Also at the signing ceremony were the Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, Chairman of the Lands Commission, Alex Quaynor, and board chairman of Trade Fair Company, Dr Daniel McKorley, and other senior officials of government.
The two parties, (Ghana Trade Fair Company and Stellar Holding), reached an agreement in Dubai as part of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s investor-tour in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), on the sidelines of the ongoing Dubai Expo 2020.
According to Asaase Radio, the MoU specifies that “the Parties, following extensive discussions, agree to cooperate to develop the Trade Fair site and intend to jointly establish a Joint Venture Company (JV company), with a suitable name as approved by the authorities, in the jurisdiction of Ghana.”
The MoU further said, “the JV Company shall be established to develop and finance the development of world-class luxury hotels, high-end malls and other residential and commercial developments (Phase 2) on the identified parcel of land belonging to the Second Party (Ghana Trade Fair Company) and measuring approximately sixty-five (65) acres.”
Also, the two parties agreed that “any dispute arising out of or in connection with the MoU, “including any question regarding its existence, validity, termination, or damages for its breach, shall be referred to and finally resolved by the appropriate Courts in Ghana under the laws of Ghana and the decision of such forum shall be final and binding.”
The MoU will expire in six months from the date of its execution (10 March 2022). It is expected that from now till 10 September 2022, the expiration date, the parties would have entered into a proper contract for the construction of the new Trade Fair to begin.
Before the signing ceremony on Wednesday the Executive Chairman of Stellar Holding, Sanjeev Mansotra, hosted President Akufo-Addo and his delegation to a working lunch, at the Bulgari Resort in Jumeirah, Dubai. Various investors and investment partners of Stellar Holding took part in the meeting.
In a related development, the Ministry of Finance and the Ghana Commercial Bank are working on a $200 million financial facility for the construction of a new exhibition centre alongside the Trade Fair Centre.
The 24,000-capacity convention centre is the centrepiece for the redevelopment of the Ghana Trade Centre after the entire site was cleared last year for redevelopment to begin.
A convention centre has been a key component of the original Trade Fair plan developed under Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah. Even so, one has never been built over the last 60 years.
The timing and capacity of the convention centre are seen as most opportune, accompanying Ghana’s status as the “commercial centre” of Africa, that host the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
It is expected to serve as the best venue in Africa for concerts, also complimenting Ghana’s growing status as the destination of choice for young tourists during the Christmas festive season.
Other developments coming up on separate sites of the Trade Fair amongst others include a tech hub, built to serve a global market.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD