Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama is all set to move next year into a new Presidential Palace here built with India's help.
After four years of dithering over what to do with the building, President Mahama has finally hinted that the seat of government will be shifted there in 2013. The foreign ministry, which is currently using it, will relocate to a new building being built with Chinese help.
Ghana's new presidential palace that has been built by an Indian company (Photo: IANS)
The new palace has gone through several controversies. First, then president John Atta Mills, decided not to use it after its completion, citing security reasons. This was in line with his campaign promise that he would not live there because the money spent on the building could have been used on other things to benefit the poor.
However, John Kufuor, under whose presidency the construction was initiated, praised the Indian government for providing the funds. There was also concern about its cost. Originally estimated at $36.9 million, the cost shot up to $135 million with the provision of additional facilities to enhance security.
The amount was part of a $60 million facility from the Indian government that has a 50 percent grant element, at an interest rate of 1.75 percent, repayable in 25 years, including a five-year moratorium.
The building's original name was changed from Jubiliee House to Flagstaff House. Shapoorji Pallonji of India was named as contractor of the project, which started in 2006 and was completed in 2008.
"Staff of the ministry of foreign affairs are to relocate from the administration block so that we can make a complete move to the Flagstaff House in 2013," President Mahama said at a Christmas party over the weekend.
"I have directed the chief of staff to supervise the correction of defects at the Flagstaff House as captured in the report of the committee I set up to assess the condition of the House." - IANS
Inspired by a man making sandals out of used tyres in the US, Jay Rege and Jothsna came to India to turn eco-conscious shoemakers, launching ‘Paaduks’. The social entrepreneurs also share their profit with their cobblers, says Rohan Potdar
If the word Goa evokes just images of raves, read on, you may end up in the land of sandy wonders soon. For, Renuka Singh’s list of the top 10 beaches informs us that Goa has something on offer for everyone, including those seeking solitude
Her first attempt to save a 12-year-old girl from the clutches of an abusive father failed. But that propelled Renu Singh to turn a crusader for gender justice and rescue about 3,800 girls and women in over three decades, says Partho Burman
The success of Milky Mist, a dairy company, is a story linked to the big dreams of T Sathish Kumar, a class 8 drop out. P C Vinoj Kumar tells us how a 16-year-old turned his father’s floundering business around by giving it a new identity
Winner of many awards for his social work in Mumbai slums, Jockin Arputham missed the Nobel Peace in 2014. But for people whose life he changed through his dedication, he is indeed an ‘arputham’ (miracle, in Tamil), says Kavita Kanan Chandra
Whatever job he was in, S M Venkatesh saved abandoned people from the streets. Now, his Agal Foundation works with Helpage India, responding to distress calls, quickly and efficiently, as P C Vinoj Kumar found through a snap sting operation
Starting with a night shelter for children of sex workers, Prerana has come a long way providing support to women stuck in Mumbai’s red light district. Kavita Kanan Chandra retraces Priti Patkar’s 28-year journey that has saved many a child
To counter ‘guns and drugs’, a culture that he saw abroad, Chetan Misra mentors children through football, which he believes is a tool for social and holistic development. Through ‘TheFootballLink’, he promotes the game, says Partho Burman
From behind the veil, a group of Muslim girls in Mumbra dreamt big and have realised it. First, they learnt playing football, against all odds, and have set up a club. Now they have plans for intellectual pursuits, says Kamayani Bali-Mahabal