Mamdev Ghana Limited, the contractor in charge of the Prof John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills Presidential Library in Cape Coast has eventually handed the facility over to the government for renovation and commissioning.
The facility is now in the hands of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB) and the Ghana Library Authority (GLA) who have resolved to get it running within three months.
The three institutions will work in close collaboration with other stakeholders, including the family of the late President, to raise the edifice to the standard of an ideal cultural and intellectual heritage centre to promote tourism.
The one-storey facility, sitting face-to-face with the Cape Coast Castle, was built, commissioned, and handed over to the University of Cape Coast (UCC) by the erstwhile John Mahama’s administration in honour of the late President.
The edifice has a conference hall, multimedia room, e-lecture halls, offices, reception, secretariat, VVIP Lounge, kitchen, museum, roof terrace garden, among other facilities to enable it to function as a research and memorabilia hub for the late President.
But more than six years after the commissioning, the library has failed to work because the contractor held on to it chiefly due to the failure of the State to pay him for the work done.
Consequently, parts of the building have deteriorated with broken glass windows, corroded and non-functional air-conditioners, broken ceilings, peeling paint on walls, among other challenges.
At a short handing-over ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of GTA, Mr Akwasi Agyemang noted that all issues had been resolved to pave the way for the utilisation of the library.
He said it was imperative to renovate the facility to harness its potential to contribute to tourism in the region and called for a synergy between the Castle and the Library.
“Given its proximity to the Cape Coast Castle and its significance, it will become one of the recent attractions that we have in the municipality,” he noted.
He further revealed that the stakeholders had agreed to introduce new ideas and facilities such as shops and a learning centre for the youth, to help modernise and enhance the vision of the project.
“The Library Authority will make sure that it becomes a learning centre for the youth in the municipality,” he indicated.
Mr Agyemang further advised that the facility must be properly managed and maintained to raise the necessary revenue for itself to avoid falling on the government for maintenance and other necessities.
Mr Joseph Kojo Mamphey, the CEO of Mamdev Ghana Limited, apologised to the people of Cape Coast and Ghanaians for holding on to the library for the non-payment over the years.
He was, however, glad that his action and continuous stay in the ancient city had birthed the Green City project, which aims to transform Cape Coast.
He thanked the chiefs and people and all other stakeholders for their cooperation throughout the execution of the project.
“We are privileged to hand over the keys to you today,” he said in an emotional voice.
Mr Kingsley Agyei Boahene, the Chief Director of the Central Regional Coordinating Council who represented the Regional Minister, expressed joy over the greenlight to get the facility running.
According to him, it was in the Regional Minister’s plans to reactive the project as it aligned with the development agenda of the region.
“We advise that it should be vibrant so that visitors can patronise it in their numbers,” he said, assuring the three institutions of the Council’s support in the rehabilitation of the project.