You could have guessed that air travel to, and around Ghana, was going to increase. After all, Google did not arbitrarily choose Accra as one of its West African headquarters. Ghana was chosen because of its infrastructure, access to the rest of the world, and over allsecurity.
Of course, as a developing region, additional infrastructure can only be a benefit to both visitors, and locals alike. The importance of transportation to the Ghanaian people, and the drive of politicians to deliver against these needs, has been widely discussed in the media. The mobility of the population has and will remain at the forefront of service delivery.
Recently, a long-awaited domestic airline announced it will open its gates for service. This addresses a need in a way that will expand the views of those living in, and wishing to visit the other regional centres of the country.
African World Airlines, or AWA, as it will commonly be called, is a domestic airline servicing the regional centres of Ghana, through Accra at its hub. This is a welcome development, as there are a total of 63 airlines servicing the Ghanaian people, with only a few of them flying over the domestic market.
AWA will service Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale, along with Accra. Their aim is to make air travel an option for those who currently find it outside of their plans due to either the cities connected, or the prohibitive costs of flying.
In Accra, AWA will operate from Kotoka Airport. Since its opening in 2007, the two passenger terminals have grown to welcome nearly 1.8 million passengers annually. Although the busy terminal 2 sees much of the international traffic, AWA will operate from terminal 1.
But, more than statistics, the advent of this new commercial airline in Ghana represents significant changes to the country.
Local investors will find significance in the investment by Chinese transportation firms in this new airline. Politicians need not discuss the opening of markets to foreign investors; it is easy to see that the country has welcomed Chinese investment and development. Although Ghana remains African at heart, the opening of a regional carrier with a foreign investor, speaks to the interests of the rest of the world, and particularly the growing economic power of the Chinese, in Ghana.
Add to that, the development of Google’s enterprises in Accra. It may be the hub of business within Ghana, but there will always be other West African countries hoping for the honour, and the infusion of jobs this move creates. There is no discounting Africa’s desire for mobile connectivity, with the West African market becoming the centre of this activity. Google’s verification of the infrastructure in Accra, will development of local talent, and draw in additional resources to the telecommunications network.
So, whether your Ghanaian travels see you walking through Terminal 1, Terminal 2, or virtually connecting to the world through Google on your Chinese manufactured phone, you will notice the development of Ghana. And don’t worry, Accra will never lose its African heritage; one look at the local markets will tell you just that.