In an ideal world, a promise to bring smiles to hearts which have been disgruntled should be met with wild applause. The pledge to bring hope to a people filled with despair should be hailed for so many reasons.
It was more than gratifying to most Ghanaians when Ghana’s version of Bill Gates, Rowland Agambire of Azongtaba and Rlg fame announced that he was going to put up an edifice whose precedence could be found only in the Western World. It was called the HOPE CITY.
Thousands, if not millions, of people had their hearts gladdened to the brim when the Hope City concept was promulgated by Rowland Agambire and his partners. Ghanaians, in their numbers, allowed their emotions to run away with them because hope was lurking around the corner.
The world looked forward expectantly for the realization of Hope City, a city that promised to make useful of the thousands of unemployed youth roaming the streets of Accra.
The President of the Republic at the time, John Dramani Mahama banked all his hopes on the materialization of the Hope City project.
Lands were secured. The commencement of the project would be met with pomp and pageantry. Lands were cleared for the actual project to commence. Days turned into weeks and weeks hesitantly travelled into months but there was nothing on the horizon indicative of the Hope City becoming a reality.
The vast stretch of lands cleared for the Hope City project to bring hope to the masses became a safe haven for wild creatures. Snakes made their homes on these lands.
Tongues started wagging as to what might have deflated a project so loudly proclaimed by Rowland Agambire and his friends in the Mahama government. The Mahama administration, it would later emerge, was behind the Hope City project. The government of Ghana was to single-handedly fund the Hope City project.
The SADA debacle, it would appear, out of the blue, came from the north to deal a hefty blow to the Hope City project. The heavenly promise of a City of Hope was on its knees because Mr Agambire had abysmally handled the multitude of contracts given to him on a silver platter by John Mahama.
Ghanaians were made to believe that Rowland Agambire had some special business ideas which could help him secure the funding for the Hope City projects, not knowing that his supposed riches came from the contracts Mahama gave to him.
Let us walk through a few of the murderous sins committed by the Mills/Mahama administration.
In 2010, Rlg Communications won a contract worth GHS51,257,500.00 to provide and distribute 103,733 pieces of laptops. Only 90,448 laptops were supplied.
In 2012, SADA entered into a joint venture with Asongtaba Cottage Industry and Exchange Programme to commercialize the production of guinea fowls in the SADA zone. SADA paid GHS15 million whereas GYEEDA contributed almost GHS2 million.
SADA awarded an afforestation contract to Rowland Agambire’s entity ACI Construction Ltd to the tune of GHS32 million. It was not based on any competitive bidding process. Out of the 5 million trees expected to be planted, only 700,000 were planted. All these contracts were given to Rowland Agambire without sweat.
In 2013, former President John Dramani Mahama launched the Hope City project to build a $10 billion IT hub in Dunkunaa near Accra in three years. As usual, Ghana was to give the monies to build the project to Rowland Agambire.
In effect, just like the other deals entered into by the state with Rowland Agambire, the Hope City project was another vehicle meant to siphon monies from the state. The Hope City concept was another means to perpetuate the corruption known to be part and parcel of the Mahama administration.
The Hope City idea became a mirage. The Hope City dream turned out to be a despair city. The dream and hope of a hope city shattered simply because it was being conceived on a sandy ground. Mahama’s hopes of siphoning our monies through that ghost of a project fell through as he was found to be building castles in the air.
P.K. Sarpong, Whispers from the Corridors of the Thinking Place.