Ghanaian Politicians have become experts in Misplacing Priorities. And the African Politician particularly has mastered the craft of playing on the minds of gullible citizens with fantasy ideas that do very little to improve their lives.
A flight from Accra to Cape Coast and vice versa may take between maybe 10-15 minutes. How much money will really accrue to a domestic airline that chooses to operate on that route? Cape Coast, or for that matter Central Region, is not a vibrant economy.
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The one single economic activity that can be used in that Region as an argument is Tourism. But really, is that an all-year-round activity? Tourism alone cannot be the sole source of revenue for airlines.
What other economic activities in the Region will fetch these airlines money?
These are the very reasons why the Ho and Wa Airstrips are not serving any useful purpose for domestic airlines because they see no Economic Viability and Market there.
How many middle-class Ghanaians really troop in and out of the Central Region or Cape Coast unlike Takoradi, where oil and gas and mining activities, and the Takoradi Port, with more industries, make it a more viable place for domestic airline operations.
Even in Takoradi, find out from domestic airlines how they struggle to get numbers due to the cost which many locals cannot afford.
The Tourism argument in the Central Region is even weak because the process of travelling by road for a Tourist from Accra to Cape Coast, is in itself part of the tourism experience, and so a Tourist may choose to go by road instead of flying by air for few minutes to go and view a castle.
It would be more ideal to dualize the Accra Cape coast road, and deal with traffic from Kasoa towards Budumburam, to make travelling by road more convenient. That’s a more realistic solution now than build an Airport for Cape Coast which probably should be a future consideration when economic activity booms.
A Harbour for Cape Coast makes more economic sense because of fishing activities in the region.
We cannot replicate every project across all the regions. Different regions have different needs, and we must get serious with governance in this country, and save these fantasies for the movies.
Central Region is among the poorest regions in Ghana. How many industries are working there? The Komenda Sugar Factory and the Ayensu Starch Factory and others are not operating to give people jobs, and we think they deserve an Airport instead?
Besides, if this promise is to attract votes, then it can’t appeal to the masses because per their economic strength, a fisherman in Cape Coast or Elimina, or that subsistence farmer, will most likely not be able to afford the cost of travelling by flight, and will definitely not find it useful.
Go to Tamale or the Northern Region, and ask how many indigenes have ever used the Airport since it was constructed.
In my recent trip by Air to Tamale from Accra, it cost 766 for a round trip, and the flight was only half full. So these flights only serve a minority of citizens, and so these Airports contribute very little to our economy.
If we are really serious about connecting this country in a way that serves the masses, then we should be more serious about reviving our rail transport instead of building Airports that serve a few privileged people.