The Yanjian Group, Chinese contractors, working on the construction of the new office premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has handed over the completed building to the ministry, one month ahead of schedule.
The then Vice President John Mahama cut the sod for the commencement of construction on 2nd September 2011, and work has been completed in 17 months instead of 18 months.
Mr. Gong Jianzhong, Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, who participated in the handing over ceremony on Monday, said that the project was one of the many initiatives by the Chinese government to assist Ghana with, and a manifestation of the good relations between Ghana and China.
The cost of the project (91 million Yen or $13.6 million) would be defrayed with interest-free loans under already signed agreements on economic and technical cooperation between both countries.
Mr Gong noted that Ghana was one of the first countries in sub Saharan Africa to establish bilateral relations with China.
He said Ghana and China over the past 53 years had supported and learnt from each other, bringing about tangible benefits for the people of both countries.
Mr. Gong revealed that the Chinese government would also provide, free of charge, furniture, equipment and office supplies amounting to 1.3 million Chinese Yen for the premises.
Madam Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, thanked the contractors and their staff for their sacrifices and dedication to duty which led to the early completion of work.
The Minister said the transfer of the seat of Government to the Flagstaff House had necessitated the relocation of the Ministry, which is being housed there after the old office was burnt down.
“This building is not only a milestone for us but also signifies a new era of strengthened Ghana-China relations” she stated.
Madam Tetteh explained that Ghana had benefitted from the friendly and fruitful relations with China since 1960, including the construction of the National Theatre, the Afife Irrigation project, the Drama Studio of the University of Ghana, the Ministry Of Defence building and the US billion facility, to address infrastructure deficit in the country.
“…it was not surprising that the Chinese government came to Ghana’s aid to house the Ministry with this magnificent structure…what better way to solidify a country’s relations with another to contribute to the nation in such a tangible way?” she said.
Madam Tetteh said that the ceremony was another opportunity to demonstrate government’s commitment to the modernization and overhauling of government buildings.
She explained that the activities of the Ministry would continue to be at the Flagstaff House until the staff move finally to the new premises in about two weeks.
The six-storey office complex has a total construction area of 11303.19 square metre and includes offices, a canteen, meeting hall, reception and security rooms, diesel generator room, outdoor fire pool and switch room.
The building also has drainage systems, fire alarm system, public address system, door access system, satellite TV system, video and audio systems for conference rooms and a DY660C(600KV) diesel generator.