He believes this will ultimately turn around their fortunes and make them competitive in their respective ventures.
The President made the remarks when he inaugurated the completed works of the first phase of the Tamale airport expansion and upgrade on Friday, August 19, 2016.
The runway has been extended by more than 1400 meters from 2480 to 3940 meters.
“It is refreshing to note that the Ghana Airports Company is taking this project on its balance sheet and this is what I expect our State Owned Enterprises to do,” he stated.
The event also coincided with the airlifting of pilgrims for this year’s Hajj directly from Tamale to Madina in Saudi Arabia.
According to the President, the project which is valued at about 100 million dollars, is also expected to facilitate the transport of perishable goods from the Northern region to other countries across the sub-region and continent.
“Beyond facilitating the movement of people from one destination to the other, this airport will also support the SADA in its program to enhance the export of perishable goods especially fresh agricultural products,” he added.
Tamale airport hub to improve local economy
President Mahama also indicated that phase two of the expansion and upgrade project of the Tamale airport is expected to commence next year.
Meanwhile he has outlined plans to create an economic hub near the airport in a bid to create employment and improve the local economy of people living within the Savanna zone.
“The decision to upgrade the Tamale Airport to an international one is a well thought-through program aimed at extending opportunities to the people of the North for accelerated growth and development of our people,” President Mahama observed.
He added, “Government will work with the GACL to see the airport develop into an aerotropolis with a one stop shop for hotels, conferencing facilities, shops and restaurants to serve as an economic growth node to improve more jobs and grow the local economy.”
Other airports underway
Meanwhile other upgrades and expansion works are being carried out in other parts of the country.
The phase two of the Kumasi airport expansion is expected to commence next year which will see an extension of the runway to enable the airport accommodate wide-bodied jets.
In the Volta region however, works on Ho aerodrome is ongoing while the runway of the Ho airport will be completed before the end of this year.
Also, the terminal building of the Ho airport to be completed early next year.
Moreover, the rehabilitation of the Sunyani airport runway and feasibility studies for the Bolgatanga and Cape Coast airports are also yet to be concluded.