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Fantasy Dome refusal to vacate Trade Fair site leads to eviction

The tenancy agreement between the owners of the Fantasy Dome and the Trade Fair Company Limited expired on 31 December 2023

The Ghana Trade Fair Company Limited has dismantled the “Fantasy Dome,” owned by Fantasy Entertainment, which has been on the trade fair site since January 2018, to pave the way for developers to complete the ongoing “Ghana International Trade Fair Center Development Project.” The dismantled facility will be available to its owners for it to be relocated.

The tenancy agreement between the owners of the Fantasy Dome and the Trade Fair Company Limited expired on 31 December 2023. Since then, all efforts by the management of the Trade Fair Company Limited to get “Fantasy Entertainment” to remove the “Fantasy Dome” from the Trade Fair site have proved futile.

The CEO of Fantasy Entertainment has stated in a Saturday, 17 March 2024 interview with a section of the media that he has an injunction, but the Trade Fair Company Limited has vehemently denied any such injunction. The company states that it has not been served with any court processes and no injunction was served on the day of the demolition.

Ironically, access to the portion of the site where the “Fantasy Dome” is situated at the Trade Fair site is vital for developers to construct the power and water infrastructure for the project as well as the drainage system to serve the new Ghana International Trade Fair Center. The dome has hampered the progress of these works for approximately 12 months.

To this end, the Trade Fair Company Limited on Saturday, 16 March 2024, embarked on an exercise supervised by the Ghana Police Service with support from the National Security Ministry to take down the “Fantasy Dome” for construction works on the Trade Fair site to proceed freely.

Brief background

The Ghana Trade Fair Company (GTFCL) was established by an Executive Instrument (EI) in 1960 as a project to facilitate Ghana’s post-independence trade and industrialization drive.

The Executive Instrument 10 acquired 239.92 acres of land for this purpose and to showcase Ghana’s exports with the view to attracting investors into its fledgling economy.

From its origins in 1960, GTFCL has metamorphosed into a limited liability company strategically positioned to promote and facilitate trade in Ghana.

There have been attempts by successive governments to revive the company through various public-private partnership initiatives. These attempts have focused on redeveloping the entire center under various themes. The current redevelopment project is considered as a core part of President Nana Akufo Addo’s vision to position Ghana as a trade hub for West Africa.

It is under the Akufo-Addo government that the company was revived to successfully undertake an aggressive redevelopment of the site. The management and board of directors of the company under this government have worked tirelessly to turn the company into a commercially viable business today and have secured funding from development partners to develop the site.

The new GTFC

The new Ghana International Trade Fair Center Development Project, when completed, would have a convention and an exhibition center, a technology hub, a retail mall, commercial offices, hotel accommodations, and public realm spaces. Infrastructure works and construction of the major exhibition center are now underway.

Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra

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