Bethel Kofi Mamphey, the 29-year-old architect behind the refurbished Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, has revealed the inspiration behind the park's new look and features.
The aim was to create an experience that would enable young people, in particular, to understand and appreciate the work of Ghana's first President.
The memorial park, located on the former polo grounds in Accra where Ghana's independence was declared, houses the remains of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and his wife, Fathia Nkrumah.
Originally designed by Dr. Don Arthur in 1991, the facility underwent a shutdown in 2022 for a $3.5 million refurbishment.
The revamped Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park now boasts several new attractions, including a reception hall, administration building, restrooms, restaurant, gift shop, library, and more.
Notable additions include an audiovisual hall, a tunnel with Dr. Nkrumah's speeches inscribed on the walls, a Freedom Wall, and enhanced water fountain displays.
In an interview with Bernard Avle on the Point of View on Citi TV, Mamphey explained that the creation of the Freedom Wall, adorned with quotes and pictures depicting various emotional states of Ghana's first President, aimed to provide visitors with a genuine sense of Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
Mamphey stated, “Most of us millennials have heard of Nkrumah, but we didn't see him, so coming up with the project, I wanted to create something that will allow people to experience parts of him that people have never seen – the emotional phases he went through as a President. The Freedom Wall is to give visitors a feel of Dr. Nkrumah.”
While preserving the old mausoleum's beautiful marble structure, Mamphey's team restored the deteriorated elements, including the broken concrete fence.
According to Mamphey, the land remains the same, but the lawns and trees have been well-manicured, offering improved visibility from a distance.
Importantly, Mamphey emphasized that the refurbishment project employed solely Ghanaian labour, aligning with the values championed by Dr Nkrumah. “Everybody on the project, from the engineers to the welders, were all Ghanaians. This is fully Ghanaian. There were no ex-pats,” he proudly stated.
On July 4, 2023, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo officially commissioned the redeveloped Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park.
The President expressed confidence that the revitalized park would attract one million domestic and international tourists annually, contributing to the growth of the tourism sector and the revival of Ghana's economy.