Seeing potential in Ghana’s oil boom town Takoradi

How we made it in Africa recently published an article entitled Five African ‘boom towns’ that should be on every investor’s radar. In the piece we identified Ghana’s port city Takoradi as a boom town that is expected to see significant growth because of its proximity to the country’s offshore oil fields.

Before Ghana started with full-scale commercial oil production in 2011, Takoradi was described as a sleepy town. However, it has since risen to prominence due to the fact that it is the nearest commercial port to Ghana’s offshore oil industry.

“Takoradi on Ghana’s western coast is dusting off her dance shoes to get ready for the good times. The city has passed its prime and some even say it’s a ghost town. But a promised oil boom means people are blowing new life into Ghana’s main twin city,” the Accra Mail wrote in a 2010 article.

Despite Takoradi’s newfound importance, property developers and retailers have still not fully capitalised on the opportunities.

The situation is, however, changing. This week investment firm Renaissance Group announced a new mixed-use urban development, called King City, to be located 10km from the Takoradi harbour.

King City will be developed on 1,000 ha of land and is designed around a live-work-play concept. It will accommodate residential and commercial growth associated with the region’s mining and energy sector boom. According to Renaissance, the development will feature shopping facilities as well as residential and commercial components. King City will be built in phases over 10 years and is expected to eventually be home to over 90,000 residents.

Renaissance’s project partners in the development are the Chief and people of Takoradi Traditional Area in the Western Region.

“The potential for land development in Takoradi, with its important proximity to natural resources and port facilities, is something which we must capitalise on in the name of our region’s future,” commented Osahene Katakyi Busumakura III, Chief of Takoradi.

Just days before we published our original article it was also announced that the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has provided a loan of US$5.45 million to Alliance Estates Limited, to build the first Protea Hotel in Takoradi. The 132-room, three-star hotel will help meet demand for business infrastructure as more investors are venturing into the oil producing region of Takoradi.

“Ghana’s economy has been expanding at a high level, with growth touching 13.6% in 2011. In Takoradi, international hotels are limited, despite increased business traffic from investors interested in developing the oil and gas industry. The Protea Hotel will be amongst the first to provide international-standard rooms, rates and conference facilities,” said the IFC in a statement.

Across Africa there are towns experiencing rapid development on the back of newly discovered resources such as minerals, crude oil and natural gas. According to Brett Abrahamse, a director at Johannesburg-based real estate consultancy Terrace Africa, these towns offer attractive opportunities from a property development perspective – especially for hotel and retail developments.