Roland Agambire has a vision of what his homeland will look like in the years ahead – one in which Ghana will play a starring role in the global economy.
As CEO of mobile equipment and computer manufacturer Rlg Communications in Ghana, Agambire is doing his part to help shape that future.
The nation’s youth hold the key to ensuring that dreams becomes reality, said Agambire, who was recently honored as Ghana’s Overall Best Entrepreneur of 2012 at the third annual UT Ghana Entrepreneur Awards Night.
Rlg plans to provide jobs for 30,000 Ghanaian youth in the next couple of years. Many of those jobs will be at Rlg’s new technology park, aptly named HOPE City.
HOPE City is an acronym for Home Office People Environment, which highlights Agambire’s vision of unifying those four elements to realize the plans he has for Ghana. Groundbreaking took place earlier this year just outside Accra. Once completed, HOPE City will be the tallest building in Africa.
In the computer-generated architectural rendering of HOPE City, a cluster of six hive-like buildings appear to be the stuff of science fiction blockbuster settings. However, despite its futuristic semblance, the inspiration for HOPE City has its roots in traditional Ghanaian housing and lifestyle.
“We do not want to create buildings to simply be objects in the landscape; we want them to act as a reflection of the culture and the vision of the people,” said Paolo Brescia of the Italian architectural firm Open Building Research. He, along with colleague Tommaso Principi, wanted to design a building that promotes a sense of community while still fostering the personal growth of the individual identities of the city’s residents.
“We want to recreate the feeling of the traditional compound house of Ghana, where the circular elements of the house are articulated around the same circular common space —where people feel…part of the same community, sharing the same values in the same common spaces,” Brescia said.
Such culturally integrated architecture reflects Agambire’s ambitions for the future of his home country. He and the architects dreamed up a space that fosters human interactions. Taking place in an environment that seamlessly integrates nature into a hyper-modern structure, HOPE City is dedicated to the furtherance of the latest communication technologies.
“The central piazza will be the heart of the project,” said Brescia. “It will be a space for everybody, open to the sky, where you can feel the transition of nature.”
The HOPE City project is expected to attract foreign investment. IBM and Microsoft are among the ICT celebrities who plan on taking up residence within the vertical city.
But it will still be primarily a means by which Ghana will move forward and its young people can find much needed employment.
Ghana’s unemployment rate is 11 percent, according to the CIA World Factbook.