African History Theme Park Project Breaks Ground in Nigeria
Abuja, Nigeria (BlackNews.com) - Tourism in Nigeria and the entire West African sub-region is getting a boost with the take-off of the African Kingdoms and Empires Theme Park Project in Abuja, Federal Capital City of Nigeria.
Nigeria is Africa's most populous nation with a population put at approximately 130 million people. The oil-rich nation has never developed much of its tourism potentials until recently. The best of Nigeria's tourism today still falls below that of other African countries such as Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa.
Thanks to the economic reforms put in place by the Obasanjo-led government, the Nigerian economy is now opening up to new initiatives and investment opportunities unlike before and the tourism sector is one which is getting the attention of domestic and international investors.
The African Kingdoms and Empires Theme Park Project, otherwise known as Heritage City represents the best initiative till date to present all of Africa's diverse culture and history to tourists and visitors in one spot. The theme park will showcase the ancient Kingdoms and Empires of Africa including the powerful Kings and Queens that presided over them and will feature the usual rides and attractions but with African themes. A total of 17,000 acres has been earmarked in Abuja for Heritage City.
The project is a purely private-sector initiative with limited government participation. Government involvement is only in the form of providing infrastructure, according to press statements from project promoters-Heritage City Parks Ltd-a Nigerian based Tourism and Real Estate Development Company. Heritage City Parks Ltd was founded to give leadership to the vision of building a world-class holiday resort and amusement park in Abuja, Nigeria that compares with the Disney parks worldwide.
The project is being funded by a consortium of Nigerian Banks and international investors including Malaysian construction giant-MKP Corporation which is also providing construction expertise. An estimated $200 million will be spent on the first phase of the theme park which opens in 2008 with other supporting projects such as a five-star hotel, 24,000-seat convention center and an extensive residential housing and infrastructure project expected to gulp an additional $500 million.
Heritage City's planners estimate 55,000 jobs will be created by the theme park project with the local population benefiting more from product and service contracts as well.
Heritage City Residences and Resorts, Inc based in Washington, DC is assisting US-based investors participate in additional investment opportunities created by the project. Black Enterprise Magazine's syndicated TV show "Black Enterprise Report" was in Abuja recently and filmed a story on the Heritage City project scheduled to air December 2, 2006.