Tamale International Airport: A Mahama or Akufo-Addo project? Here are the facts


On Tuesday, August 22, 2023, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia commissioned the second phase of the Tamale International Airport. This has revived the age-old political discourse on who initiated and built a particular government-funded project.

Both the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) are claiming credit for the project.


Fact-Check Ghana has verified the claim and presents the facts below.

In December 2012, Parliament approved a US$100 million Credit Agreement between the Government of Ghana and Deutsche Bank AG (a Brazilian Official Equalization Programme) for phase 1 of the design and construction of the Tamale International Airport Airfield and Pavement Project.

Phase 1 of the project focused on rehabilitating and extending the airport’s runway from 2,438 meters to 3,940 meters. Additionally, it included the rehabilitation of the existing taxiway, taxi links, and apron expansion, as well as strengthening the runway pavement. The project was executed by Construtora Queiroz Galvao S.A. of Brazil and was completed in 2016.

The upgrade increased connectivity between the domestic and Sahalien Regions as well as other West African regional markets. Upon completion in 2016, the first badge of 500 Hajj pilgrims departed from Ghana to Mecca in Saudi Arabia on August 19, 2016.

Parliament approves US$70 million credit facility for Phase 2

 In October 2016, Parliament approved a US$70 million Commercial Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Banco Santander with an Export Credit Guarantee from the United Kingdom Export Finance for the construction of Phase 2 of the Tamale International Airport.

The then ranking Member of the Parliamentary Committee of Roads and Transport, Mr. Governs K. Agbodza, said Phase 2 of the airport was an expansion of the project to cover 600,000 passengers and include a Maintenance Repairing Operations (MRO) facility, according to Parliamentary Hansard of November 3, 2016. The facility, he said, would be Ghana’s first MRO which would have attracted aircraft from other African countries for servicing.

However, Banco Santander was unable to put together the loan syndication, according to a report by Parliament’s Finance Committee.

Following from that, Parliament again approved a joint US$ 56 million and US$24 million United Kingdom Export Finance  (UKEF) Facility Agreement between the Government of Ghana, through the Ministry of Finance and KFW IPEX-Bank GmbH in July 2018.

President Akufo-Addo cuts sod for Phase II of the project

On Thursday, August 15, 2019, President Nana Akufo-Addo cut sod for the development of the project. According to the President, funding for the project was secured from UK Export Finance and KfW IPEX-Bank of Germany.

The project includes a multi-purpose terminal for the annual Hajj Pilgrimage to Mecca, a 5km road network off the Tamale-Bolgatanga Road, a new terminal building including a VIP lounge and two boarding gates. Other features are new two Self-Service Check-In Kiosks; eight check-in desks; airline offices and retail centres.

From the evidence above, while the Mahama government finished Phase I of the Tamale International Airport, their fund-raising effort for Phase II was unsuccessful. The Akufo-Addo government, however, secured the funding and completed Phase II of the Tamale International Airport project.



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