Monday, December 31, 2007


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

A DRAMATIC save by Burkinabe goalkeeper Abdulai Sulama, two minutes inside injury time, saved Asante Kotoko from dropping two vital home points as the Porcupine Warriors coasted to a 2-1 victory over Sekondi Hasaacas in their Onetouch Premier encounter at the Baba Yara Stadium today.
The visiting team who were down 2-0 had pulled one back in the 90th minute and were on the verge of equalising within the two minutes time added on, but Sulama rose to the occasion to deny substitute Isaac Donkor who fired towards goal from just eight yards out.
It was a close shave, and when FIFA referee Mercy Tagoe ended proceedings immediately, the fans filed out of the stadium quietly, some of them thanking God and the keeper for the near escape.
Featuring Baba Adamu “Armando” in his maiden competitive game on his return to Kotoko, expectations were very high for the home fans but Kotoko struggled to punch holes in the Hasaacas rear where Paul Mensah, Paul Aidoo and Daniel Ampadu stood supreme.
Armando seemed to have lost his creative skills in the game as his passes most often went astray, and could hardly tackle effectively, making his partnership with leading striker Eric Bekoe in the league ineffective.
Even though Armando was the architect of the first goal fetched by Francis Akwaffo, his overall input could not convince trainer Bashiru Hayford who rightfully pulled him out for the gangling Kwabena Yaro in the 67th minute.
Twice in the 48th and 49th minutes Bekoe was presented with great opportunities to put Kotoko ahead, but he messed up.
Kotoko were full of fight on restart and deservedly opened the score when Akwaffo raced unto an Armando pass to fire home at the near post.
Hasaacas reacted with fluent attacking play but were unlucky to pull even as Daniel Acquah scooped the ball off the Kotoko goal line with the keeper sprawling on the turf.
Good old Stephen Oduro and Nana Arhin Dual came on for Jordan Opoku and Prince Amponsah respectively for Kotoko while
Donkor replaced Kennedy Nti for Hasaacas but it was Kotoko who profited from the changes immediately as they piled up pressure to score the second goal from former Hasaacas defender Samuel Inkoom who raced from the back to finish off a build-up from the left.
When all looked like Kotoko running away with a two-goal lead, Hasaacas pulled one back from a brilliant free kick from some 20 metres.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE University of Education (Kumasi campus) branch of the Tertiary Students Confederacy (TESCON) of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has congratulated Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on his election as flag bearer of the party for the 2008 presidential election.
A statement signed by Mr Frank Amoako, TESCON President at the campus, said by winning the keenly contested competition, Nana Akufo-Addo had proven to be the “the man of the people”.
It said the party was poised to win the general election massively, with Nana Akufo-Addo in the driving seat.
The TESCON branch, however, stressed the need for the rank and file of the party to rally behind the flag bearer to clinch a decisive victory over the opposition.
The students also congratulated Mr Alan Kyerematen on showing a high sense of maturity by conceding victory to Nana Akufo-Addo at the congress.
It noted that by that Mr Kyerematen had exhibited his love for the NPP.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Bantama Constituency Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr H.K. Kokofu, has called on members of the party to end the celebration of the election of Nana Akufo-Addo as the flag bearer of the party and settle down to the serious business of organising towards the 2008 general election.
With the greatest ever optimism of overrunning the opposition, he said the party could not afford to swim in endless celebration over the election of Nana Akufo-Addo, whilst the more important business of swinging into effective campaigning remained unattended to.
“The election of Nana Akufo-Addo as the flag bearer of the party was the first step in the battle to give the NDC a sound thrashing in the 2008 elections and to ensure that the NPP hands over power to NPP in January 2009 to facilitate the effective and efficient management of the economy,” he said.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Kumasi, Mr Kokofu said the December 22 congress belonged to history and the focus now was how to hand down the NDC its greatest ever defeat in 2008.
Mr Kokofu stated that the December 22 congress produced two great leaders, Nana Akufo-Addo for the present, and Mr Alan Kyerematen for the future.
The constituency chairman indicated that the Danquah-Busia tradition had the history of producing such leaders and cited 1998 when at the Sunyani congress, Mr J.A. Kufuor was elected as flag bearer while Nana Akufo-Addo who proved a tough customer in the campaign period, came second in the congress.
“Today, Nana Akufo-Addo is on his way to becoming President of Ghana after serving effectively in the Kufuor government,” he said.
Mr Kokofu said, “It will be good to see Alan become a key member of an Akufo-Addo government as it happened with Nana under the Kufuor regime so that he will be groomed to become the next leader after Nana.”
He said by conceding victory to Nana Akufo-Addo when all the opportunities existed for him to go for the re-run at the congress, Mr Kyerematen exhibited high political maturity.
He was also full of praise for the new flag bearer for his sense of maturity when he said he would reach out to all the defeated aspirants to ensure an effective campaign.
Above all, the constituency chairman commended President Kufuor for the encouraging words he gave at the congress, saying it showed that, “for us the NPP, the congress is a clear testimony that the party won the day”.
Mr Kokofu challenged the foot soldiers to rekindle the spirit that saw the party winning the last two elections “because elections are about numbers”.

Friday, December 21, 2007

NDUOM DOES IT ...He wins 53.8 per cent in one round (1a...Published Tues Dec 18, 2007)

Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE anticipated straight fight between Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom and Prof Agyeman Badu Akosa in the race for the flagbearership lived up to its billing at the third national congress of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) in Kumasi yesterday.
But the verdict of the delegates was not close.
After three days of exciting party activities and anxiety and 18 hours of voting, the delegates who thronged the Great Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) delivered an overwhelming verdict for Dr Nduom to lead them into the 2008 national elections.
Flaunting all his charisma and oratory, Prof Akosa had electrified the atmosphere in the hall, after Dr Nduom had done same, ahead of the elections when each candidate was given five minutes to deliver a message to the delegates. And all and everything pointed to a neck and neck finish to push the election into a run-off.
But that was not to be, as Dr Nduom defied the odds to poll 1,022 votes, representing 53.8 per cent of the 1,901 votes cast by delegates, to win the slot.
Many had expected that Dr Nduom's association with the ruling government and a last-minute attempt by one of the aspirants, Mr Bright Oblitey Akwetey, to introduce an alleged Serious Fraud Office (SFO) finding against him would cost him some votes. But Dr Nduom proved them wrong.
His closest challenger, Prof Akosa, came a distant second with 644 votes, representing 33.91 per cent of the total votes cast.
Mr George Oposika Aguddey, who was the CPP presidential candidate for the 2004 election, was third with 139 votes, representing 7.3 per cent, while Dr Kwaku Osafo, 48 votes (2.5 per cent), Mr Akwetey, 37 votes (1.9 per cent), and Dr Frederick William Kwasi Akuffo, 11 votes (0.6 per cent), followed in that order.
Prof Akosa, in the spirit of competitiveness, embraced Dr Nduom after the results had been announced and was heard telling the victor, "Congratulations on your victory."
Dr Akuffo was also seen mingling with some of the delegates but Mr Aguddey and Dr Osafo were nowhere to be seen.
Mr Aguddey had, during the presidential balloting, petitioned the chairman for the congress, Mr Riley Poku, over an alleged irregularity in the selection of delegates from the Northern Region but the authorities found no merit in the petition.
Nobody had expected Dr Nduom to win with such a massive difference. In fact, many had expected a round off between him and Prof Akosa, judging by the rapturous support both had received from delegates when they made an appearance at the hall on Sunday.
The atmosphere at the Great Hall was electrifying when the Deputy Commissioner of the Electoral Commission, Mr K. Sarfo-Kantanka, announced the results.
Dr Nduom, who wore an all-white attire, with his head besmeared with powder to signify victory, sat at the high table on the dais with other party gurus.
Scores of journalists swarmed around him to interview him as security personnel worked hard to control the situation.
The victorious Dr Nduom kept saying, "I thank all of you, I thank all of you."
Indeed, Dr Nduom had gone through what could be said to be a difficult time before the voting started.
While introducing himself to the delegates before the balloting started on Sunday afternoon, he said, "I am aware of the moves by my opponents to smear me with false allegations. They have been going round distributing leaflets that the SFO had made some findings against me. But I am not deterred because I know they are all lies and at the end of the day God will decide."
He said he had nothing to fear because his hands were clean. He had, in the pre-election campaign, also attempted to explain himself to potential delegates and party people that his association with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had been at the instance of the CPP National Executive Committee and so it would be wrong for anyone to use it to bring him down.
There was continuous drumming and dancing on the campus after the results had been announced.

“With the congress now over and my victory as the flag bearer of the great CPP, I want to assure the nation that the CPP is back to life and the Mmoborowa campaign associated with our aspiring Members of Parliament (MPs) is now over. I will be with them to campaign in the villages, towns and hamlets to market the great party to the electorate and let them understand that a vote for the CPP will never be a waste.”
These were Dr Nduom’s words minutes after he had been declared winner of the CPP delegates congress, reports George Ernest Asare.
After commending the delegates, senior party members of the CPP and his supporters whose effort made it possible for him to win the highest office of the party, he pointed out, “I will be in Elmina the following day (Tuesday) to inform my people of my victory to begin my campaign to every corner of the country to market the CPP.”
“I am ready to use the radio stations, televisions and all the media available to market the CPP to enable the electorate to appreciate the need to vote it into power, come December 2008,” Dr Nduom assured the delegates.
“I have stayed with the CPP from infancy and will forever stay with the party because it is my root,” he declared, adding, “My father was the Central Regional Organiser of the Young Pioneer so I am not new to the party, as is being perceived by some group of people.”
Turning to the delegates, he said, “This is the opportunity to support my cause and bring back the CPP to take control of government and initiate programmes and policies that will make Ghanaians feel proud of themselves.”
“This country belongs to Ghanaians and when I finally occupy the Flagstaff House, I will work hard to ensure that Ghanaians get advantage in business, farming, education, health, among others, to make them feel good with themselves,” he said.
“I am also going to work with all the losing candidates to ensure massive victory for us in the 2008 general election,” he noted.
On the candidates he would be contesting against for the Presidency in the 2008 presidential elections, Dr Nduom said it would be a contest among the CPP, the NDC and the NPP, but “Professor Mills and anyone who will be elected by the NPP have been in government before so they will have to tell Ghanaians what they did for the state to merit their election to the highest office in the country”.
Earlier, Dr Edmund Nminyem Delle, who lost to Mr Ladi Nylander as the Chairman of the CPP, had also given assurance of his support for the new chairman and all those who were elected to enable the CPP to form the next government.
In his address, he described the congress as a great day and a new dawn for the CPP and appealed to Ghanaians to give the party a chance by voting it into power in the December 2008 general election.
He also advised the new officers to work hard to bring unity into the party to enhance its victory in the next elections.
“With your election, you should see to it that the party is more united than ever to fulfil its mission,” he noted, adding, “Never again should we have a divided party.”
For his part, Mr Nylander said with his election as the Chairman of the CPP, the shackles that undermined the forward march of the party were broken, declaring, “Things will never be the same again.”

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

OFFICIAL actions taken by the Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines over the last four years to combat illegal logging in the country has resulted in a shift in preference for certified timber on the international market.
Currently, producers who are unable to certify the origins of their products as coming from sustainably managed forests or from legal sources are finding it increasingly difficult to trade on the international market.
The Deputy Minister of the sector, Mr Andrew Adjei-Yeboah, made this known during a forum organised with the National House of Chiefs (NHC) on the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) in Kumasi.
The VPA, which was borne out of the action plan of the European Union (EU) and African Governments to combat illegal logging, is aimed at agreeing to standards with which legal compliance would be measured, as well as a system through which the origin of the product would be ascertained.
Under the agreement, products from partner countries that are unable to meet the set standards would be denied access to the EU market.
The forum with the NHC was to seek views from the chiefs, as stakeholders in the forest sector, on critical issues that would make the VPA succeed.
Mr Adjei-Yeboah noted that Ghana could not run away from the international trends that promoted the development of protocols and conventions for responsible purchasing and consumption patterns.
He said a standard timber trade practice was in the process of coming into being with the EU as the driving force.
“It is, therefore, imperative for Ghana to pay close attention to what happens on the international market, especially in the EU,” the deputy minister said.
Mr Adjei-Yeboah said that Ghana and the EU were negotiating a number of issues that would bring sanity into the timber business.
Among the issues were the system of verification of legality, including timber licensing system, independent monitoring of the entire legality system and mitigation of possible impacts of the VPA, including options for ensuring legal timber supply.
The President of the NHC, Odeneho Gyapong Ababio, commended the Forestry Commission and the Ministry for reaching out to chiefs on the VPA.
He noted that chiefs, as custodians of the land, had a huge say in ensuring sanity in the management of the forests.
He pledged the support of the house to ensure that Ghana would achieve maximum benefits from the arrangements with the EU.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

There is low-key activity in the camp of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) in Kumasi in the build up to their congress at the Great Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) on Sunday.
Apart from few posters of the aspirants pasted on walls and other objects, virtually nothing depicted the coming of a congress of a party that had so far showed signs of some rejuvenation.
This was in sharp contrast to developments in the NPP camp where the 17 aspirants had displayed their billboards, banners and other materials at the University of Ghana campus, where the December 22 congress would take place, as well as other parts of the national capital. Party leaders of the CPP in Kumasi believe, however, that the situation in their camp was expected because the CPP aspirants did not have the money to put up giants bill-boards and banners, and organise other activities the way they were happening in the build-up to the NPP congress.
Huge banners and billboards of the six CPP presidential aspirants expected at strategic parts of the city, especially around the campus of the University, were virtually absent.
Indeed a number of people in the metropolis were not aware the congress was taking place this weekend in Kumasi.
Mr S.K. Danso, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the CPP, told the Daily Graphic that in spite of the seemingly open inactivity by the aspirants, the party was finding ways to whip up some last minute public enthusiasm in the congress.
He indicated that they had ordered some banners, which would be ready by today to be placed at various parts of the city, especially the campus of the KNUST, the congress venue.
Apart from this, Mr Danso said all other preparations were complete for the organisation of a successful congress.
The Congress would elect a flag-bearer for the party for the 2008 presidential elections.
Besides, national leaders would be elected to steer the affairs of the party for the next four years.
The six aspirants are Prof Agyemang Badu Akosa, Dr Kwaku Osafo, Mr Opessika Aggudey, Mr Bright Akwetey, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom and Mr Fredrick William Kwasi Akuffo.
According to the regional chairman, arrangements for accommodation, security, and meals, among other things, had been completed.
Meanwhile, a CPP activist in Kumasi, Nana Kwasi Kwarteng, has predicted victory for Prof. Akosa.
He said the Professor had what it took to lead the CPP to win the election and consequently bring the country out of the poverty.
Meanwhile, Donald Ato Dapatem and Musah Yahaya Jafaru reports in Accra that a 38-year-old pharmacist, Mrs Susan Adu-Amankwah, has been elected the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the Convention People’s Party (CPP).
She polled 154 votes to beat her two male opponents, Dr Nii Gborbilor Fleischer and Mr Patrick Nelson Sogbigbor, who had 46 and 61 votes, respectively.
An elated Mrs Adu-Amankwah congratulated the two men on waging a healthy campaign and urged all members of the party to assist her in her bid to make it attractive to the youth.
In an election that attracted all the six presidential aspirants of the party and almost all those seeking national positions in the party and was supervised by officials of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mr Ernest Nana Baiden was elected the Vice-Chairman for the region.
Other elected officers were Mr Bonaventure W. Appiah, Second Vice-Chairman; Mr Jonathan Ayikwei Attoh, Secretary; Mr Paul Kwame Anaman, Organiser, while Mr Theophilous Boye was elected unopposed as the Regional Treasurer.
The rest were Ms Aisha Sulley Futa, Women’s Organiser; Mr Richard Nii Oshiu Cudjoe, Youth Organiser, and Mr Oshamaku Atuqyuaye Botchway, Education Secretary.
Just before the elections, all the presidential aspirants were given three minutes to interact with the party faithful gathered and the first to do so was Prof Agyeman Badu Akosa.
He told the gathering that he was the best person to lead the CPP because the women, the youth and even members of other political parties had said that if the CPP elected Prof Akosa, they would all vote for the party in December 2008.
“If the CPP elects Akosa to be its flag-bearer, that will be the beginning of the road to the Flagstaff House. All Ghanaians are waiting for the early Monday morning news that Akosa has been elected the CPP flag-bearer,” he told the cheering crowd.
When he took his turn, Dr Kwaku Osafo said the CPP winning the 2008 elections depended on how well organised it was, and that no matter who was elected the flag-bearer, with a formidable and strong CPP, the party would form the next government.
He also said the struggle ahead did not require money alone.
“If we want to fight the struggle ahead with money, then we must park off and go away because we cannot beat the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) with money,” he said, and called on all members to join in winning more members for the party.
He said what the party had to do was use its organisational skills and the message of helping the poor and the needy in the society because the CPP had the track record of building schools, offering free education and health to the sick and making Ghanaians the leaders of the economy.
Dr Frederick William Asante Akuffo claimed that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) being implemented by the NPP government was his idea and that he had extensively written about it in the Daily Graphic since 1972.
He asked the party’s members to give him the mandate to become the presidential candidate of the CPP and subsequently the President of the country so that he would be able to implement the NHIS better and ensure that all Ghanaians were given national identification cards.
He said all those who had gathered at the congress grounds could not call themselves Ghanaians because they had no identification to that effect.
As if in response to Dr Osafo’s claim that election was not all about money, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, said, “I want to assure you that the CPP we are taking to the elections in 2008 has no semblance to the one we took to the 2004 elections. Next year we will not be engaged in ‘poor woman or poor man’ campaign. Those people are doing TV and radio commercials and the CPP will match them boot for boot.”
He gave the assurance that he was working on getting resources for the CPP because no party member could undertake campaigns on an empty stomach.
“If you call people today to go on a campaign and you don’t feed them, the next day they will not follow you,” he added.
He said Ghanaians had given the NDC and the NPP their fair chances to prove their worth, adding that 2008 was the turn of the CPP.
He said he was the best person for the job because he had served as an Assembly member, a Member of Parliament and a minister of state, which had afforded him the opportunity to acquire experience on how to govern Ghana.
Mr Bright Akwetey, who said he had fought crime and corruption for over 30 years, asked the delegates to give him the mandate to lead the party and Ghana to enable him to bring his experience to bear on the crime and corruption that had assumed high proportions in the country.
He said if crime and corruption were not checked, they would bring to nought the benefits of all the nice economic policies that Ghanaians were talking about.
Mr Aggudey said but for him and other party faithful who held the party’s flag high in times of difficulty, the CPP would not have been attractive for others to apply for presidential positions.
He described the party’s national delegates congress as a done deal for him and urged the delegates to vote him because he was a faithful and loyal CPP member.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Judicial Committee of the National House of Chiefs (NHC) has declared the Odefey (Paramount Chief) of the Senya Beraku Traditional Area in the Central Region, Nenyi Kweku Issiw VI, a fugitive and consequently withdrawn his recognition.
The committee held that the paramount chief jumped bail in a case in which he was being held by the police in 1992 for defrauding a number of people with the pretext of securing visas for them to travel to Europe, and as such could not hold himself as chief as he had not been seen over the 15-year period.
Giving judgement in an appeal filed by a faction in the Senya Beraku Chieftaincy dispute in Kumasi last Friday, the committee, chaired by the Kukuomhene, Osahene Kwaku Aterkyi II, upheld a decision by the Judicial Committee of the Central Regional House of Chiefs that the leaving of the palace unceremoniously by the Omanhene without any signs that he would return amounted to abandonment of his stool, which constituted abdication or renunciation of a stool.
“In view of the above, it is rather superfluous for us to restate the obvious that circumstances surrounding the unannounced departure of the chief to an undisclosed destination satisfies the conditions laid down by customary law that he renounced the Senya Beraku stool,” Mr John Domalae, counsel for the committee who read the 11-page judgement, said.
Five persons — made up of Nenyi Kobina Andakwei IV, Joshua Kweku Bentum, Naase Nkwanta Otuba II, Opanin Kow Agyare and Supi Kobina Esuon — filed the appeal at the NHC against the ruling of the Central Regional House of Chiefs, that Nenyi Issiw could not hold himself out as Omanhene because after escaping from justice 15 years ago, no one could tell where he was.
The appellants further prayed the committee to declare null and void the installation of one Albert Aboagye as paramount chief of Senya Beraku.
In arriving at its ruling, the judicial committee upheld the submission by the respondents, namely Kow Larbi aka Kobina Abakah II, Kobina Affir, Kow Asafua and Albert Aboagye that Nenyi Issiw appeared to have fallen foul of the law, following a complaint made to the police at Osu in 1991, that he defrauded many people of large sums of money with the promise to secure visas for them to travel to Europe.
The police officer in the case testified that Nenyi Issiw was arrested and arraigned in Accra on December 24, 1991 and granted bail but absconded and his whereabouts remained unknown.
The respondents went ahead to instal the said Aboagye as Omanhene, since they realised that Nenyi Issiw had abandoned his stool, a situation which was challenged by the petitioners at the sitting of the Judicial Committee of the Central Regional House of Chiefs, which dismissed it by a majority decision.
Not satisfied with the ruling of the Central Regional House of Chiefs, the petitioners filed an appeal at the NHC.
In its ruling the Judicial Committee of the NHC rejected the claim by the appellants that Nenyi Issiw travelled abroad for medical examination, saying there was neither any evidence indicating where the Nenyi was receiving the said medical treatment nor did the appellants provide any evidence that they had been communicating with him.
The committee observed that in this era it was common for a chief to reside outside his traditional area, but in doing so it should be with the consent of his elders.
“We have no difficulty in upholding the irresistible conclusion arrived at by the trial judicial committee that the chief in question had indeed abandoned his stool, as well as his subjects, for good,” Mr Domalae quoted from the judgement.
On whether Aboagye was properly nominated, elected and enstooled as Odefey, the judicial committee also upheld the judicial committee’s decision in declaring that the enstoolment was valid.
Costs of ¢20 million was awarded against the appellants, who later declared their intention to move o the Supreme Court to challenge the ruling of the Judicial Committee of the NHC.  


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu & Enoch Darfah Frimpong

IN what the police suspect to be a case of gas poisoning, two workers of the Natony Gas Filling Station at Ohwimase in Kumasi have been found dead inside a huge gas tank which they tried to clean.
Benjamin Mbah, 35, said to be an engineer of the company, and Twumasi Agyapong, a 32-year-old apprentice engineer, were found dead in the tank when a rescue team from the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) entered the tank. They were not wearing any protective equipment.
The acting Ashanti Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Seth Oteng, told the Daily Graphic that an autopsy would enable the police to take further action on the case.
He said the proprietor of the station, Mr Tony Nimako, had already been invited for questioning, after which he was released on bail.
ACP Oteng did not disclose details of the proprietor’s statement but said the man had indicated that he was not at the station when the incident occurred.
When Daily Graphic reporters visited the filling station yesterday, it was closed and a “No Gas“ sign placed at the main entrance.
The acting Regional Police Commander said it was a routine duty for workers to go inside the tank to clean it, adding that Mbah and Agyapong had undertaken that duty on 10 occasions without any problem.
ACP Oteng said on Monday, the two were once again detailed to clean the tank, which was supposed to be empty.
Mbah was said to have entered the tank first about 7.40 a.m. and within minutes his colleague joined him.
The acting commander indicated that after about 30 minutes when there was no sign that they were coming out, the GNFS was called in.
On entering the tank, the two were found dead.
The bodies of the two have been deposited at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) for autopsy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Chief Director of the Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations, Mrs Bridget Katsriku, says the tourism industry is expected to grow from the 12 per cent per annum it has achieved in the past two years to 20 per cent by the close of this year.
She said the ministry was targeting the rural areas in its investment drive, saying that attractive incentive packages were, therefore, being provided for investors who wished to invest in the tourism sector in the rural areas.
Mrs Katsriku was speaking in Kumasi at the joint inauguration of a training school in travel and tours and an agency of Starline Travel and Tours Limited. The school and the agency are part of the first phase of the company’s expansion programme to strategic areas of the country.
The syllabus of the training institute is tailored to turn out professionals who are deeply rooted in the tourism industry and are ready to contribute positively to the development of the industry in the country.
Mrs Katsriku mentioned one of the incentive packages as five years of exemption from the payment of corporate tax for some projects sited in rural areas.
She, therefore, challenged Ghanaian investors to take advantage of the opportunity to invest in the industry, especially in the hotel and restaurant sectors.
Pointing out the importance of the various services in the tourism sector, including ticketing, tour operation, accommodation, meals and transportation, Mrs Katsriku stressed the need for them to work as a team to provide quality services in their individual areas of expertise to provide tourists the satisfaction they needed.
The chief director, however, noted that “quality service cannot be provided without continuous training”.
“It is for this reason that the management of Starline Travel and Tours and Training Institute has to be highly commended for extending its facilities to Kumasi to provide not only travel and tour services but also train the youth in travel and tours,” she added.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Starline Travel and Tours, Nana Prempeh Annin-Bonsu, called for action to address the domestic constraints to tourism development in the country.
“For instance, we need to develop coherent strategies to facilitate access to tourism sites and help develop local capacities to ensure the commercial viability of tourism products in terms of product quality, pricing and marketing,” he said.
He noted that the reported $400 million that Ghana derived from tourism annually was inadequate and said efforts must be made by all concerned to rake in the needed revenue.
Nana Annin-Bonsu urged the government to develop strategies that would create the environment for the development and promotion of tourism in Ghana.
He said in extending its operations to Kumasi, the company had fulfilled an objective to contribute in providing students of its institute with skills that would help change the face of the industry for the better.
He promised quality service in the travel and tour business for the people of Kumasi.
The Juabenhene, Nana Otuo Serebuor II, who represented the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, commended the company for its foresight and expressed the hope that its coming to Kumasi would be a blessing for the people.

Monday, December 10, 2007


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

IT looks like Kumasi King Faisal are in for a difficult season in the premiership, but club officials say the club will bounce back to stage a claim to this year’s national championship.
Team manager Alhaji Ahmed Kamel believes all the corrections to the rather poor start to the season has been effected and a rejuvenated Faisal is ready to take the league by storm.
“We have the wherewithal to hit back strongly and we are definitely going to do that in the coming matches,” Kamel told Graphic Nsempa in Kumasi.
After receiving one of their heaviest defeats ever in association football, going down 0-4 against Liberty professional in the opening game of the premier league in Accra, no one needs to remind the club that this could be perhaps the toughest season since joining the elite division.
For Kamel, it was surprising that Faisal lost the match heavily after playing very well against Liberty.
Club president and bankroller Alhaji Karim Gruzah should now be thinking of what to do to get his technical team to work in order to restore the team to its fearsome days.
For a club that struggled to escape relegation in the last season, many would have thought that they would quickly go to the drawing board to correct the lapses but if the heavy defeat by Liberty is anything to go by, then the picture looks gloomy for them.
Consistently over the past few years, Faisal had sold some of their most trusted players to local and foreign sides.
Abubakar Yahuza was transferred to an Israeli side some two seasons ago while his strike partner, Eric Gawu, moved to Accra Hearts of Oak, and defender Shilla Illiasu joined Asante Kotoko.
This season Faisal lost hard running forward Sumaila Nyanya, while defender Iddrisu Yahaya and Bobie Ansah have also joined Kessben F/C.
However, the club could not make any meaningful recruitment as replacements, preferring to rely on young and unknown players whose ability to accommodate the pressure in the premiership is suspect.
Alhaji Kamel believes otherwise. He says new recruits, Abass Ibrahim, Enoch Efah, Nana Yaw Darlington, Malik Alhassan and Fuseini Abdul Rahman among others have showed signs through the off season that they could blend affectively with the old players to lift the flag of Faisal high.
It is true that Ghanaian clubs lack the financial power to manage themselves well. In fact, many of them have had to rely on gate proceeds to live, a situation which is not feasible and indeed very dangerous in the running of clubs today.
Even traditional giants, Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko, who command the biggest support in the country, have come to appreciate the fact that they can no more manage their affairs through gate proceeds alone.
The giants have for some time now struggled to honour their financial commitments, sometimes resulting in internal disorder.
Even if Kotoko and Hearts are finding it difficult to rely on gate proceeds, then one could imagine the situation Faisal, who have just a few supporters would find themselves in.
For now Alhaji Gruzah would have to continue to build his team with unknown players, only praying that the new players catch up in no time to move the club forward.
The situation clearly underlines the fact that football clubs need massive sponsorship to be able to catch up with the challenges of the time.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kuntanase

THE Bosomtwe Rural Bank has presented a number of items, valued at GH¢700 (¢7 million), towards the National Farmers Day celebration in the Bosomtwe-Atwima-Kwanwoma District in the Ashanti Region.
They included 15 pairs of Wellington boots, 12 radio sets, two spraying machines and a box of machetes.
Mr Felix Owusu-Achiaw, the Supervising manager of the bank, who made the presentation at Kuntanase, the district capital, said the bank was proud to associate itself with the Farmers Day over the years.
He said it had been the culture of the bank to make donations during the event, and explained that this had been so because farmers constituted a respectable portion of the bank’s customer base.
Mr Owusu-Achiaw stated that the development of agriculture was very crucial to building the economy of the district and the nation as a whole, and promised that such assistance would continue in future.
The Presiding member of the Assembly, Mr Albert Marfo, who received the items on behalf of the assembly, thanked the bank for the gesture and expressed the hope that others would emulate their example.
The District Co-ordinating Director , Mr C.K. Dondieu, said the bank’s donation would go a long way to enrich the awards.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

A MEMBER of the Vice President’s campaign team, Mr George Ayisi-Boateng, has denied media reports linking him to the new party allegedly formed out of the NPP the Reform Patriotic Party in Kumasi.
He told the Daily Graphic in an interview that “ I am nowhere near that party and I do not know of the members or where they meet”.
“ I only hear of Kwabena Agyei aka Bambata, the leader of that party, but for close to two years now I have never met him”, he said.
Mr Ayisi-Boateng, who is a founding member of the NPP, said the last time he met Mr Adjei was at the Ashanti Regional NPP conference some two years ago where Adjei vied for the regional secretary position while he(Boateng) went for the regional chairmanship position but both of them were defeated.
“I can’t even remember the last time that we spoke on phone”, Mr Ayisi-Boateng stressed, and that the allegation linking him to the party was to create disaffection in the NPP and particularly the vice president’s campaign team.
He maintained that his resolve to support Alhaji Aliu Mahama to become the next president was irrevocable. “ In any case all Ghanaians know that I am for Aliu and no one else”.
Mr Ayisi-Boateng said Alhaji Aliu was on his way to becoming the NPP presidential candidate and eventually the next President of Ghana because the party had seen him as the most marketable candidate for the NPP.
He described the Vice-president as “ all in unity” and expressed the confidence that the delegates who constituted the kingmakers for the December congress would vote for him.
Mr Ayisi-Boateng stated that so far the campaign had been very encouraging as all pointed to a victory for the Vice-president.
He said Alhaji Mahama had proved to be a great team player, having supported President Kufuor to achieve a lot for the nation over the approximately seven years administration of the NPP.
Mr Ayisi-Boateng said with the Vice-president as the flag bearer of the NPP, “we will be selling an already-made product”.
He said, it was time that “we reward our heroes while they live and Aliu’s selflessness, loyalty and commitment to the government and mother Ghana should be appreciated by all”.
“We should see him as the centre piece for total unity for the nation”, he added.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) is facing a huge challenge in finding money to pay the private waste management contractors it owes to the tune of a whopping ¢60 billion, accumulated unpaid monthly bills over the past year.
The irregular payment has resulted in a poor performance by the contractors, as refuse continues to pile up in many areas of the metropolis.
People continue to litter indiscriminately as the assembly struggles to get the necessary funds to pay the contractors, while insufficient equipment holding by the contractors also contribute to the problem.
These came up during a meeting between officials of the assembly and a delegation of the Alliance Francais Development (AFD) of France, in connection with the Urban Development Project currently underway in Kumasi. The French government, through AFD, is the major financier of the projects which include construction of roads and a wood village at Sokoban.
Giving the state of solid waste management and sanitation situation in Kumasi, the Deputy Director of Waste Management at the KMA, Mr Prosper Kotoka, said the assembly needed about ¢1.3 billion a month for the proper management of its final disposal waste disposal facilities at Dompoase and Ohwim.
The metropolis generates 1,000 tonnes of solid waste daily, and to achieve a total collection coverage, the assembly requires about ¢2.7 billion to collect 30,000 tonnes of solid waste every month, besides the cost of maintaining the disposal facilities.
Touching on the decision to use solid waste to generate electricity, Mr Kotoka said the assembly had signed a memorandum of understanding with a Canadian company to prepare the grounds for the start of the project.
Mr J.O. Amoo-Gottfried, the Urban Roads Engineer in Kumasi, who was briefing the meeting on road development in the metropolis, said only about 20 per cent of the road network in Kumasi was in good condition.
However, he said, there had been a significant increase of about 60 per cent in road network within the last six years which had made many areas accessible.
The metropolitan engineer noted that every effort was being made to improve on the conditions of the 20 per cent of good roads, but said that had been hampered by financial challenges.
He said the introduction of the traffic management policy had considerably reduced the volume of traffic in the central business district of the city.
Mr Amoo-Gottfried stated that the government was in the process of paying compensation to property owners whose property would be affected by the construction of the outer ring road project from Angola Junction to Anoka Timber Gardens.
The compensation was estimated at ¢260 billion.
The Finance Officer of the KMA, Mr Asare Bediako, noted that the assembly had continued to rely mostly on its share of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund to finance most of its projects because of inadequate revenue generated internally.
For some time now, the assembly had generated just 26 per cent of its budgeted internally generated funds.
That was why measures, including the revaluation of property in the metropolis had been initiated to maximise revenue generation from internal sources.
He noted that data collection was key in maximising revenue generation and the assembly was taking it seriously. Mr Bediako said private revenue collectors had been engaged to collect revenues from the central market and other markets in the metropolis.
This is a pilot project which would be replicated in other areas when it becomes successful.

Monday, December 3, 2007


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

KUMASI Asante Kotoko Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Sylvester Asare-Owusu, has released what appears to trigger debate in football circles in the days ahead, claiming that the club pays the biggest salaries to players in the country.
On the face value, the statement, which he made in an interview with the Graphic Nsempa, appeared debatable, but the two-time club boss insisted that he was stating a fact that could not be denied by anybody.
“That is why we are the most attractive club in the country today”, Mr Asare-Owusu told the Graphic Nsempa in an interview.
He did not give specific figures to support his claim but said his administration had reviewed salaries upward by fifty percent, which has brought the figure far ahead of ant other club in the country.
Unvestigations made by the Graphic Nsempa , however, revealed that the lowest paid player in Kotoko takes home not less than ¢1 million a month
Mr Asare-Owusu indicated that, during his first coming as chairman of the club, his management made a significant upward review of salaries which contributed in a long way in motivating the players to win the league for the first time after a ten-year drought.
Asare-Owusu who spoke to this paper on the preparations the club had made towards the league, which kicked off over the weekend, said manageent had done everything to bring the club to shape and ready to do battle in the season.
“Motivation has been very high. I think that we have done enough to ginger the players to bring smiles to the face of the teeming supporters“, he said.
The build-up to the premier league saw Kotoko engaging in perhaps the biggest ever pre-season training programme ever witnessed by any club in the country.
They were in Germany for close to two weeks, toured Sudan and played a match in Cote D’Ivoire to fine-tune for the season.
Some critics of Kotoko and specifically the present management argued that the clubs they competed with in Germany were mediocre sides whose pedigree could were not enough to bring the best out of the training programme.
But officials of Kotoko rebutted such arguments saying the training programme was not a competition where the club had to play strong sides. They were only meant to prepare the team for the upcoming season by using the matches to correct the rough edges in the team. 
“It was the first time that a team has undertaken such a massive training programme in Ghana and we have to reap the benefits”, he said.
What benefits? Winning the league in the first place and going ahead to annex the CAF Confederations Cup, after deciding finally to participate in the African Competition.
Kotoko had not seen any continental silverware since they last won the then Africa Cup of Nations for the second time in 1983. The last twelve years had also seen them winning the national league just once, that was during the first period of Sylvester’s administration.
The fans are therefore very thirsty of continental honours and this season presents them with the opportunity to restore their continental image.
Kotoko are relying on a blend of old and new faces to do battle in the season. Old faithful like Arhin Duah, Francis Akwaffo, Emmanuel Osei Kuffuor, Kwame Obeng Darko, Ofosu Amoah and goalkeeper Isaac Amoako have joined forces with fresh faces including Kwabena Yaro, Kwadwo Poku, come-back midfielder Stepehn Oduro, Francis Coffie, Prince Amponsah and Kwadwo Poku.
Attempts to bring on board former international Baba Adamu “Amando” seemed to have hit a snag after the GFA Status Committee ruled that he could not be registered because Kotoko failed to advance reasons as to why he should be registered after the close of the first phase of the player rehistration exercise.
Kotoko have appealed against the decision and wereawaiting the outcome, which they believed would rescind the earlier decision.
What Kotoko is calling for is fair officiating to ensure that the league is won on merit. “We expect our referees to be fair to all because our league must grow”, the CEO said.

KESSBEN FC WIN 2-0 (Back Page)

Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

KESSBEN F/C launched themselves into the premiership with a sweet 2-0 victory over Sekondi Hasaacas at the Anane Boateng Stadium at Abrankese.
Proving how deadly they could be at home, the debutants, sporty young players, scored both goals in the second half to send the respectable home fans cheering.
In the 49th minute Kessben’s striker, Isaac Danquah, was brought down in the penalty box. The referee awarded a penalty which was expectly converted by Daniel Addo.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana (ABCCG) has called on the Procurement Board to check what it described as the blatant abuse of the procurement law by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
It said the Act was not being strictly adhered to as most of MDAs were not complying with open tendering as the law prescribed, but rather resorted to selective tendering only.
At the opening of the second national annual general meeting of the ABCCG in Kumasi last Thursday, the president of the association, Mr Samuel Obeng, alleged that some officials were manipulating the system in favour of their preferred contractors.
The AGM was on the theme: “Sustaining the Building Construction Industry” and was attended by delegates from all the regions of the country.
Mr Obeng said the association was not against foreigners entering the industry but the practice of registering their business as local contractors to compete for small projects like KVIPs and classroom buildings at the district level was distasteful.
Mr Obeng called for an amendment to the Investment Code to raise the $10,000 or $50,000 fee which a foreigner must respectively pay to be able to enter into a joint venture with a Ghanaian company or operate individually.
The ABCCG president expressed concern about the way wood products were used on building projects and said this was a threat to the country’s forests.
He, therefore, suggested the use of metal frames to reduce wood consumption.
He also complained about the delay in payment of completed projects and called on the government to do something about it.
In an address read on his behalf by Mr E. A. Owusu-Ansah, the Ashanti Regional Minister, the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Saddique, said the government had over the years committed huge sums of money to the construction of many projects.
“Yet you will agree with me that members of your association, as service providers faced with low capacity in skills, absence of technical personnel in contract management, non-availability of plant and equipment, high cost of construction, have found it difficult to live up to expectation, often cutting corners leading to shoddy work,” he said.
Alhaji Saddique indicated that the government had to continue to use huge sums of money to undertake rehabilitation works as a result of the shoddy work.
He challenged the local contractors to reorganise themselves to be able to compete outside the country.
The minister suggested the establishment of joint ventures and mergers by member companies and firms so that they could pool resources to establish formidable companies.
Again, the minister called for the establishments of management boards for limited liability companies.
Alhaji Saddique disclosed that his ministry had programmed to complete the revision of the existing Government of Ghana Conditions of Contract (PINK FORM) to bring it to the modern standards and terms to address the numerous shortcomings in the construction industry.
He assured the association that the government was taking steps to minimise the number of days necessary to honour payment certificates.
The Asamponghene, Nana Asampong Boakye III, who represented the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, reiterated the Asantehene’s concern over the construction of houses in water courses and called on chiefs and the local authorities to find a solution to the problem.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

POLICE Constable Dennis Aryee of the Akomadan Police is to be arraigned before an Offinso Court today for the alleged murder of a suspected illegal timber operator on the Nkenkensu-Akomadan road last Wednesday night.
Constable Aryee, who fled his station after allegedly killing Yaw Agyen on a moving KIA cargo truck, was picked up last Friday and has since been in police custody.
He will face a preliminary charge of murder, pending further investigations into the case.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Seth Oteng, who is the acting Ashanti Regional Police Commander, told the Daily Graphic that Constable Aryee’s arrest would help with investigations into the case.
He denied reports in a section of the electronic media that the police had put up a GH¢2,000 reward for anyone who provided information that would lead to the arrest of Constable Aryee.
“We have arrested him already and any such media reports are not true,” he said.
Meanwhile, the police station at Akomadan has bounced back to life after last Thursday’s attack by a section of the youth of Nkenkansu who were protesting against the killing of Agyen, a native of the area.
The necessary maintenance work has been effected on the furniture, windows and doors at the station which were destroyed by the mob.
The Daily Graphic learnt at Akomadan over the weekend that the security reinforcement that was sent there from Offinso had been withdrawn because of the peace that had returned to the area.
The police said no arrests had been made in connection with the attack but investigations were going on to bring the perpetrators to book.
They warned that they would not take kindly to any unwarranted attacks and would deal with any one caught.
It would be recalled that the Daily Graphic of Friday, November 30, 2007, carried the story of the shooting of the illegal operator and the subsequent attack on the police station, which resulted in the destruction of property.
The deceased was among a group that had allegedly entered a teak plantation to fell teak.
While transporting the logs to Akomadan on a KIA truck, Constable Aryee, who was on guard duty at a construction company, signalled the driver to stop but he refused.
The policeman opened fire from his AK 47 rifle and hit Agyen, who was then sitting on top of the logs. He died on top of the vehicle but the driver sped off until he got to Akomadan where the body was brought down.
The constable went back to the police station to deposit his weapon and went into hiding, refusing to disclose the shooting incident.