Monday, December 1, 2008


WITH just six days to the general elections, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong, has cautioned political parties against preparing the minds of their supporters against the police because of perceived bias.
"I don't understand why some politicians keep accusing us of bias when the elections have not even been held", the police chief said.
Speaking at the inauguration of a GH¢1.16 million district/divisional police headquarters at Old Tafo-Pankrono in Kumasi last Saturday, the IGP said it was only the defeatists who would attempt to hang the police for no offence committed.
"It is only people who have lost focus in their campaigns and perhaps are heading for defeat who would accuse us of non-neutrality", the IGP stressed.
Emphasising the neutrality of the police since the 1992 elections, Mr Acheampong indicated that this image would be fiercely guarded, come December 7.
Funded from the HIPC Fund, the ultra-modern police station project, whose construction took just six months, was facilitated by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Old Tafo-Pankrono and Minister of State at the Finance and Economic Planning Ministry, Dr Anthony Akoto-Osei.
An attached 72-flat residential accommodation for the police is progressing steadily.
The IGP emphasised that with the system put in place it would be very difficult for the police to help any political party in the elections.
He urged the political parties to be vigilant at the polling stations and help the police to arrest anyone who may attempt to cause trouble.
Mr Acheampong maintained that the security services would be firm on the ground, gave the assurance that "the country will not burn".
He, therefore, asked the electorate not to allow anyone to frighten and cow them into submission with threats.
"You should go out there and vote in your numbers because you are safe", he said.
Mr Acheampong commended the government for the continuous support for the police. The IGP stated: "We were starved in the past" but under this government we have seen tremendous changes, which have enabled us to improve our performance." He was particularly appreciative of efforts of the Finance Ministry to get things moving for the police. In a speech, Dr Akoto-Osei said it was his firm commitment to support the police in their efforts to provide the needed security and protection for the people and property in the constituency and its environs.
He pointed out that the NPP government would continue to put in place measures to fight crime and ensure the safety of the people at all times so that law-abiding citizens could go about their daily activities without any fear.
The minister indicated that he was moved by the dastardly murder of the former Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr Samuel Ennin, at the Pankrono Estate Road about a year-and-a-half ago.
"It was then that I started to get the IGP to ensure that security in the constituency is given priority attention by the police and the first step was to get police officers to be stationed at Adabraka in the constituency and provide the needed support for the people", he said.
Dr Akoto Osei who personally presented two brand new motorbikes to the police station, noted the importance of modern policing in an urban area, and said that was why the government was paying particular attention to that area.
The Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Kwaku Ayesu Opare-Addo, insisted that the police would consider anyone who would carry away a ballot box from the polling station without authority, as an armed robber.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


STRIKER Louis Agyemang started training with his new club Kumasi Asante Kotoko at the club's Ridge training grounds in Kumasi yesterday.
A large number of supporters of the club turned up at the training grounds to catch a glimpse of the player whose registration was beset with challenges. Some supporters, calling themselves members of the Louis Agyemang Fun Club, sang in praise of the striker.
Training under the tutelage of coach Maurice Cooreman, the former Hearts of Oak and Kaiser Chiefs striker, looked swift on his legs, and the fans cheered him on continuously.
His presence is expected to bring much competition in the attacking department of Asante Kotoko as two new signings, Alex Asamoah and Fredrick Quayson, will battle for position with the old faithful, Eric Bekoe and Kwadwo Poku.
Reports that Accra Hearts of Oak were bent on snatching him when a cheque allegedly issued by Kotoko to the striker could not be honoured at the bank, became a source of concern to supporters of the reds.
But the Kotoko management moved quickly to put things through, paying half of the contract sum of GH¢25,000 to Agyemang last Wednesday.
The player left Kumasi for Accra when Kotoko failed to pay the contract sum.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


THE Atwima Mponua District Assembly in the Ashanti Region has been commended by the Stool Lands Secretariat for the effective way it is utilising revenue accruing to it from stool lands.
"We don't see this in many of the districts," Mrs Christie Bobobee, the acting Stool Lands Administrator, stated this at the inauguration of GH¢65,000 six-classroom school block and offices for the Addaikrom District Assembly Primary School in the Atwima Mponua District.
The district assembly financed the project with revenue from stool lands.
Mrs Bobobee said by using part of the revenue to undertake development projects for the benefit of the people, the district assembly had demonstrated how responsible it was in addressing the needs of the people.
She said her office was determined to ensure that revenue from stool lands reached the various beneficiaries and put to good use.
On that score, Mrs Bobobee challenged chiefs and people in the communities to assist the government to fight chainsaw operations and other negative activities that destroyed the forests and thus denied the people what they should have had from the utilisation of the forest resources.
She also called on the Forestry Services Division (FSD) of the Forestry Commission to ensure that their records on stool lands were always clear so that what was due to the assemblies and the chiefs would reach them.
The District Chief Executive, Mr Wilberforce Owusu-Ansah, said the assembly would continue to undertake projects that would accelerate development in the communities.
He said the assembly was moving fast to widen the scope of education so that every child of schoolage would be enrolled in school.
Mr Owusu-Ansah, therefore, urged parents to take keen interest in the education of their children, stressing that, "this building we are inaugurating, for instance, will be useless if we don't get the children into the classrooms".
He stated that the assembly had constructed about 80 school projects since the district was created less than four years ago.
The DCE announced that the assembly would soon start another project at Kwanfinfin, a community in the district, with funds from stool lands revenue.
He called on the people to ensure peace in the district as the general election approached.
Mr Owusu-Ansah indicated that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government had done so well for the people of the district and the entire nation that it deserved another term in office.
He urged the people to reject politicians who were bent on using lies to discredit the government with the view to achieving their selfish political goals.
The DCE also inaugurated a GH¢50,252 four-unit teachers' bungalow at Abofrem. It was funded with part of the assembly's share of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund.
He urged teachers to accept posting to the district because the assembly and the communities would do everything possible to make their stay a worthy one.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


From Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

TWO teenagers have been sentenced to a total of 50 years in hard labour for causing harm and attempting to rob.
The convicts, Abdulai Banaba, 18, and Kwabena Nsor, 16, pleaded guilty to the charges and were handed a jail term of 25 years each by a Kumasi Circuit Court.
Briefing The Mirror, the Ashanti Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Inspector Yusif Mohammed Tanko, said the convicts lived at the Race Course area in Kumasi.
On October 26, 2008, Banaba, Nsor and two others at large identified as Baba Azuma and Baba, went to a house at Kwadaso Mango Down and ordered one Mavis Oduro at gun point to go and knock the door of her grandmother.
At that point, Mavis recognised Nsor as a former worker at her grandmother's block-making factory.
She therefore refused the orders of the armed men, who inflicted cutlass wounds on her.
Inspector Tanko said Mavis shouted for help, which brought her grandmother out of her room.
Both of them shouted for help attracting the attention of members of the neighborhood watch committee.
The members were able to arrest Banaba and Nsor while the two others escaped


A GHANAIAN consultant based in Europe, Sheikh M. Mahmoud, has presented campaign materials and cash of GH¢1,000 to the New Edubiase Constituency of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Ashanti Region with a firm conviction that for the first time, the NPP was poised to win elections in the constituency.
He said, he had personally deployed a research team to the area to assess the situation and from all indications the NPP would sweep the votes in both the presidential and parliamentary elections.
The items included 1000 party T-shirts, 2000 posters and a number of necklaces and earrings.
Sheikh Mahmoud who has been donating such items in the name of Nana Akufo-Addo in other constituencies had earlier on Saturday, November 8, 2008, made similar donations in the Jaman North and Asufiti South Constituencies in Brong Ahafo Region.
He called on Muslims and the Zongo communities to be part of the success story of Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP in the upcoming general elections.
He said, “We Muslims and people of the Zongos can no more allow ourselves to be deceived by the NDC and the time has come for us to join the winning team, the NPP”.
Amidst jubilation from party members who gathered at the constituency office at New Edubiase to witness the short ceremony, Sheikh Mahmoud said Nana Akufo-Addo possessed all the qualities to be a good president and Ghanaians must have faith in him to deliver.
The Islamic scholar who was accompanied by his cousin and campaign partner, Mallam Touffique, expressed confidence that apart from the New Edubiase Constituency, Ejura-Sekyedumase and Asawasi, the two other constituencies in Ashanti currently held by the NDC would also fall to the NPP.
Sheikh Mahmoud said before he leaves Ghana on December 2, this year, “I would have made sure that the NDC was finished in the Zongos”.
He said the choice of Dr Mahamadu Bawumia as the running mate to Nana Akufo-Addo “was excellent” as it continued to work magic in the Zongos and the Muslim communities where the NPP used to have difficulties.
Receiving the donation on behalf of the New Edubiase Constituency, the District Chief Executive, Mr Francis Dorpenyo, thanked Shiekh Mahmoud for the gesture saying, it would surely boost the party’s campaign to wrest the seat from the NDC.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


AS part of efforts to entice teachers to accept posting to the Atwima Mponua District in the Ashanti Region, the district assembly has put up and inaugurated a teachers bungalow costing GH¢52,000 at Saakrom, a farming community in the district.
The project which was financed from the assembly’s share of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund, would accommodate four families.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Osei-Assibey Antwi, said the government was committed to improving the well-being of teachers, especially those working in the rural areas so that they would give their best for the benefit of the nation.
He said the various incentive packages introduced by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government were “a testimony of this commitment”.
Mr Antwi noted with regret, the accommodation and other problems facing teachers in many rural areas, and stressed that every effort would be made to address them.
He stated that the current government had provided more school infrastructure than any other government in the country.
Mr Antwi further said 136 pupil teachers in the district had benefited from the untrained teacher diploma programme.
He urged the people to take interest in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) because it was the surest way of addressing health financing in the country.
Mr Antwi said the cocoa industry was being given all the necessary attention that was why annual production had consistently gone up since the NPP government assumed office.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Wilberforce Owusu-Ansah, stated that education continued to take the biggest part of the district’s annual budget because “we know the importance of education in our development strides”.
He urged parents to take interest in the education of their children so that the various laudable programmes introduced by the government would achieve the desired results.
Mr Owusu-Ansah cited the development recorded in various sectors of the district’s history saying, “This has justified the creation of the district about four years ago”.
The DCE noted for instance that currently, there was no single community in the district that did not have a borehole.
He added that since the current government came to power, 27 communities had been connected to the national electricity grid while 37 others were waiting to be connected soon.
Mr Owusu-Ansah also discounted claims by certain people that there was no money in the pockets of the people.


THE Ashanti Regional branch of the National Road Safety Commission has held a regional road safety week in various parts of the region with a call on passengers to report reckless drivers to the road safety authorities for the necessary action to be taken against them.
The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the commission, Mr Kwaku Oware-Boateng, who made the call to mark the occasion, expressed concern about the rate at which innocent lives were being lost through road accidents and blamed drivers for most of them.
The celebration was marked with various activities including quizzes for schools, radio discussions, a road safety walk in Kumasi and road safety campaigns in churches and mosques.
Mr Oware-Boateng said the theme for the celebration: “Ensuring accident-free election 2008”, was appropriate because Ghana needed her citizens to participate in the election.
After giving statistics on how accident rates went up during election periods, Mr Oware-Boateng said, “This is a very serious case which must be tackled head on”.
Mr Oware-Boateng said it was important to “catch the young ones with the message on road safety” so that they would grow with it.
“That is why we decided to organise the quizzes for schools in the region”, he added.
Mr Oware-Boateng urged the youth to send the message to their parents.
The road safety walk also attracted very good participation. The participants carried placards some of which read: “Speeding kills”, “As drivers avoid drinking”, “Fasten your seat belts” and “Don’t abuse mobile phone while driving”.
Addressing Christians and Muslims in churches and mosques, Mr Oware-Boateng urged the religious bodies to use the pulpits to spread the message on road safety to their congregations.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

DON 'T POLITICISE ANY CONFLICT ...Cardinal Turkson advises (PAGE 3)

THE Chairman of the National Peace Council (NPC), His Eminence Peter Cardinal Appiah Turkson, has warned against the politicisation of any conflict in the country.
He said conflicts were bound to happen but noted with regret that in Ghana when they occurred, especially in an election year, as was being witnessed now, people tended to link them to politics.
“We need to avoid this practice as we strive to attain peaceful elections this year,” he said.
Cardinal Turkson stated this at the opening of a three-day workshop on election security management in Kumasi.
Journalists, security personnel, members of youth groups, among others, attended the workshop, which was organised by the NPC, with sponsorship from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Among the topics treated were elections and national security, inter-agency collaboration for peaceful elections and challenges and opportunities of media practitioners during elections.
Cardinal Turkson said every Ghanaian had a role to play in ensuring that the prevailing peace in the country was maintained.
He said the NPC was still looking for a formula to establish regional peace councils in the country.
A member of the NPC, Maulvi Wahab Adam, expressed confidence that Ghana would go through peaceful elections on December 7, in spite of pockets of disturbances in the build up to the elections.
“We have met the presidential candidates and the leadership of the political parties, top security officers, the Chief Justice and other individuals and interest groups and we are convinced that the elections will be peaceful,” he said.
He expressed the hope that the unity among the leadership of the parties would trickle down to the grass roots where there had been pockets of disturbances.
Maulvi Adam reminded Ghanaians that they had no other country than Ghana and as such they must protect the nation at all cost against all forms of trouble.
He pointed out that political fanaticism of the extreme order, as was being experienced in certain quarters, would not do the nation any good.
Speaking on the topic, “Challenges and Opportunities of media practitioners during elections”, Mr Kofi Yeboah, a journalist with the Daily Graphic, traced the history of the media in the Fourth Republic and said they had performed creditably.
He, therefore, challenged the media to avoid acts that would bring the upcoming elections into disrepute.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


THE Director-General of Police in charge of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Frank Adu-Poku, has asked politicians to leave him out of the politics of the Bekwai Constituency in the Ashanti Region.
He expressed regret at moves by some people within the NPP in the region to link him to the camp of the Independent Candidate for Bekwai, Mr Joe Osei-Wusu.
"I respect my office and I cannot stoop that low by joining forces with Mr Joe Osei-Wusu to fight his political cause," he told the Daily Graphic from his base in Accra.
He said he had not associated himself with even the candidate of the ruling government, and asked how he could move to join the independent candidate.
He noted that those who were spreading the lies would only be doing it for some sinister motives.
DCOP Adu-Poku said even though he is a citizen of Bekwai, he had decided to stay clear of the politics going on in the area because of his position as a serving officer.
"I occupy a very important position in the Police Service and my duty is to serve my nation and not a politician who is looking for political power", he said.
He cautioned people who only wanted to run down innocent and hardworking people in order to gain some favours elsewhere to desist from that behaviour.
He recalled the disturbances that took place at Bekwai as a result of the demonstration by supporters of Mr Osei-Wusu and questioned how he could support people to cause mayhem in his own area.
He reminded those who were moving to spoil his name that one day they would be exposed.
Mr Adu-Poku pointed out that Bekwai deserved better and not politics that would draw back the development of the area.


THE Anafoohene of Nkwabeng-Nkoranza in the Brong Ahafo Region, Nana Appiah Kodom II, has sworn the oath of allegiance to the Omanhene of the Nkoranza Traditional Area, Okatakyie Agyemang Kodom, to legitimise his enstoolment in line with the customs and tradition of the area.
The ceremony at which the rich traditions of the people of Nkoranza were on display was attended by a large number of people.
Nana Kodom, known in private life as Ernest Baffoe Gyau, was a former student of the Acherensua Secondary School. He now resides in the United States of America.
At the ceremony, Nana Kodom gave a pledge to support the development of his area and the entire traditional area.
He admitted the development challenges confronting the area, but said with a united front, they could overcome them.
The Anafoohene said even though he lived outside the country, his aura was firmly on the ground in his native area and that he would promptly respond to anything that demanded his support.
For his part, the Nkoranzahene, Okatakyie Kodom, advised the Anafoohene to be prepared to serve the paramount stool at all times.
He noted that chieftaincy today was not about wearing beautiful cloths and riding in a palanquin but how one could galvanise his people for development.
The Nkoranzahene said education was one area of great concern to him and advised his people to help improve standards.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Thirty people in the Offinso Municipality have benefited from the first phase of the Sinapi Aba Trust’s (SAT) youth apprenticeship programme which has been extended to the Ashanti Region.
Under the programme, which also has a health component that emphasises the prevention of HIV/AIDS, SAT will support the beneficiaries with training tools and other services to enable them to complete their apprenticeship.
On completion, the trust would assist them with start-up capital, where necessary, to enable them to start their businesses.
The programme, which was piloted in Kumasi in 2004, was replicated in Accra a year later.
With the successful results in those initial stages, the programme is now being implemented in seven districts and municipalities in the country and a ceremony has been held at Offinso where the SAT presented training tools valued at GH¢2,600.95 to the beneficiaries in the municipality.
The trainees were hairdressers, dressmakers, carpenters, auto mechanics, auto electricians, bakers and shoe makers.
In a speech read on behalf of the Chief Executive of the trust, Mr Anthony Gyasi-Fosu, the Chaplain of SAT, Elder Kwame Opoku, emphasised the importance his establishment attached to youth employment.
He said SAT was determined to commit more resources to that sector so that the youth could get themselves into gainful employment.
Mr Gyasi-Fosu noted that the problem of unemployment was a real challenge to the development of young people in the country and it was clear that the government alone could not address the challenges.
He noted that the inability of most young people to earn a living and be economically independent tended to increase their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and social vices like excessive drinking, smoking and prostitution, among others.
Mr Gyasi-Fosu said it was against that backdrop that his organisation, with support from its development partner, Opportunities International, introduced the youth employment programme to complement the efforts of the government in addressing the situation.
He appealed to the Offinso Municipal Assembly to support the organisations in extending the programme to more people.
The Programmes Co-ordinator of SAT, Mr Thomas Appiah-Mensah, advised the trainees and the other stakeholders to be committed to their roles and responsibilities in the programme.
He told the trade masters that the attendance registers of the trainees and their conduct assessment forms given to the trade masters to work on were very relevant as they would assist the management of the programme to take some useful decisions concerning the trainees.
The Amoawihene, Nana Duodu Frimpong, who represented the Offinsohene, Nana Wiafe Akenten, commended SAT for its initiative and expressed the hope that the trainees would attach great importance to the programme.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


A POLICEMAN in the company of some chainsaw operators has been shot to death in the Bonsambepo Forest Reserve at Kyenkyensibuosu in the Asunafo North Municipality in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The deceased, Sergeant James Kofi Nimoh, 53, station officer of the Asumura Police Station, died on the spot after a bullet from a gun allegedly fired by a forest guard hit his midsection.
Two people said to be guards at the reserve have been placed in police custody at Goaso pending further investigations. Their identities were not immediately known.
A source at Goaso told the Daily Graphic that the body of the policeman had been deposited at the Goaso Government Hospital.
According to the source, Sergeant Nimoh entered the forest reserve with the illegal operators at about 10 p.m. last Tuesday, and they used five trucks in their operations.
According to the source, upon a tip-off, the concession guards, who lived in the vicinity, also went to the operation area to confront the operators.
When they got there, one of the trucks had already been loaded while the others were waiting for their turn.
The source said a heated argument ensued between the guards and the operators as they (the guards) attempted to force them to abandon their operations.
Sergeant Nimoh was said to have engaged in a scuffle with the armed guards and in the course of the confusion, a gun belonging to one of the guards went off, killing the policeman instantly.
As the policeman fell, the chainsaw operators escaped with their vehicles.
When the Daily Graphic contacted the Municipal Police Commander, DSP Daniel Afugu on telephone from his base at Goaso, he confirmed the incident but declined to give further details.
He said the police were investigating the incident and he was therefore in no position to make further comments.


Demolishion of private properties has begun at Asokwa to pave way for the construction of the Anloga-Asokwa (Timber Gardens) bypass in Kumasi.
When the Daily Graphic team went to Asokwa last weekend they saw a bulldozer briskly demolishing some of the properties which were along the area where the bypass is to be constructed.
The Anloga- Asokwa bypass project is being jointly funded by the government and international donors to improve upon the road network as well as ease traffic congestion in Kumasi.
Woodworkers at Anloga have been asked to relocate to the Sokoban Wood Village but recently some carpenters at the area have vowed to resist attempts by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to relocate them at the village until certain conditions are met.
Calling themselves the Concerned Carpenters of Anloga, they said unless the authorities did the right thing to facilitate the operations of all affected carpenters, they would not move from their present site.
But the Metropolitan Urban Roads Engineer, Mr James Amoo-Gottfried, said nothing would stop the authorities from strictly enforcing the timetable for the relocation of the carpenters at Sokoban this week.
The KMA Chief Executive, Ms Patricia Appiagyei, last week announced that the movement to the new site would commence this week.
She said work at the Wood Village was almost complete for occupation and urged the carpenters to comply with the order to move there and pave the way for the construction of the Oforikrom Junction-Asokwa bypass.
Reacting to the order in a protest note to the KMA Chief Executive, the Concerned Anloga Carpenters claimed that the authorities had not done much to facilitate their smooth movement to the new place.
Following the government's decision to reconstruct the Oforikrom Junction-Asokwa bypass, the Department of Urban Roads decided on the Sokoban Village to relocate the Anloga carpenters.
Consequently, the construction of the Sokoban Wood Village was factored into the road project and undertaken with funds from the Agence Francaise de Developement (AFD). Under that project, a number of facilities were constructed at the village to improve conditions there for the carpenters to move in.
In their protest, the concerned carpenters claimed that not all carpenters who were being asked to leave their current places had been provided for at the Sokoban Village.
According to them, only 300 out of over 1,500 members of the Anloga Woodworkers Association had been provided places at the Sokoban Village.
They contended that more than 1,200 others called "master-boys" had been left out, yet they were being asked to leave their places at Anloga.
The master-boys are those who have completed their apprenticeship programmes and who, even though are masters, are working in the shops of their former master craftsmen.
According to the concerned carpenters, any attempt to deny the master-boys a place to work will mean throwing them out of work.
Again, they complained that nothing had been done about an earlier decision by the government to pay them some amount of money to convey their tools and equipment from their workshops to the Sokoban Village.
Commenting further on the situation, Mr Amoo-Gottfried said the Oforikrom Junction–Asokwa bypass was one road which had necessitated the relocation of the Anloga carpenters and was being carried out within a time frame which should not be derailed.
He confirmed that not all the carpenters at Anloga had been catered for at the Sokoban village, explaining that even some of the master craftsmen could not be allocated sheds at the village and that only those whose activities were affected by the road design had been provided places.
The metropolitan engineer stated that the relocation was part of the compensation for the affected carpenters and that it would be wrong for any group of carpenters to force the KMA to find a place for them at the wood village.


THE Ashanti Regional Women’s Organiser of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mrs Mary Brobbey, has called on women to throw their weight behind the NPP’s presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, saying he was the only presidential candidate to have demonstrated that women’s interests would be better served under his presidency.
She said Nana Akufo-Addo had persistently driven home his vision to build on what President Kufuor had done for women, noting that that was a clear manifestation of his love for improving the lives of women.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Kumasi, Mrs Brobbey cautioned women against giving their votes to people who had been silent about women’s issues.
“We cannot afford to go back to the dark days when very few women who were connected to the government benefited from national programmes and projects,” she said.
Mrs Brobbey expressed regret that the NDC continued to hold itself as a women-centred party when, in fact, its presidential candidate, Prof Mills, had not articulated any meaningful vision on women in his campaigns.
“Today, many women, notwithstanding their political affiliations, are enjoying various micro-credit and other laudable facilities by the government and we can only reciprocate this gesture by voting massively for Nana Akufo-Addo,” she said.
The regional women’s organiser said the NPP presidential candidate had shown clearly that he was a man of peace.
“It is, therefore, important that we rally behind him to win the presidency so that we can advance our interests,” she noted.
Mrs Brobbey called on supporters of all political parties to avoid acts that would jeopardise the peace of the nation, saying that Ghana needed to demonstrate to the rest of the world that “our democracy has come of age”.
She discounted claims by opponents of the government that there were serious difficulties in the nation.
According to her, at a time when even the so-called advanced countries were going through economic difficulty, the NPP government had been able to position itself to absorb the global economic shocks.
Mrs Brobbey said her outfit was embarking on “an aggressive” campaign to get more women to vote for the NPP in the December elections.

PICTURE. Mrs Mary Brobbey, Ashanti Regional Women’s Organiser

Monday, November 3, 2008


THE decision by a 38-year-old mechanic in Kumasi to trot from his house to the Baba Yara Stadium to join his colleagues for Keep Fit activities last Sunday ended on a sad note when he fell and died on the way.
Sources close to his Keep Fit Club told The • Continued from page 1

Mirror that the deceased, Kofi Dwumfuor, died on the spot after he fell at the shoulder of the road at Dakodwom, a suburb of Kumasi.
And had it not been his mobile phone, which kept ringing without any response, no one would have known the man was dead.
His body had been deposited at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.
According to the sources, it was characteristic of Dwumfuor to drive from his house at Kwadaso to the Baba Yara Stadium, a distance of about six kilometres, for Keep Fit activities every Sunday.
However, last Sunday, he decided to change the practice by running to the stadium.
Dwumfuor, according to the sources, left his house at about 5.30 a.m for the stadium without any signs of illness.
On reaching Dakodwom, a little over half of the distance to the stadium, Dwumfuor started beating his chest and fell by the road side.
Unfortunately, no one went to his aid until his mobile phone, which was in his pocket, started ringing without any response from him. The calls were from his colleagues who were calling to find out why he had delayed .
The sources stated that as the phone kept ringing, some of the people tried to find out what had happened only to realise that there was no life in the man.
They rushed him to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


THREE major projects facilitated by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tafo-Pankrono, Dr Anthony Akoto-Osei, are nearing completion.
The projects are a girls dormitory and two masters’ flats of bungalows at the Osei Kyeretwie Secondary School (OKESS), the Old Tafo Hospital Maternity Block and the Old Tafo Divisional/District Police headquarters and barracks.
Contractors were busily putting finishing touches to the project when the Special Assistant to the MP, Mr J. K. Owusu-Boakye, conducted the Daily Graphic round the projects on Thursday.
Mr Owusu-Boakye said the level of development in the area under Dr Akoto-Osei, who is also the Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, was unprecedented.
These developments, he said, had been in the area of infrastructure, peace and security, among others.
He commended the police for working very hard to reduce crime in the once troubled sub-metropolitan area.
The special assistant expressed the hope that the police station, when completed, would further improve the performance of the police.
Mr Owusu-Boakye expressed the hope that the infrastructure overlays would facilitate the socio-economic development of the people.
He commended the people for the support given to the MP and expressed the hope that they would continue in that direction for the benefit of the community and the people who lived in it.


THE Kumasi Circuit Court has acquitted and discharged a popular Kumasi-based pastor, Odiyifo Kwadwo Atta, who was arraigned on charges of trial by ordeal and indecent assault.
Although the pastor admitted inserting his fingers into the private parts of a 24-year-old woman to remove some cowries which he tendered in evidence, the court upheld his defence that it was done with the consent of the woman’s relatives who were physically present.
Odiyifo Atta, who is the Founder and Leader of the Holy Michael Miracle Church and also the Dwantoafohene of the Bechem Traditional Area in the Brong Ahafo Region, was, therefore, acquitted and discharged by the court, presided over by Mr Agyei Frimpong.
A large number of his supporters who thronged the court poured powder on the 48-year-old pastor as a sign of victory after the judge had pronounced the ruling.
The case for the prosecution was that some time in May this year, the woman was sent to the pastor by some of her relatives to be exorcised of witchcraft.
According to the relatives, they had visited a fetish priest who had diagnosed the woman as being possessed by witchcraft.
After taking the woman through spiritual diagnoses, Pastor Atta confirmed that she was, indeed, possessed by witchcraft and that there were some cowries imbedded in her stomach which must be removed before she would be free.
The pastor then charged the relatives GH¢100 and asked them to provide a pair of hand gloves which he would use to remove the cowries through her private parts.
According to the prosecution, the relatives consented and provided the hand gloves and the money.
In the presence of the relatives, the pastor asked the woman to open her legs, which she obliged.
Using the hand gloves, the pastor inserted his fingers into the private parts of the woman and brought out the cowries.
He then asked the woman to stay at the prayer camp for one week for cleansing but she later left the camp.
On leaving the camp, the woman and her relatives went to Rev Ebenezer Adarkwa-Yiadom, who told them that the woman was not a witch and that it was an evil spirit that had tormented her.
The woman lodged a complaint with the police against Odiyifo Atta for wrongfully inserting his fingers into her genitals, after which he was charged.
The woman and her witnesses admitted during the trial that some cowries had been removed from her private parts.
In his defence, Odiyifo Atta admitted inserting his fingers into her private parts but said he had done that with the consent of the victim and her relatives.
Again, his defence was that the spiritual healing was not done in secret but in the full glare of her family members.
Passing judgement, the judge quoted authorities and said what had taken place at Odiyifo Atta’s prayer camp did not amount to trial by ordeal.
He explained that trial by ordeal involved inhuman acts, including physical assaults, which had not been present in the case in question.
"The accused did not force the woman to open her legs," Mr Frimpong said, and added that there was evidence that the cowries dropped from her private parts.
Besides, the judge said, in removing the cowries he used hand gloves and not the raw fingers, explaining that if the pastor had had had an ulterior motive, he would not have used the gloves.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


THE National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential candidate, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, has discounted reports that the NDC sent people to Kenya to study power sharing.
Describing it as one of the negative tactics of the NPP, Prof Mills said, "We don't anticipate anything like power sharing but a good win in the elections".
He was addressing members of the Tertiary Institutions Network (TEIN) of the NDC at the Kumasi Campus of the University of Education Winneba last Thursday night as part of his one-week tour of the Ashanti Region.
The auditorium of the university where the event took place was packed to capacity with many others struggling to watch the event from outside through the windows.
He said under his presidency, the government would build a modern office complex for the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) to reward the union for the support it gave to the NDC government in introducing the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GET Fund).
He said at that time the NPP, then in opposition, was organising walkouts in Parliament and castigating the NDC government for daring to introduce the GETFund, the NUGS saw wisdom in the fund and
wholeheartedly gave its support to the government.
"Quite strangely, the NPP who kicked against the fund are now claiming ownership of it and have even gone ahead to abuse it", Prof Mills said.
Prof. Mills gave the assurance that under his presidency, the GETFund would be decentralised to ensure effective implementation.
The presidential candidate further stated that a government of the NDC would use part of the fund to supplement the Students Loan Scheme.
He said the NPP government had no respect for teachers, and had therefore failed to improve their service conditions, especially in the area of study leave.
"I have been a teacher for the greater part of my working life and I know what teachers need", he said.
Prof Mills said teachers would be paid professional allowance in an NDC government.
A national teachers' council would also be instituted to work towards getting better conditions for teachers.
He expressed concern about the alarming rate of graduate unemployment in the country, and accused the NPP government of failing to implement policies and programmes to address the challenge.
That is why he had vowed to place emphasis on the training and retraining of graduates, and also support them with start up capital to set up their own businesses.
Prof Mills dismissed suggestions that he supervised the collapse of the Ghanaian economy when he was the chairman of the government's Economic Management Team.
He emphasised that under his chairmanship, Ghana achieved single-digit inflation until unfavourable global economic developments begun to have a toll on the Ghanaian economy in the latter part of the NDC administration.
ls said the NPP was deceiving Ghanaians that it had improved the economy, when in reality inflation was in double figures.


THE Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA) has unveiled the magnificent trophy to be won at Sunday's final of the Glo Top 4 tournament at the Baba Yara Stadium.
Kumasi Asante Kotoko who placed second in the league phase of the tournament, face the leaders, Liberty Professionals, in what is expected to a grudge affair.
Apart from the Cup, the winner will take home GH¢15,000, with the loser getting GH¢10,000.
At a press briefing at the Baba Yara Stadium last Wednesday, Mr Kurt Okraku, the administrative manager of GHALCA, appealed to the fans to turn up in their numbers at the stadium to make a match a memorable one.
He said a raffle draw carrying attractive prizes would be organised on the day.
The match kicks off at 5 p.m.
The Chairman of GHALCA, Mr Emmanuel Adotey, stated that Kotoko and Liberty Professionals could be considered the best two clubs in the country now, and expectations were that they would provide the stuff of true leaders.
He was not happy about the low patronage of the competition and expressed the hope that the final would witness a significant change.
The General Manager of Globacom Ghana, Mr Suleiman Bello, said the company was proud to be associated with the Top 4 which he described as a big event on the national football calendar.
"I have been impressed with all the matches played so far", he said, adding that Africa has a lot to tell with regard to football.
Mr Bello was, however, concerned about the growing interest in foreign football in Ghana as against the local game.
He therefore called on sports journalists to help change the trend in order to save the national game.
GHALCA also announced that the awards ceremony for the competition would take place on November 1 in Accra.


A GHANAIAN consultant domiciled in Europe,Sheikh Mahmoud, has donated a number of items in the name of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, to boost the party’s campaign in the Bole Bamboi Constituency of the Northern Region.
The items included a 29-inch brand new Toshiba colour television set, 1,000 party T-Shirts, 3,000 posters, 1,000 ear rings in party colours and 100 pieces of NPP necklaces.
Presenting the items at a ceremony at Bole at the weekend, Sheikh Mahmoud advised the people of the constituency to vote massively for Nana Akufo-Addo in the presidential elections as well as Ms Afishatu Djaba Otiko, the NPP parliamentary candidate for Bole-Bamboi.
He said the constituency deserved better leadership in parliament, and that Ms Afishatu Otiko would provide that.
Sheikh Mahmoud, a former NPP parliamentary aspirant of the Ejura-Sekyedumaese Constituency in the Ashanti Region, indicated that there was no way the NPP would not win the elections in the first round.
He explained the philosophical underpinnings of Nana Akufo-Addo's campaign slogan, " Moving Forward", to the well-attended ceremony amidst continuous applause.
Sheikh Mahmoud emphasised that the December elections was about the future of the nation and not mere rhetoric as the NDC and some other opposition parties were doing.
Describing Nana Akufo-Addo as a thoroughbred, principled and honest politician, Sheikh Mahmoud said Ghana would be blessed to have him take over from President Kufuor.
He told the party members to use the television set to monitor the campaign programmes of Nana Akufo-Addo.
Speaking on behalf of the party, Ms Otiko thanked Sheikh Mahmoud and Nana Akufo-Addo for the donation.
She said the donation was going to enhance their activities as they moved to capture the seat from the NDC.
Accompanying Sheikh Mahmoud was Alhaji Seidu Bruku, a member of a research team he (Sheikh Mahmoud) constituted to work on the party's chances in some difficult constituencies in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions.
Also in attendance were Mr Mohammed Alfa Mahama, constituency chairman of the party, and Mr Sumani Mahama, constituency secretary.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


THE presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Prof. Evans Atta Mills, has said the NPP has been a failure in government for almost the eight years that it has been in power and does not deserve another term.
He said the government had not been able to meet the aspirations of the people and the signs were clear that Ghanaians were ready to return the NDC to power to reclaim the nation's lost glory.
Prof. Mills said this at Akomadan in the Offinso North District last Tuesday when he addressed a rally as part of his campaign tour of the Ashanti Region.
The enthusiastic party faithful thronged the rally grounds to listen to their presidential candidate who looked hearty and spoke with much energy to continuous cheers.
The NDC lost the Offinso North Constituency by only 300 votes in the 2004 elections, and it had vowed to recapture the seat this time around.
Referring to the impressive number of people who had so far welcomed him in the Ashanti Region, Prof. Mills said the NPP's claim that Ashanti was its preserve was not true.
Nothing, he stressed would prevent the NDC from winning power come December, no matter the lies and propaganda churned out by the NPP, he said.
Prof. Mills said the party would never push for any form of violence in the December elections and added that his message for peace before, during and after the elections was real hoping that the other political parties would follow suit.
In spite of the call for peace, Prof. Mills said that did not mean party members should allow themselves to be bullied into submission by their opponents, especially the NPP.
Prof. Mills, therefore, urged party supporters especially the agents who would be at the polling centres to be extra vigilant.
He promised to be a President for all Ghanaians by seeing to the fair allocation of national resources.
The NDC presidential candidate criticised the NPP government for discriminating against perceived political opponents and said a government of the NDC would play a fair game.
Prof. Mills said education would be the centrepiece of his presidency,because without a massive push for educational development Ghana would not progress.

The NDC presidential candidate indicated that the push for educational
development would be matched with a massive employment drive.
He expressed regret about the unstable employment policies of the NPP
government and said the NDC would streamline things for the betterment of the teeming unemployed youth.
Prof. Mills accused the NPP of using negative tactics including
personal attacks on his person and other NDC leaders and said
Ghanaians were wide awake and could easily see through all this.
Prof. Mills also addressed rallies at Afrancho and Abofuor, and also
called on the chiefs at the Offinso Traditional Council.
He was accompanied by some NDC officials from the national and
regional headquarters.
At Akomadan, he introduced the parliamentary candidate for
Offinso North, Mr Appiah Kubi, to the electorate while at Abofuor, the
parliamentary candidate for Offinso South, Ms Barbara Serwaa, was
Earlier on Monday, Prof. Mills toured the Ahafo Ano North and Ahafo Ano
South constituencies.
At Tepa in Ahafo Ano North Constituency, he was at the Omanhene's
Palace to pay a courtesy call on him and later addressed party members,
urging them to vote massively for him and the NDC parliamentary

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

AKWASI SARPONG...Man of many qualities (PAGE 29)

SOME did not understand why, as a clergyman of no mean repute, the Most Reverend Peter Akwasi Sarpong should have so much affection for African traditional religion.
A traditionalist par excellence, he moved for the inculcation of African traditions into the Catholic way of worship and today things have changed in the church, as traditional drums like atumpan are played during the celebration of mass.
Last Friday, one of the most revered clergymen to emerge from the land, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kumasi, the Most Rev Sarpong, officially retired after 50 years’ service to the Catholic faith, Christianity and Ghana.
Thirty-eight years of his priesthood saw him as Bishop of Kumasi.
The first time I came into contact with the Most Rev Sarpong was some time in 1974. At that time the Kumasi Diocese covered the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions.
Then a little boy at the Goaso Roman Catholic Primary School, I went through the Catholic confirmation at Mim, the parish under which Goaso fell then.
I vividly remember attending the ceremony with a white cloth belonging to my mother (now deceased), who was a staunch Catholic.
As I knelt down before the huge frame of Bishop Sarpong for him to perform the sacred ceremony with oil, his deep male voice cut through the inside of my body and when all was over I came out as a fully-fledged Catholic.
That was just a small part of a man whose credentials every true Catholic is proud of.
No wonder the President, Mr John Agyekum Kufuor, showered tonnes of glory on him at his farewell mass in Kumasi last Thursday.
Just hear the President: "Bishop Sarpong is almost unique among others of his calling. He is not only a man of God but also a scholar and a thoroughbred traditionalist, a veritable son of the soil."
Born on February 26, 1933 at Maase-Offinso in the Ashanti Region, the Most Rev Sarpong attended the Offinso-Maase Catholic School, the St Joseph's School at Bechem and then the St Teresa's Minor Seminary and Major Seminary at Amisano.
He also schooled at the University of St Thomas Aquinas in Rome and the Oxford University. He holds a doctorate in Sacred Theology and a Masters in Social Anthropology.
With such rich educational background, it is not surprising that the Most Rev Sarpong took much interest in education during his priesthood in the Catholic Church.
He was once a part-time tutor of Opoku Ware School, St Louis Secondary School, Holy Child Secondary School and Archbishop Porter Girls' Secondary School in Takoradi.
He was also once the Rector of the St Peter's Seminary, Cape Coast. In fact, he was the first African to head any major or minor seminary in Ghana.
An education fund he helped to initiate in the church has been in existence for over 30 years and many needy children have benefited from it.
The Most Rev Sarpong has also assisted in securing scholarships for many young ones to study abroad in various fields of education.
These and many others place him as one of the pillars of education in the Catholic faith and, indeed, the entire nation.
Evangelism remained the core of his life and he never joked with it.
People who have seen the Most Rev Sarpong celebrate mass know he does it with such finesse that he has won many converts into the Catholic faith.
His efforts at national development have also seen him initiating several projects in the health, educational and income-generating spheres.
Mention can be made of the numerous Catholic health institutions in Ashanti, as well as some in the Brong Ahafo Region.
I remember that in my childhood days at Goaso the only hospital in the entire Ahafo area was the St Elizabeth Hospital at Hwidiem. It offered valuable services to the people of the entire Ahafo area and even today it is one of the major health institutions in the entire Brong Ahafo Region.
The Catholic Church believes in empowering people to undertake income-generating activities to improve their lot. The church believes that addressing economic challenges is one sure way of expanding evangelism.
Consequently, the Kumasi Archdiocese, under the Most Rev Sarpong, encouraged the establishment of co-operative credit unions throughout the diocese, which have gone a long way to bring happiness to many people through support for their businesses.
Some saw him as a politician because of the way he criticised the bad policies of some governments in the past, but he was not.
The Most Rev Sarpong detests oppression and bad governance, and that was why he fiercely challenged the late General Kutu Acheampong when he wanted to introduce the Union Government.
The archbishop also hit against some of the bad policies of the PNDC government.
As he bows out from his long years in the priesthood, many will miss his unique qualities, but as President Kufuor said, even in retirement, Ghanaians would be happy to benefit from the Most Rev Sarpong’s wisdom.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


A SECOND attempt by Kumasi Asante Kotoko to reclaim their place in continental soccer via the CAF Confederation Cup has fizzled out, but with a monetary reward of $100,000.
The post-mortem has already started, but there is the likelihood of their elimination triggering a shake-up in the technical and playing body.
The Ghanaian champions fell 1-2 to Sudanese side El-Merreikh in the last match of Group B and slumped to bottom placing of the group on seven points.
In their first attempt at the Cup in 2004, the Porcupine Warriors lost to arch rivals Accra Hearts of Oak in a penalty shoot out in Kumasi.
Kotoko's exit from this year's tournament was indeed disappointing and saddened, but they can only learn from their mistakes and rebuild. Entering the competition with some talented young players like Eric Bekoe, who remains the top scorer in the competition with 10 goals, Jordan Opoku and Nii Adjei, Kotoko's exit could be a rude introduction to life in Africa.
With Kotoko out, the stage is now set for an all-Tunisia final as Etoile Sportive du Sahel, who topped Group B, battle it out with rivals CS Sfaxien, Group A champions.
Etoile killed any hopes of Asante Kotoko in the competition by holding them to a 2-2 draw in the penultimate group match in Kumasi.
Once again, the North Africa dominance had prevailed and perhaps a befitting grand finale is anticipated.
Prize money of $330,000 awaits the champions to emerge from the two-leg final in November.
Even as they fell out of the Confederation Cup, Kotoko would once again have the opportunity to prove their mettle in Africa next season via the prestigious CAF Champions League.
But against the backdrop that the performance in the Confederation Cup would affect the team in the seeding of next year's Champions League, Kotoko would need to seriously get their act together for the task ahead.
Persistently, management had driven home the need to revamp the team for the next season in view of the enormity of the task in the Champions League.
Perhaps, that is why they have taken their recruitment drive outside Africa and have reportedly invited four players, two each from Mali and Nigeria for possible registration.
It was amazing the manner Asante Kotoko lost matches away in the CAF tournament. They conceded two away goals in each of the matches played away.
Could it have been inexperience on the part of the players or technical deficiency?
If maintained for the next season, Coach Bashir Hayford, who has had some brushes with management over contract and disciplinary matters, would have to put in extra efforts to confront the challenges.


THE Vanguard Assurance Company paid insurance claims totalling GH¢304,221 to a number of individuals and companies in the Ashanti Region between January and September, this year.
The beneficiaries included Richam Farms and Company Limited, A.G.Timbers, Nwabiagya Rural Bank, Kuapa Kokoo, Topman Farms and Nana Owusu Ansah and Sons Limited.
The Ashanti Regional Manager of Vanguard Assurance, Mr Isaac Baidoo, told journalists at a briefing in Kumasi that the company would continue to play a lead role in the insurance business in the country.
He reiterated the need for Ghanaians to cultivate insurance culture to enable them to recoup their investments in times of disasters.
He noted that a number of businesses, which used to be vibrant and very viable were either collapsing or in distress situations due to the operators' failure to insure them against disasters like fire outbreak and rainstorm, as well as burglary, theft and other such happenings.
Mr Baidoo pointed out that until Ghanaians purged themselves of the negative perception that insurance was all but payment of premiums, they would continue to suffer losses in their personal lives and business establishments whenever calamities struck.
The regional manager, therefore, called for attitudinal change to enable the country to derive the full benefits of insurance.
He stated that the company had far-reaching and comprehensive products for individuals and business entities that could cushion them in times of hardships and damage to their investments.

Monday, October 20, 2008


A specialised centre for the treatment of cancer, facial malformations and infectious diseases in Kumasi has been inaugurated by President J.A. Kufuor.
The HopeXchange Medical Centre will become operational in 2009 and it will be used as a regional facility for continuing medical education in collaboration with the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons.
The 130 bed-capacity hospital, estimated at $25 million, is a joint initiative of the Catholic Church of Ghana, the Ghana Mission Foundation of the Republic of Malta and HopeXchange, an international humanitarian organisation.
Other collaborators in the project include the Catholic University of Rome Medical Centre, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the University of Innsbruck Medical Centre, Operation Smile, the Breast Health Global Initiative, the Ghana Health Service, the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and the Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi, which donated the 6.15 acres of land for the project.
The centre will also house the first interactive learning laboratory of the Breast Health Global Initiative, where doctors and scientists from around the world will share critical information on early detection and treatment of breast cancer in the country.
Breast cancer is gradually becoming a health concern in the country. Nearly 70 per cent of Ghanaian women diagnosed with breast cancer are said to have advanced forms of the disease, which are difficult to treat.
Inaugurating the hospital, President Kufuor said it would be a great asset for the people of Kumasi, the Ashanti Region and the nation.
In its commitment to fighting disease and improving access to health care, the President said, the government had made a lot of effort to provide adequate and affordable health facilities across the length and breadth of the country.
In spite of those interventions, he said, budgetary constraints and limited public resources did not make it easy for the government alone to satisfy the needs of the health sector.
Consequently, he said, it had, by way of policy, encouraged the involvement and participation of the private sector in health care.
President Kufuor said the centre was a testimony of the positive results that could be generated by a strong collaborative effort among religious institutions, the private sector, civil society and government agencies.
The President and Chief Executive Officer of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Ms Hala Moddelmog, said the support provided by the cancer organisation for the establishment of the hospital was partly in fulfilment of a promise made by Ms Nancy Brinker to her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would do everything possible to end breast cancer forever.
Ms Moddelmog said the fulfilment of that promise gave birth to the establishment of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure initiative in 1982, after which the global breast cancer movement was launched, which had today set up a fund of more than $1billion, the largest source of non-profit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.
The Chief Medical Director of the HopeXchange Medical Centre, Professor Riccardo Masetti, said although his mother died hours before the inaugural ceremony, the good news was that it was the wish of her mother that he took part in the dedication of the hospital project in Ghana, instead of being by her bedside in the last moment of her life.


THE presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC),Prof. J.E.A. Mills, has promised to make teaching one of the country's most attractive professions when he wins the December 7 elections.
He expressed regret that today a number of people who entered the profession used it as a stepping stone to other areas because of the unattractive conditions of service, and promised to change the situation for the better.
Prof. Mills stated this when he addressed students of the Akrokerri Traning College at the weekend as part of his tour of the Ashanti Region.
Accompanied by some party officials, Prof. Mills said the NPP government had failed teachers but indicated that good days were ahead under his presidency.
He pointed out that governance was not about empty promises but serious work.
"This is where the NDC stands tall above its competitors", the Professor said.
He called on the youth not to allow the poor policies of the government to force them to throw up their arms in despair.
The NDC presidential candidate told the gathering that they only needed to vote massively for the party so that it would form the next government to implement the laudable programmes and policies.
Prof. Mills had so far been to the New Edubiase, Adansi Asokwa and Fomena constituencies, where he addressed mini-rallies in the communities. At New Edubiase, where he kicked off his one-week tour of the Ashanti Region, he expressed strong conviction that the party would make a great impact in the region in the December elections.
He said the NPP would be making a big mistake to believe that the Ashanti Region would fall for it again.
The NDC presidential candidate stressed that the NDC was out to match the NPP boot-for-boot for the votes.
New Edubiase is one of the three constituencies the NDC won in the Ashanti Region in the 2004 elections.
The Professor said the crowd that met him was indicative that the NDC had grown in the region.
He said agriculture was dying in the rural areas because of poor policies, and noted that a government of the NDC would move to introduce mechanised farming.
Prof. Mills said to deafening cheers that," our farmers deserve better and this is what I promise you when I become president".
He said instead of admitting their mistakes and telling the people the truth about the state of the nation, the NPP government was using personal attacks on him as a way of addressing their waning support.
He pointed out that the people were wide-awake and could easily read through the lines to know the tricks of the NPP.
He urged the people to vote on the election day without any fear, and vote massively for him and the NDC parliamentary candidates.
In every community that he visited, Prof. Mills introduced the NDC parliamentary candidates for the in the respective constituencies to the people.


A FORMER New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary aspirant in the Asutifi South Constituency, Mr Robert Dwomoh-Mensah, has donated items worth GH¢2,500 to the parliamentary aspirant, Mr Yiadom Boachie-Boateng, to enhance his campaign.
The items included 500 T-Shirts, NPP flags, office stationery and other party paraphernalia.
According to Mr Dwomoh-Mensah, the donation was intended to reaffirm the commitment he made some time ago to support the parliamentary aspirant in his campaign, and to deepen the unity that existed in the party.
At the presentation ceremony at the constituency headquarters at Hwidiem in the Brong Ahafo Region, Mr Dwomoh-Mensah said the presentation was the beginning of greater things to come.
He said he was determined to assist the aspirant to defeat the incumbent NDC MP, Alhaji Collins Dauda, "whose inaction had stifled the development of the constituency".
Mr Dwomoh-Mensah said he was touched by the constant requests for T-Shirts by the youth, especially during campaigns.
The chief patron of the party in the constituency, Nana Kofi Sarbeng, thanked Mr Dwomoh-Mensah for the gesture.
He expressed regret that even though there were some party supporters who had the financial clout to assist the campaign, they had not done that.
Nana Sarbeng, therefore, challenged them to change for the better to facilitate the campaign and ensure total victory.
For his part, the parliamentary aspirant, Mr Boachie-Boateng, thanked Mr Dwomoh-Mensah for the support, stressing that the donation came at the right time when T-Shirts had become "an essential commodity" in the campaigning.
He promised to make good use of the items as he prepared to unseat Alhaji Collins Dauda.


STORY: Nehemia Owusu Achiaw & Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

A multi-million-cedi tractor assembling plant, jointly established by Zoomlion Ghana Limited and Mahindra and Mahindra Company of India, was last Friday inaugurated by President J.A. Kufuor.
As much as 70 per cent of tractor parts will be assembled at the plant, while 30 per cent will be imported from India.
The project is expected to sharpen the skills and competencies of artisans at the Suame Magazine in Kumasi and other parts of the country in metal fabrication, as well as provide unemployed youth with employable skills.
The plant, located on the premises of the former Kowus Motors and Suame Foundry, will also serve as a training ground for students from the metal fabrication departments of technical institutes, polytechnics and universities.
Other partners of the project are the ministries of Food and Agriculture, Trade, Industry and PSI and the Garages Association of Ghana.
The inauguration ceremony was cut short because of a heavy downpour.
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu ll, has already allocated a 26-acre plot at Kodie in the Ashanti Region for the establishment of the huge assembling plant to serve as the headquarters of the project.
Inaugurating the plant, President Kufuor commended Zoomlion for the initiative and said the project would be beneficial for the agricultural and industrial development of the country.
The General Manager of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Mrs Florence Larbi, expressed gratitude to the government for encouraging private companies such as Zoomlion and for promoting public-private sector partnership.
She said although Zoomlion was a waste management company, it had a metal fabrication unit which was responsible for the production of a majority of its tricycles.
She said the establishment of the metal fabrication plant was the driving force which motivated the management of the company to seek partnership with Mahindra and Mahindra of India to establish the assembling plant.
Mrs Larbi said the venture would create jobs for welders, steel benders, auto mechanics and apprentices from various garage associations across the country, as well as help the youth to benefit from technologies from other countries to develop.
In January 2008 the company trained 30 women in the operation of earth-moving equipment as part of the Waste and Sanitation Module of the National Youth Employment Programme.
Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, an accomplished heart surgeon, who chaired the ceremony, advised Zoomlion to work closely with other organisations such as the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation (SMIDO), so that engineering, especially fabrication, manufacturing and machine tooling would gain root in Kumasi and many parts of the country.
He said no country had ever developed without acquiring the capacity to make machines and that the poverty in some countries was, indeed, a technology gap.
Professor Frimpong-Boateng said the middle-income economic status could only be attained in 2015 when the country focused on the development of its human capital, which was crucial in the knowledge-based economy.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


PRESIDENT John Agyekum Kufuor has eulogised the former Metropolitan Archbishop of Kumasi, the Most Rev Peter Akwasi Sarpong, as an honest and fearless man who has earned the respect and admiration of his countrymen.
He said apart from being a man of God, scholar and staunch traditionalist, there had been times in the nation's political history when the retired Archbishop became the voice of the voiceless.
President Kufuor, who was speaking at a special High Mass to celebrate the retirement of the Most Rev Sarpong in Kumasi yesterday, recalled how the Archbishop had strongly fought against the introduction of "Union Government" by the late General Acheampong.
As a result of his strong stance against the Acheampong regime, Mr Kufuor said, Archbishop Sarpong was called names, but "he bore the insults with grace, in tune with his conviction as a Christian leader".
Archbishop Sarpong retired this year after 50 years in the priesthood of the Catholic Church, 30 years of which he served as a bishop.
He was credited with a number of initiatives in the church, especially in the metropolitan archdiocese, including the establishment of schools and health facilities and the infusion of productive traditional beliefs into Catholicism.
President Kufuor noted that the integration of traditional beliefs into Christianity provided a real insight into life and what God expected of the people.
He emphasised that since God created people in His own image, it would be misplaced to downgrade the culture of any group of people.
"In the past, evangelists sought to make us turn our back on our traditional ways of life," he said, and commended Archbishop Sarpong for the studies he made into Ghanaian culture, which confirmed that life as a Ghanaian and that as a Christian were intertwined.
Himself a Catholic, President Kufuor noted that his life had been shaped, to a very large extent, by the advice and encouragement of the Most Rev Sarpong.
The President recalled how Archbishop Sarpong visited him and other detainees at the Ussher Fort prison after the overthrow of the Busia administration in 1972, stressing, "And typical of him, the archbishop demonstrated love and care and we appreciated that immensely",
"I am also very proud and privileged to state that we first met at Oxford University in 1962-1963 when we were both students," the President said, and added that they had developed special love for each other since that time.
Touching on Archbishop Sarpong's academic prowess, the President said, "Academia is generally richer by the many scholarly contributions from him."
He expressed the hope that the retirement of the archbishop would not be the end of the work God asked him to do on earth.
On behalf of President Kufuor, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr E.A. Owusu-Ansah, presented an undisclosed amount of money to the retired archbishop.
The Omanhene of Acherensua, Agyewodin Adu Gyamfi Ampem, who represented the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, said Otumfuo appreciated the valuable work the Most Rev Sarpong did for God and mankind in his long years as a priest.
He expressed the hope that the Most Rev Sarpong would continue to offer other services to his nation even on retirement.
Agyewodin Ampem gave the assurance that at the appropriate time Otumfuo would honour the retired archbishop.
The Most Rev Sarpong, who said the mass, the last to be performed by him, was grateful to President Kufuor and the Asantehene for the support given him in his long years of service.
In attendance was the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kumasi, the Most Rev Thomas Mensah.


A COPENHAGEN-based Ghanaian lawyer, Mr Joseph Boateng, has said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is not preparing for a run-off in the December presidential election as some of the party's opponents believe.
He emphasised that the NPP was sure of clinching a "one-touch victory" and those who believed that they could use political alliances to threaten that party in a run-off would be daydreaming.
Mr Boateng stated this when he presented 700 NPP T-shirts, valued at GH¢2,100, and cash of GH¢1,000 to the Sene Constituency branch of the NPP at a ceremony at Kwame Danso.
The items and the money are to boost the party’s campaign towards the general election.
In the 2004 elections the NDC won by over 13,000 votes in the Sene Constituency but the NPP has vowed to wrest the seat from the NDC in December.
Mr Boateng, who is a citizen of the Brong Ahafo Region, said the candidature of Nana Akufo-Addo and the aggressive campaign he and the NPP had launched had sent fears down the spines of the NDC which had resorted to lies and vicious attacks to save its dwindling image.
He said Ghana's international reputation had shot up under the NPP and so it was important that Ghanaians retained the party in power to build on it.
Mr Boateng said all over Europe Ghana was rated very high among other Africa countries in its democratic development and economic policies.
He indicated that he and other friends were helping in diverse ways to get some constituencies on the right footing for the elections.
He promised to extend similar assistance to six other constituencies in the Brong Ahafo and Ashanti regions before the general election.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Secretary of the NPP, Mr A.K. Kusi, commended Mr Boateng for the assistance, which he said would go a long way to get the party in full gear for the battle ahead.
He said even though the NDC won in the constituency in both the parliamentary and presidential elections of 2004, its incumbent MP had not done anything meaningful to get the development of the area on course.
Mr Kusi promised that the NPP leadership in the region was working hard with the constituency executives to win in all the constituencies.
The Sene District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Ernest Buanya Mensah, said the support from Mr Boateng was one of the best things to happen to the constituency since the campaign took off.
He said the NDC was in a state of disorder because the NPP's record in government was drawing a number of NDC members into the NPP family.
Present was the NPP parliamentary aspirant for Sene, Mr Mohammed Belinyi Abdullah.


FILING of nominations for the parliamentary election in Kumasi and some other parts of the Ashanti Region started on a slow note as the exercise got underway on Thursday.
As of 10a.m. only a few of the constituencies in Kumasi had witnessed some action.
For constituencies like Nhyiaeso and Asokwa, no one had filed his/her nomination, but expectations were that the candidates would move in to file on Thursday and Friday.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Bantama, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, who is seeking re-election to Parliament, told the Daily Graphic on phone that she had prepared all her documents and, even though she was in Accra, her representatives would file on her behalf before the close of work on Thursday.
However, Mr Stephen Saahene, an Independent Candidate for Bantama, had already filed his nomination as of midday, and Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto of the NPP had also filed his nomination for the Kwadaso Constituency.
At Manhyia, the NPP candidate, Mr Matthew Prempeh, a.k.a. Napo, had also filed his nomination as of the time the Daily Graphic visited the area.
In fact, he was the only one to have filed and was confident of winning massively in the December elections.
In some constituencies of the region, some candidates were still trying to get their tax clearance certificates to enable them to file.
For instance, at Bosome Freho, the NDC candidate, Mr Anthony Asiedu, said in a telephone interview that he was in the process of securing his tax clearance certificate to enable him to file before the close of day.
At Bekwai, the NDC candidate, Mr Noah Asante, had filed his nomination to contest the elections and said he would spring a surprise in the election.
Mr Joe Osei Wusu, an Independent Candidate for Bekwai, said he travelled outside the country and had just returned. According to him, he was in the process of getting his documents ready to file, either on Thursday or yesterday.
Mr Osei Wusu decided to go independent after a failed bid to secure NPP delegates’ nod in the Bekwai Constituency.
No candidate from the Reform Patriotic Democrats (RPD), the People’s National Convention (PNC) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) were there to file their nomination in Kumasi.
RPD Presidential Aspirant, Mr Kwabena Agyei, a.k.a. Bambata, was however confident that they would go through the appropriate processes to contest in all the constituencies of the region.
Relatedly, Nana Yaw Osei also reports from Kumasi that the NDC Parliamentary Candidate for Oforikrom, Mr Ebenezer Okletey Terlarbi, filed his nomination papers with officials of the Electoral Commission (EC) at the Askowa Sub-Metropolitan District Council at Oforikrom in Kumasi.
The parliamentary candidate who is a lecturer at the Biochemistry Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) said if the people of Oforikrom should vote for him, he would establish guidance and counselling centres in all the eight electoral areas in the constituency to cater for the informational needs of the youth in terms of providing information on education, reproductive health, skill acquisition, among others.
In the 2004 elections, the NDC parliamentary candidate polled 21, 056 (29.4 per cent) votes as against the NPP’s 47, 388 (66.2 per cent).
On why the NDC lost the constituency, Mr Terlarbi attributed the defeat to the fact that the Oforikrom Constituency in 2004 had just been carved uut of the former Asokwa East Constituency and so the NDC did not have functioning executive and active party structures on the ground.
George Folley Quaye also reports from Wa that the incumbent Member of Parliament for Wa Central, Mr Abdul Rashid Pelpuo, on Thursday, filed his nomination to contest on the ticket of the NDC.
The MP would be contesting NPP Parliamentary candidate, Mr Clement Eledi.
He submitted his papers to the Wa Municipal Electoral Officer, Mr Lucas Tiryel, who after verifying the nomination documents, said Mr Pelpuo had satisfied the necessary requirements to contest the elections. Looking elated, Mr Pelpuo, who was accompanied by a host of supporters of the NDC, told the Daily Graphic that he was optimistic of victory.
He described his filing of nomination forms as a mere formality, since the electorate in the constituency had already decided to retain him.
He advised supporters of the various political parties to conduct their campaigns in a peaceful manner.

KOTOKO TO FINISH HARD...As they play away to El-Merreikh (GRAPHIC SPORTS, BACK PAGE)

KUMASI Asante Kotoko and El-Merreikh will be playing for pride tomorrow as the Group matches of the CAF Confederation Cup get to the final stretch.
Any hopes for Asante Kotoko slipped out barely a fortnight ago at their Kumasi fortress when Etoile Sportive du Sahel held them to a 2-2 draw in a match that was followed by crowd troubles outside the stadium
But the former Africa champions are hoping a victory over El-Merreikh in the last group match in Khartoum tomorrow will at least restore some pride.
On the flip side, El-Merreikh have also found themselves out of the competition and will likewise be playing for pride.
It cannot be described as a calamitous continental journey for the Ghanaian champions.
They entered Africa with a host of young inexperienced players, most of them in only their first season in continental soccer.
Perhaps the experience gained will catapult them to greater heights next season in the prestigious CAF Champions League.
Happily enough, reports from the camp of the Kotoko team in The Sudan speak of an appreciable level of optimism as the players seem to have put the 2-2 draw against Etoile Sportive du Sahel behind them to go for a last glory.
Of course, their disappointed supporters would not countenance any ignominious end to the competition and only a respectable score line would appease them.
But reaping results in The Sudan would not come easy. The Porcupine Warriors would have to play above themselves to overcome their opponents who were a handful for the Ghanaian champions in Kumasi before losing by a late Eric Bekoe goal.
As club Communications Director, Kwame Baah-Nuako, told the Graphic Sports last Monday, "We know the enormity of the task and we are determined to play our hearts out and send out clear signals that we will be fully ready for next year's CAF Champions League".
For the Sudanese, victory is even more vital. If they lose again, it would be disastrous for a side that was initially considered the frontrunners in Group B.
They play one of the finest games in the competition, yet fate had confined them to the bottom of the table.
Having crumbled 1-3 under he weight of JS Kabylie in Sousse in the penultimate group match, El-Merreikh would likewise move to bring some smiles to the faces of their supporters with a win.
Kotoko enter the Khartoum game minus head coach, Bashir Hayford, who was dropped for alleged indisciplinary acts.
Assistant coach, Johnson Smith, will not face selection quandaries and will have the luxury of choosing from a squad that has only Kwadwo Poku on suspension.
On that level of strength, Smith must have faith in trusted striker, Eric Bekoe, to lead the onslaught.
The striker has had an insatiable appetite for goals at home, but the same cannot be said of him away and he has to prove critics wrong this time.
The Kotoko defence has struggled to cope with their away duties, conceding goals, some of which were unpardonable. Mindful of this, the back four likely to feature Samuel Inkoom, Godfred Yeboah, Osei Kwame and Ofosu Appiah can only help to prevent El-Merreikh from getting any goal.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


THE National Democratic Congress (NDC) flag bearer, Professor John Evans Atta-Mills, will finally start his campaign tour of the Ashanti Region today.
The tour has been postponed twice due to what party sources attributed to circumstances beyond the control of the flag bearer.
Prof. Mills will pay a courtesy call on the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, at the Manhyia Palace to seek his blessing before he moves into the constituencies.
According to the sources, Prof. Mills who would be accompanied by some leading party gurus, would address mini-rallies in selected constituencies in the one-week that he would be in the region before continuing to the Brong Ahafo Region.
The Ashanti Region, perhaps, has been the most difficult region for the NDC in the past elections.
Out of the 33 constituencies in the region, the NDC currently holds only three, Asawasi, New Edubiase and Ejura-Sekyedumase.
However, the NPP has vowed to wrest the seats from the NDC in the December 7 elections.
On the other hand, the NDC also aims at getting at least 30 per cent of the popular votes in the presidential elections, believing that would propel them into winning the elections.
A press release from his campaign office yesterday said Prof. Mills, after filing his papers at the Electoral Commission office in Accra, would move to the Ashanti Region to start an intensive tour of the region.
Professor Mills, who is expected to spend not less than a week in the Ashanti Region, will roll out his Better Ghana agenda of Investing in People, Job Creation, Infrastructure Expansion, and explain how the new NDC Government will operate in an open, honest, humble, truthful and transparent manner.
Before he visits the Ashanti Region, Prof. Mills yesterday visited the Okaikoi North and Krowor constituencies in the Greater Accra Region.


AN instance of armed robbery at Nyamebekyere on the Mankranso-Tepa Junction road in the Ashanti Region in the early hours of yesterday turned horrific when a number of passengers who had been made to lie on the road at gunpoint were run over by a vehicle, killing two instantly, including the queen of Amaasu in the Brong Ahafo Region.
An eyewitness told the Daily Graphic that at least eight others were critically injured and sent to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi.
The queen was identified only as Nana Basua, but the other deceased person was yet to be identified as of press time.
The Ashanti Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Inspector Yusif Mohammed Tanko, confirmed the incident but said the police were yet to receive the full details.
As of press time the Ashanti Regional Police Command had sent officers to the area to get firsthand information on the robbery and report to the Regional Commander for further action.
Reports said the robbers, numbering about six, had barricaded the road and asked the passengers to lie on the road, while they searched the passengers for cash and other items.
While the robbers were searching them, a speeding vehicle emerged from the Tepa Junction end of the road and when the driver realised that those stopping him were armed men, he refused to stop and sped over the passengers lying on the road.
The robbers escaped after the accident and none of them has yet been arrested.
The remains of the dead have been deposited at the morgue at KATH.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


THE District Chief Executive (DCE) for Atwima Kwanwoma, Mr Emmanuel Agyei-Dankwa, has stated that it is impossible for the government and the district assembly to provide all the development needs of the people.For that reason, he urged chiefs and people in the various communities to rekindle their communal spirit to complement the efforts of the government and the assembly at accelerating the pace of development of the district.
Mr Agyei-Dankwa said this during a familiarisation tour of some communities in the district.
The communities include New Adwampong, Konkori, Kentinkyire and Kwanwoma.
He used the opportunity to brief the people on government policies and programmes, as well as some projects to be undertaken in the area.
Mr Agyei-Dankwa said the district assembly, though new, was poised to
live up to expectation by leading the people to development.
The DCE assured the people that a number of schools would be hooked on to the school feeding programme next year.
He, therefore, enjoined the people to take interest in the education of their children because it was only education that could change the face of development of the district.
One common appeal that ran through the communities was the provision of toilet facilities.
The DCE stated that the assembly would seriously consider the appeals at the appropriate time.
At Kentinkyire, the assembly member, Mr Akwasi Bruku Dankwa, appealed for drains on the edges of the main road in the town to prevent erosion.
He also appealed for teachers' quarters to entice teachers to accept posting to the town.
At New Adwampong, the chief, Nana Akosah Yiadom, called for the tarring of the road from Konkori to promote development.


THE Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) is developing filter materials for the removal of high levels of fluoride and arsenic, two chemicals that pose a threat to the agency's rural water programme in six regions of the country.
The regions are Upper East, Upper West, Northern, Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Western where some of the people who consume the infected water have brittle bones and red teeth.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CWSA, Dr Philip Gyau-Boakye, made this known when his outfit presented one desktop computer to the Civil Engineering Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
The donation was in appreciation of the collaborative efforts of the department in developing the mwacafe iron removal plant for use by the CWSA.
The Eastern Regional Water and Sanitation Engineer of the CWSA, Mr Worlanyo Kwadjo Siabi, worked with the Civil Engineering Department in developing the mwacafe plant.
The CWSA has so far brought back to use more than 90 boreholes that were abandoned due to high concentration of iron and manganese.
Already, the mwacafe plant has won gold in the innovative service category of the maiden edition of the President's Excellence Awards for Public Service, while currently, it has been shortlisted for another award from the Public Service and Administration of the Republic of South Africa.
The CWSA has made the innovation available for application by the district assemblies on water projects.
Dr Gyau-Boakye said ground water had become widely used in the rural areas and even parts of the urban centres and it was important that the water quality was tackled with all seriousness.
He commended KNUST for its collaborative efforts with the agency and expressed the hope that the university would continue to open its doors to the CWSA.
The board chairman of the CWSA, Mr James Adusei Sarkodie, said poor water intake had been one major source of stunted growth of children in some parts of the country.
He stated that the agency had covered about 70 per cent of rural water supply.
While stressing the need for science teachers to be paid salaries higher that those in the arts, Mr Sarkodie pointed out that the nation could not move forward if science education was neglected.
The Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. K.K. Adarkwa, urged postgraduate students to tailor their research works towards finding solutions to the nation's everyday problems such as energy and water supply, sanitation, HIV/AIDS, malaria and deforestation.
"This is the reason why the KNUST is putting in efforts to train more postgraduate students by increasing our intake for postgraduate students," he stated


IT is very difficult for an area to see any appreciable development if there is conflict between the traditional and political authorities.
In areas where unity exists, cross fertilisation of ideas have resulted in accelerated development to the benefit of the people.
That is why the Ahafo Ano North District has come far in the last couple of years with regard to development.
Today, the Omanhene of Tepa Traditional Area, Nana Adusei Atwenewa Ampem, has released 60 acres for the construction of a new hospital for the district capital, Tepa, to which the district authorities are very grateful.
The Omanhene has persistently drummed home the fact that a chief who refuses to lead his people to development cannot claim to be a good chief.
According to him, Ahafo-Ano North deserves the best in everything because of its position in political and traditional development.
Ahafo-Ano North District is one of the oldest districts in the Ashanti Region. It used to be part of the vast Ahafo-Ano District until the erstwhile provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) government divided it into two, Ahafo-Ano North and Ahafo Ano South.
The idea behind the breaking of the former district into two was to facilitate accelerated development.
For the benefit of the uninitiated, the Ahafo area cuts through the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions.
In 1959, the Convention People’s Party (CPP) government of the late Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, cut off part of Ahafo to join the Brongs to form the Brong Ahafo Region.
Ahafo-Ano North thus remains a very important part of the Ashanti Region, contributing immensely to the growth of the regional economy.
The area abounds in cocoa, timber and food crops. During the late General Acheampong's era, the government constructed a cocoa clinic at the district capital in honour of cocoa farmers in the area.
In spite of the important position the district occupies in national development, not much was done in the past to shore up its development.
Indeed, before the New Patriotic Party (NPP) took over the reins of government in 2001, the only tarred road in the district was the one that formed part of the main Tepa Junction–Goaso main road.
All the other roads connecting to the district capital were in bad shape and it was an eyesore when the rains set in. Food crops were made to rot in the bush to the disadvantage of the poor farmers as a result of the deplorable roads.
Tepa, the district capital, lacked a number of social amenities to befit one
of the oldest district capitals in the country. Not even a modern market existed in the town.
Today, however, things are changing for the better, bringing some hope to the people. As a result of government initiatives, a number of feeder roads are now in good shape even though there is a lot more to do.
One major road that is receiving serious attention is the one linking Dwaho with Twabidi. The road is ready for tarring and the contractor is working on it at a fast rate.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Nana Eric Agyemang Prempeh, said in an interview that the road was very dear to the hearts of the people of the region and was happy that the government had tackled it.
The Akwasiase–Manfo road has also been added to the new cocoa road project for tarring and very soon, contractors would move to the site.
Although, there has been a significant improvement in the road sector, some other roads in the district are still crying for rehabilitation. One of such roads is the Anyinasuso–Betiako road. Even though the DCE said the road had been awarded on contract, the contractor had abandoned work.
According to him, the recent rains had made some of the roads impassable resulting in quantities of foodstuffs getting rotten in the bush. Many schools have also been constructed across the district.
Education, as widely accepted, is the key to development and anyone who neglects it does so at his or her peril. That is why over the past seven years, the district assembly and the government have pumped in more funds to undertake massive construction of school blocks across the district.
The district assembly for instance, has continuously allocated a chunk of its government's educational initiatives is the Tepa Senior High School.
Serious work has been done to improve infrastructure with specific reference to the construction of a two-storey administration block.
Water is life, as the saying goes. It is against this background that the district assembly, the government and other development partners continue to take action towards addressing the water problems facing the people.
In this regard, a GH¢700,000 small towns water project for Akwasiase has been awarded on contract to add up to the existing facilities in some other communities.
But the problem of buruli ulcer still remains a threat to some communities including Achiawkrom.
Expectations are that the coming years will see further improvement in all spheres of the district.


APPROACHERS Ghana Limited, a leading printing and publishing company in Kumasi, has been honoured for its exceptional delivery of service.
The company received the gold award in the printing and publishing category of the fifth Ashanti Business Excellence Awards held in Kumasi.
Last year, the company won silver in the same category.
The event was organised by Top Brass Consult, an event organising firm, under the auspices of Manhyia Palace.
Instituted five years ago, the awards had brought a lot of competition into the business sector in Kumasi.
It is meant to reward companies and institutions that distinguish themselves in their service to the people.
From a virtually unknown entity about 11 years ago, Approachers Ghana Limited has shot itself into prominence through hard work by management and staff.
With over 150 employees, the company largely contributes to employment creation and industrial training for many unemployed and unskilled youth.
As a socially responsible company, Approchers Ghana Limited provides scholarship packages for brilliant needy students.
The Chief Executive of the company, Mr Alfred K. B. Obeng, told the Daily Graphic that the company was poised to continue to play its role in national development with all seriousness.
He said, for instance, that apart from its main business of printing and publishing, it took social responsibility very seriously.


Zoomlion Ghana Limited is set to record another first in the development of the Kumasi metropolis.
On Friday, the company rolled out its tractor assembly project in Kumasi to complement the efforts of the government at building Kumasi into a strong technology transfer hub of the country.
The project, to be undertaken with other partners, including the Mahindra and Mahindra Company of India, the Ministries of Food and Agriculture, Trade, Industry and PSI, and the Garages Association, is expected train the youth of the Suame Magazine in the fabrication of tractor and other vehicle parts.
It will also provide the unemployed youth in the Suame area with employable skills, and also serve as a training ground for artisans from various garages, as well as students from the metal fabrication departments of technical institutions, polytechnics and universities.
The Communications Manager of Zoomlion, Mrs Isabella Gyau-Orhin, briefing journalists in Kumasi about the project, said it was one of the best things to happen to the metropolis.
The central location of Kumasi provides a lot of advantages for the city's accelerated development but unfortunately very little has been done to take advantage of the situation.
In the area of technology transfer, the Suame Magazine, which is considered the biggest industrial estate in Africa, has not realised its full potential.
Various factors have accounted for this situation and the government and non-governmental organisations have moved in to correct the situation but with little success.
It is as a result of this situation that the initiative of Zoomlion is commendable and welcome.
Significantly, Zoomlion has never looked back since it decided to move into areas other than the core duty of refuse management.
What they are about to do in Kumasi gives a clear picture about the seriousness of the company to spread its tentacles and they could not have chosen a better place to undertake this project than Kumasi.
The industriousness of the people of this great city is unquestionable and the company expects to attain the goals for the establishment of the plant.
The company has acquired the premises for the project at Asokwa, where already some of the Mahindra tractors are being assembled.
A combined team of experts and professionals from Zoomlion, Mahindra and other stakeholders would run the plant.
One interesting feature of the project is that a number of the tractor parts would be manufactured at the plant, with only a few of them coming in from India, where the Mahindra company is located.
Officials of Zoomlion said the project would benefit the agriculture and the educational sectors, as well as artisans in Kumasi.
To the agriculture sector, the availability of tractors in the system is expected to lead to increased food production and food security.
It will also ensure that farmers get tractors at affordable prices.
To the artisans, the plant will provide employment avenues and also sharpen their technological skills.
In the educational sector, the plant will provide practical training for students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and other tertiary institutions offering courses in the relevant fields.
The communications manager said the plant would also be involved in the fabrication of other vehicle parts and metal works, such as spare parts of tricycles used by Zoomlion.
This will reduce the importation of vehicle parts and also improve the national economy.
She expressed the hope that as the plant progressed in its operations, a number of unemployed youth would find jobs, while talented artisans would acquire Indian technology of fabricating tractor parts and the manufacturing of other equipment.