Wednesday, February 27, 2008


STORY: Kwame Asare Boadu, Asamang

A philanthropist and citizen of Asamang in the Afigya-Sekyere District of Ashanti, Mr Noah Nkrumah-Adasa, has donated assorted educational materials worth GH¢1,500 to the Asamang Adventist Preparatory School as part of his efforts to boost education in the community.
The items were given to Mr Nkrumah-Adasa by the Osaka Kong Rotary Club of Japan after he had made an appeal to the club for assistance to resource the school with learning materials which it lacked.
The items, which could be used by pupils from the kindergarten to the junior high school, included exercise books, drawing materials, rulers, pencils, pens, teachers’ and students’ note books, writing pads, crayons, erasers and learning aids.
The Agona Circuit Supervisor of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mr Ernest Agyin Asare, who made the presentation on behalf of the donor, urged the school to take good care of the materials.
Mr Asare thanked the donor for the gesture and expressed the hope that the donation would inspire the school to perform better in examinations.
The Proprietor of the school, Pastor Aboagye Baffour, said the donation was one of the good things to happen to the school.
He gave the assurance that the materials would be fully utilised to promote teaching and learning in the school.


STORY: Kwame Asare Boadu, Krapa

EDO Printing Press, a leading printing establishment in the country, has inaugurated a GH¢400,000 ultra-modern printing press at Krapa near Ejisu in the Ashanti Region.
The aim of establishing the press is to bring quality printing to the doorsteps of educational and other institutions within the catchment area and beyond.
Inaugurating the project, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Ejisu-Juaben, Mr Yaw Ahenkora-Afrifa, said Krapa, one of the major towns in the district, was developing fast, and expressed the hope that the establishment of the press in the town would further boost the area’s growth.
He said the district assembly would collaborate with the management of the printing press to ensure that quality educational materials were produced for schools.
Mr Ahenkora-Afrifa commended the company for establishing itself as a leading printing company in the country, and providing employment for a number of people.
Edo Printing Press currently employs 45 people in Accra and 32 in Kumasi, bringing the total to 77 employees.
He disclosed that the district had been selected to benefit from the Urban Transport System under which the road and transport system in the district would receive massive improvement.
A retired Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mr Michael Nsowaah, stressed the need for improvement in the reading culture of children.
He said reading was very crucial in building the ability of the student to grasp the English language, stressing that “we must develop the reading culture in our children”.
Mr Nsowaah was confident that the printing press would help produce books that would enrich the reading ability of children.
The managing director of the company, Mr Yaw Ofori, said the company, which was established in Accra in 1994, was making headway in its area of operation.
He expressed the hope that the siting of the printing press at Krapa would help boost the new educational reform within the area.
Mr Ofori stated that over the years, the company had executed many jobs and had built a clientele that included many big companies.
He gave the assurance that the company would continue to give employment to more people as they expanded their activities.


STORY: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Ashanti Regional Co-ordinator of the National Road Safety Commission, Mr Kwaku Oware-Boateng, has expressed concern about the rampant knockdown of pedestrians by vehicles in the region.
He stated that about 30 per cent of deaths on the roads were as a result of pedestrian knockdowns.
Mr Oware-Boateng said children had been the worst victims, and therefore called on drivers to reduce their speed to the mandatory limit when they reached towns and villages.
Addressing the congregation at the Ramseyer Presbyterian Church at Adum in Kumasi during the youth week celebration of the church’s Young People’s Guild, Mr Oware-Boateng said in some instances drivers who knocked down pedestrians refused to stop, in clear contravention of the laws of the land.
He cited a recent example when a pregnant woman was killed by a speeding vehicle at Bomfa Junction on the Kumasi-Konongo road.
The offending driver, who was heading towards the Kumasi end of the road, sped off.
The co-ordinator said two days earlier, an eight-year-old boy was killed in Konongo town by a speeding driver.
Mr Oware-Boateng asked drivers to take into consideration the environment in which they found themselves, so that they would abide by the road regulations to ensure safety.
He also called on traders who had taken over pavements to leave such areas to prevent people from getting onto the roads to compete with vehicles for the use of the roads, resulting in pedestrian knockdowns.
Mr Oware-Boateng also called on pedestrians to be extra cautious when using the road.


STORY: Kwame Asare Boadu, Apenso

THE Member of Parliament (MP) for Ejisu-Juaben, Mr Akwasi Osei-Agyei, has toured some parts of the constituency to discuss the area’s development with the people, and explain government policies and programmes to them
Mr Osei-Agyei, who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs, visited Apemso, Abetenem, Ofoase, Nkyerepoase and Krofrom, where he had first-hand information of some of the problems of the communities.
Chiefs, assembly members and other members of the public in the communities were given the opportunity to speak their minds about their areas’ development.
Generally, they were appreciative of the level of development witnessed in their respective communities but stressed the need for the MP to do more to address other problems they faced in a bid to make the area attractive to live and work.
At Apemso, the acting Odikro, Nana Kwaku Antwi, praised the government for the strides it was making to bring development closer to the people.
He, however, called for efforts to improve the road network linking the area to Juaben.
At Abetenem, the Odikro, Nana Owusu Ababio, expressed concern about the lack of market for farmers who had cultivated large tracts of orange farms.
He appealed to the government to support them to market their produce in order to encourage the youth to take up farming.
Nana Owusu Ababio, said he and his people would support the MP to chart a path of progress for the town.
Addressing the people at separate meetings, Mr Osei-Agyei said he had remained faithful to the course of the constituency.
He said he had used his share of the District Assemblies' Common Fund and personal resources to finance a number of development projects and programmes in the constituency.
According to him, he had managed to solicit support from the government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to undertake various development projects in Ejisu-Juaben.
To date, Mr Osei-Agyei said he had offered scholarships to 110 brilliant, needy students in the constituency at various levels of education.
He had also undertaken various development projects including the rehabilitation of schools, provision of water projects, donation of cement to undertake various projects in some of the communities, monetary support for electrification projects and donation of hospital equipment.
Mr Osei-Agyei said about 92 per cent of the constituency now enjoyed electricity, adding that the remaining eight per cent, which included the communities he visited on his tour, would be covered this year.
He called on the people to rekindle their communal spirit to complement the efforts of the government, district assembly and the MP in bringing development to their doorsteps.
At Apemso, where the MP inspected a borehole water project he was financing, he urged the people to take good care of it when it was completed.
Mr Osei-Agyei also announced the allocation of funds from his share of the common fund to construct a junior high school (JHS) in the community. Currently there is no JHS at Apemso.
He offered to pay the premium for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for 10 needy people at Apemso.
The minister urged the people to pay special attention to the NHIS by registering with it to address the problems they encountered in health financing.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE dry season is with us again and, as usual, bush fires have started taking a toll on the environment in the Ashanti Region.
The region is the centre of food production in the country. Plantain, yams, cassava, cocoyam, maize, among other crops, are found in abundant quantities there.
Besides, cash crops like cocoa are also synonymous with the Ashanti Region. Timber, which is a major foreign exchange earner for the country, is yet another product well known in the region.
It is, therefore, regrettable that the activities of some unscrupulous people continue to put those resources in danger.
Forestry officials in Ashanti have warned of drastic consequences to forest reserves and the environment in general if the rate at which bush fires are rearing their ugly heads in the region are not curtailed.
Year in year out officials lament the effects of bush fires on the environment and the survival of the people but it seems there is no end to the situation in sight.
Just two weeks ago, one of the major forest reserves in the Mampong area was set on fire by some hunters, causing extensive damage to the natural habitation of many species of animals.
Forestry officials sought the assistance of the police at Mampong to look for the perpetrators of the act but no one was arrested, as they managed to escape before the police arrived on the scene.
The police at Mampong told the Daily Graphic that they impounded a number of bicycles belonging to the actors and that they were still looking for them to face the full rigours of the law.
The Mampong situation is not the only one in the region, as reports from other districts speak of similar situations. When one drives along the roads in the districts, one realises the effects of the fires.
Some farms have got burnt, affecting trees of various uses. The end result can be disastrous if the practice is allowed to continue.
The burning of the farms can result in food shortage and the people of the country will suffer in the end, as food prices will rise.
Sources at the Forestry Services Division (FSD) attributed the fires mostly to the activities of people looking for game. At times, palm wine tappers are also part of the problem.
“When at all will people stop this practice of attacking the forest with fire just to look for game?” a senior forestry official asked.
The forestry officials believe the whole problem relates to attitudinal change and the need for the local authorities to enforce their bye-laws on the environment.
All district assemblies in the region have bye-laws on bush fires but a huge question remains as to whether they have the ability to enforce them.
In the rural communities, it is common for a chief or a community leader to go to the police and other authorities to plead on behalf of people who commit various crimes.
This situation must be checked if any headway has to be made in arresting the problem.
The general public must also be watchdogs and be ready to report people who set fire to the bush to the police.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

GOAL Machine, Eric Bekoe, is an enigma. Indeed, it is sometimes amazing the way he scores his goals.
Last Sunday was a typical example when he silenced Tema Youth coach, Isaac ‘Opeele’ Boateng, who had boasted all along that the striker could never score against his side, because he had the strategy to play him out of their Onetouch Premier League encounter.
Coach Opeele’s big talk notwithstanding, Bekoe did what he knows best — scoring. And what a way to celebrate the goal! With his finger pointing at Opeele, Bekoe ran powerfully towards the coach, gesticulating at certain stages as he celebrated his 78th minute goal against the Tema side in style.
The coach responded by running to hug the striker, and to say, “indeed you have proved me wrong”.
Yes, the leading goal scorer had every reason to celebrate that way, as he put it, “my goal will teach Opeele a lesson in football”.
He said he knew before the match that he would prove the coach wrong, and he was thankful to God that his dream came true.
On the flip side, Coach Boateng nearly engaged Asante Kotoko team manager, Opoku Afriyie, in what could have been a nasty fight during recess.
From the press box it was not clear what precipitated the near fisticuffs, but security personnel did well to calm down tempers.
The Premier League leading scorer, who had been policed all along, disentangled himself from the web created around him by Julius Agyemang and Edward Kpodo to find the net in the 78th minute with a header.
It looks like Bekoe has indeed arrived as the answer to Ghana’s striking headache. You can choose to disagree, but it remains a fact that a striker with such powerful eyes for goals cannot be taken for granted.
The soft-spoken young striker who is adept in both feet dedicated his goal to God who continues to be his protector and guide.
Opeele’s tactic was to put two players on Bekoe in a bid to make him redundant. His strategy worked for some time as the striker found it difficult to cut a path towards goal until that 78th minute goal.
But credit should go to Asante Kotoko coach, Bashir Hayford, for building the striker to become the most fearsome striker in the local league today.
Hayford, who in the build-up to last Sunday’s match refused to comment on coach Boateng’s criticisms of his tactics, proved a point that it is always the pitch that decides.
On a day that his side was short of a man as skipper Emmanuel Osei Kuffuor was shown the red card rather controversially in the 52nd minute, Hayford was able to devise a strategy to overcome Tema Youth and indeed scored a second goal.
Kotoko Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sylvester Asare Owusu, questioned referee Alex Kotey’s red card decision.
“Osei Kuffuor was only struggling to take the ball away from an opponent after the referee had awarded a free kick against that player for fouling Kuffuor.
“At times people tend to accuse Kotoko for complaining about some referees, but what Alex Kotey did last Sunday justifies our concerns”, Sylvester told the Graphic Sports.
On the whole the CEO said even though his side won 2-0, the overall performance was not that encouraging.
“We played just about 60 percent of our normal game. But I think the long break in the league made some of the players match-rusty and I believe that the players will pick up as the league progresses”, he said.
The CEO also expressed concern about the Professional League Board’s (PLB) failure to deliver enough tickets for the match, which prevented many fans from watching the match.
According to Sylvester, the PLB printed some 21,000 tickets when in fact all the 41,000 seats would have been filled had there been enough tickets.
He pointed out that the government spent a lot to rebuild the Baba Yara Stadium and therefore needs money to pay for the cost.
“It is a fact that Kotoko is the club that has the ability to pull the fans to the stadium to help pay for the cost, and nothing should be done to deny the fans entry to the stadium”, the CEO stated.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Ahafo-North District Assembly in the Ashanti Region has cautioned the assembly members against making unsubstantiated allegations against the District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Eric Nana Agyemang Prempeh.
At an emergency meeting of the assembly at Tepa, the House expressed regret at the way one or two persons within the assembly were going round with all manner of “unsubstantiated” allegations bordering on mismanagement against the DCE, knowing very well that such allegations could tarnish the image of the entire district.
The Presiding Member, Mr Bismarck Francis Osei, told the meeting that as far as the assembly was concerned, it had confidence in Mr Prempeh as an able DCE, because as far as it knew, he had not committed any wrongful act.
Moves by some members to get one assembly member who had been spreading some of the allegations against the DCE to come forward to prove it were later shelved.
It was, however, agreed that members be given up to the end of February this year to file any complaint against the DCE if, indeed, there was any, with the Complaints Committee.
In the absence of that, the assembly would not take kindly to further media allegations against Mr Prempeh.
Mr Osei said he expected members to use the Complaints Committee if they had anything wrong against the DCE.
“Unfortunately, some of us are behaving as if we don’t know there is such a committee in place, but are only interested in using the media to tarnish the image of the DCE and the assembly,” he said.
The assembly also discussed the privatisation of the Community Centre at Tepa to save the assembly from spending so much on its management.
It was agreed that the centre be renovated first before the issue of privatisation would receive further discussions.
Addressing the assembly later on the District’s Mutual Health Insurance Scheme, the DCE expressed concern about the absence of a board for the scheme.
He said he was personally intervening to ensure that the scheme was put on the right footing.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs (ARHC) has called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to organise immediate elections to make it possible for the National House of Chiefs (NHC) to be reconstituted.
Making the demand in Kumasi, the house said it was not satisfied with the resolution passed by members of the NHC to extend their mandate when under the constitution, their term of office expired in November, last year.
The ARHC also questioned the failure of the EC to organise elections at the ARHC to elect their members for the NHC.
It reminded the EC of the expiration of the term of office of the current membership of the regional house and the need for fresh elections to be organised to enable them elect their members for the NHC subsequently.
While the ARHC is questioning the decision by the house to extend its term, the leadership of the NHC said elections could be organised to elect new members to the NHC only when a matter before the Supreme Court had been resolved.
The mandate of the NHC like the regional houses of chiefs as guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution is two terms of three years each.
The current membership of the house, under the presidency of Odeneho Gyapong Ababio has already served two terms in office.
However, when all were expecting the EC to organise elections for the various regional houses of chiefs to elect members to constitute the NHC, the NHC passed a resolution at a meeting in Kumasi in December, extending their term until the resolution of the matter at the Supreme Court.
Odeneho Ababio explained that the decision to extend their term was premised on the court action.
He pointed out that it was only when the matter was resolved that fresh elections could be organised in the regional houses of chiefs.
But, the ARHC, in a letter to the NHC, has asked it to furnish it with a copy of the said writ that allowed it to extend its mandate and suspend all elections to the regional houses of chiefs.
Prior to that, the ARHC at its last meeting in Kumasi, chaired by Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, reminded the EC about the expiry of the house’s term of office and the need for the commission to organise fresh elections to enable them elect their members for the NHC.
The regional house emphasised that the members of the NHC and, indeed, the EC would be acting contrary to the constitution if they failed to organise the elections.
A source at the ARHC told the Daily Graphic that the national house was yet to reply to their request for a copy of the said writ.
The source, however, said the house may take another line of action to compel the EC to organise the elections if the EC persistently failed to heed their request.
Odeneho Gyapong Ababio also told the Daily Graphic about the conflict over the period of their mandate.
He said while the President of the NHC is a member of the Council of State and was expected to serve four years, the constitution also stipulated that members of the NHC served three years.
“This means that the NHC president will complete his term of office when there is one year for him to serve as Member of the Council of State.”
He stressed the need for amendments to be made to bring the term of office of the president of the NHC at par with the President of the Republic to remove the discrepancies.
He said suggestions had been made in the new Chieftaincy Bill, which was yet to be passed by parliament.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

EVEN with 10 men, Kumasi Asante Kotoko were strong enough to button the mouth of coach Isaac “Opeele” Boateng who had vowed all week to lead “a hungry” Tema Youth to feast on the Porcupine Warriors at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.
Opeele, who kept shouting from the line, could not believe his eyes when Kotoko fetched the second goal in the 78th minute.
The coach, who nearly engaged Kotoko’s team manager, Opoku Afriyie, in fisticuffs during recess, mustered courage and walked towards scorer Eric Bekoe who now has 11 goals in 10 games, to hug him for scoring with that brilliant header.
With the stadium about 80 per cent full, Kotoko were in high spirits when the game got underway.
Kwabena Yaro was presented with the first opportunity to open the scores for Kotoko but his free header went wide in the 10th minute.
Fierce action prevailed in the middle with Kotoko’s Jordan Opoku, Nii Adjei and Osei Kuffour fighting it out with Sakyi Quaye, Bernard Akuffo and Emmanuel Nuhey.
Persistently, Tema Youth’s leading marksman Ekow Benson was kept at bay on the right of attack by Kotoko’s Osei Kwame, and it became difficult for the visiting team to find a way through the Kotoko back line.
Kotoko opened the scores after 18 minutes through Osei Kuffour who connected a corner kick past keeper Ernest Sowah from close range.
Tema Youth devised a strategy to mark out Bekoe and once the striker was disabled the entire Kotoko attack became redundant.
FIFA referee Alex Quartey sent off skipper Osei Kuffuor in the 52nd minute after judging him to have violently charged on Sakyi Quaye. The huge home crowd was not happy and booed the referee for this decision.
But the numerical disadvantage brought even the best out of Kotoko as the attack-conscious Bashir Hayford sent on Ofosu Amoah and Nana Arhin Duah for Jordan Opoku and Kwabena Yaro respectively.
Kotoko pumped up in attack with Amoah initiating some terrific moves down the right flank.
It came as no suprise when they scored again in the 78th minute through Bekoe who sneaked from his markers to meet an Osei Kwame penetrating cross from the left.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

DISBURSEMENT of grants under the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme is to start at the end of February this year.
Beneficiaries will converge on selected pay points in the communities to receive their grants, to be paid every two months.
The Assistant Director at the Head Office of the Department of Social Welfare, Ms Victoria Natsu, said LEAP, which is being piloted in 21 districts for three years, after which there will be re-targeting, had the potential to transform the Ghanaian society.
Ms Natsu, speaking at the opening of a sensitisation workshop on LEAP in Kumasi, said the social grant to be provided under the programme was not meant to make beneficiaries lazy, as some people sought to portray.
Participants at the workshop were drawn from District Assemblies, the Department of Social Welfare and other related organisations.
The LEAP is intended to reach out to an estimated 164,370 extremely poor households (about 19 per cent of the extremely poor households in Ghana) with the provision of social grants and complementary services.
Ms Natsu said in coming up with the programme, the government drew examples from other countries that the grants should not be too attractive so that people would be discouraged from seeing them as a source of employment.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Osei-Assibey Antwi, to open the workshop, the Regional Minister, Mr E.A. Owusu-Ansah, noted that social intervention mechanisms were developed by governments to enhance the capacity of the poor and vulnerable.
“These interventions are, therefore, meant to improve and increase the livelihoods of target groups by reducing the impact of various risks and shocks that adversely affect income levels and opportunities to acquire sustainable basic needs,” he said.
Mr Owusu-Ansah noted that provision to less privileged groups through cash transfers could give the poor the security to look for work that would enable them to cater for themselves and their families.
The regional minister observed that the intervention was necessary “because of the possibility that uncontrolled distribution of the national resources can be skewed against the poor and the vulnerable”.
He noted that social protection was not a new concept in Ghana and that it had manifested in various ways over the years.
He mentioned the Programme to Mitigate the Social Cost of Adjustment (PAMSCAD), the Village Infrastructure Project (VIP), the Social Investment Fund (SIF), among others, as some of the social protection programmes that Ghana had witnessed.
Mr Owusu-Ansah said the government deserved commendation for coming up with policies and programmes geared towards addressing poverty.
He urged those implementing of the programme to ensure that it was done effectively.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has threatened to sue the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs and the National House of Chiefs over their refusal to give automatic recognition to paramount chiefs in Brong Ahafo who swear the oath of allegiance to him.
He said the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs had constituted a “research committee” which had resorted to scrutinising the paramount chiefs from Brong Ahafo who swore the Great Oath (Ntamkesie) to him before considering their admission as members of the house, a situation which, he said, ran contrary to tradition.
Besides, he said, the National House of Chiefs had not taken immediate steps to enter the names of such paramount chiefs in its register when they were forwarded to it, stressing that the situation tended to put the affected paramount chiefs in an uncomfortable situation.
Addressing the first meeting of the Asanteman Council for 2008 at the Manhyia Palace on Monday, Otumfuo Osei Tutu expressed regret that four stools in the Tano-Subin area of Brong Ahafo, for instance, which the late Otumfuo Opoku Ware II elevated to paramountcies more than 10 years ago, were yet to be recognised by the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs.
The Asantehene tasked the Standing Committee of the Asanteman Council to draft a formal letter to the Brong Ahafo House of Chiefs to remind it of the consequences that its action could bring about.
He noted that there was no question about the fact that much of the land in Brong Ahafo traditionally belonged to him, and that no one had the right to reject any chief who swore the oath of allegiance to him.
“People should not make the mistake that Brong Ahafo is not part of Asanteman. It is, and I, the Asantehene, represent the authority of Asanteman,” Otumfuo said.
He said he would not sit down for any chief from the Brong Ahafo Region to usurp his powers as the Overlord of Asanteman.
The Asantehene said one important aspect of chieftaincy was authority and pointed out that any chief from Brong Ahafo who rebelled against him should not be entertained.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu said the Asanteman Council was going to resolve chieftaincy disputes before it to enable peace to return to the affected areas.
He mentioned some of the areas as Mim and Banda, both in the Brong Ahafo Region, where there were two chiefs in each town, and Goaso, also in the Brong Ahafo Region, where there was a dispute between the Abusuapanin and the queen over who to enstool as chief.
Other areas include Jamasi, Adwafo, Adansi, Kumawu, Esumeja, among others.
The Asantehene said he would not sit down for people who were not royals to ascend stools, only to bring trouble to the communities and Asanteman in the long run.
“We have to follow Asante culture and tradition in the nomination, selection and installation of chiefs to eliminate litigation,” Otumfuo said.
He pointed out to chiefs in his domain that chieftaincy was not all about swearing the Great Oath, but how to lead the people to bring about the development that would enhance living standards.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu also touched on the confusion resulting from the siting of the capitals of some newly-created districts and said a way must be found to address the problem,
He disclosed that the Asanteman Council would write to the President to invite the Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment to brief the council on the creation of new districts and the selection of their capitals.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Sunyani

KUMASI Asante Kotoko scored a lone-goal victory over B/A United in a friendly match at the Sunyani Coronation Park last Sunday.
Kotoko who used the match to prepare for the resumption of the Onetouch Premier League fielded two teams, one playing in each half of the game.
It was a fitting exercise for the Porcupine Warriors who are determined to maintain their leadership position on the league table.
United, who are also preparing for the Division One league, played brilliantly and matched the more experienced Kotoko boot for boot until midway in the second half when the towering Kwabena Yaro got the only goal of the match after tearing away on the right to fire past keeper Quansah of United.
In the first half Kotoko fielded players like Emmanuel Osei Kufuor, Eric Bekoe, Dan Acquah and Francis Akwafo.
Bekoe was held in check by United skipper, Dan Oppong, in central defence but on the few occasions that the striker broke off it was dangerous for the home side.
United CEO, Charles Ntim, aka Micky Charles, was happy with the performance of his team.
He told this reporter that “we played better at certain stages of the game and I think we are on the path of getting back to the glorious days”.
But the experience of Kotoko held sway on the day, and the goal was a matter of course when another set of players, which included Nana Arhin Duah, Kwabena Dodzie and Yaro, among others entered the game.

Monday, February 18, 2008


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) adjudged the Kumasi Venue Organising Committee (KVOC) the best amongst the various venue committees of the 26th MTN Africa Cup of Nations.
A member of the KVOC, Mr Jonathan Abbey Pobee, told Graphic Nsempa in Kumasi that CAF had conveyed message of excellence to them at their last meeting in Kumasi on January 9, the day Ghana played Cote d’Ivoire in the third place game at the Baba Yara Stadium.
Four venues, namely Accra, Kumasi, Tamale and Sekondi hosted the three-week tournament.
Mr Pobee said it was refreshing that all the efforts of the KVOC were appreciated by CAF and emphasised that “we at the KVOC are honoured by the recognition”.
The KVOC initially came under criticisms on many occasions in the build-up to the tournament, as the media and the general public expressed disgust at the slow pace with which it undertook its activities.
Among the areas that the KVOC came under some form of criticism was the preparation of training pitches, accommodation and sanitation.
The criticisms served as a wake-up call for the committee to put its house in order.
Together with the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, the security services, the Ghana Tourist Board, among other entities, the KVOC put the pieces together and started winning the admiration of the people.

Mr Pobee commended the media for the constructive criticisms of the KVOC in the days before the competition, and said they were very helpful in achieving the enviable results.
He stated that the committee had put its house in order to ensure that in the areas of medical care, transport, accommodation security among others, they were never found wanting.
The KVOC member also commended the fans in Kumasi for their impressive attendance at the matches.
He noted with appreciation that even though the Black Stars played only one match in Kumasi, the fans were always at the Baba Yara Stadium in their numbers to watch all the matches.
He said the fans comported themselves very well and won the admiration of CAF officials.
Mr Pobee said the KVOC was holding its last meeting to evaluate its performance before, during and after tournament.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE People’s National Convention (PNC) does not intend to field parliamentary candidates in all the constituencies in the Ashanti Region.
Instead, the party would consider the constituencies and see where it had comparative advantage.
The Regional Chairman of the party, Mr Thomas Akum-yong, told the Daily Graphic that contesting parliamentary seats in areas where the party was not strong enough could be a waste of resources.
He said the regional secretariat was critically studying the situation in the constituencies to determine where to contest.
He said the decision not to field candidates in all the constituencies would not in any way defeat the party’s quest to win political power in 2008.
Mr Akum-yong emphasised that once the constituencies where the party’s strength was unquestionable were chosen, primaries would be organised.
The regional chairman referred to the previous elections and said the party did not put up candidates in all the constituencies in the region.
He also spoke about lack of funds to organise effective campaigns and said the situation needed to be addressed so that the party could take off in full gear.
Mr Akum-yong indicated that the constituency executives had been holding several meetings on how to get the needed resources for its campaigns.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE New Patriotic Party (NPP) has picked its first two parliamentary candidates in the Ashanti Region for the 2008 general election.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Ejura-Sekyedumase, Dr Joshua Ayarkwa, is the parliamentary candidate for the area, while Mr DeGraft Kyei-Baffour, a teacher, is the parliamentary candidate for New Edubiase.
Dr Ayarkwa was elected unopposed, while Mr Kyei-Baffour defeated the DCE for New Edubiase, Mr Francis Dorkpenyo, at the constituency primary.
The two constituencies are currently represented in Parliament by National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament (MPs).
The NPP is yet to elect a candidate for the third orphaned constituency in the Ashanti Region, Asawase, which is also occupied by an NDC MP.
The Ashanti Regional Secretary of the NPP, Mr Sam Cudjoe, told the Daily Graphic that a party member had gone to court over the Asawase primary and that until the court had decided on the matter, the party could not organise a primary there.
He, however, said two candidates were in the race for the Asawase slot. They were the DCE for Kwabre, Alhaji Kwasi Yeboah, and one Alhaji Dr Bala.
On the chances of the party in the three orphaned constituencies, Mr Cudjoe said the NPP had identified the problems that led to its defeat there and was working feverishly to outdo the NDC in the elections.
He said in a war, one needed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent in order to overpower him, explaining that that was exactly what the NPP was doing.
Mr Cudjoe indicated that defeating the NDC in the three constituencies did not rest on only the party executives but the rank and file of the party as well.
The regional secretary said the dates for the primaries in constituencies already occupied by NPP MPs were yet to be decided.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

A GROUP calling itself, the Concerned Citizens of Nkoranza North District, has accused the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza North, Major Derrick Oduro (retd), for utterances that tend to further divide the people over the siting of the capital for the newly created district.
A press statement issued by the group alleged that, at a durbar held recently at Busunya in honour of the Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, Mr Kwadwo Adjei-Darko, “the MP is on record to have said that the creation of the district and the siting of the capital at Busunya have put enemies to shame”,
“We have audio copy of what he said and we are prepared to make it available to anyone who wants to cross-check for the benefit of doubt,” the statement signed by the chairman of the group, Mr Kingsley Agyare-Kudom, said.
The statement dated February 11, 2008, said ”Nkoranza North did not compete with any other district, so who are the enemies of the district the MP is referring to?”
The group emphasised that there was the need for the government to take a second look at the siting of the district capital at Busunya to pave way for effective administration of the district when it is inaugurated.
It stated that it was surprising that Yefri, which had all the qualifications to be made the district capital, was denied that in favour of Busunya.
The statement called on the government to appoint an independent body to assess and put on record the viability and suitability of Yefri and Busunya as a potential capital for the district.
It stressed that the unity of the people who constituted an administrative area was key to socio-economic development, and no one should overlook that.
The statement stated that apart from the fact that Busunya lacked the basic facilities, the location of the town did not make the capital accessible to majority of the people of the district.
It cited the town of Bono Manso and said for anyone to travel from that town to Busunya, he or she had to go through Yefri to Nkoranza before connecting backwards to join another route to Busunya.
It, however, regretted that in spite of the numerous appeals to the sector minister about the siting of the capital, plans to inaugurate the district were ongoing.

PASTOR INVOKES ANTOA NYAMAA ...Over stolen mobile phone (Mirror, Front Page Lead)

From Kwame Asare Boadu, Tepa

An evangelist on a crusade at Tepa in the Ashanti Region did the unthinkable when he invoked the renowned Ashanti deity, Antoa Nyamaa, to curse whoever stole his mobile phone and cash of GH¢106.
Evangelist Kofi Adu was alleged to have broken three eggs and invoked Antoa Nyamaa to kill the one who broke into his room to steal the phone and the cash.
The act, seen as abominable in the Tepa Traditional Area, incurred the wrath of the traditional authorities who moved to get the evangelist to pay a fine of three sheep and drinks to pacify the gods of the land.
A source at the traditional council told The Mirror at Tepa last Tuesday that, the traditional council initiated the process to invite the evangelist to the Omanhene’s court to answer charges against him.However, the intervention of the district police commander prevented the council from carrying on with the “trial” of the evangelist.
Nonetheless, at the end of the day, Evangelist Adu was made to reverse the curse under the eagle eyes of a linguist of the Omanhene by name Kyeame Poku.
The source said the incident happened at Tepa on January 31, this year.
The Evangelist was said to have retired to the community centre at Tepa where he lodged after a preaching session at the main car park
It said while having a rest at the community centre, the evangelist claimed that someone sneaked into his room to steal the mobile phone and the cash.
According to the source, the evangelist had claimed that the money he received from the crusade was to be used as charity.
The source said unable to contain the situation, Evangelist Adu went for three eggs, dropped one in the room, one in the main yard of the community centre and another outside the building to curse the thief.
An onlooker quickly informed the traditional council who later invited the evangelist for the traditional trial at the palace until the police commander intervened.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumawu

FEVERISH preparations are underway at Kumawu in the Ashanti Region for the inauguration of the newly created Kumawu Afram Plains District.
Some citizens have promised to release their buildings to house some of the workers of the decentralised departments who would be working in the district capital while others are also donating cash to assist the assembly to meet some of its commitments in the initial stages of operation.
Former Asante Kotoko Football Club’s Chief Executive, Mr Herbert Mensah, has donated GH¢4,000 towards the development of the assembly.
He was among a number of citizens who made various donations when the Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, Mr Kwadwo Adjei-Darko, visited the town to meet the chiefs and people of the new district.
The meeting was to discuss the upcoming inauguration of the district and how the district administration could commence operating without much difficulty.
Another citizen of the town based in Kumasi also released his four-storey building to be used as interim offices for the district assembly.
Indeed, the entire community is looking foward to February 21 this year, when President Kufuor is likely to perform the inaugural ceremony.
The new district, with Kumawu as its capital, was created from the Sekyere East District, whose capital is Effiduase.
Interestingly, while there is trouble in some of the newly created districts over the siting of district capitals, the situation in Kumawu Afram Plains is directly the opposite. There is absolute peace and unity as all have hailed the selection of Kumawu as the capital.
Kumawu is one of the old and historically important towns in the Ashanti Region.
According to history, one of the former chiefs of the area, Tweneboa Kodua, offered his life to propitiate the gods of Ashanti to enable them to achieve victory over the Denkyiras in one of the Ashanti wars.
The Kumawu Traditional Area spreads to the Afram Plains. In fact, Kumawu is one of if, not the biggest traditional area in the Ashanti Region in terms of land mass.
For a very long time, the people had been agitating for the creation of a separate district for the area but to no avail.
The Member of Parliament for the area, Mr Yaw Baah, who was instrumental in the creation of the new district, traced the history of Kumawu’s call for a separate capital and said President Kufuor must be congratulated for being a listening leader.
The agitation for a separate district was based on various reasons including the vastness of the Sekyere East District, which made administration difficult for the political authorities.
In the Kumawu town itself, people are very happy that their dream of getting a district capital one day has eventually materialised, and are full of praise for President Kufuor.
Mr Adjei-Darko stated that the new districts created by the government had been included in this year’s allocation of the Common Fund.
He assured the people of Kumawu Afram Plains that their attitude would go a long way to propel the assembly to begin operations effectively.
The minister, however, stressed the need for the people of the area to do more to complement the government’s efforts in ensuring the speedy growth of the new district.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Sekyere East, Mr Philip Basoah, himself a native of Kumawu, and who is highly tipped to become the first DCE for the new district, was full of praise for the donor of the building.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

KUMASI Asante Kotoko travel to Sunyani on Sunday to engage B/A United in a friendly match at the Coronation Park.
Kotoko, who are leading the Onetouch Premier League, will use the match to prepare for the resumption of the league next week, while United, now under a new management, will also use the game to assess their players for the upcoming Division One League which they have vowed to go through successfully to return to the elite division.
Kotoko are in one of their best forms in recent times, and when they field players like leading scorer, Eric Bekoe, Nana Arhin Duah, Kobina Dodzie and Harrison Afful, United could be in serious trouble.
However, Mr Charles Kwadwo Ntim, aka Micky Charles, Chief Executive Officer of United, told the Daily Graphic on telephone from his base in Sunyani that they were out to give Kotoko a shock of their lives.
He said much as United respected Kotoko as a great side, they had devised the strategy to overcome them on Sunday.
Mr Ntim said United had recruited two quality players to beef up the existing squad for the coming season. They are Italy-based Roy Arthur and Jude Tettey from Heart of Lions.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

Quality health care is crucial for the development of every community.
The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has never relented in its efforts to ensure that the university hospital is equipped to offer the best health services, not only to the university community but also the general public.
Fifty-six years ago, the KNUST Hospital was established but it was in 1972 that the female, children and male wards were added to enable the hospital admit patients.
Since then, the hospital has metamorphosed into a leading health delivery facility. It is a fact that the KNUST Hospital is the biggest in Kumasi, after the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).
The giant strides the hospital is making in health care delivery cannot be overemphasised. As the hospital administrator, Mr L. Ofosu-Adjare, said in an interview, “We have a commitment to spread our services to all people in need of quality health service, and that is exactly what we will continue to do as we build on our existing facilities.”
Initially established to cater for the health needs of the university community, the 100-bed hospital now caters for some 150,000 people from the university community and surrounding areas, as well as the general public.
Among the services the hospital provides are out patient care, radiography (X-ray), laboratory services, maternal care, obstetrics and gynaecology, public health and oral health.
Others are in-patient services, institutional pharmacy, ultrasound scanning, surgery, reproductive health and ambulance services.
In 2005 for instance, out patient attendance was 89,178 but the figure shot up to 90,976 in 2006.
The hospital has a vision to “make the KNUST Health Services a centre of excellence for quality health care, teaching and research.
It seeks to provide prompt attention to patients in both medical and emergency care, increasing access to medical care for 24 hours, training of housemen and residents and to serve as a training facility for KNUST students.
Even though the hospital caters for the general public, it focuses on students of the university. It has put in place a Students’ Clinic to promote the health care delivery to students.
The clinic, which was commissioned in April 2007, has facilities such as medical records room and a dispensary.
The clinic was established to address the problem of overcrowding at the main hospital, and records at the hospital indicate that the clinic, since its establishment, has been useful to the students.
One of the significant events in the life of the hospital was the inauguration of a new pharmacy in 2007. The pharmacy was established to facilitate the delivery of efficient services to patients.
It has a drug information unit which has the human and material resources to feed people in the health profession as well as patients with all the necessary information on health issues.
According to Mr Ofosu-Adjare, the hospital, which is also a service provider under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), is actively involved in the exercise.
He gave the assurance that the hospital would continue to open its doors to the people who seek efficient medical services.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

IF the extraordinary spirit demonstrated by the Black Stars in their 4-2 defeat of the Elephants of Cote d’IVoire at the Baba Yara is anything to go by, then one would rightly agree with skipper John Mensah that all is not lost for the national team as they look into the future.
The skipper says, “We need to correct the mistakes of the past and build on this team so that we face the World Cup qualifiers and other future international matches with hope”.
The Black Stars, who walked away from the 26th Africa Cup of Nations failing to achieve the much trumpeted “Host and Win” slogan, perhaps, took consolation in the fact that they recorded their biggest win in the three-week tournament, which eventually won them bronze.
Pity the Black Stars. They may have wished to have played all matches at the Baba Yara Stadium where, perhaps, their luck resided.
They never had that opportunity. But at least the 4-2 trouncing of the Elephants was a refreshing moment for the team whose highest score in a match had been two goals. Is it the question then that Kumasi had something special for the Black Stars?
Remember it was at Baba Yara that the Black Stars qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
The Black Stars failed to win the ultimate trophy, but at least what they demonstrated against the Elephants clearly showed that the future of the team looks bright if the right structures are put in place.
Officials of the Black Stars were astonished about the massive support the team received in Kumasi, which went a long way to see them through the semi-final.
For many who thought the Elephants’ 1-4 defeat to winners Egypt at the quarter final was by accident, the 2-4 loss to Ghana showed that there was a hole in the team, which any team with the right eyes would exploit.
Against Cote d’Ivoire, the Black Stars showed that they were not bereft of talent and brilliance.
Names like Sulley Ali Muntari, John Mensah and Michael Essien are already household names, but many others can come up as great stars for the nation if the right structures are put in place.
For Celta Vigo striker, Quincy Owusu-Abeyie, it was a match he would never forget.
He scored his first competitive goal for the national team, and what a way to celebrate it as he ran powerfully across the edge of the pitch to receive cheers from the crowd.
The team played above their abilities, especially in the second half where even the lightening-quick legs of Didier Drogba were almost dead.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Head of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) at the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, Reverend Emmanuel Dadebo, has disputed claims that standards of education in the country have fallen.
He said the volume of knowledge that education had produced in the Ghanaian society in the last five years was heavier than that of the previous 30 years and, therefore, it would be untenable for anyone to argue that standards had gone down.
Rev Dadebo stated this at the 2008 Ashanti Region Heads of Schools Summit in Kumasi organised by e-toys & more, a company that deals in children’s educational materials and skills development.
The summit, which attracted about 500 heads of schools or their representatives, was on the theme, “Transforming Schools Through Electronic Learning”, and it was used to discuss the importance of electronic learning in educational development.
Rev Dadebo said the process of education had changed, adding that critics must appreciate that to know the level of educational development.
“What we learnt in sixth form years ago is now introduced in class three, though in a different form and standard,” he said, and asked if that was not an improvement over the past.
Rev Dadebo pointed out that the era when students had to sit down to read volumes of pages of books was gone, with electronic learning becoming the order of the day.
The ICT head mentioned the many activities conducted outside the classroom in public schools as one of the major reasons for the discouraging performance by students of public schools, as against that of their counterparts in private schools.
He spoke against the situation where some schools sought outside support for computers, only to dump them because they could not set up electronic learning centres in the schools, and called on such schools to take advantage of the opportunities provided by e-toys & more for the establishment of such centres.
He stated that technology was not an end in itself but a means to achieving educational objectives.
The Executive Vice-President of e-toys & more, Mrs Theresa Sackey, called on school authorities to take advantage of the third international conference on ICT development, education and training, also known as E-learning Africa, which would take place in Ghana this year.
She observed that the conference would be one of Africa’s best learning events for developing electronic learning capacitors in Africa.
Mrs Sackey said e-toys more continued to upgrade its e-learning centres with powerful educational software, broad band Internet facilities, as well as e-schools administrator for effective school management.
The Ashanti Regional Inspector of Schools, Nana Kwaku Asiedu, noted the global march of ICT education and said that was why the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service had introduced ICT in the educational syllabus.
He was delighted that e-toys & more had geared its activities towards adding value to schools.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

ABOUT 15,000 Certificate “A” teachers leave the classroom each year for further studies.
The situation continues to create vacancies that are difficult to fill, which affects teaching and learning.
Professor Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw, the Vice-Chancellor of University of Education, Winneba (UEW), made this known at the matriculation of the sixth batch of students for the Diploma In Basic Education by Distance Learning, at the College of Technology Education (Kumasi Campus) of the university at the weekend.
Prof. Asabere-Ameyaw said there was the need to train an adequate number of teachers for the expanding primary sector, and added that “the teacher training universities are expected to play leading roles in this regard”.
He said more female teachers were enrolling in the Diploma by Distance Education programme at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) to enable them to better their education and contribute effectively to national development while maintaining their families at home.
This year, about 70 per cent of the 2,880 students who matriculated for the programme in the two campuses in Kumasi and Winneba were females.
The matriculants, who numbered 1,364, constituted the northern sector enrolment of the university. The northern sector comprises Atebubu, Bechem, Enchi, Kumasi, Navrongo, Tamale and Wa.
The vice-chancellor said the goal of distance education of the university was not to help students acquire certificates for enhanced salaries but to change their total outlook, commitment to duty and attitude to life.
He noted that in spite of some inherent challenges in distance learning, there were a lot of advantages to the learner and the nation at large.
For instance, he said, “you gradually increase your confidence and level of self-determination and eventually become autonomous”.
“Successful distance learning requires the ability to reflect on your learning and become a responsible and self-directed learner,” the vice-chancellor said.
He said the university had established 13 study centres throughout the country which were equipped with computers, public address systems, furniture and library books, with the assistance of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Prof. Asabere-Ameyaw said the new knowledge economy required learners who were autonomous and could transfer information to suit different goals.
He said the university was considering the travel time and expenses incurred by distance education students when they attended tutorial sessions at the various study centres in order to arrive at a good decision.
The Principal of the Kumasi Campus of the UEW, Prof. Steve Sobotie, said the campus was ready to meet the challenges and demands of the distance education programme.
He said the ongoing educational reform would succeed if more teachers were given the requisite training and added that that was what the university was doing.

Monday, February 11, 2008

AND JOHN MENSAH WEPT ....As Black Stars pick bronze (1b)

Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

AS tears flowed freely from skipper John Mensah, apparently for the Black Stars’ failure to win the ultimate prize, an ovation fit for heroes vibrated through the main bowl of the Baba Yara Sports Stadium as the national soccer team staged a splendid second half display to overcome the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire 4-2 to win the bronze medal at the 26th MTN Africa Cup of Nations.
While Mensah, who returned to action after a match suspension, would have wished to lift the coveted trophy, the fans had cause to celebrate the victory once the initial pain of the 0-1 loss to Cameroun in the semi-final had been rubbed by the massive score over the Ivorians.
Watched by some 38,000 spectators, the match brought out some fine football from both sides, and for the Black Stars in particular, who secured their biggest win in the tournament, it was a fitting reward for the fans who rooted solidly behind them even in times of difficulty.
Even while weeping, Mensah gathered some courage to lead the team to do a victory lap and say “thank you” to the fans who had turned out to support them.
French trainer, Claude Le Roy, was satisfied with the way his players played in the second half and exploded to fire in three goals after the Elephants had taken a 2-1 lead at half time.
Ghana raced into an early lead in the 10th minute when Sulley Ali Muntari, who had been fouled outside the box, elected himself for the kick. He produced a characteristic blistering left footer, the ball flying past everybody to hit the back of the net with power.
What a way to open the game, but the Ivorians had other ideas to fight back. They resorted to flighting long balls which blinded the Ghanaian back line and repeatedly the middle of the Black Stars defence flirted with trouble.
Werder Bremen striker, Boubacar Sanogo, and Chelsea’s Didier Drogba remained the biggest threat to the Ghanaians and when the defence appeared to have lost ideas, Richard Kingson’s heroics in the post manifested.
He blocked and fisted threatening balls, one of which saw Drogba embracing the agile goalie after he had denied Emerse Fae and Drogba himself in a two-fisted attack in the 30th minute.
Baffour Gyan, who paired Manuel Junior Agogo in attack for Ghana, was carried off the field following an injury on the quarter hour mark and was replaced by Quincy Owusu-Abeyie.
But it was Cote d’Ivoire whose attacks paid off.
It was in the 24th minute when Sanogo outran John Mensah from a long pass and squeezed the ball past advancing Kingson for the equaliser.
The stadium went dead silent except for the few drumming Ivorians who were heard.
The pair of Drogba and Sanogo continued the Ivorian charge, with massive support from Keita, Fae and N’dri Koffi in the middle.
Persistent pounding from the Elephants paid off again in the 32st minute when the dangerous Sanogo picked his spot well in the area to finish off an Ivorian attack, with Drogba in full attendance.
Danger loomed for the Ghanaians who needed a win baldly to appease their fans and Sanogo nearly punished them again with the third goal, but this time his shot went off the bar.
Obviously aware of the enormity of the task, the Black Stars resumed the game completely transformed and the attack, which had looked lightweight in the first half, turned heavyweight this time, while the defence sealed the holes.
The workaholic Michael Essien was all over, joining the attack with extraordinary speed and dexterity and withdrawing to tackle beautifully, while the MTN Man-of-the-Match, Anthony Annan, remained an excellent tackler and distributor of the ball.
It is not for nothing that Essien has reportedly recommended the former Hearts of Oak midfielder to Chelsea for recruitment. He was matchless in the centre and Le Roy said of him at the post match press conference, “ He is a fantastic player.”
With the Black Stars defence having virtually closed the doors to the Elephants, pressure mounted on the latter’s back line of Boka, Zoro, N’dri and Zokora, which eventually caved in on the 70th minute mark when Owusu-Abeyie scored a brilliant personal goal, outpacing the Ivorian defence to rifle the ball past Tiasse Kone in post.
The Ivorians regrouped to come into the game but lacked control and the magical touch to find a way past Paintsil, Sarpei, Mensah and Addo, who was later replaced by Barusso, following an injury.
Not ready to allow the Ghanaians to score again, coach Gerard Gili made two substitutions, pulling out the anonymous Kalou for Yao Kouassi and Keita for Yaya Toure, but the changes in no way subverted the Stars’ raids.
It was, therefore, not surprising when Agogo fetched the third goal for his side in the 80th minute, completing a brilliant move from his colleagues on the right.
But the Black Stars were not satisfied with the three goals and probed for more. Haminu Dramani produced a great goal, his first in the tournament, from some 25 yards in the 85th minute to silence some fans who had been calling for his substitution.
Asante Kotoko’s Harrison Afful was introduced into the game in the dying minutes and the Black Stars surged forward in a search for more goals, which never came, any way.
Ghana: Kingson, Paintsil, Sarpei, Addo/Barusso, Mensah, Annan, Dramani/Afful, Essien, Agogo, B. Gyan/Owusu-Abeyie, Muntari.
Cote d’Ivoire: Tiasse Kone, Boka, Zoro, Zokora, N’dri, Tiene, Fae, Kalou/Yao, Drogba, Sanogo, Keita/Yaya Toure.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, Mr Kwadwo Adjei-Darko, has called on Ghanaians not to play politics with the siting of capitals for the newly-created districts.
He stated that the government had shown enough openness in the creation of districts and siting of their capitals, and it would be untenable to play politics with it.
According to Mr Adjei-Darko, the government had nothing to hide in the siting of the district capitals. He therefore urged people in the new districts to offer the needed support to entrench decentralisation and accelerate development of the communities.
Addressing a well-attended durbar at Kodie, which has been selected as the capital of the yet-to-be inaugurated Afigya Kwabre District in the Ashanti Region, Mr Adjei-Darko said a responsible government like the Kufuor administration would always come out with policies and programmes that would raise living standards of the people.
The durbar, attended by all the chiefs in the communities of the district, afforded the minister the opportunity to explain reasons behind the creation of the district to the people. He encouraged them to unite to develop the district when it was inaugurated.
Afigya Kwabre District, which was carved out of the Kwabre and Afigya Sekyere districts, would be inaugurated alongside other new ones on February 29, 2008.
Mr Adjei-Darko called for unity in the new district so that together, they could pursue a common agenda towards its development.
He urged Ghanaians to ignore people whose only aim was to create problems in order to achieve their negative political ambitions.
The minister mentioned that the District Assemblies’ Common Fund had been increased from five to seven per cent, to accelerate the development in the districts.
Mr Adjei-Darko also stated that each district would benefit from some special projects this year.
The projects included the tarring of 15 kilometres of roads in each district as well as the sinking of 15 boreholes and also the provision of electricity to a community in each district.
Mr Adjei-Darko appealed to the people to honour their tax obligations to enable the government to generate enough revenue for development.
On the December 2008 general election, Mr Adjei-Darko advised all activists and members of the various political parties to conduct their campaigns peacefully, devoid of insults.
He condemned people who were beating war drums with regard to the elections.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr E.A. Owusu-Ansah, gave the assurance that he and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Afigya Sekyere West, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, whose constituencies were in the new district, would team up for the progress of the district.
He appealed to the chiefs to readily release land for government projects in the district capital.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumawu

THE controversy surrounding the naming of two newly-created districts in the Ashanti Region has been resolved, paving way for their inauguration later this month, the Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, Mr Kwadwo Adjei-Darko, has disclosed.
One of the districts which was originally known as Kumawu Afram Plains District, would now be called Sekyere Afram Plains District, while the other, formerlly called Nsuta-Kwaman-Beposo District is now Sekyere Central District.
Their district capitals, however, are still Kumawu for the Sekyere Afram Plains District, and Nsuta for the Sekyere Central District.
Mr Adjei-Darko who was addressing the chiefs and people of Sekyere Afram Plains District at Kumawu last Tuesday in preparation for the inauguration of the district, said it was important for the people of the new district, which was carved out of the Sekyere East District, to agree on the naming of the district.
He advised that every law relating to naming should be taken seriously by the people to help eliminate some of the problems in the system.
The minister said the request by some communities in the Atebubu District to join the Sekyere Afram Plains District because of proximity, had been rejected by the government because that would amount to redemarcating regional boundaries between the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions.
He stated that the new districts had been catered for in the Common Fund allocation for this year, to enable them to take off without much difficulties.
The new districts would also benefit from the President’s special projects for all the districts in the country.
Mr Adjei-Darko said about GH¢10,400 was being spent on scholchildren who were benefiting from the School Feeding Programe in the Sekyere East District every month.
The minister said the government was determined to increase the pace of development in even the remotest parts of the country and, therefore, called on the people to reject people who only wanted to spread false information about the government for political reasons.
The Member of Parliament for Kumawu, Mr Yaw Baah, traced the genesis of the request for a new district for the area which dated back to the PNDC era, and said it was refreshing that it was the NPP government under President Kufuor who had given them their request.
He said it was important for the people to continue to forge ahead in unity to ensure accelerated development.
The District Chief Executive for Sekyere East, Mr Philip Basoah, assured the President that the people of the new district had resolved to make land available for the various projects that the government would undertake at Kumawu.
In the interim, he said, a citizen of the town had released a four-storey building at Kumawu for use as administration block for the district assembly.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Ghana Muslim Mission in the Ashanti Region has offered its fullest support to the Minister of the Interior, Mr Kwamena Bartels, in his resolve to ensure that those whose actions and inaction led to the near collapse of the 2007 Hajj are punished.
At a news conference in Kumasi to state their position on the Hajj crisis, the mission registered its condemnation of the way the Hajj was organised and said it was important that the minister who had shown concern for the troubles the Muslims went through, was encouraged and supported to get to the bottom of the matter to prevent a recurrence.
Alhaji Musah Kofi Nuamah, the Regional Secretary of the mission, who read the press statement, praised President Kufuor for his timely intervention, following an appeal to him by the National Chief Imam. That intervention prevented what would have been a disaster for Muslims in the country with regard to the 2007 Hajj.
To ensure that future Hajj are organised devoid of the hardships, the regional secretary called for the decentralisation of Hajj operations to avoid some of the problems that continue to bedevil the event.
He said operational offices should be established in each region and staffed with salaried officers to operate under the National Hajj Committee.
Alhaji Nuamah said the regional offices could serve as information centres where prospective pilgrims could access information that would facilitate the pilgrimage.
He also stressed the need for the interim Hajj Committee, which organised the 2006 and 2007 Hajj to be made to account for their stewardship.
Again, he said the Ghana Muslim Mission would want to see a Hajj committee that was devoid of ethnicity but made up of identifiable Islamic groupings, including the mission and a representative of the government, to help put things right.
Alhaji Nuamah indicated that the Hajj Committee should not necessarily be composed of Muslims but anybody who was capable of facing the challenges.
He said that in The Gambia for instance, a Ghanaian Christian organised the pilgrimage for the Muslims and everything went on well.
Present at the news conference was Alhaji Sheikh Ibrahim Alka, Regional Imam, and Sheikh Hassan Oteng, executive member of the Ghana Muslim Mission.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE stakes are is very high, the challenge so huge, and it could be one hell of a match for two of Africa’s finest sides, Egypt and Cote d’Ivoire, as they battle for a place in the grand finale of the 26th Africa Cup of Nations at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi tonight.
There has been little talk about the match from both camps. Perhaps this is premised on the respect the combatants have for each other. They would thus prefer to strategise to outdo each other to making noise.
In what appears a re-stage of the final of the 25th Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt in 2006 when the Pharaohs triumphed via penalties, this match, which has attracted the keen attention of connoisseurs of the game, presents an opportunity for both sides to underscore their championship stuff.
It is a battle football fans, and even the uninitiated, in Kumasi had long relished, but there are fears that the Black Stars-Indomitable Lions match at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium may affect attendance in Kumasi.
The Accra match precedes the Kumasi game and many fear that no matter the outcome, it will have a negative impact on the Kumasi game.
Notwithstanding the magnitude of the situation, a gruelling encounter is expected that will bring the best out of the two teams.
All is clear that tradition will not be broken with regard to the balance of support. Egypt, who have stayed in Kumasi all this while, will definitely get the chunk of the support base in Kumasi, but the question remains whether they can capitalise on it to upstage the Ivorians.
Cote d’Ivoire have never hidden their determination to wrest the ultimate. Stupendous group and quarter-final performances that have seen them with an astonishing haul of 13 goals, with just one against, speak volumes of the level of maturity that the Elephants have developed.
Clearly, it is enough to send strong signals about their resolve to go past all opposition, and Egypt better watch out.
Arguably, the Ivorians possess the most fearsome arsenal in the tournament and not even injury to gritty defender Kolo Toure just after one match has had any telling effect on the team as they continue to protect their area and score freely.
Although Cote d’Ivoire have been firing freely, a match against the five-time African champions cannot be seen as any other match. Under the tutelage of Hassan Shehata, the Pharaohs have played a consistent attacking game, built mostly from the flanks. The coach may stick to this game plan to cut out the Elephants backline.
Indeed, the Pharaohs proved from day one that they had the capacity to defend the cup. They play the type of game that is attack-conscious and forwards Hosny Abdrabou and Amr Zaki are always dangerous in the area.
The Ivorian defence of Emmanuel Eboue, Marc Zoro, Arthur Boka and Abdoulaye Meite could this time face a rather difficult task containing the slippery Egyptians.
On the opposite side of defence, Egypt will be in the most difficult situation as the Ivorian attackers accelerate.
Shady Mohammed, Mohammed Hany, Ahmed Fathy Ibrahim and Ibrahim Emad will have to dig deep into their repertoire of strength and resilience to contain the marauding Didier Drogba, Arouna Kone, Abdul Keita and Salomon Kalou.
Drogba’s extraordinary character and leadership quality as a captain have been inspirational for the team that looks so hungry for success and when he combines the three key elements of power, pace and superb finishing skills, it could be another fine night for his team.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE National House of Chiefs (NHC) is set to implement a front-line HIV/AIDS project aimed at building a preventive community culture in all the 139 traditional areas of the country, with the aim of curtailing the spread of the disease.
Dubbed, “Traditional Authorities in National HIV/AIDS Initiative, Traditional Leaders’ Version of District Response Initiative”, the project, to be launched in Kumasi on March 11, this year, seeks to integrate all preventable health diseases into the entire project.
One significant aspect of the project is that the traditional authorities would move away from the workshop approach to a more practical project development and implementation management.
The house will launch a “weaning development fund” to be known as the National House of Chiefs’ HIV/AIDS Fund to support the implementation.
At a news conference in Kumasi to launch the programme of action towards the launch of the project on March 11, this year, the President of the House, Odeneho Gyapong Ababio II, said as the apex body representing the interest and future of the chieftaincy institution nationally, the NHC had a duty to contribute meaningfully to the fight against the disease, which was threatening mankind.
He noted the broad nature of chieftaincy in the country and said, “we believe if we join all stakeholders in educating our people on the danger the disease poses, we are likely to succeed”.
Odeneho Ababio noted with concern the rate at which many children were being orphaned by HIV/AIDS, a situation which had a telling effect on their future and said, this was a challenge to the chiefs to go the extra mile to help change the situation for the better.
Elaborating on the fund to be instituted by the house to manage the project, the NHC President said the various traditional councils would be expected to establish their own HIV/AIDS health fund as a pre-condition to benefiting from NHC’s central funding.
“By this, the NHC Fund will serve as a complementary source to build the capacity of the traditional councils to sustain the initiative”, he said.
He called for support from the government, the private sector, NGOs and the house’s development partners to enable the project become a success.
The consultant to the project, Mr Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo, noted that the absence of a common project framework for HIV/AIDS/ and health interventions by the house had left the regional houses of chiefs and traditional councils without any definite system of implementing, managing and co-ordinating HIV/AIDS/ and health programmes in the country.
This, he noted, had not helped in drawing the entire chieftaincy institution into the national HIV/AIDS/health crusade and, therefore, expressed the hope that the new project would help bring sanity into the system.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire arrived in Kumasi yesterday brimming with confidence ahead of their semi-final clash against the Pharaohs of Egypt at the Baba Yara Stadium tomorrow.
The Ivorians were based in Sekondi for their Group B matches and excelled by topping the group and going ahead to overcome Guinea in the quarter-finals.
They plunged into a serious training session at the Wesley College Park yesterday afternoon to fine-tune their game plan for the showdown against Egypt which will be a repeat of the 2006 Nations Cup final which the Pharaohs won on penalties.
All their players were in high spirits ready to do battle for their nation and themselves.
Egypt, on the other hand, are leaving nothing to chance, ready to make the best out of their Kumasi base with qualification to the grand finale.
Fans in Kumasi are expecting a high standard game looking at the pedigree of the two teams.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

ONE hundred and ninety-eight people were killed in accidents in the Ashanti Region in 2007, a reduction over the previous year’s number of 408.
Besides, 1,891 people were injured as against 1,227 within the same period.
The Ashanti Regional Co-ordinator of the National Road Safety Commission, Mr Kwaku Oware-Boateng, told the Daily Graphic that, even though the reduction in fatality rate seemed significant, it was nevertheless better for the nation as every single soul lost in an accident was a big blow to national development.
He said in all, 2,857 vehicles were involved in accidents in the region last year as against 1,311 in 2006.
Mr Oware-Boateng said over the last year, his outfit embarked on a number of road safety activities, which went a long way to reduce accidents on the roads.
He commended all persons and organisations that contributed to bring the rate of accidents down, and expressed the hope that all stakeholders would continue to play their roles effectively.
The co-ordinator urged passengers to be bold to prompt speeding drivers to slow down because a greater percentage of accidents were caused by human errors.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Tepa

WITHOUT any shred of doubt, the Ahafo Ano North District is one of the districts in the Ashanti Region that has seen some significant development since the inception of the decentralisation programme in the eighties.
Decentralisation has enabled the people to determine their priority development projects and initiate strategies to execute them.
But to any close observer who has followed the progress of the district over the years, there is no problem identifying the last three years as the period that has seen the best part of the district's development process.
That was the period the district assembly launched the integrated development approach. Stakeholders, technocrats, chiefs, civil society and ordinary people were actively involved in pursuing the right policies that would accelerate the progress made.
The integrated development approach was the initiative of the District Chief Executive (DCE), Nana Eric Agyemang Prempeh, who had then assumed office.
Nana Prempeh was to spearhead the activities of the district in 2005, at a time the Ahafo Ano North District was confronted with increasing challenges in various aspects of development — health, education, sanitation, agriculture and youth employment, among others.
Through the integrated approach, however, many significant achievements have been made in line with the objectives and priorities of the national development agenda.
A number of projects started by the immediate past DCE, Mr Akwasi Adu Poku, were completed. They include a six-unit classroom block for the Tepa Roman Catholic Primary School, a three-unit classroom block for Achiakrom Primary School, a six-unit classroom block for Anyinasuso Primary School, 29 boreholes in different communities and the Tepa sports stadium project.
One other area of development that has been effectively tackled using the integrated approach is the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP).
Under the programme, 331 out of the 600 unemployed youth earmarked in the Medium Term Development Plan, have secured employment. Out of the number, 75 have been engaged in Health Extension Training, 131 in Rural Education as Teaching Assistants, 35 in Waste and Sanitation and 250 in Youth in Agriculture.
Realising that education is the key to development, the authorities of the district have been directing a chunk of its budgetary allocation to that sector.
Some of the educational facilities that have been constructed or rehabilitated in the last three years include a teacher’s quarters and KVIP public place of convenience at Abonsuaso at a cost of GH¢26,000, a three-unit classroom block at Anyinasuso Presbyterian Primary School at a cost of GH¢39,000 a six-unit classroom block and an ancillary for the Tepa Model School at a cost of GH¢75,000 and the completion of a six-unit classroom block for the Tepa Senior High School at a cost of GH ¢76,000.
Some of the school buildings were also put up at Krakosua and Akwasiase.
Bearing in mind that the health of the people determines to a large extent the development of a community, the assembly has, in line with the government’s policy, taken upon itself to sponsor nurse trainees in various health institutions.
Since it is unthinkable to construct health facilities without complementary health workers to manage them, the assembly has over the years sponsored nurses and midwives to beef up the staff capacity of the district.
Under the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), 75 ward assistants have been trained and posted to the various communities of the district as a measure of making health care accessible to the rural people.
The assembly has been offering practical support for malaria, polio immunisation and HIV/AIDS programmes.
Other significant projects executed by the assembly within the last two years include the construction of staff quarters for Asuhyiae Health Centre, re-roofing of the main ward of the Tepa District Hospital, construction of nurses quarters at Asuhyiae and a Health Centre Annex at Manfo Grotto.
Agriculture is yet another area that has seen strides. Since the district is basically an agrarian area, the assembly has collaborated with other stakeholders to assist farmers to expand their farms.
For the past two years, the assembly in collaboration with some financial institutions, has been providing the farmers with soft loans not only to expand their farms, but also to adapt to modern agricultural practices.
The government’s mass cocoa spraying exercise in the district has also significantly increased cocoa yield.
As water and sanitation are crucial to quality health of the people, the Ahafo Ano North District Assembly has sunk a number of hand-dug wells fitted with pumps under the Community Water and Sanitation Agency.
Sixty-four communities in the district can boast of 105 boreholes while 114 of the communities have also been provided with 114 hand-dug wells.
As a result of population increase, many communities in the district are still in need of more boreholes and hand-dug wells. As a measure of finding a lasting solution to the perennial water shortage in the district, especially at Akwasiase and Mabang, a Small Town Water Project has been initiated through the efforts of the DCE.
The general sanitation of the district over the past two years has seen steady improvement as a result of the effective collaboration between the assembly and Zoomlion Ghana Limited, a private waste management company. Tricycles are available at vantage points for the proper disposal of solid waste while waste disposal sites have also improved significantly in the district.
The poor nature of roads in the district seriously hinders the development of the area. Currently, only 57 kilometres of the total road network in the district is motorable. Movement of people and haulage of goods become difficult, especially during the wet season, a situation that affects investment in the district.
In spite of the challenges, the assembly is making efforts to improve the deplorable roads in the district. It has acquired its own grader for the regular maintenance of its roads.
Rural electrification, justice and security and political development are some of the other areas that have also experienced much progress in the area.
Notwithstanding the marked progress achieved in the district, a lot more must be done to speed up the development of the area. The assembly must strive to increase its revenue base from local sources to complement the efforts of the government and other development partners in order to provide the district with more infrastructure facilities to raise the quality of life of the people.

Friday, February 1, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE executive body of the Kwadaso Constituency of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has thrown its weight behind the sitting Member of Parliament, Mrs Josephine Hilda Addo, on her decision to seek re-election as the party’s parliamentary candidate for the constituency.
Just after the MP had presented 100 bags of cement towards the construction of a youth retreat centre initiated by the Grace Chapel Assemblies of God Church at Kwadaso, the executive told the Daily Graphic that the three-year period of Mrs Addo as MP had brought tremendous progress to the constituency and it was important for her to be allowed to continue with the good work.
The vice-chairman of the constituency, Mr Dominic Oppong Ntim, said from education to health, agriculture, water and road development, the MP had excelled.
He stated that the constituency could not afford to lose the MP and therefore encouraged her to pursue her ambition to retain the seat.
Mr Ntim expressed the hope that the rank and file of the party would support the MP in her quest to fight for more development for Kwadaso.
Ms Florence Saahene, the constituency women’s organiser, also told this paper that the exemplary leadership of Mrs Addo was a plus for women of the constituency.
She said women had a crucial role to play in national development and anyone of them with the right qualities, who wanted to aspire to higher political office should be encouraged to do so.
Ms Saahene said the NDC would be whipped seriously in the December elections at Kwadaso as the people would root behind Nana Akufo-Addo and Mrs Addo.
The constituency organiser, Mr Akwasi Owusu, said the constituency had benefited immensely from the National Youth Employment Programme and that today a number of the youth who were roaming about without any work were gainfully employed.
For their part, Mr Prince Asamoa, the assistant secretary, and the youth organiser, George Owusu-Boateng, emphasised the fact that Ghanaians were wide awake politically and that the electorate would be looking for people with the requisite qualifications to vote into political office.


Story: Kwame Asiedu Marfo, Takoradi

The Sekondi Takoradi Venue Organising Committee (STVOC) has apologised to journalists in the Western Region for the lapses in the issuing of accreditation and passes for matches of the Africa Cup of Nations tournament at the Sekondi Stadium.
The Chairman of STVOC, Nana Kobina Nketsia, who rendered the apology at a press conference in Takoradi, explained that the issuing of press accreditations, and distribution of tickets for sale were centralised at the Local Organising Committee (LOC) Secretariat in Accra.
“We were not directly in control of the tickets,” he said, adding that “the plans for the sale of the tickets were not what went on, maybe something went wrong”.
Nana Kobina Nketsia, who is also the Paramount Chief of Essikado Traditional Area, stressed that decentralisation was a real Ghanaian problem, saying that “we don’t want to decentralise”.
“Let’s hope that the LOC in Accra would solve this problem,” he said.
He commended journalists in the region for being supportive and constructive in their reportage.
He said some radio stations in Takoradi played jingles of the tournament regularly without charging a fee.
Responding to a question, Nana Kobina Nketsia said the STVOC was informed that accreditation for journalists with the print media was being dealt with by their respective head offices in Accra.
Mr Thomas Bosu-Adekpo of the Network Herald noted that in forming the committee, various interests were taken into consideration, but the press was not represented on the STVOC.
Also, he said, soccer enthusiasts who were eager to buy tickets for matches did not get the tickets, but some tickets were seen being sold near the Takoradi Central Market at exorbitant prices.
Mr Umaru Sanda of Twin-City Radio complained about some journalists being denied facilities at the stadium.