Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kotoko-Etoile cliffhanger Saturday...CAF CUP DREAM NOT YET OVER (GRAPHIC SPORTS, BACK PAGE)

KUMASI Asante Kotoko were left to reflect on their horrible away performance once again when they went down 0-2 to JS Kabylie, a club they had beaten 3-1 a week earlier.
On Saturday they have to convince themselves, and indeed their legion following, that the CAF Confederation Cup dream is not over yet for them.
When they face up against Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel in the penultimate group game at the Baba Yara Stadium, the temptation is for the pessimists to dismiss the chances of the Ghanaian side as grim, but the ability to negotiate the sharp curve is not beyond the reach of Kotoko.
Needless to comment, the match will be a thriller, with Kotoko determined to go for as many goals as possible while Etoile attempt to gain at least a draw to give them a cushion for a berth in the final.
But it appears Kotoko will be the hungrier of the two as pressure mounts on them from their impatient fans to perform.
Kotoko’s management are taking the match very seriously and have therefore reduced the rates to entice a bigger crowd to cheer the team on to victory.
Etoile, who beat Asante Kotoko 2-0 in the first leg in Sousse, will be content to settle for at least a draw, but Kotoko, looking for a rebound from the first defeat, can never compromise.
Etoile’s Nigerian striker, Emeka Okpara, who fetched the two goals in Sousse is available for the Kumasi game and could provide a sterner test for the home defence.
It remains a fact that the Tunisian side are one of the glamorous sides in Africa but presently they do not look like the dreadful side of the past.
Like the other sides in the group, Etoile have been found wanting away and there is the likelihood that they will fall once again.
But it would be extremely foolish to dismiss the Tunisians champions, for they have the strength and talent to fire on all angles.
Victory may not be beyond the reach of Kotoko, but the question is their ability to win heavily as teams keep winning their home matches.
Their Achilles Heels has been the succession of wasteful chances, some of which are very difficult to believe.
Kotoko’s shortcomings at the back were laid bare in the dying minutes of the game against JSK when they sat back for the visitors to fetch a goal with only seconds to go. On account of this, coach Bashir Hayford has the huge task of crafting a back line that could hold their won against any threat from the Etoile attack.
A back four of Inkoom, Osei Kwame, Ofosu Appiah and Daniel Nii Adjei should be strong enough to ward off any threat.
They will also need the services of the likes of Osei Kuffour, Eric Bekoe and Jordan Opoku to exert the needed pressure on the Etoile attack.
Nothing but a very good win can bring hope to the Kotoko family and, indeed the entire Ghanaian football public, as the Porcupinr warriors remains the only hope for continental glory this year.
THE Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has challenged the Electoral Commission (EC) and the political parties to avoid acts that will compromise the peace of the nation.
Opening the GBA’s 2008/2009 National Conference in Kumasi yesterday, the acting President of the association, Mr Benson Nutsukpui, said electoral disputes in parts of the continent had resulted in the infamous power-sharing syndrome which Ghana was not ready for.
He, therefore, advised that in the event of any electoral disputes, the bench must be ready to act on them with dispatch.
He was speaking moments after his appointment as the acting president following the sudden resignation of Nii Osah Mills as President of the association.
Members of the association had planned to impeach Nii Mills at the congress but he tendered his resignation about 8.00 p.m. on Sunday.
Sources close to the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting where Nii Mills announced his resignation, citing personal reasons, said there had been a heated argument between Nii Mills and some of his colleagues over a statement he had made to the effect that the former GNPC boss, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, did not get a fair trial.
A quick decision was then arrived at for Mr Nutsukpui, who is the Vice-President of the GBA, to act as president of the association for the opening of the conference.
Referring to the resignation of Nii Mills, the acting president said it would in no way break the front of the association.
He said even though there had been improvement in the judiciary, there was still more to do to bring standards to acceptable levels.
He said, for instance, that there was the need to address the deplorable conditions in the courtrooms and also tackle the malfunctioning automated systems.
The three-day conference is on the theme, “The legal profession in a globalised world”.
Opening the conference, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, said Ghana was on the threshold of a major election to test its democratic principles, adding that lawyers had a crucial role to play in that.
He listed a number of reasons that had promoted globalisation and said the legal profession in Ghana could be better off if it joined the chorus.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu noted the pressure on the courts to deal with the numerous cases and said that was why the traditional system of adjudication must be encouraged, stressing, “Under customary law and usage, there are a lot of benefits in the adjudicating system.”
The Asantehene advised the judiciary to be fearless and continue to administer justice with all fairness.
The Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, stated that developing the legal profession to internationally accepted standards would enhance the international respectability of the profession in Ghana.
“It will also reinforce the competitive advantage of Ghanaian lawyers in terms of their employability and engagement,” she said.
Mrs Justice Wood said it was, therefore, important to see the profession projecting itself in that direction through awareness creation and information sharing.
The Chief Justice pointed out that the “one-man legal practice” which was common in Ghana was outmoded and called for the need for lawyers to adapt to changing trends which had made it possible for networking in the legal profession.
She promised to continue with reforms in the judiciary which she started on assumption of office in 2007.
Mrs Justice Wood announced that a team from the International Relations Section of the US Federal Judicial Centre was in the country to help build the capacity of a core group of judges as trainers in judicial case management, including electronic case management.
She urged the bar to design strategies that would compel lawyers to render pro-bono legal services to poor indigent litigants.
The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Joe Ghartey, urged members of the bar and the bench to prepare themselves adequately for the oil and gas industry.
He said already five lawyers from the Attorney-General’s Department had been sent abroad for Masters degree programmes in oil and gas.
Mr Ghartey indicated that from the turbulent days of military dictatorship, the courts had now asserted their independence and so it was important for the people to have confidence in them.
Other speakers at the ceremony were the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr E.A. Owusu-Ansah, himself a member of the GBA, and the Ashanti Regional President of the GBA, Mr Anthony Osei-Poku.
Earlier, a member of the GBA, Mr Kwaku Ansa-Asare, had condemned the remarks made by Nii Mills in the media that suggested that Mr Tsatsu Tsikata had not been given a fair trial.
According to Mr Ansa-Asare, “It is improper for anyone, anybody or authority to comment on judicial proceedings in matters that are presently pending before the court,” adding that Nii Mills’s comments were sub judice.
In a letter Mr Ansa-Asare wrote to Nii Mills, he said Mr Tsikata had been tried at first instance and that Tsikata had appealed against his conviction and sentence and noted that Mr Tsikata’s appeal was still pending.
He also copied members of the Bar Council and Mr T. N. Ward Brew, the President of the Bar Association of Ghana and flag bearer of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP).
“Your action is, in fact, an attempt to pre-empt the Court of Appeal in making a decision,” Mr Ansa-Asare stated, adding that until the Court of Appeal had pronounced on the matter, it was improper for any person to make statements on the matter, more so in the media.” he said.
He reminded Nii Mills that he was “in a special and very enviable position which places a lot of responsibilities on him”.
“You are also a member of the Judicial Council and the General Legal Council. In all these capacities, public pronouncements made must necessarily, therefore, have a significant impact,” he added.
Mr Ansa-Asare stated that Tsikata’s trial and conviction had not only become sensitive but also highly political.
“It was, therefore, unfortunate that you, speaking in your capacity as the National President of the GBA, should have made such a highly volatile pronouncement and thereby involved the association,” he stated.
Mr Ansa-Asare explained that while he did not suggest that judges were infallible and above criticisms, he thought the Appeals Court was established because of the infallibility of judges, who were also human beings.
“Until an appeal has been heard and a final decision given, so that all proceedings in court have come to an end, it is inappropriate to make pronouncements on the merits of the case outside of the courts, as you have done,” he added.
He went on further to state that that was an elementary principle of law, stressing that “as the president of the bar, you should have known better. And for letting the bar down, you should be roundly condemned”.
Mr Ansa-Asare said the bar, as a body, had a reputation which should not be compromised, adding that the dignity of the court should be upheld at all times, irrespective of the status or the station in life of the person involved.
“No one should give the impression that there are two sets of laws, one for lawyers and the other for non-lawyers,” he said.

Monday, September 29, 2008

GBA MEETS IN KUMASI...Amidst threat to its president (PAGE 55)

THE Ghana Bar Association (GBA) holds its annual national conference in Kumasi tomorrow, amidst rising tension following a text message received by the president of the association, Nii Osah Mills, advising him to stay away because of a statement he made condemning the incarceration of Mr Tsastu Tsikata by the Accra Fast Track High Court.
However, the Ashanti Regional President of the association, Mr Osei Poku, has assuaged any fears, saying “I have assured our president that he is safe in Kumasi and that there will never be anything like physical attack on his person, especially when the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, would be in attendance”.
“But as to the comments he made, some members are not happy and they may express their feelings at the congress,” Mr Osei Poku, who is also a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the GBA, told the Daily Graphic yesterday.
Mr Osei Poku confirmed that the national president indeed received the text message, which read, “Note that you are not welcome in Kumasi. Stay out of the congress. Tender your resignation. You are a complete disaster. Withdraw your nomination”.
Nii Osah Mills, who is seeking a second term in office, was the only candidate to file his nomination for the presidency of the association.
When the Daily Graphic called him on phone at about 11.30 a.m. yesterday, he said he was on his way to Kumasi and that he could not make any statement concerning the issue.
Explaining the genesis of the matter, Mr Osei Poku said, their president called a national executive meeting at which he read out a statement from the Free Tsastu Movement, a group campaigning for the release of the former Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) boss, to the association inviting them to issue a statement on Mr Tsikata’s imprisonment.
The Ashanti GBA president said the general consensus was that a statement in whatever form was not necessary because the matter was still in court.
Mr Osei Poku stated that what was agreed at the meeting was that the association would visit Mr Tsikata in prison and also propose to put a lawyer at his disposal, if he wanted.
This was because the state in which Mr Tsikata found himself was not good for him to continue to represent himself in court.
“We were therefore surprised that our national president opened his mouth very wide on the issue by saying that the association was not happy about the ruling given by the High Court, which put Tsikata in jail”.
“Mr Tsikata is our learned colleague and we sympathise with his situation but as to whether the process that put him in jail was good or bad that is left with the law to decide,” he said.
Mr Osei Poku said the laws of Ghana had made available processes to challenge court decisions and it would be out of place for the GBA, which was expected to know better, to condemn a decision of the court in public.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


A LECTURER at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr Abdul-Kabir, has stated that Muslims deserve every support to enable them to celebrate the holy event of Eid-ul-Adha.
He said as a Muslim, he cherished the importance the religion played in national development and would continue to work towards the progress of the religion.
Dr Abdul-Kabir, popularly known as Dr Bala, who is also the New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary aspirant for Asawasi Constituency in Kumasi, said this when he donated a number of items to Muslims in the constituency in preparation for the celebration of Eid-ul-Adha.
The items included 100 bags of rice, 20 boxes of cooking oil and 200 benches. The items would be distributed through the various mosques in the area.
Dr Abdul-Kabir urged Muslims to continue to offer the maximum support to the government to enable it to improve conditions in the zongos.
He emphasised that the NPP government had performed creditably to deserve another term in office via the December 7 general election and therefore urged Muslims to be wary of people who would want to adopt all manner of tricks to deceive them.
Dr Abdul-Kabir also promised to change the development fortunes of Asawasi, if he was elected the Member of Parliament (MP) in the December 7 election.
A well-known and respected personality in Asawasi, Dr Abdul-Kabir called on Muslims to put their political affiliations behind and unite to develop their communities.
He challenged the people to take education seriously, saying the various initiatives like the Capitation Grant and the School Feeding Programme were important programmes that Muslims must take advantage of.

Friday, September 26, 2008


GRIEF-stricken residents of Asante-Akim Agogo and other mourners, including the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flag bearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, yesterday poured out in their numbers in red and black to mourn Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu.
The most pathetic sight, however, was the late minister’s 90-year-old ailing mother, Madam Yaa Tiape.
Unable to hold back her tears, the old lady told the Daily Graphic in Twi, "Na meretwen se mewu na Kwadwo asie me," literally meaning, "I expected Kwadwo to bury me when I die."
As she struggled to speak, Madam Tiape, who suffered a stroke about two years ago, asked, "Dee m'anyini aduru yi aden nti na mesie me ba?" meaning, "At my age, why should I be the one to bury my child?”
Family members and other sympathisers who had gathered round the old lady could not help but shed uncontrollable tears.
She said Mr Baah-Wiredu had visited her on September 10 and informed her that he was travelling and that he would be back very soon. However, just as she was about to have her meals last Wednesday, she had a message that her son was.
Mr Baah-Wiredu was the sixth of Madam Tiape’s 11 children, three of whom, including Mr Baah-Wiredu, are deceased.
Yesterday it was as if Agogo was under siege. From the entrance of the town to the area in front of the palace, the young and old wore the traditional mourning colours of black and red.
They wailed and sang dirges in typical Ashanti tradition and custom.
Some drivers moved their vehicles around carelessly and the policemen who were deployed in the town had a hectic time controlling them.
Many mourners also held posters of the man who was to contest the Asante-Akim North parliamentary seat on the ticket of the NPP.
The Omanhene of the area, Nana Akuoko Sarpong, was out of town but the other members of the traditional council were in full attendance.
The Akwamuhene of the traditional area, Nana Kwame Boamah, who acted in the absence of the Omanhene, said the traditional council was shocked by the death of Mr Baah-Wiredu.
He told the Daily Graphic that the council would surely give the late minister a befitting funeral.
Nana Akufo-Addo, who was in the middle of his campaign at Sefwi Wiawso in the Western Region, suspended the campaign and moved to Agogo to express his condolences to the late minister’s family.
Nana Akufo-Addo, who was in black attire, was visibly sad and in a pensive mood.
From Konongo to Agogo, women and children lined up the road wailing as Nana Akufo-Addo's convoy passed by.
In line with custom, he was welcomed at the Agogo Palace by the Akwamuhene, Nana Kwame Boamah.
Nana Akufo-Addo presented drinks, in line with custom, to the bereaved family and also went to Mr Baah-Wiredu’s family house to console his mother, Madam Tiape.
NPP party stalwarts who accompanied Nana Akufo-Addo to Agogo included the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr E. A. Owusu Ansah, and his deputy, Mr Osei Assibey Antwi.
Others were Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, the NPP Chairman, Mr Peter Mac Manu, Mr Alan Kyerematen, Mr Kwabena Agyepong, Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng and Mr A. E. Amoah, the Western Regional Minister.
Nana Kwame Boamah said Mr Baah-Wiredu was a royal of the Agogo Stool and that his effective contribution to President Kufuor's administration did not bring fame to only Agogo but the entire Ashanti Akyem area.
Meanwhile, Akwasi Ampratwum-Mensah reports from Sunyani that a number of people in the Brong Ahafo Region have expressed their sentiments about Mr Baah-Wiredu’s death.
They said his death was not only shocking but also a blow to Ghana as a whole, his family, the NPP and his friends in particular.
Many people who spoke to the Daily Graphic on expressed their profound sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family, the government and the NPP.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, described Mr Baah-Wiredu’s death as pathetic, saying that Ghana had lost a gem, a man who was dedicated to his work for his constituency and the nation.
“Hardly do we meet people so diligent and dedicated to their work schedules like Mr Baah-Wiredu, who was a brilliant political gentleman,” he said.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr John Owusu-Agyeman, who is also a legal practitioner at Techiman, said on telephone that the “sudden and surprise death of the former minister is a big blow to Ghana and the nation has lost a great son”.
He said Mr Baah-Wiredu worked very hard for the country as the Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, Education, Science and Sports and, until his demise, Finance and Economic Planning, adding that he was a complete gentleman in his entire demeanour, speech and interaction with people.
According to the NDC regional chairman, Mr Baah-Wiredu was so simple that if someone did not identify him, it was difficult to make him out in public, pointing out that he was one of the most respected people in the NPP and that his death should unite Ghanaians.
The Assembly Member for the Akokora Kwadwo Electoral Area, Mr Stephen Kwabena Agyekum, noted that with only a few months to the general election, Mr Baah-Wiredu death was, indeed, a shock.
The 1997 Brong Ahafo Regional Best Fish Farmer, Mr Amosah Asare, said, “If I say Mr Baah-Wiredu’s death does not pain me, I will be telling a lie,” adding that at a recent workshop in Kumasi for fish farmers, the late minister had given the assurance that those farmers were going to be provided with a credit facility with the view to boosting fish production in the country, adding that with his demise, things would be difficult.
Mr Stephen Yankyera, an NPP activist, said “Obrempong Atutu”, meaning a great man had fallen.
Mr Charles Obeng, a member of staff of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in Sunyani pointed out that both the NPP and the nation had lost an asset and a legacy and wished that the Almighty God would give Mr Baah-Wiredu a good rest.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


THE New Patriotic Party (NPP) yesterday took another phenomenal step in its quest to retain political power with the launch of its Election 2008 manifesto, which its flag bearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, described as “a document that will move Ghana into a First World status”.
Launching the 64-page manifesto, which is titled, “Moving Ghana Forward - Building a Modern Ghana”, Nana Akufo-Addo said there was no party with a credible programme of managing the country like the NPP.
“Our goal is not a middle-income status but to get to the First World so that we join the others with dignity and pride,” he said to thunderous cheers from party faithful who had gathered at "Dwabrem" or the Centre for National Culture (CNC), Kumasi, where the event took place.
Thousands of other party faithful who could not get entry into the venue watched the event on giant television screens mounted at some locations within the spacious CNC.
The document is in five chapters. Chapter One is titled, "Achievements — A Promise Delivered", while Chapter Two has the title, "Strengthening Our Democracy".
Chapter Three is on the title, “Structural Transformation of the Economy”, with Chapter Four being titled, “Modernising Our Society”, while Chapter Five has the title, “Regional and Continental Integration”.
Nana Akufo-Addo wrote the foreword to the manifesto, while the Chairman of the party, Mr Peter Mac Manu, wrote the introduction.
The Vice-President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama; the running mate to Nana Akufo-Addo, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia; the party’s founders, Ministers of State, NPP Members of Parliament and other leading members of the party were present at the launch.
The enthusiastic party supporters responded in unison and sang the “Go, go, go high” chorus as female gospel musician, Philippa Baafi, sang at the ceremony just before Nana Akufo-Addo mounted the podium to deliver his address.
The presidential aspirant, who traced the political developments leading to the birth of the Fourth Republic, said the road had been long and tortuous.
"However, the sacrifices of many people alive and dead have led us as a nation to accept democratic governance as the best form of governance for the nation," he said.
As the nation prepares for the elections, Nana Akufo-Addo reiterated the need for peace, saying that there was no need for the blood of a single Ghanaian to be shed in the name of the elections.
He said in the free and fair elections which everyone expected in December, there would be only one winner – the Ghanaian.
Nana Akufo-Addo stated that the NPP inherited a nation whose economy was virtually dead, yet President Kufuor had, through hard work, led the government to initiate pragmatic economic policies that had brought hope to the people.
On education, he said the free basic education had led to a 30 per cent increase in enrolment at the primary level within the last three years, adding that significantly 50 per cent of the enrolment was in the three northern regions.
Nana Akufo-Addo also touched on developments in health, infrastructure and other areas and said those were clear pieces of evidence that the NPP government had delivered on its promises and, therefore, deserved re-election.
The presidential aspirant said with those achievements, what was left was the need to tackle the great issues of the future, which his presidency was ready to address.
For instance, he said, the nation could not continue to be a raw material economy in the 21st century.
"We have to industrialise our nation and move away from being dependent on foreign finished products," he noted.
In all that, he noted, education held the key, explaining why he had promised free compulsory senior high school education if elected President.
Nana Akufo-Addo said Ghana could take advantage of the large West African market if it moved into industrialisation.
He commended the manifesto committee for doing a good work.
Alhaji Mahama noted that Nana Akufo-Addo had brought new energy to the party, adding that from all indications the party was poised for total victory in December.
He said the NPP had proved to be the party of the people and, therefore, urged the people to vote massively for Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP in December.
Mr Mac Manu, for his part, said Ghana had earned international respect under President Kufuor and that Nana Akufo-Addo was ready to add to it as the next President.
He stated that the NDC or any other opposition party did not deserve to govern the country because it would draw back the nation's progress.
Presentations on the thematic areas of the manifesto were made by various speakers, including Mr Alan Kyerematen, a former Minister of Trade, Industry, President’s Special Initiatives (PSIs) and Private Sector Development (PSD); Mr Boakye Agyarko, a former Vice-President of the Bank of New York; Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry, PSI and PSD, and Mr Mustapha Hamid, the Spokesman for Nana Akufo-Addo.
Commenting on the manifesto in an interview with the Daily Graphic, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, said it would surely bring hope to the people of Ghana.
He said the NPP had shown once again that it had the plans to further turn the economy around.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

CAF Confederation Cup blues...WHITHER KOTOKO DRIFTING?

POOR away record has sent Kumasi Asante Kotoko back to bottom placing in Group B of the CAF Confederation Cup just a week after claiming top position. Consequently, fans are demanding a proactive direction that would see the club address the abysmal away showing.
"This is not a typical Asante Kotoko team", a furious supporter of the club at Asuoyeboa in Kumasi yelled out just after the club was beaten 2-0 by J.S. Kabylie in Titi Ouzou, Algeria last Sunday.
Indeed an anticipated city-wide celebration in Kumasi could not materialise, and many thought there was something amiss in the team.
The Porcupine Warriors are traditional fighters but the poor away record they have exhibited in Africa this year raises serious questions about their ability to hold their own against the North Africa threat to the ultimate.
Like the other teams in the group, Kotoko have lost all away matches, but the impatient fans are not ready to accept another loss as the competition goes to the home stretch.
As they brood over the loss to J.S Kabylie, a side Kotoko beat 3-1 in Kumasi just a week ago, some of the fans urged the technical body to seriously find an antidote to the away scare as soon as possible before they enter the last group match.
This means Kotoko must make good use of their next home game against Etoile du Sahel in Kumasi by going in for as many goals as possible to put them in a better position for qualification for the final.
From far away Algeria, club director of Operations, Mr George Amoako, told a radio station in Kumasi that, Kotoko should not have lost the match because the balance of play was 50-50
He, however, blamed the referee for showing bias against Kotoko by awarding a dubious penalty that resulted in the first goal.
Regrettably, they go into the next game with Etoile du Sahel minus forceful striker, Kojo Poku who was red-carded in the second half of the game with JSK.

FREKO FD ...Six years of Kejetia bus terminal (PAGE 29)

SIX years of entrusting the management of the vast Kejetia Transport Terminal, which is considered to be the biggest in West Africa, into private hands has resulted in phenomenal success.
Freko FD Limited, the manager, has also succeeded in introducing modernity into the running of the terminal.
An estimated 600,000 people pass through the Kejetia terminal daily and one can imagine the pressure on the management to adopt effective measures to keep the area running in line with modern trends.
When the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), decided to privatise the management of the terminal six years ago, some pessimists predicted doom for the whole exercise.
The sceptics advanced all manner of arguments to back their prediction. One of them, which looked interesting and difficult to understand, was that the company which had won the bid for the management of the terminal, Freko-FD Enterprise Limited, was headed by a woman and that a woman was incapable of managing a difficult area such as Kejetia effectively.
However, Freko-FD Limited has proved the sceptics wrong by effectively bringing sanity to the otherwise troublesome area.
Today, law and order reign at Kejetia, to the satisfaction of drivers, passengers and the thousands of people who use the terminal every day
The Government of Ghana, under the Urban II Project, funded the redevelopment of the Kejetia Transport Terminal, with assistance from the World Bank, under the supervision of the Department of Urban Roads.
It brought major positive changes to the once dirty and muddy terminal and it was just right that the KMA decided to entrust its management to a private company, in order to reap maximum benefits from the facility.
The decision by KMA in 2001 to privatise the management of the facility was premised on a number of factors, including the optimisation of the operations of the area, with emphasis on effective vehicular management, the implementation of prudent managerial practices, the maximisation of revenue and the effective maintenance of the facility to befit the status of Kumasi as the second biggest city in Ghana.
An agreement signed between Freko-FD Limited and the KMA provided that the company employ all the necessary and appropriate measures to ensure the security and comfort of passengers and other users of the facility, conduct periodic maintenance of the facility and protect the investment of the owners.
Freko-FD was expected to apply marketing techniques to attract commercial vehicle operators and travellers, with the view to increasing patronage of the facility.
Besides, the managers of the terminal were to employ qualified staff to take charge of various services, especially in the area of toll collection on a 24-hour basis as a way of maximising revenue from the use of the terminal.
As part of its responsibilities, the company insisted that vehicles operating from the terminal abide by KMA’s bye-laws and all road traffic regulations.
Measures were put in place to ensure legitimate means of entry and departure from the terminal, as well as putting restrictions on unauthorised parking.
Freko-FD’s managerial capabilities have been so evident, as it has operated within the dictates of the agreement with the KMA.
When the company took over the terminal, not every part of the facility had been renovated, yet it managed to pay the full concessionary fee of GH¢10,574.83 and a royalty of GH¢1,000 to the KMA in the first two months of operation.
One of the major benefits accruing from the privatisation of the management of the terminal has been the move by Freko-FD to complement the government’s efforts at addressing the unemployment challenges facing the youth of the metropolis.
From an initial workforce of 97, the company presently employs 223 people who are paid reasonable salaries and wages to man the various departments, including administration, security and traffic control and revenue and environmental/sanitation.
To address the conflicts that arose among various transport unions over the use of lorry parks, Freko-FD adopted the use of the names of towns as loading points, instead of the unions.
Just three months into its operations, Freko-FD established the Kejetia Police Post on September 2002 to check crime at the area.
The establishment of the police station was necessitated by the increasing crime wave in the area.
More than 4,000 cases have been handled at the police post, with about 1,200 of them having gone before the courts.
The well-equipped security sector of the company supports the policemen to effectively check criminal activities.
The company has an operations unit, with the primary functions of decongesting the terminal of unauthorised structures, preventing trading activities, as well as apprehending criminals.
A patrol unit is in place which patrols the terminal 24 hours in a bid to flush out criminals.
The company recently installed a 32-channel closed circuit television (CCTV) to monitor activities at the terminal and as a result people now feel safe to go about their activities.
Traffic congestion was in the past a common feature at Kejetia but the establishment of the traffic control unit has helped to reduce the problem to its minimum levels.
Revenue generation is the ultimate motive for the running of the terminal. Therefore, the revenue department of Freko-FD is a very important unit.
Revenue is generated from the tolls drivers pay, store licences, rental charges from shop owners, toilet and service charges for the use of toilets and urinal facilities.
In spite of the downward review of the tolls, the company has been paying an average of GH¢13,000 million per month as concessionary fees and royalties.
The maintenance of proper sanitation is key to improving the health of the people. That is why the sanitation department has never relented its efforts at improving the sanitation situation at Kejetia.
The management of Freko-FD has acquired a cleaning machine to facilitate effective cleaning of the terminal. It has also set up an arbitration and settlement committee to mediate in disputes among store owners, drivers, passengers and other users of the facility.
The committee has been able to resolve over 90 disputes.
Education helps in shaping people for the better. Consequently, Freko-FD has established an information unit, which affords small and medium-scale businesses the opportunity to advertise their products.
Periodically, the company invites professionals to speak on various educational programmes.
Again, as part of its social responsibility, the company has constructed a spacious mosque to enable Muslims to worship peacefully and comfortably while on transit at the terminal.
The company once sponsored the Ghana Television (GTV) programme, ‘Mmaa Nkomo’ on hygiene and sanitation.
Freko-FD has also constructed a borehole at the terminal to provide potable water for passengers.
A restaurant and an artefacts shop are under construction to promote tourism and the culture of the people of Ashanti.
The abandoned fountain at the terminal was renovated to commemorate 50 years of Ghana’s independence.
Freko-FD has also made various donations to children’s homes and orphanages, particularly during Christmas.
The rehabilitation of parts of the terminal, which started late in 2006, is almost completed.
The company has had some challenges, including the assault of its security personnel by drivers. The security co-ordinator, Mr Seth Ofori, urged drivers to respect the security personnel because they were there to provide safety for all.
The managing director of the company, Madam Freda Darko, for her part, is proud of its achievements so far, especially as it had afforded her the opportunity to contribute her quota to Ghana’s socio-economic development.
She expressed delight at the fact that child labour had been discouraged at the terminal, stressing that the security personnel had been asked to prevent children from any form of labour at Kejetia.


ALL is set for the launch of the manifesto of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at the Centre for National Culture (CNC) in Kumasi today.
The spacious CNC hall is bedecked with NPP colours and the atmosphere is charged up for the main event.
The presidential aspirant of the party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who had been in the region over the past 10 days campaigning, would be in attendance.
His running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, would also be present.
The Ashanti Regional Secretary of the NPP, Mr Sam Cudjoe, yesterday told the Daily Graphic that everything had been put in place to enable the large numbers of party faithful who would witness the occasion to have a real feel of Ashanti hospitality.
The event, which is expected to formally put forward the party's vision for the nation, would be attended by the party’s bigwigs and representatives from all constituencies, including foreign branches.
It was not known who would do the actual launch. However, while some say it would be the Vice-President, Aliu Mahama, others said it would be the party’s National Chairman, Mr Peter Mac Manu.
President John Agyekum Kufuor would not be present, because he is out of the country.
Already in Kumasi are the national executive of the party who are putting their heads together with the regional executive in readiness for the event.
Even though Nana Akufo-Addo had been telling the electorate what the nation should expect from his government when he becomes President, the detailed vision of his party would be laid bare today.
Party insiders said the manifesto would definitely touch on how the next NPP government would advance such key programmes as the National Health Insurance Scheme, the Capitation Grant and the School Feeding Programme.
It would also touch on agriculture, sports, infrastructure, security, good governance, the rule of law and many other important areas of national development, and also spell out how these would bring improvement in those areas.


THE Juaben Rural Bank in the Ashanti Region, has maintained its profitable growth, posting a profit before tax of GH¢306,017.51 in the 2007 financial year.
This represented an increase of 61.05 per cent over the previous year's profit of GH¢190,016.
The Board Chairman of the bank, Mr Kwabena Asante, made this known in his report to shareholders at the bank's 23rd annual general meeting at Juaben at the weekend.
Other operational areas that the bank excelled included deposits, which jumped from GH¢5,348,891 in 2006 to GH¢7,306,640 in 2007; loans and advances from GH¢2,952,275 to GH¢3,949,574; investments, from GH¢1,704,599 to GH¢2,602,099; and total assets increased from GH¢6,740,797 to GH¢8,639,118, during the period under review.
Mr Asante said the bank also performed creditably in the financing of agriculture, cottage industry, trading, transport and micro finance, among others.
The board chairman stated that the bank continued to offer assistance to communities and institutions within its catchment area and that a total of GH¢10,567 was spent in that direction.
As part of efforts to boost the savings mobilisation drive of the bank, it introduced Saturday banking in three of its agencies: Roman Hill and Magazine New Road, both in Kumasi, and Ejisu.
The Kumasi Branch Manager of the ARB Apex Bank, Mr Laud A. Ghansah, commended the Juaben Bank for its giant strides, saying it was one of the 26 rural and community banks out of the 130 which had been able to meet the Bank of Ghana's minimum capital requirement of GH¢150,000
He, however, cautioned the bank not to be complacent but to work hard in the years ahead.
Mr Ghansah said in spite of this achievement, rural banks still had a lot to do by way of organisational restructuring, effective credit administration, cost control and reduction in order to meet the challenges of the competitive business environment.
He stressed the need for the rural and community banks to invest in training programmes that would help their staff improve their skills and services.

Monday, September 22, 2008


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Brong Ahafo United Football Club (BA F/C) have appealed to citizens of the Brong Ahafo Region and other well-wishers to assist the club financially and materially to enable them make a meaningful impact in the upcoming national middle league.
United was one of the two clubs that qualified from their zone to participate in the middle league.
However, developments so far point to serious financial difficulties that could jeopardise their dream of qualifying for the premier division.
Club Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Charles Ntim a.k.a, Micky Charles, told Graphic Nsempa in Kumasi that, “I expect that Brong Ahafo citizens in the Ashanti Region for instance, would come in to help the club in our quest to return to the premiership.”
“There are a good number of Brong Ahafo citizens in the Ashanti Region and they must see reason in supporting the club at this critical moment,” he said.
He expressed regret about the absence of a premier side in Sunyani, the regional capital, and said the time had come for all to help United bounce back in style.
Mr Ntim said participation in the middle league demanded a lot of financial challenges and unless the people of the region came in to help, United would find it difficult to cope with the situation.
He explained that the management of football clubs today had become a difficult task and clubs that had financial difficulties could not live up to the task.
Mr Ntim stated that it was his aim since he assumed the chairmanship of the club to lead the club back to “where it belongs,”
He therefore called on the supporters of the club to give him maximum support to achieve that objective.


THE Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has urged investors to continue to have faith in Ghana as a peaceful nation.
He said the upcoming general election would surely prove yet another point to investors that Ghana was one of the most peaceful countries to operate in.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu stated this when six members of the Young Presidents Organisation, a group of investors from Singapore, led by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vega Foods Worldwide, Mr Vikram Kumar Chand, paid a courtesy call on him at the Manhyia Palace.
The group was in Kumasi as part of its visit to Ghana to explore investment opportunities.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu said Ghana had over the years shown the way for the rest of Africa in creating an environment conducive for investment, saying that would be jealously guarded.
"If you bring your money here, you are assured of getting the necessary returns," he added.
The Asantehene said investors had complemented the efforts of the government at creating jobs for the youth and would always be encouraged to do more.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu said the country was endowed with a human resource that investors could fall on, noting that the country had over the years been promoting effective democracy, peace and stability and, therefore, there was no cause for alarm for any investor or businessman who would operate here.
He said the country appreciated the efforts of the private sector, considered as the engine of growth for national development.
Otumfuo expressed his appreciation to the delegation and assured them of his support and commitment to ensure success in their operations.
Mr Chand said his company was not only interested in profit but also the development of sports and other social development activities in the country.
He said there were many talented youth in the country who needed to be supported to develop their talents.
The delegation later donated GH¢4,000 towards the Otumfuo Educational Fund and assorted Vega products to Otumfuo.


A committee set up by the presidential aspirant of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to go into the voting patterns in constituencies that the party views as “difficult” and suggest ways to overcome the challenges, has presented its report to him in Kumasi.
Titled "Voting intentions and related matters for selected constituencies", the report covered some constituencies in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Volta, Northern, Eastern, Greater Accra, Western and Central regions.
The committee was tasked among other things to find out why the NPP did not perform creditably in the constituencies and to report to the presidential aspirant, the electorate’s assessment of him as a presidential aspirant.
An organisation, Spanners, Bolts and Nuts, which is incorporated in Europe, sponsored the research.
Present at the presentation last Friday was Dr Mensah Bonsu, Mr J.B. Dankwa, Mr Innocent Ameve, Mr Adjei Kyeremeh and Mr William Morrison, all members of the research team, and Sheikh Mahmoud, who linked the committee to the sponsors of the research project.
Dr Mensah Bonsu later told journalists that the committee, which employed 30 research assistants, captured all the advantages and disadvantages of Nana Akufo-Addo's candidature.
He said the research assistants were given the necessary training before they embarked on their task with the view to producing what he called "as it is and not perception".
He said Nana Akufo-Addo commended the sponsors, field assistants, Sheikh Mahmoud and all others who contributed to make the project a reality.
The report revealed that majority of the respondents preferred Nana Akufo-Addo due to his immense physical ability, which defied his age.
They also identified Nana Akufo-Addo’s relationship with the ordinary people, political maturity and forward-looking plans for the nation.
Speaking to journalists just before he left Kumasi for Accra en route to his base in Europe, Sheikh Mahmoud said he decided to link up the project with the sponsors because of the growth of Ghana's democracy.
He said other organisations and groups in the country were receiving similar support from organisations all over the world with the view
to advancing Ghana's democratic process.


THE flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has ended his eight-day tour of the Ashanti Region with a firm conviction that the region would continue to be the party’s stronghold in the December 7 polls.
Nana Akufo-Addo was convinced that the party had become even stronger in the Ashanti Region.
The last two days of the campaign (Friday and Saturday) saw the party's supporters defying the rains to welcome the flag bearer at various mini rallies in the towns and villages.
On Friday, Nana Akufo-Addo was in the Ahafo Ano South and Ahafo Ano North districts where he paid courtesy calls on chiefs and addressed rallies.
He was at Tepa, Mankranso, Asuhyiae, Kunso, Wioso and Maaban, while he rounded up the campaign with a rally at Asawasi in Kumasi.
Turnouts at the various rallies were very impressive.
When he paid a courtesy call on the Omanhene of Tepa, Nana Adusei Atwenewa Ampem at his palace, Nana Akufo-Addo paid tribute to nananom and the people of the area for the support they had given to the NPP government under President Kufuor.
He said this had enabled the government to achieve a greater part of its promises to the people.
He gave the assurance that the next NPP government under him would continue with projects and programmes that the Kufuor administration was unable to complete.
The flag bearer, therefore, called on the people to vote massively for him and the NPP parliamentary aspirant so that development would be accelerated in the area.
Nana Akufo-Addo said the NPP provided the only hope for good governance.
He promised that his government would move seriously to modernise agriculture so that the nation could reap maximum benefits from the sector.
He again said cocoa prices would continue to see upward adjustment under his presidency.
The Tepahene, Nana Ampem, commended the NPP government for the major strides it had made over the years.
He stressed that the flag bearer's record and that of the NPP government were very good ingredients for the electorate to consider when they were casting their votes,
He said Nana Akufo-Addo's track record put the flag bearer in a good position to make a strong showing in the election.


THE Deputy Executive Director of the Quality Control Division (QCD) of COCOBOD, Mr Sekyim Gorkeh, has asked licensed buying companies (LBCs) not to allow their profit motives to override the primary objective of providing quality cocoa for the nation.
He said consumers of cocoa had become very sophisticated and would always want to ensure that what they consumed was of higher quality. Consequently, LBCs had a big role to play in maintaining Ghana's image as the producer of the world's finest cocoa.
Mr Gorkeh stated this at an annual workshop for district managers, accountants and depot keepers of Armajaro Ghana Limited, a leading LCB, in Kumasi last Friday.
On the theme, "staying in control through prudent risk management", the three-day workshop reviewed the operations of the company in the last cocoa season with the view to improving on it this season.
Mr Gorkeh stressed the need for LCBs to ensure pre-purchase inspection to see whether the beans were well dried before final purchase.
The deputy executive director warned against tampering with sealed cocoa, saying such a practice was criminal.
Mr Gorkeh said as part of the QCDs effort to prevent the export of inferior cocoa to overseas buyers, all storage facilities had been asked to conform strictly to set standards.
He noted that the QCD and LCBs had a common agenda of boosting Ghana's cocoa industry and the two must move to collaborate effectively.
He disclosed that the weighing of cocoa at the ports would soon be done by net weight instead of by bags as being done currently.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


THE Obuasi Municipal Assembly has signed a sister-city agreement with the Riverside City Council of California, USA, aimed at promoting education, culture and commerce between the two cities.
In line with the agreement, a joint citrus plantation would be established at Obuasi, which would create jobs for the people.
In all, two agreements were signed. In one of them, the Municipal Co-ordinating Director, Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu, signed for the assembly while Dr Latif Acharya, the International Relations Officer at the office of the Mayor of Riverside City, initialled for Riverside.
In the other agreement, Mr Osei Amo-Mensah and Baffour Boakye, secretary and vice president respectively, signed for the Obuasi Sister Cities International, a non-governmental organisation, signed for their group while Dr Moses Vince, Madam Katrie Greene and Mr Robert Airttart, all of the Riverside Sister Cities International, initialled for their group.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Government Spokesperson for finance and economy, Mr Kwaku Kwarteng, who was the guest of honour, said economic partnership agreements of that nature presented viable opportunities for the parties.
He noted that the citizen-to-citizen relationship that the sister-city concept promoted, was one of the surest ways of achieving a better understanding between different groups of people.
Mr Kwarteng emphasised that the fertile lands within Obuasi could be of interest to investors from Riverside, a situation that could result in inflow of capital and technology into the local economy.
He stressed on the economic gains of the nation in the last seven years and said the local communities must take advantage to strike partnerships that would bring further benefits to them.
Mr Kwarteng urged the leadership of the Obuasi-Riverside partnership not to hesitate to approach the government for any assistance when there was the need to do so.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Obuasi, Mr Edward Ennin, gave the assurance that he would facilitate the acquisition of land for the citrus project.
He also promised that he would help in sourcing for funds for the project.
Mr Ennin expressed the hope that the bond of friendship would be sustained to yield the expected benefits for the parties.
In a speech read on behalf of Mr Prince Kwame Kludjeson, the President of the Africa Global Sister Cities Foundation, by the administrator of the foundation, Nana Kena Otchere, he gave the assurance that his group would give full support to the new relationship between the two cities.
For his part, Dr Vince was optimistic of the growth of the relationship and therefore urged the parties to work hard towards the success of the relationship.
He spoke about Ashanti's rich culture and said his side would explore that area for mutual benefits.


THERE was jubilation by residents of five needy Sefwi communities when Armajaro Ghana Limited, a leading licensed cocoa buying company (LBC) with head office in Kumasi, inaugurated borehole facilities valued at GH¢12,500 for the people.
The jubilation was necessitated by the fact that at long last, the people would no longer drink water from streams.
The beneficiary communities, namely South Sonka, Domeabra, Sakyikrom, Pokukrom and Agboagya are all in the Juabeso District.
Similar projects have been completed in six communities in the Sankore and Sefwi Boako Cocoa districts.
A symbolic inauguration of the Juabeso projects have been performed at Agboagya, which was witnessed by a large number of people in the area.
The Administrative Manager of Armajaro, Mr Seth Hammond, who inaugurated the boreholes, said funds for the projects came from the Armajaro Foundation, which was set up to, among other things, support development projects in needy communities.
He said the company had made it an obligation to send part of its profits to the rural people who produced the cocoa.
In that regard, Mr Hammond said projects like schools, electricity, water and sanitation
would be undertaken with all seriousness.
He stated that the company had since the creation of the Armajaro Foundation five years ago, sunk 41 boreholes across its operational areas.
He indicated that the company would always want to deal with farmers on a clean note and therefore called on the farmers to have faith in them.
Mr Hammond said Armajaro had a number of motivational packages for farmers to support them to produce more for the benefit of the nation.
The administrative manager urged parents to desist from using child labour on their farms and rather take interest in the education of the children.
The Bonsu Nkwanta Zonal Manager of Armajaro, Mr Kwasi Boateng, advised the cocoa farmers to use only government-approved insecticides on their farms.
He warned that a number of dangerous imported insecticides were on the market and their use could be disastrous.
Mr Boateng said cocoa was the lifeblood of the nation and as such, nothing should be done to thwart efforts at improving the annual production.
During an open forum, a farmer, Mr Oteng Asante, commended Armajaro for the projects.
He stated that even though the government was helping the farmers with the mass cocoa spraying exercise, it was not enough and, therefore, appealed to the company to offer the necessary support.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Executive Director of the Quality Control Division (QCD) of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Mr Sekyim Gorkeh, has called on licensed buying companies (LBCs) not to allow their profit motives to override the primary objective of providing quality cocoa for the nation.
He said consumers of cocoa had become very sophisticated and would always want to ensure that what they consumed was of higher quality.
Mr Gorkeh stated this at the annual workshop for district managers, accountants and depot keepers of Armajaro Ghana Limited, a leading LCB in Kumasi.
Mr Gorkeh stressed the need for LCBs to ensure pre-purchase inspection to verify how dried the beans were before purchasing them.
He said as part of the QCD’s effort to prevent the export of inferior cocoa to overseas buyers, all storage facilities had been asked to conform to the directive.
The Managing Director of the Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC), Mr Dramani Egala, who spoke on risk management and the future of the cocoa industry, said there were high hopes for the industry due to the effective measures put in place by the government,
which had encouraged farmers to increase production.
Mr Egala said the recent increase in the producer price of cocoa was a motivational factor for Ghana to hit all record high in cocoa production this year.
The Chief Operations Officer of Armajaro, Mr Nelson Kpodo-Tay, said the company was contributing positively to build the cocoa industry and promised that it would continue to play its role effectively as the nation moved to improve its cocoa production.


THE New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential aspirant, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated that his government will pursue an aggressive rural development programme to improve the lives of the people in the rural communities.
He noted that the NPP government under President Kufuor had performed creditably in its rural development drive and said the next NPP government under his presidency would seriously build on what had been achieved.
Addressing a party rally at New Edubiase last Tuesday as part of his eight-day tour of the Ashanti Region, Nana Akufo-Addo said the rural population deserved every attention and the NPP would not renege on that.
He said over the last seven years rural areas had witnessed massive infrastructural development in the areas of roads, electricity, health, education, among others.
He, therefore, urged the people to continue to have confidence in the party and vote for it to form the next government.
The day's campaign tour took Nana Akufo-Addo and his team to communities including Fomena, Dompoase, Akrokerri and Fumso.
In the New Edubiase Constituency, Nana Akufo-Addo introduced the NPP parliamentary aspirant, Mr DeGraft Kyei Baffour, to the electorate, while in the Asokwa and Fomena constituencies, Mr K.T. Hammond and Mr Abu Bonsra were introduced as parliamentary candidates.
The NPP flag bearer predicted a massive victory for the party in the December 7 elections and told the people of New Edubiase that they could no longer afford to reject the NPP because the government had proved to be development-oriented.
The NPP lost in both the presidential and parliamentary elections in New Edubiase in 2004. It was among the three constituencies in the Ashanti Region where the party lost in the 2004 elections, the other two being Ejura- Sekyedumase and Asawasi.
This time round, however, the NPP believes it has the chance to win in all the constituencies in the region.
Nana Akufo-Addo urged the people of the area to reject the opponents of the NPP who were using lies in a bid to sway the electorate to their side.
The NPP presidential aspirant touched on the cocoa industry and said his government would place more premium on it.
On that score, farmers would remain central on his government's agenda at moving the industry forward.
He noted the importance of farmers in the nation's development drive and said, "You will get what you deserve."
Nana Akufo-Addo stated that the Ashanti Region remained the party's strongest base in the country, saying it was poised to maintain the leadership.
He said his tour of the region had demonstrated one thing – that Ashanti was solidly behind the NPP.
The presidential hopeful called for peace before, during and after the elections.
He said Ghanaians had only one country – Ghana – and so no one should attempt to create conditions that would mar the peace in the name of politics.
Nana Akufo-Addo said the NPP took power peacefully and would want to retain power in the same manner.


THE Nwabiagya Rural Bank in the Ashanti Region, spent GH¢15,572, last financial year to undertake a number of development projects in its operational area.
Part of the money was invested in the construction of a 20-seater KVIP public place of convenience at Fufuo, as well as the Barekese Health Centre.
Other establishments and projects that benefited were the Maase Hospital, Offinso Teacher Training College and the Asikam borehole project, among others.
The Board Chairman of the bank, Nana Owusu Sarfo Anwona II, announced this at the 20th annual general meeting of the bank at Barekese.
He said the bank took great interest in fulfilling its social responsibilities to the communities and the people they worked with.
In that regard, Nana Anwona said the bank would pursue all planned development projects and programmes with the seriousness they deserved.
He indicated that a scholarship scheme had been instituted to help brilliant, needy students to pursue their education.
The board chairman said the bank recorded a pre-tax profit of GH¢468,000 as against GH¢307,000 recorded in 2006, while paid-up capital also increased from GH¢117,743 in 2006 to GH¢130,913 in 2007.
He said as a result of the significant achievements recorded, the bank decided to pay dividend totalling GH¢81,680 to its shareholders.
Nana Anwona stated that the bank had been supporting small-scale businesses to develop in the operational areas as a way of improving the incomes of the people.
The Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank, Mr Osei Bonsu, commended the bank for the giant strides it had made in its operations.
He, however, urged the bank not to be complacent but strive to achieve more in the coming years.
Mr Osei-Bonsu advised the people to cultivate the habit of saving, since there were a lot of benefits in it.


A BOARD member of the Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank, Mr Joe Appiah, has cautioned rural banks about moves by the commercial banks, especially the emerging ones, to poach their staff.
He said the commercial banks had realised the professional capabilities of staff of the rural banks and were doing everything to poach some of them.
Mr Appiah, who was speaking at the media launch of the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank at Pakyi No Two in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region, said the situation was a threat to the operational capabilities of the rural banks and they better moved fast to curtail the threat.
He appealed to the media to assist the rural banks to deliver quality services to the people.
“This would become possible when the media educate the people on the importance of the rural banks so that they would have confidence to do business with the banks,” Mr Appiah stated.
He said rural banking was one of the best things to happen to the country, adding, “This is exemplified by the various activities the banks are undertaking in the rural areas.”
The celebration of the event was on the theme: "Celebrating 25 years of excellence in rural banking—challenges in providing sustainable micro credit".
Among activities lined up for the celebration were radio quiz competition for junior high school (JHS) pupils, inter-branch fun games, donation to the Otumfuo Education Fund, float through the principal streets of Kumasi and the anniversary annual general meeting.
In his address at the launch, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the bank, Mr Godfried Odame Asare, noted that 25 years of the bank had brought great improvement to their activities, which had had positive bearing on the communities in which they operated.
He said the current total deposits of the bank was GH¢16, 436,369.44 with a customer base of 108,713.
Mr Asare said the bank had granted loans totalling GH¢13,596,981 to its customers.
He indicated that the bank had developed important products including “susu” loans, group loans and institutional loans, which were targeted at micro and macro enterprises.
The CEO said the bank was committed to community development and had therefore allocated a very good budget for that sector.
He said the bank was constructing a model senior high school (SHS) at Pakyi, a project it had so far spent about GH¢90,000.
Mr Asare further stated that the bank had instituted a scholarship scheme to assist brilliant, needy students in its catchment area.


THE decision by the government to create new districts is premised on accelerating the pace of development of the communities and entrench the decentralisation programme.
Consequently, when in 2007 the President created the Atwima Kwanwoma District out of the Bosomtwi Atwima Kwanwoma District, it brought some measure of hope to the people.
Atwima Kwanwoma is rich in natural resources including timber, cocoa and food crops but it was neglected to the extent that a good number of the roads in the area were not motorable.
The area is very close to Kumasi but the state of development made it look like an area miles away from the garden city. This is not to say that communities far away from the cities must remain neglected. Far from that.
Apart from roads the district needs improvement in the areas of health, education, water and sanitation, among others.
For the uninitiated, the district is located at the central portion of the region and shares borders in the north with Atwima Nwabiagya, in the south with Amansie West, in the east with Bosomtwe and the north-east with the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly.
Atwima Kwanwoma has Foase as the district capital and its communities include Trede, Twedie, Traboum, Ahenema Kokoben and Nweneso. The district covers a total area of 340,899 square kilometres, representing 1.4 per cent of the region’s total surface area.
With a projected population of 90,249 based on the 2000 population and housing census, with an average growth rate of three per cent, Atwima Kwanwoma has a fair share of the population of the Ashanti Region.
Politically, the district is divided into two area councils and further sub divided into 22 electoral areas.
Agriculture remains a major economic activity in terms of employment and income. About 61 per cent of the active labour force is engaged in agriculture.
To be able to tackle the challenges head-on, the new assembly intends to apply part of its share of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) in the provision of office accommodation for the central administration and the decentralised departments for effective running of the assembly.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Emmanuel Agyei Dankwah, has indicated his preparedness to lead the people to bring positive development to the district.
During a recent tour of some communities in the district, the DCE stressed the need for the people to come together to fight poverty, disease and ignorance, which have remained enemies of their progress.
According to him, good policies that the government and the assembly had laid out for the people would only become a reality when the people join forces with the authorities to prosecute the agenda.
he DCE paid courtesy calls on the chiefs and people of Foase, the district capital, Hwidiem and Traboum.
He gave the assurance that the government was exerting all efforts to provide them with social amenities such as electricity, roads, district hospital and market centres.
The DCE urged the youth of the community to see themselves as superior human beings endowed with creative abilities that could be harnessed for the development of the country and therefore implored them to register with the National Youth Employment Programme for a better future.
He called on parents to utilise the opportunity offered by the NPP government and train their children to radiate the virtues of love, peace and empathy at their tender age.
He stated that education, which is the bedrock of manpower development of every country, formed and shaped the personality of the individual and prepared him or her to take future roles in the community and the nation.
Mr Dankwah advised the people especially pregnant women to register with the National Health Insurance Scheme to receive better health care.
He encouraged cocoa farmers in the communities to work hard as the government had increased the producer price of cocoa from GH¢80 to GH¢120.
These are important points raised by the DCE and if they are to be taken seriously, the benefits would be enormous for the people.
As a predominantly agrarian district, Atwima Kwanwoma should be supported to improve farming activities.
Education also must be of prime importance to the district assembly.
In this era that most assemblies are allocating a chunk of their resources to support education, Atwima Kwanwoma cannot remain behind. This is so because education holds the key to the development of the nation.
The future definitely would look good for the district if the laudable policies and programmes laid out by the assembly are implemented to the fullest.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


GOLD Fields Ghana Limited (Tarkwa Mine) has constructed a modern one-storey office complex for the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal Directorate of the Ghana Education Service in the Western Region at a cost of US$273,000.
The project is the company’s contribution to the country’s golden jubilee celebration.
The Municipal Directorate of the Ghana Education Service (GES) has worked for 48 years in a temporary building which could not accommodate all the staff.
The gold mining company has also completed other projects, including the construction of an aqua privy toilet facility for the people of Abekoase, a bridge and a link road at Tebe as well as a community centre for the people of Pepesa at a total cost of US$114,000.
All the projects were sponsored by the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation. Since the establishment of the foundation in 2002, the company has invested nearly US$10 million in social development initiatives in the communities in its Tarkwa and Damang catchment areas.
The Board of Trustees of the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation has approved social investment projects worth more than US$2 million for the stakeholder communities of its Tarkwa and Damang mines for the 2009 financial year.
Some of the projects to be implemented in the next year include the development of community oil palm plantation at Apinto in the Bosomtwi Traditional Area on a pilot basis, the tarring of the two-kilometre New Atuabo town roads, the construction of a health facility at Damang, and the establishment of a commercial fish farm at Tarkwa.
The Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Sports, Mrs Angelina Baiden-Amissah, who inaugurated the office complex, said the project that was the company’s corporate social responsibility had in no small way demonstrated how the company was committed to partner the government in making the education reform a reality.
She said the government had improved the educational sector by upgrading teacher training colleges to diploma awarding institutions as well as the institution of distance learning programmes to enable teachers to upgrade themselves.
“There is, therefore, the need to pool our efforts together and include all stakeholders to make the education reform a success because a country without an educational focus is not moving forward,” she added.
Mrs Baiden-Amissah appealed to the GES to make maximum use of the facility and evolve a pragmatic maintenance culture to prolong the life-span of the building.
“Judging from what Goldfields has done for the GES, l would implore all teachers to show their support and appreciation by working hard, preparing lesson notes and teaching aids for effective teaching,” she stressed.
The deputy minister also appealed to the chiefs, parents and the community to discourage children of school-age from embarking on illegal gold mining activities in the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipality, stressing that “they need to be in school because education is free at the basic level”.
The Managing Director of Gold Fields Ghana, Mr Johan Botha, explained that the object of the foundation was to ensure that the communities in which the company operated reaped sustainable benefits from the presence of the company through investment in socio-economic projects.
“Since the establishment of the foundation, the company has invested nearly $10 million on social development initiatives in its Tarkwa and Damang catchment communities. In the last three years, for example, an average of about $2 million has been invested in such projects for the benefit of its stakeholder communities at both Tarkwa and Damang mines,” he stated.
Mr Botha said education received the largest allocation of the foundation’s annual budget, adding that “about 33 per cent of the community development expenditure has been spent on education”.
He said that surely underscored the importance Gold Fields Ghana attached to the improvement on the educational levels in the communities in which the company was operating.
According to Mr Botha, more than 200 students in both the Tarkwa and Damang mines were currently benefiting from a scholarship scheme instituted by the company.
He said within the past three years, the company, through the foundation, had assisted the University of Mines and Technology at Tarkwa to the tune of more than $250,000 on various projects, including the establishment of V-Sat Internet facility, acquisition of some geotechnical equipment and the construction of a Geological Engineering Laboratory.
He said $100,000 had been approved by the foundation to help the university to complete the construction of the laboratory.
The Director General of the Ghana Education Service, Mr Samuel Bannerman-Mensah, said the priority of the government was to empower the GES to provide quality education for all children in the country.
That goal, he said, could only be achieved through effective decentralisation where Metropolitan, District and Municipal education offices were well resourced to provide the services required.
The Head of Corporate Affairs and Social Development of Gold Fields Ghana, Dr Toni Aubynn, said the key areas of the company’s social development projects and programmes were education, health, water and sanitation, income enhancement, and other infrastructure improvement.
“We in Gold Fields Ghana firmly believe that the presence of the mine has created a centrifuge for various economic activities in Tarkwa and its environs”, he noted.
Dr Toni Aubynn added: “We are witnesses to the current vibrant economy of Tarkwa, represented by the increasing number of banks and other services such as transportation, food, hotels, construction and general businesses”.


Will it be an encore for Asante Kotoko, or revenge for JS Kabylie? This is the question crying for an answer as Asante Kotoko jet out tomorrow for a return Group B encounter of the CAF Confederation Cup.
Having stung JSK 3-1 in Kumasi last Saturday, Asante Kotoko definitely will be seeking to keep their hopes alive. On the other side, JSK will attempt to go for the kill and lift themselves from the bottom placing where they now find themselves.
Kotoko are aiming for at least a draw to cushion them towards clinching the leadership of Group B in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Having jumped from the last position to the second spot after last weekend's matches, Kotoko must have warmed themselves into the competition.
The 3-1 defeat could be demoralising, but JSK could draw inspiration from developments so far in a group where home teams are winning their matches.
The Algerian side did not show the strength and ability that could make them so devastating at home. But the fact that they accounted for leaders, Etoile du Sahel, 1-0 in Algeria gives an indication of how troublesome they could be if let loose.
That was why Coach Bashir Hayford sounded caution that his team would go all out because JSK could capitalise on the so-called home advantage to cause trouble for Kotoko.
Africa club football provides a lot of interesting developments and the possibility of Kotoko meeting some challenges cannot be ruled out.
Playing in Kumasi, JSK were very rugged. Perhaps they did that to make up for their deficiency in skills and craft.
They will surely change their game at home by going for the attack, and this is where Kotoko should be careful at the back.
Nouri Ouznadji and Taeib Maroci, who led their attack in Kumasi, showed superiority in the air and Kotoko should better devise the strategy to contain them in that respect.
The team that Coach Hayford paraded for last Saturday's game was superb until they allowed complacency to get the better of them in the latter part of the match which resulted in the one goal they conceded with seconds to go.
If this is a psychological challenge, then a psychologist must be attached to the team if they do not have one.
It has been hammered home again and again how goals are crucial in this competition.
A line-up that will include Oduro, Kwadwo Poku, Eric Bekoe, Jordan Poku and Emmanuel Osei Kuffuor, among other tried and tested players, should be able to hold their own against the threat from JSK.

Monday, September 15, 2008


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Pakyi No 2

THE Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank has held a press launch of activities marking the its 25th anniversary at Pakyi No 2 in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region.
The celebration is on the theme, Celebrating 25 years of excellence in rural banking: Challenges in providing sustainable micro credit.
Activities lined up for the celebration include a radio quiz competition for Junior High School (JHS) pupils, inter-branch fun games, donation to the Otumfuo Education Fund, float through the principal streets of Kumasi and the anniversary’s annual general meeting.
Addressing the launch ceremony last Friday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the bank, Mr Godfried Odame Asare, observed that 25 years of the bank had witnessed great improvement in their operations.
He said total deposits of the bank currently stood at GH¢16,436,369.44 with a customer base of 108,713.
Mr Asare said the bank had also granted loans, totalling GH¢13,596,981 to its customers and mentioned that the bank had developed appropriate products, in the form of susu loans, group loans, institutional loans, among others, which were targeted at micro and macro enterprises.
The CEO said the bank maintained a large budget for community development.
He mentioned one significant development project undertaken by the bank as the model senior high school it was constructing at Pakyi on which the bank had spent about GH¢90,000 so far.
Mr Asare further disclosed that the bank had instituted a scholarship scheme to assist brilliant but needy students in its catchment area.
A Board Member of the bank, Mr Joe Appiah, appealed to the media to partner the bank for effective rural development.
He said rural banking was one of the best things to happen to the country and therefore called on the people to do business with the banks.

CLASSY KOTOKO HUMBLE JSK .. And top Confederation Cup table (BACK PAGE)

INCREDIBLE! A significant victory without celebration. That was the story in Kumasi last Saturday after Asante Kotoko accounted for J.S. Kabylie 3-1 in a Group B game of the CAF Confederation Cup.
The injury time goal scored by the visitors no doubt killed the anticipated victory celebration, and the facial expression of the fans summed up their disappointment.
With great efficiency, Kotoko steamrolled their way into a commanding three-goal lead, but complacency seemed to have eaten deep into the team in the dying minutes, allowing Taeib Maroci to reduce the deficit with a header just before Gambian referee John Mendy ended proceedings.
Striking sensation, Eric Bekoe, scored a double to bring his tally in the competition to nine, while Jordan Opoku fetched the other goal. In spite of the fans' disappointment, Kotoko were by no means superb on the afternoon, playing the typical short passing game interspersed with long-penetrating balls to confuse their opponents.
Starting this time with crowd favourites, Stephen Oduro and Kwadwo Poku, Kotoko began confidently, charging at their opponents.
But disaster nearly struck the home side when a dangerous back pass from Prince Anokye almost beat his keeper Abdoulai Soulama, on the 12th minute.
Kotoko's midfield control manifested early as Jordan Opoku and Oduro eclipsed Nacim Dehouche and Lyes Boukria, and sprayed passes to Eric Bekoe, Kwadwo Poku and Emmanuel Osei Kuffour.
The diminutive Oduro, arguably the man of the match, tested keeper Chaouchi Faouzi with a close effort on the 24th minute but the tall goaltender was up to the task.
By the half hour mark, JKS were surprisingly exhibiting tiredness and resorted to crunchy tackles to keep the marauding Kotoko attack at bay. Two of their players were booked as a result.
Bekoe put Kotoko in front after 39 minutes, beating the offside-minded JSK defence to chip one past Faouzi, the ball rolling gently into the yawning net. The striker ran to the corner flag to celebrate the opener and the stadium went charged, with the fans calling for more goals.
Kotoko's plan of initiating attacks from the wings with Inkoom and Poku as the principal architects confused JSK, and Faouzi in post had difficulty dealing with the flying balls.
So much difficulty confronted JSK setting up attacks, and their front-runners, Ouznadji and Bachir, were left in fruitless adventure.
Mark Sekyere was booked in the 49th minute for rough play, and seven minutes later Soulama fumbled with a long ball, but he rose quickly to save the situation. The pressure on the visitors was so huge, and their defence caved in once again on the 62nd minute as Bekoe, unselfishly, placed the ball in the path of Jordan to finish off.
Anytime JSK tried to hold their own by attacking on the right, Inkoom was around to thwart their efforts and initiate swift counterattacks. Playing with precision, the Porcupine Warriors charged in every minute and JSK were in all sorts of trouble.
A third goal looked imminent and it did arrive on the 71st minute. Inkoom took off in blistering fashion on the right to meet a long pass and raced into the box to deliver a shot. The keeper failed to grab it first time and the hungry Bekoe preyed on the rebound.
When all looked like a 3-0 victory for the home side, complacency set in and Maroci rose to head in a cross with the game almost ended.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


THE Government is considering replacing Dr Mohamudu Bawumia as one of its representatives on the reconstituted board of Ghana Telecom (GT).
Dr Bawumia was retained as one of the few government representatives on the board of GT after the divestiture, but this had to be reviewed to enable him to have time for his political activities.
Dr Bawumia, who is a Deputy Governor of the central bank, is the running mate to Nana Akufo-Addo, the NPP presidential aspirant for the 2008 elections.
The Minister of Communications, Dr Benjamin Aggrey-Ntim, who made this known at a meeting with managers of GT Ashanti Office in Kumasi yesterday, said Vodafone Group Plc now had majority of the membership of the board to reflect the company's 70 per cent stake in GT.
Dr Aggrey-Ntim rejected suggestions that there was no need for the government to retain any of the former board members on the new board of GT because they supervised the deterioration of the company.
The minister explained that the decision to retain them was premised on the need for continuity.
He indicated that he had impressed upon the government's representatives on the board to work very hard to help change the fortunes of the company.
The minister said divesting the company did not mean the company was being sent outside the country, stressing that "everything about the company remains in the country".
He urged staff of the company not to exercise any fears about redundancy, saying in the event of such exercise, $40 million had been set aside to pay their severance awards.
Dr Aggrey-Ntim said there was hope for GT because Vodafone was ready to bring life into the company to enable it to compete favourably with other operators.
He disclosed that Vodafone was drawing up a business plan that would resuscitate the company.
The minister said a subsidiary company had been created for the fibre section of GT.
Dr Aggrey-Ntim expressed regret that since 2003, there was no audited accounts of GT.
According to him, the audited accounts for four years (2003-2007) was recently prepared.
The Ashanti Regional Manager of GT, Mr Jonathan Kessey-Antwi, noted that Ghana could not have got a better partner than Vodafone because of their track record as leaders in the telecommunications industry globally.
He commended the minister for the determination with which he fought to ensure that the deal with Vodafone became a reality in spite of the strong opposition from some quarters.
Mr Kessey-Antwi stated that his outfit had its own vision to extend ICT services to every part of the region and that the first goal was to get every school, business and government agency in the region to be connected to the Internet broadband through the company's 'broadband 4U' services.


THE ongoing 8th-day Ashanti Regional campaign tour of the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) presidential aspirant, Nana Akufo-Addo, has dramatically changed the otherwise dormant political environment in the region.
From Kumasi through to Atwima, Asante Akyem, and the other areas that the presidential hopeful had visited so far, thousands of supporters and sympathisers poured into the streets to welcome him.
The visit had also rekindled the discussions on political issues as people tried to analyse the benefits of the campaign.
Some NPP supporters believed that the tour had held huge advantages for the party as it showed that the region was still solidly behind NPP.
According to some NPP supporters who spoke to the Daily Graphic in the Atwima area last Thursday, there were clear indications that the NPP would win massively in the Ashanti Region in the coming elections.
They praised Nana Akufo-Addo for doing a "clean campaign", which they believed, was key in winning floating voters to the party.
Meanwhile, Nana Akufo-Addo took his tour to the Atwima Mponua and Atwima Nwabiagya districts before ending up at the Asokwa Constituency in Kumasi at about 11pm.
The presidential aspirant addressed mini rallies at Nkawie, Toase, Nyinahin, Abuakwa and Barekese.
In all the communities and along the routes, people had gathered in their numbers, some of whom were waving NPP miniature flags.
Addressing the crowds, Nana Akufo-Addo said he appreciated the efforts of cocoa farmers to national development.
He said his government would continuously make significant upward review of cocoa prices and, therefore, urged farmers to have confidence in the party.
Nana Akufo-Addo said over the years, the NPP government, under President Kufuor, had shown faith to the people through the implementation of pragmatic policies and programmes, and also promised that he would continue with such programmes to better the lot of the people.
He said Ghanaians deserved a government that had the capability to turn things around for the betterment of the people, and this was exactly what the NPP was presenting to the masses of the people.
Nana Akufo-Addo said he stood tall amongst all the presidential aspirants in all spheres of the political game.
The presidential aspirant said before the NPP assumed the administration of the country in 2001, the educational, health and other areas of national development were neglected, but today significant changes had been brought into the system.
He called for clean politics from his opponents and condemned politics of ethnicity that had come to be associated with some politicians.
Nana Akufo-Addo introduced the NPP parliamentary candidates for the constituencies he visited at the rally grounds and called on the electorate to vote for them.
He cautioned party supporters against voting "skirt and blouse".
Among officials accompanying the presidential aspirant were Mr yaw Osafo-Maafo, MP for Akim Oda; Mr Dan Botwe, Director of Elections of the NPP, and Dr K.K. Apraku, Campaign Director of the party.


KUMASI Asante Kotoko are promising nothing but a phenomenal performance as they battle JS Kabylie in a tough group game of the CAF Confederation Cup competition today.
The confidence of the team seems to be at the apogee and management believes the players will play their hearts out today.
Consequently, officials are calling for massive support today as they attempt to scale past the Algerian giants at the Baba Yara Stadium.
At a news conference in Kumasi yesterday management said the team drew much of its strength from the support base and this must manifest tomorrow with a huge attendance.
It appears the team is motivated enough for the showdown tomorrow despite the respect they have for the Algerian side as one of the strongest sides in Africa.
Playing in a group with three North Africans, Kotoko are the lone ranger of a sort, but their pedigree on the continent must hold sway.
But no one can take any club for granted these days, especially when the opposition comes from the north of Africa, considered the power base of club football on the continent.
The JSK team watched Kotoko play against Liberty Professionals in the Glo Top 4 at Baba Yara last Wednesday and officials of the team believed Kotoko have a good team that could present a strong opposition to them in their match tomorrow.
But Kotoko need to brush aside such compliments and focus on the game itself because JSK could be playing the mind game.
A team comprising the likes of Soulama, Inkoom, George Asare and Ofosu Appiah at the back should be strong enough to contain any attacks from JSK.
Kotoko derive much energy from the middle department where Jordan Opoku is a master distributor of the ball. The young man also possesses some scoring instincts that can tell positively on the team.
And once again goal machine, Eric Bekoe, would be the major point of attention in the attack. His partnership with Emmanuel Osei Kufour must prove decisive on the day.
Kick-off is at 3pm, and management has decided not to issue press accreditation.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


The presidential aspirant of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has said if given the nod in the December 7 general election, his presidency will ensure that the school-feeding programme is extended to all basic schools in the country.
He said the programme, currently being implemented on a pilot basis, would form part of his strategy to encourage more Ghanaians to access education.
Addressing a mini-durbar at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Junction in Kumasi yesterday, Nana Akufo-Addo, said in view of the importance of literacy in national development he would make education the cornerstone of his development agenda.
After he had been introduced by President J.A. Kufuor at the rally, Nana Akufo-Addo told the party faithful that a critical study of the development experience of countries such Singapore and Korea clearly indicated that literacy and education were some of the factors which were responsible for their economic growth and achievement.
Before introducing his running mate, Dr Bawumia, Nana Akufo-Addo asked the electorate to give him their mandate in the December 7 general election since his candidature represented the brightest opportunity and future of the country and the people.
Earlier, President J.A. Kufuor had introduced Nana Akufo-Addo to the party faithful and a section of residents of Ayigya, and asked them to vote massively for the candidate in the forthcoming elections.
The President said the Nana Akufo-Addo and Dr Bawumia ticket was a winning team, and asked the electorate to ensure that the December 7 election would be a one-touch win for Nana Akufo-Addo.
Other speakers at the rally were Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Mr Alan Kyeremanteng and Mr Kwabena Agyepong, who underscored the need for the electorate to vote for the NPP for a better future.
They said the necessary foundation had been laid by the Kufuor Administration, and there was the need for the ruling party to build on it.
On Wednesday, President Kufuor introduced Nana Akufo-Addo at mini rallies at Subin, Bantama, Kwadaso and Asafo.
At all the rallies, party faithful and a section of the residents of Kumasi gave the entourage a rousing welcome.


LIBERTY Professionals put up a plucky performance to maintain their leadership on the Glo Top 4 tournament when they fought Asante Kotoko to a 1-1 drawn game at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi yesterday night.
Kotoko Coach, Bashir Hayford, kept faith with his Africa squad but their efforts were not enough to avenge the 2-1defeat they suffered at the hands of the visitors in the first leg in Accra.
The game flowed beautifully and for once Kumasi fans had something to cheer about in the competition.
When Eric Bekoe failed to connect Jordan Opoku's right-sided cross in the 8th minute, Liberty organised to put themselves in the game and Tuah Khemix, Yaw Antwi and Mustapha Essuman probed for the leader.
Determined never to allow Liberty to repeat their Accra feat, Kotoko fought back fiercely switching play to the flanks but keeper Daniel Agyei of Liberty was in superb form to save the day.
The keeper scored full marks in the 37th minute stopping a three-prong attack from Bekoe, Kuffuor and Jordan.
Prowling in the Liberty area, Bekoe was fed with a cross in the 44th minute and provided a piercing header, which hit the post.
Kwadwo Poku substituted Osei Kuffuor who appeared clumsy on the night and the striker's trademark surging runs on the flanks began to tell positively on the Kotoko game.
But it was Liberty who fetched the leader with a superb goal from Tuah Khemix after Eric Boakye had done the spadework for him in the 66th minute.
The goal scorer, who was a constant threat to Kotoko was shown the red card three minutes to time for a second bookable offence.
He, however, delayed the game for about four minutes as he defiantly refused to leave the field as officials and security personnel looked on helplessly.
With their pride at stake, Kotoko brought fire into the game with Inkoom doing some brilliant runs from the back to feed the attack.
It came as no surprise when Bekoe levelled up for Kotoko in the 72nd minute connecting a left sided cross from close range.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


THE Asanteman Council has declared its confidence in Nana Akufo-Addo as a thoroughbred politician with the capability to lead the nation to progress when elected President.
At a mini-durbar at the Manhyia Palace, presided over by the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, all the chiefs said with President Kufuor’s endorsement of Nana Akufo-Addo, coupled with the flag bearer's own remarkable history as a politician and legal brain, there was little doubt that he would perform creditably when given the mandate.
The durbar was organised yesterday to welcome Nana Akufo-Addo and his running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, at the start of their eight-day campaign tour of the Ashanti Region.
President Kufuor took the opportunity to formally introduce Nana Akufo-Addo and his running mate to Otumfuo and sought Otumfuo's blessings to enable them to win the elections, to which the Otumfuo obliged and said, "I bless you to have a successful election, especially as you come from the Oyoko Clan of which I am the leader."
Introducing Nana Akufo-Addo, President Kufuor said Nana Addo served with distinction in two ministries under his presidency and it was not surprising that the NPP elected him to contest the presidential poll.
The President, who also used the occasion to thank Otumfuo and Asanteman for supporting him in his administration, said, "I think I have not disappointed you."
He submitted that the achievements his government had chalked up was unprecedented in the history of the nation but noted that this could not have been achieved without the support of Asanteman.
He appealed to Otumfuo and Nananom to extend similar support to Nana Akufo-Addo when he became President.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu said even though, as Asantehene, he could not publicly declare his support for any political party, " I can tell you that it is where I look that my people also look".
He urged Nana Akufo-Addo to be truthful, honest and dedicated to the task before him, stressing that he and his people would support him when he became the president of Ghana.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu challenged all presidential aspirants and their followers to show respect to one another as the campaign for the December polls heated up.
He said insults, physical attacks and insinuations that had bedevilled the political campaigns were a source of concern to him because such actions could drive the country backwards.
He said Ghana needed peace because without that the development the people were yearning for would elude them.
The Asantehene commended President Kufuor for the good work he had done for the nation and said at the appropriate time, Asanteman would honour him.
In his short address, Nana Akufo-Addo said the blessings of the Asantehene were crucial to his victory in the elections.
"I respect Otumfuo and I can never do anything without first receiving his blessing," he said to cheers from the gathering.
Nana Akufo-Addo promised that he would continue the unfinished business of President Kufour when he assumed the presidency.
He said he and the NPP respected the chieftaincy institution and would do everything to help protect its image when he became President.
The NPP flag bearer promised that the Kejetia interchange and the upgrading of the Kumasi airport to international standard, which are on the drawing board, would be undertaken under his administration.


SOMETHING dangerous has been going on in Kumasi that one cannot just gloss over.
Particularly, I am referring to the way bicycles and motorbike riders misconduct themselves on the roads at the risk of their own lives and those of unsuspecting pedestrains.
The negative practice goes on in almost every place in the metropolis, especially in such areas as Asawasi, Aboabo, Alabar, Tafo, Sepe, among others, where it is quite predominant.
Quite surprisingly, a number of people erroneously point fingers at drivers when an issue of road safety crops up for discussion. Discussants tend to forget that motorbike and bicycle riders and indeed, all other road users, have a role to play in maintaining effective road safety.
At times, I ask myself whether the law enforcement agencies in the metropolis are up to the task before them. They seem to be overwhelmed by the situation. This is so because even when the police personnel are around, these riders still do their own thing by riding recklessly on the roads.
Many of the motorbikes on the roads are, however, not licensed, yet people use them for all manner of activities in the Kumasi metropolis. Young men are always found without crash helmets on their motorbikes, and so one can imagine the kind of risk associated with this deadly practice.
It is also a common spectacle to find three people or more without crash helmets on a motorbike, driving at top speed. This has made driving very dangerous in Kumasi because of the way these riders manoeuvre their way through traffic. As a result of this act, a number of riders have been knocked down, resulting in deaths or serious injuries.
With the electioneering heating up, you can trust these miscreants to continue to do their own thing. At least, I have witnessed three of such occasions during visits to the city by Nana Akufo-Addo and Professor John Atta Mills.
The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) office in Kumasi has persistently indicated that there is an increase in accidents involving motorbike riders in the city, and stressed the need for them to strictly observe road safety laws and regulations. Yet, it seems, not much has come out of this clarion call.
At a recent educational programme organised by the NRSC, the Ashanti Regional Co-ordinator of NRSC, Mr Kwaku Oware Boateng, warned that motorbike and bicycle riders would not be spared if they went contrary to the existing rules and regulations.
Mr Boateng and his team have, therefore, risen up against any suspected motorbike in every corner of the city because he believes that the riders are a real threat to safety on the roads.
I presume Mr Boateng was talking about arrests and prosecutions when he issued the warning to the riders. But it remains to be seen if the threat could be carried out because of the history behind the arrests of riders. They will be arrested, but prosecution is most often a remote consideration.
Surely, the NRSC should keep to its words because it is difficult to understand why riders would fail to stop at traffic lights when the red lights are on, or even refuse to obey road signs.
Unfortunately, some armed robbers and other criminals are deep into the practice of using motorbikes in their illicit activities. They ride at top speed to snatch people’s bags, mobile phones and other belongings in broad daylight. Mostly, these motorbike that are used for these nefarious activities are not licensed.
It is, therefore, important for the NRSC to intensify its efforts at controlling the misuse of motorbikes and bicycles in the city to save lives and property.
The regional office of the commission must continue with the educational programme that it has embarked on in the metropolis because of the inherent benefits in it. Perhaps, the time has come for city planners to take another look at the way our streets are constructed.
I have never been to Tamale, but I am told special lanes have been constructed for bicycles to cut down on road accidents. If possible, similar designs must equally be made in Kumasi, especially in areas where human and vehicular traffic is heavy.