Tuesday, March 31, 2009


EACH Ghanaian player was richer by $8,000 for the 1-0 victory over Benin last Sunday, but Milovan Rajevac was not impressed with the general output of his players.
Even though the Serbian described the win as important for Ghana, he hinted he could make changes to the team for the next match.
Coach Milo may have been disturbed by the attitude of the players after taking an early lead and can only strengthen the team for the next important battle against Mali in June.
Perhaps the impressive performance of young players like Kwadwo Asamoah, Samuel Inkoom and Anthony Annan informed the coach’s decision to search for fresh limbs.
Benin are undergoing a footballing renaissance of a sort at the senior level and any attempt to consider them an outsider in the group could be disastrous.
Whilst coach Milo bemoaned the performance of his players, a number of fans also questioned his tactical approach as his opposite number dwarfed him in tactics.
Parading seven of the players who catapulted Ghana into the historic first World Cup appearance in 2006, the general belief was that • Continued from page 1

their experience would tell positively on the match but that was not the case.
They could hardly press forward and remained turtled in defence for a good part of the game. The back four of Pantsil who won his 50th cap for the national team, Inkoom, Addo and Quartey were under intense pressure and committed some mistakes, but Benin failed to take advantage.
Addo leaked badly in defence but Inkoom, Pantsil and Quartey played well to keep the marauding Beninois at bay. 
Most of the time when Boco, Omoyotossi and PSG striker Sessigna attacked, the mammoth frame of Quartey was up to the task to create some difficulty for them to pass through.
Benin’s French coach, Michael Dussuyer, was also disappointed that they lost after playing so well.
“Perhaps, our inability to do what was important in the firing range caused us a major victory or at least a draw.
“We knew Ghana’s pedigree. They are no doubt a great side but we came in with our won game to win, which unfortunately did not work out for us,’ Dussuyer said.
The Frenchman, who came with a tactical plan to swallow Ghana in the middle and attack on the flanks, said it was too early to give any single team in Group D the favourite’s tag, promising that his side would bounce back in full force.
With Michael Essien showing just a little of brilliance, Muntari and Appiah appeared not cut for the match and it was surprising that both spent more than 70 minutes in the game before being substituted.
Brilliant Beninois forward, Ronuald Boco, shook his head in disbelief after losing the match in which they proved the better side.
“Ghana were playing at home and the pressure to win was on them, but we played better even though we failed to win,” Boco said.
Serious question marks hung over the potency of the Ghanaian attack last Sunday. It is still surprising why Manuel Agogo was dropped for the match.
Prince Tagoe who led the attack was not himself after scoring that all-important goal but the confidence of the young man must be built to enable Ghana tap the potential in him.
Goals matter a lot in the qualifiers and Ghana can only sharpen their attack.

Monday, March 30, 2009


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Sunyani

THE Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Brong Ahafo United F/C, (BA United) Mr Charles Ntim, a.k.a, Micky Charles, has denied media reports that he has resigned from his position to concentrate on his new role as special assistant to the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister.
“I still remain the chief executive officer of the club,” he told Graphic Nsempa in Sunyani and called on the numerous supporters of the club to discard the reports.
Reports that Mr Ntim had quit his position came as a shock to many people especially the supporters of the club. This was at a time when BA United are having a good run in the national first division league, where they are on top of their group.
Mr Ntim said those who were spreading this false information about his resignation might have their own reasons.
He indicated that his role as special assistant to the regional ministry would in no way have any negative effect on his CEO position.
The CEO said he was determined to see the club through a successful division one league and qualify them to the premiership next season.


GHANA’S Black Stars struck very early but never looked the protagonists against Benin yesterday as they laboured throughout the rest of the game before running away with a lone goal victory in a FIFA World Cup group game at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.
The Beninois were never overawed by the huge reputation of Ghana and a magnificent display of art, industry and technique saw them overshadowing their opponents.
Having trumpeted the prediction of a shocking victory over Ghana, Benin left many at the stadium panting for the entire duration of the game and South African referee Benett Deniel’s whistle came as a big relief for the sweltering Ghanaian fans.
Ghana moved to the top of their group but surely the game signalled the difficulty ahead of the Black Stars in the qualifiers as the competition gathers momentum.
With expectation so high among the home fans, the Black Stars were greeted with wild cheers at the near-to-capacity stadium and they responded with one of the swiftest goals ever scored in Kumasi.
Just a minute into the game, Sule Muntari picked a long lass on the left and quickly floated his cross well into the area for a lurking Prince Tagoe to connect home first-time past keeper Yoam Djidenou.
What a way to start the game, and the crowd responded with rapturous cheers. But the Ghanaians never had the poise and composure to contain as the visitors took over.
Benin spread the game to the wings where Stephanie Sessigna and Boco Ronuald gave the Ghanaian defence a hell of trouble.
In the third minute, Benin nearly drew parity but danger man Boco saw his shot from eight yards missed out narrowly.
It appeared the Black Stars were finding difficulty in the middle as Appiah, Essien and Annan failed to push the ball upfront.
Looking better composed, the Squirrels pushed for the equaliser and Jonathan Quartey in the heart of the defence worked very well to keep them at bay. One of the defender’s tackles earned him the yellow card for rough play in the 15th minute.
The Ghanaian back-line had difficulties containing the swift attacking play of Benin
And anytime Razak Omotoyossi and Boco charged forward, danger stared right in the face of the Ghanaians.
With Muntari and Appiah lost in the game, the Stars were obviously in all manner of troubles. It was no wonder the two players were substituted in the second half:
Ghana brought on Kwadwo Asamoah for Matthew Amoah in the 67th minute and the inclusion of the Udinese man, brought some life into the Ghanaian play. Five minutes from coming on, Kwadwo Asamoah ran through the Benin defence but indecision in the firing range saw the opportunity going wasted.
Two more substitutions from the Black Stars — Asamoah Gyan for Stephen Amoah and Isaac Vorsah for Muntari — could not change the game for the Ghanaians and the Squirrels initiated a number of sweeping moves to threaten at goal.
But before he went out in the 85th minute Muntari produced a typical left-footed drive from 40 yards, which grazed the bar much to the relief of the visiting team.
Black Stars keeper Richard Kingson was booked in the dying minutes for delaying while Benin’s defender Anicet Adjamonsi also received the referee’s booking for rough play.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


AN amazing half-full Baba Yara Stadium watched the Black Stars have their first training in Kumasi last Thursday afternoon in preparation for their World Cup qualifier against the Squirrels of Benin in Kumasi tomorrow.
Typical of Kumasi fans, they cheered on the players as they worked it out under the tutelage of Milovan Rajevac, and if the attendance at the training was anything to go by then a capacity crowd is expected to witness the game tomorrow.
In fact the demonstration of massive support, even at training, rubbished reports in a section of the media that a group in Kumasi was working to stop supporters from watching the match.
All 23 players practised and did physicals, and the coach was scheduled to take them through two more training sessions yesterday and today before the D-day.
The sweat on the faces of Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari, Stephen Appiah and the rest, perhaps, signalled their battle-readiness for the match.
Kumasi fans are so passionate about football, and anytime the Black Stars play in the Garden City the fans give them the impetus to perform.
Aware of the anticipated massive number of fans that will watch the match, the Regional Police administration has put in place adequate measures to ensure the safety of all.
So much talent abounds in camp and the coach may have difficulty picking his first eleven from the pack. A number of the players who constituted the historic 2006 World Cup team are still around and they can only inspire the new ones to make history for themselves by qualifying for South Africa 2010.
The first group game against Benin holds a lot for the Ghanaian team. A good win could catapult the team to greater heights as the group games progress.
Already the front pages of newspapers are predicting victory for our boys, but a word of caution is that this will not come on a silver platter. The team must work extra hard to overcome the Squirrels.
Gradually, Benin have built an impressive team that has some fine materials who, on a good day, can stand toe-to-toe with the Ghanaians.
In Razak Omotoyossi, Soglo, Chitou and the likes, Benin possess a side that can be venomous if let loose.
The Inter Milan midfielder, Muntari, accepts the fact that Benin are a good side and they will never underrate them. “We shall play to the best of our ability, and Ghanaians should pray and support us.”
The skipper of the side, Stephen Appiah, also assured Ghanaians that they are battle-ready even though they know the Beninois would come full of fight.
“I will play my role as a captain, and with God on our side we shall win”, he told journalists after training.


THE Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached an agreement with the Ghana Chamber of Mines on the transportation of acid and other combustible substances to the mining centres of the country to ensure safety on the roads.
The Executive Director of the EPA, Mr J.A. Allotey, who made this known in Kumasi, said details of the agreement would be made public soon.
He was speaking at the opening of the 2009 Africa Alumni Conference of the International Management of Resources and Environment (IMRE) Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi last Wednesday.
The IMRE MBA programme is a unique course of study which offers a common managerial education, with special focus on the management of resources and the environment.
As of 2008, the IMRE programme was offered at two universities, namely TU Bergakademie Frieburg in Germany and the KNUST School of Business.
Mr Allotey, who spoke on the topic, “Environmental Impact of Mineral Extraction in Ghana”, expressed concern over the increasing spate of road accidents and said the two organisations could contribute to stem the problem.
He noted that mineral extraction had a wide and extensive impact on the environment at different phases of mining and, therefore, it was important that effective measures were taken to stem the problem.
He said it was to address the environmental impact that the National Environmental Policy had provided a broad framework for environmental management with the view to ensuring sound management for reserves and the environment and to avoid the exploitation of the resources in a manner that could cause serious damage to the environment.
The Executive Director stated that mining had also had positive results on the nation and so it was important that mining companies were supported to contribute to national development.
Mr Allotey said the EPA would not allow companies to flout environmental regulation in respect of mining, adding that
dust from mining was one dangerous area that needed attention to control.
“Dust, whether toxic or non-toxic, presents serious challenges for nearby communities and industrial machinery and also has damaging effects on vegetation by blocking plant pores and reducing light penetration and photosynthesis,” he said.
He pointed out that minerals extraction would continue to be with the people, no matter the protests in certain circles, saying what was needed was the adoption of best practices in mining to address the negative impacts.
Prof Jan C. Bongaerts of TU Bergakademie, Frieburg, said exchange programmes were good ways of building the capacity of professionals in academia.
He expressed the hope that the conference would help to further improve the programme.

Friday, March 27, 2009


A KUMASI High Court has ruled that the inauguration of Foase as the capital of Atwima Kwanwoma District in the Ashanti Region is an illegal act and therefore void.
The court, presided over by Mr Justice Frank Amoah, stated that the district headquarters should have been sited at Twedie because official records had it that the administrative capital of the new district was to be sited there.
The ruling followed an action instituted at the High Court by the Odikro of Twedie, Nana Kwarteng Panin Akosah II and others seeking, among others, a declaration that the inauguration of Foase as the district headquarters on February 29, 2008, was null and void because the discretion and or decision by the government creating and making Foase the district capital was “unfair, injudicious, arbitrary, capricious and biased”.
Mr Justice Amoah gave a brief history of the suit, saying in 2007, the government decided to create new district assemblies out of the existing ones throughout the country and among them was Atwima Kwanwoma.
He said included in the Instrument establishing the new district was the naming of Twedie as the capital of the district.
The judge said the Daily Graphic even made a publication showing Twedie as the district capital.
“The anticipated opening of Twedie as the district headquarters, a position it held from colonial days since 1946, gingered the chiefs and people of Twedie to reactivate all former establishments in the town in preparation for the offices, and that put the people of Twedie in great euphoria.
“But they were to receive the shock of their lives when, on the day of the inauguration on February 29, 2008, Foase and not Twedie was inaugurated as the district capital,” he said.
Mr Justice Amoah said the people of Twedie did not accept that because some of the factors the government took into consideration in siting the district capital included the availability of residential quarters for the District Chief Executive (DCE), premises for the staff of the assembly, offices, a police station and large tract of land for the expansion of the assembly’s infrastructure, all of which would not be found at Foase or in any other town except Twedie.
In his ruling, the judge said he did not think anybody had the right to change the final decision that was reached making Twedie the district capital.
Conceding that the government could change its decision to create and move the district capital to another place should the siting of that particular town create political tension, “ that was not the case in this instance when everything had been completed in the process of creating Twedie as the district capital.”
The defendants in the matter were the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and two others.
No costs were awarded.


ASANTEMAN is gearing up for the climax of activities marking the 10th anniversary of the enthronement of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
Already, the anniversary fever has gripped Kumasi and for people who believe in tradition, Kumasi is the area to visit these days. Over the past month or two, the Manhyia Palace has been awash with various activities as part of the celebrations.
The grand ceremony slated for the Baba Yara Stadium on April 26 will be celebrated as Akwasidae Kese. It will be the second Akwasidae Kese to be celebrated by Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
Ten years ago, Barima Kwaku Duah, son of the current Asantehemaa, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem, picked the Mpomponsuo sword and swore to become the 16th occupant of the Golden Stool.
The decision to celebrate the grand ceremony of the anniversary as Akwasidae Kese was not taken for its own sake. The Akwasidae Kese festival holds a special place in Asanteman. It is only the Asantehene who celebrates it and this shows how important the festival is.
It is an occasion for remembrance, merrymaking and re-union. Through special prayers, Otumfuo Osei Tutu will invoke the spirits of his predecessors including Agyinamoa Mpatu, Kobia Amanfi, Twum ne Antwi, Oti Akenten, Obiri Yeboah, Osei Tutu (Opemsuo) and Opoku Ware (Okatakyie).
Others are Kusi Boadum, Osei Kwadwo (Okoawia), Osei Kwame Panin, Opoku Fofie, Kwame Bonsu, Osei Yaw Akoto, Kwaku Duah I, Kofi Karikari, Mensah Bonsu and Kwaku Duah II. The rest are Kwaku Duah III (Prempeh I), Osei Agyemang Prempeh II and Opoku Ware II.
Otumfuo would, among other things, use the Akwasidae Kese to spell out his vision for Asanteman in the coming years.
I am reliably informed that the Asantehene would launch the second phase of the Otumfuo Education Fund. The second phase would focus on support for specialist training in medicine and Information Communication Technology (ICT).
With so much attachment to educational development, Otumfuo Osei Tutu has never relented in seeing to the development in his domain and other parts of the country.
The Otumfuo Education Fund has built a number of schools in Asanteman and many other parts of the country. The Fund has also awarded scholarships to thousands of people. Indeed, many people who would otherwise have found it difficult to attain tertiary education, have been able to go through the system, thanks to Otumfuo.
Persistently, he had driven home the fact that it was only education that could drive the nation to the dreamland of development. 
Anytime that he had the opportunity to speak to his people, he had always said in the past, his ancestors embarked on wars of conquest but today, the war was against poverty, ignorance and disease.
The war, he stressed, could only be won through education.
Otumfuo has over the 10 years of being on the Golden Stool, resolved countless chieftaincy disputes in his domain. 
Immediately he ascended the throne, he ordered that all chieftaincy disputes pending in the courts be withdrawn for settlement at Manhyia and the order has worked to achieve peace in Asanteman.
Today, while people in some communities are fighting and killing each other over chieftaincy disputes, Asanteman is peaceful thanks to Otumfuo.
 Otumfuo Osei Tutu has supported his wife Lady Julia Osei Tutu to establish an AIDS Foundation, which is supporting many AIDS-orphaned children.
We all remember the negative comments that some people, for reasons best known to them, made when the Asantehene sought a World Bank assistance to promote development in his domain. 
These same people recoiled into their shells when as unselfish as he was, Otumfuo spread development projects accruing from the World Bank support to other regions of the country.
It is expected that the coming years will see more from Otumfuo Osei Tutu as he moves to advance the development of Asanteman and Ghana.


THE Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Kwabena Duffour, has stated that the government will take a closer look at how every pesewa of the taxpayer’s money is spent to ensure value for money.
Stressing that currently about 70 per cent of the national tax revenue was spent on public procurement, the minister indicated that good procurement practices could save about 30 per cent of product cost, which should not be left to chance.
Dr Duffour stated this in a speech read on his behalf by Mrs Cynthia Bediako of the ministry, at the inauguration of the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Zonal Office of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) in Kumasi on Wednesday.
The zonal office is the first on a list of five to be opened in the country as part of efforts by the PPA to decentralise its operations.
The finance minister called on suppliers to endeavour to provide quality goods for their clients.
“It is very disheartening when customers seek quality items but are constantly confronted with highly inferior products,” he said.
Dr Duffuor charged the PPA, particularly the new zonal office, to develop indicators that would enable the government to assess the gains made as a result of the implementation of the Act.
He gave the assurance that the government would go the extra mile to ensure the full implementation of the internationally accepted practices in public procurement.
The finance minister touched on some of the challenges that emerged from the assessment of various procurement entities over the past five years. This, he said, “had necessitated the drive to bring some functions of the oversight authority closer to the districts and local levels to facilitate implementation and monitor the performance of entities”.
The Akyempimhene of Kumasi, Oheneba Adusei Poku, who chaired the ceremony, commended the Mills government for continuing the good programmes and policies of the previous government to enhance the national development process.
Citing the Public Procurement Act as one typical policy, he said this was a mark of good governance, and added that the nation needed to get value for money in the implementation of the Act.
Oheneba Poku called on Ghanaians to support the government as it moved to instil discipline in the administration of national resources.
The Chief Executive of the PPA, Mr Adjenim Boateng Adjei, said the PPA had so far trained over 8,000 functionaries through its nationwide short-term training programmes in a bid to instil discipline in the implementation of the Act.
He, however, said there was still a lot to do to entrench efficiency and best practices into the procurement profession.
He expressed concern about the poor results of the annul procurement assessment of entities that were far away from Accra and said that motivated them to start the opening of zonal offices.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, expressed the conviction that the presence of the PPA in the region would help streamline the procurement functions of the ministries, departments and agencies.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


A RENOWNED herbalist in Kumasi, Mr Benjamin Daniel Bonsu, has been selected for the prestigious American Biographical Institute (ABI) Man of the Year award for 2009.
Mr Bonsu, 75, who owns the Sankofa Herbal Store and Clinic, was the only person to be nominated from Ghana for the award.
‘You are our choice for your country after reviewing hundreds of achievements that have had a positive impact on the lives of others world-wide,” a statement from ABI said.
The award exemplifies the importance and validation of deeds well done.
The ABI said of the nominee: “The institute’s board of research decided on your nomination due to its global efforts to locate accomplished individuals like you.”
Mr Bonsu has, for 50 years, treated more that 1,000 women of breast cancer.
“I have treated many people, yet I have not received the needed recognition in my own country,” he said with regret.
He said herbal medicine had something positive to offer the nation and it must, therefore, be given all the needed attention.
He is in the process of establishing a herbal school in Kumasi to give meaning to traditional medical practice.
Work on the project, which is about 70 per cent complete, has been suspended temporarily because of financial constraints.
Mr Bonsu has also offered support to students of the Department of Herbal Medicine at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in their practical work.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


AFTER guiding Kessben F/C to a historic victory over Kumasi Asante Kotoko last Sunday, coach Bashir Hayford appeared sarcastic, saying his “Bashirlistic” formula was too much for Isaac Opeele Boateng and his players to withstand.
“It was clear that they were confused with our game plan, and this tells you that it will take a good coach to prepare a team with so much talent”, Hayford said of Asante Kotoko when he spoke with me yesterday.
The 1-0 victory over Kotoko in the penultimate Glo Premier league match at the Anane Boateng Stadium at Abrankese was the first by Kessben F/C, a club formed by former Kotoko board member, Mr Kwabena Kesse.
Apparently hurt by the defeat, Kotoko’s Director of Operations went into a crisis meeting with the technical team to plan the way forward.
The Graphic Sports learnt that the meeting discussed the commitment level of some of the players of the champion club.
It would not be surprising if in the coming days some of the payers are placed on the transfer list.


THE Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) says it is repositioning itself to ensure accelerated delivery of potable water and improved sanitation services to meet the increasing demands in the fast growing rural communities in the country.
A press release issued from the agency’s headquarters in Accra ahead of their annual review conference to be held in Kumasi today said “the provision of water and sanitation facilities, especially to the rural and peri-urban communities, is very crucial to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the targets set in the government’s development agenda.
The release said the CWSA would retool itself and move to ensure that the needs of the people were addressed.
The conference is being held on the theme: “Facilitation of the National Community water and Sanitation Programme (NCWSP): Emerging Challenges and the Way Forward”.
The review conference will also be used to set new targets and strategise towards improved performance to achieve set targets.
According to the release, this year’s conference would address a number of thematic issues including redefining the role of the CWSA in the current decentralisation process, and to determine the way forward in the change process.
It would also identify alternative sources of income and establish a strategic integration of ICT within the operations of the NCWSP.
It said the conference would be attended by representatives at the headquarters and regional offices of the CWSA, the ministries of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Local Government and Rural Development, Finance and Economic Planning, among others.


THE Wildfire Management Project has denied recent media reports that an audit had implicated them in various acts of financial misappropriation.
A statement signed by the acting Director of the project, Mr Edward Obiaw, and addressed to the Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission, said the management raised genuine challenges to most of the findings of the audit team because the team did not have the full grasp of the project accounting procedure.
The Insight newspaper began a series of publications recently on the alleged implicating audit report, which was picked up by some radio stations.
The Wildfire Management Project, with headquarters in Kumasi, was mandated to initiate policies and programmes to protect some of the country’s forests from fire.
In July 2006, the internal audit teams from the Ministry of Lands and Forestry, and the Forestry Commission carried out audit of the project, out of which a number of issues were raised.
“Management challenged most of the findings because at the time, the audit team did not understand the project accounting procedure including the demands of the donors and accordingly submitted responses to straighten up the records,” the statement from the project management said.
It added, “It is of interest to note that since the 2006 internal audit, the project has gone through two external audits and another internal audit.”
In some of their responses to the observations from the audit team, the management said it was not true that they wrote two cheques with the same amount and that there was no indication that either of the cheques was cancelled.
The management explained that the amounts stated on the cheques as mentioned by the auditors were incorrect.
In another observation, the auditors said, “In another instance, cheque number 175218 for an amount of ¢192,950,000 was drawn on the 16th of July on PV No. 4129 for the payment of some goods.”
They continued that “the photocopy of the same document with the same value of ¢192,950,000 was again used in addition to others to process another payment voucher that amounted to ¢347,799,800 and drawn with cheque number 277583 on December 23, 2005”.
However in their response, the management said the figure ¢192,950,000 was incorrect and that the correct amount on the stated cheque was ¢178,478,750.
They went further that the cheque number 175218, with the value of ¢178,487,750, was issued to Oo-Yebo Enterprise Limited on July 16, 2004 for the payment, implementation and evaluation of media and public education while the cheque number 277583 for the amount of ¢347,799,800 was issued to Dutchtech Limited on December 23, 2005 for the payment for the establishment of Green firebreaks in the Asubima and Opro Forest Reserves in the Ashanti Region.
In all the management responded to all the 10 observations mentioned in the audit report, which they believed were enough evidence to underline the effective manner they handled affairs at the project.


THE revenue staff of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) have congratulated the chief of Toase, Nana Asiama Poku Afrifa II, on his election to the Council of State.
They said Nana Asiama’s rich traditional background as a chief and a revenue man put him in a good position to bring some positive changes into the revenue generation of the various district assemblies in the region.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Kumasi after the revenue staff had paid a courtesy call on the chief to congratulate him on his election, the Chief Revenue Officer of the KMA, Mr James Akoto said during his days with the KMA as the head of revenue, Nana Asiama demonstrated dedication to duty and love for the metropolis and the nation by undertaking his duties with seriousness.
“He was honest and dedicated to his work and was loved by all his subordinates and superiors at the assembly”, he said.
Nana Asiama won the election to the Council of State, beating three other contestants including the New Patriotic Party (NPP’s) Chairman of the Council of Elders in the region, Mr Akenten Appiah-Menka.
Mr Akoto said the revenue staff were confident that his experience would translate into his new office as a Member of the Council of State.
He stated that as a member of the council, a lot would be expected of him because he would give advice to the President.
“This is a high office that calls for love for one’s nation and its people and we trust that Nana will once again score high marks there,” Mr Akoto said.
He also appealed to Nana Asiama to use his office to fight for development for the region.


FREKO FD Enterprise, managers of the Kejetia Bus Terminal in Kumasi, has expressed the hope that President J.E.A Mills will work hard to fulfil his pledges for which Ghanaians voted for him.
Congratulating Prof. Mills on his election to the high office of President of the Republic, Mrs Freda Darko-Manu, managing director, said her outfit was aware of the high expectations of Ghanaians, especially those in Kumasi but expressed confidence in the Mills Administration to deliver.
She said Freko FD was ready to support the President in his quest to bring the expected development to Kumasi.
Mrs Darko-Manu wished the President well as he moved to implement his programmes to ensure accelerated development for the nation.
She also welcomed Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu on the assumption of office as the new regional minister and pledged her company’s readiness to cooperate and support his vision and development agenda for a better Ghana in line with the vision of the President and government of Ghana.
She said Mr Opoku-Manu, an experienced administrator, would deliver to expectation in the region.
Meanwhile, the management and staff of Freko FD have congratulated the government and people of Ghana on the occasion of the 52nd Independence anniversary.
Mrs Darko-Manu called on Ghanaians to work harder than before and complement the efforts of the government in its social,economic and political policies and programmes to improve the lot of the people.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


SA SECTION of women in Kumasi have called on the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government to treat former President J.A. Kufuor with respect as a former head of state.
They said the manner the former President was being handled by the current government did not speak well of the nation and must cease.
The women, mostly identified with the NPP, stated this after they marched through some of the streets of Kumasi to demonstrate against what they described as the unfair treatment meted out to Mr Kufuor.
They cited the government’s handling of the former President’s office and the withdrawal of his vehicles as typical examples.
Carrying placards some of which read, “We are tired of the vindictiveness”, Treat Kufuor fairly” and “Tackle the issues confronting the nation and leave Kufuor alone,” the women undertook the demonstration peacefully.
All their leaders who addressed them said it appeared the government had a negative agenda against Mr Kufuor and the NPP.
They said the former President did a lot for the nation and did not deserve to be treated in such manner.
The women mentioned the National Health Insurance Scheme, the Capitation grant, free medical care for pregnant women and the numerous projects scattered across the country as some of the achievements of Mr Kufuor which must be appreciated.
According to the women, they would continue to demonstrate against the government over policies that were not human-centred.
They said Mr Kufuor was respected worldwide as one of the greatest leaders Africa had ever had in recent times.
It was therefore surprising that for political reasons, the government wanted to downgrade him.


KUMASI Asante Kotoko thumped Berekum Arsenal 3-0 at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi yesterday to revive their claim to the Glo Premier League championship.
The scoreline may look big but it was an afternoon of wasted opportunities for the Porcupine Warriors as they could have gone home with at least seven goals if the attack had been focused.
Kotoko’s striking pair of Alex Asamoah, who fetched a brace, and Louis Agyemang, who scored the other goal, missed glorious opportunities much to the chagrin of the few fans who watched the match.
The home side, who lost 1-2 at the same venue to Eleven Wise a week ago, was in the driving seat right from the start and forced Arsenal to commit errors at the back.
The first major chance fell to Jordan Opoku on 12 minutes, but finding himself in the area unchallenged he misdirected his shot.
After Stephen Oduro missed a similar opportunity on the 18th minute, Louis Agyemang put Kotoko ahead three minutes later.
Appearing so swift for the Arsenal back line, the Kotoko striker went on a brilliant run outpacing two defenders to lift the ball over advancing keeper Thomas Duah Asare.
Arsenals, who could hardly make a single serious attempt at goal, were lost in the middle and Stephen Oduro and Jordan Opoku danced around with the ball.
After 29 minutes, Kotoko registered their second goal with Samuel Inkoom as the architect. The brilliant defender in a typical run down the right displaced an opponent and flighted the ball for Alex Asamoah to connect with a half volley.
The stage looked set for a bumper harvest but Agyemang and Asamoah were disappointing in front of goal.
Arsenals brought on Frank Opoku for Halifax Afranie in a bid to tighten the defence but Kotoko who also replaced Oduro with Ofosu Amoah were the aggressors.
The status quo prevailed in the second half with Kotoko doing all the attacking but they had to wait until the 74th minute to increase the tally to three. Once again Alex Asamoah was the main man, rounding a defender and the keeper to coolly plant the ball in the net.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


THE Dosonec Co-operative Credit Union, a community-based credit union in Kumasi, has developed a programme to assist its members to get hooked on to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Under the programme, the union makes upfront payment of premiums, which members will repaid through a ‘susu’ scheme.
Mrs Agnes Eyiah-Mensah, a board member of the union, told the Daily Graphic that it was their vision to see every member of the union register with the NHIS.
She said her outfit took great interest in the health of its members and would therefore do everything to assist them in that respect.
She said without good health, the people could not work to contribute to the development of the nation.
Mrs Eyiah-Mensah said the company, which was recently given the legal backing to operate by the Ghana Cooperative Society, now had about 5,000 members.
With branches at Konongo, Krofom, Amakom and Tanoso in Kumasi, the union hopes to expand even further in the coming years.
Mrs Eyiah-Mensah said there were enormous benefits in the cooperative system and urged many people to patronise it.
She encouraged the people to join the Dosonec Union because of its credibility.
The board member also encouraged members to have hope in the union as it moved to improve their lives.


THE Dean of the Faculty of Technology Education of the Kumasi Campus of the University of Education, Winneba, Professor Reynolds Okai, has stressed the need for the country’s technology teachers to put theories into practice so that the results of their research works do not remain on paper forever.
He expressed concern that the results of many research works had died naturally to the disadvantage of the nation because no conscious efforts were made by the researchers to translate them into practice.
Prof. Okai, who was speaking at the inauguration of the Technology Students’ Association (TECHSA) of the University’s Kumasi Campus last Saturday, said if the numerous research works undertaken in the country had been implemented to the full, Ghana would for instance, have made good use of the thousands of tonnes of garbage produced daily in the cities and others communities.
“We need to change the way we do things because it will be disastrous for the nation to continue to rely on the white man for technological advancement,” he stressed.
The occasion was on the theme: “The technology teacher- a strategic technocrat for quality nation building.”
Prof. Okai, who was the guest speaker for the ceremony, expressed regret that after 52 years of independence, Ghana had not seen any significant improvement in the way things were done.
“The peasant farmer still uses hoes and cutlasses for farming. We still rely on the rains for agriculture and worse of all, we are unable to harness the full potential of solar energy for power generation”, he said.
He pointed out that without the full utilisation of technology in national life, the nation cannot move forward in its development agenda.
Prof. Okai also challenged technology students in the country’s universities to play a role in speeding up the nation’s technological development.
“In Japan for instance, most of the inventions made by scientists were the result of research undertaken by students in the tertiary institutions. Today we can testify to the fact that Japan is the most technologically advanced nation on earth”, he said.
The President of the association, Mr Solomon Atta-Agyei, said the association would complement efforts of the teaching staff of the university to bring innovations into the activities of the university.
He explained that the association was formed to seek the welfare of students in the design and technology education department of the university.

Monday, March 16, 2009


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Sunyani

MEDIA practitioners in the Brong Ahafo Region have pledged to support the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, in his quest to lead the region to ensure accelerated development.
At a press soiree organised by the Brong Ahafo Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) in Sunyani, the journalists said they all have a responsibility to contribute to the development of the region.
Consequently, they would do everything possible to co-operate with the regional minister to achieve his development agenda for the region.
In his address, the regional chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr Charles Koomson, said journalists were not enemies of public officials as some people tended to believe.
He said journalists served as watchdogs and as such they would always move to keep such officials on their toes.
Mr Koomson, therefore, urged the minister not to see certain criticisms from journalists against his administration as an attempt to discredit him.
“We would always ensure that we put forward constructive criticisms,” he added.
Addressing the gathering, Mr Nyamekye-Marfo said he had come to the high office of regional minister with open heart.
“I will be the father for all in the region so that together we can move the region forward in the right direction,” he added.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo urged the journalists to fee free to contact him for information that would change the face of the development of the region for the better.
He recalled his days as the District Chief Executive for Sunyani in the first NDC administration and said, “I had a nice working relationship with the media.”
“This I pledge to continue because the media have a crucial role to play in advancing our democracy,” he said.
The minister, however, urged the media practitioners to avoid sensationalism and falsehoods that could discredit them as individuals and their organisations.


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

AT long last, Accra Hearts of Oak have been officially invited to participate in the special football tournament to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the enthronement of the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
Hearts who were earlier billed to participate in the tournament were withdrawn for undisclosed reasons but the organisers have reconsidered their decision.
Hearts comes alongside Bechem Chelsea, bringing the number of participating teams to six.
The others are Kumasi Asante Kotoko, King Faisal, Kessben F/C and Obuasi Ashanti Gold.
The three day-competition, to be sponsored by MTN, will he played over three days at the Baba Yara Stadium in April.
Each of the participating teams will take an appearance fee of GH¢5,000.
The entry of Hearts of Oak into the tournament is expected to generate much interest amongst the football public.
This is due to the fact that the two bitterest rivals, Hearts and Kotoko, will be meeting again not long after the Accra-based side beat Kotoko 2-1 in a Glo premier league match at the Baba Yara Stadium.
It will offer an opportunity for Kotoko to revenge that defeat to bring some smiles to the faces of their supporters.
On the other hand, Hearts of Oak will also move for another victory over their rivals.
Football fans in Kumasi are happy that Hearts have entered the tournament and from all indications, patronage of the matches will be high..


ETHNIC groupings in the Kumasi metropolis have come together at a roundtable to find ways of promoting peace amongst themselves.
Organised at the instance of the Gateway International Christian Ministry based in the United States of America, the discussions brought together 45 representatives mostly the youth of about 15 ethnic groupings to the one-day roundtable discussions.
At the ceremony, the founding pastor of the church, Reverend Elvis Acheampong, said peace was a major prerequisite for the development of every nation.
He said over the years Kumasi had remained the nerve centre for the integration of people from all tribes.
“This is what as a church we want to promote to ensure that we all live as brothers and sisters,” he said.
According to Rev Acheampong, the Gateway International Christian Church, with headquarters in Washington DC and branches in Ghana, is a thriving multinational church that prepares people from all walks of life to live responsible lives for the benefit of their families and nation.
The head pastor urged the various tribal groupings to have respect for one another.
He said it was disastrous for any one tribe to claim superiority over the other, stressing that “before God we are all the same”.
Rev Acheampong urged the youth to channel their energies into useful ventures rather than unnecessary conflicts and violent actions.
He gave the assurance that similar programmes would be organised in other parts of the country.
Rev Acheampong stressed the need for Ghanaians to stop associating specific ethnic groups with some negative things, as such a practice tended to divide the nation.
During an open forum, the participants gave a pledge to impress on their people to live at peace with one another.
They commended the church for initiating the discussions which they described as very positive.

Friday, March 13, 2009


AFTER being exposed by Sekondi Eleven Wise amidst boos and anger from the home fans in Kumasi, Asante Kotoko are confronted with the huge question of their readiness for the potentially tough Africa Champions league preliminary first leg game against Morocco’s Ittihad Z. Khemmiset at the Essipong Stadium on Sunday.
The reality dawned on Coach Isaac “Opeele” Boateng that all could not be well with his team and perhaps the best therapy for him is to dig deep into his repertoire of knowledge to craft a game plan strong enough to undo the Moroccan side.
Listening to coach C.K. Akunnor who led Wise to that convincing 2-1 victory over Asante Kotoko at the Baba Yara Stadium in the Glo Premier game, one could deduce that the team needs extra power and energy to work on.
“We watched their training and realised that their strength was on the wings so we stuck with a steady strategy, cutting them out from the flanks and allowing Rahim Ayew to wear them down, which confused them”, Akunnor, the former Black Stars captain said after the match.
This notwithstanding Sunday offers a big opportunity for Coach Opeele to begin his journey of hope with Asante Kotoko, and somehow lead his side to assuage the pains from the Eleven Wise defeat.
As Asante Kotoko move to put their feet on the winners’ podium, the young coach would have to prove a point about the capabilities of local coaches in the continental game.
He will be going into the match having at the back of his mind that only a humble attitude and the urge to work extra hard without swimming in complacency will see Kotoko record a very good win.
It may not be comfortable playing home away from home but Asante Kotoko would have to endure the intricacies.
Crowd violence last year saw CAF imposing a two-match home ban on the Ghanaian champions and they must have had a reason for choosing Essipong ahead of the Ohene Djan Stadium for the match.
Currently lying 12th in the Moroccan premier league and with virtually no name in Africa, Khemisset would ordinarily pass for a no match for a heavyweight like Asante Kotoko.
But for a side coming from no less a nation than Morocco it could be disastrous to write them off.
Asante Kotoko are aiming to go one better than their last year’s performance in the CAF Confederation Cup.
The reason why the club management sacked Belgian coach Maurice Cooreman was to prove a point that they were not ready to accommodate mediocrity.
The undulating African football terrain should propel Kotoko to brace themselves up for a potentially tough game on Sunday.
Khemmiset would come in aiming for at least a draw result that would put them in a better stead for qualification to the next stage of the competition.
The pressure to impress would surely come from the fans of Asante Kotoko but such pressures have the tendency of being reason for non-performance.
Asante Kotoko lost key striker, Eric Bekoe, who scored some crucial goals in Africa last season to Egyptian side Petrojet at the start of the season.
But in Alex Asamoah who was signed from Obuasi Ashantigold this season, they have an equally capable striker only that the player’s performance has not been consistent.
Asamoah’s partnership with former B/A United striker Stephen Manu should provide the needed goals for the Ghanaian side.
The Kotoko defence must put the brakes on the Moroccan attack and much would be expected from Samuel Inkoom, Ofosu Appiah, Godfred Yeboah and Samuel Nzimaba.
Nothing but a good win would push Kotoko into moving into the second leg with absolute hope.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


THE Ashanti Regional Treasurer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Justice Ibrahim Atipaga, has called on the New Patriotic Party to think about the development of the nation if it really wants a prosperous Ghana.
He said instead of finding ways to derail the forward march of the government, efforts must be made to support the national reconstruction agenda.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, he cautioned against attempts to pass judgement on the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, over the Auditor-General’s report on the operations of the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI).
He expressed regret that in order to score political points, some people had organised their own trial and passed judgement on Alhaji Mumuni.
“They should rather learn to move away from the false propaganda because Ghanaians know the truth and are not prepared to allow this to continue,” Mr Atipaga stated.
He said the Foreign Affairs Ministry was one of the key ministries that needed honest and dedicated people and that was where Alhaji Mumuni rightly fitted.
Mr Atipaga said Alhaji Mumuni had never been put before any court of competent jurisdiction over the issue and so it was important that the minister was allowed to do his work.
He said to impute criminality against Alhaji Mumuni over the matter and demand his resignation was baseless.
“As long as democracy and the rule of law continue to remain the pillars of modern politics, such noises can only be described as empty attempts to deprive the nation of useful services by individuals like Mohammed Mumuni,” he said.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


THE Tepa Traditional Council has commended President J.E.A. Mills for his government’s decision to continue the Tepa Regional Hospital project.
It said since the project was dear to the people in the area, it was refreshing that President Mills mentioned it in his maiden State of the Nation address to Parliament.
The Omanhene of the area, Nana Adusei Atwenewa Ampem, told the Daily Graphic that the Kufuor administration did well by initiating action for the establishment of the hospital.
He said it was very important that the Mills administration decided to continue from where the former government left off.
The Omanhene said the health of the people was crucial in nation building that was why it was important for the government to attach much importance to health delivery.
He stated that a regional hospital for the Ashanti Region was long overdue that was why the chiefs and people of Tepa were happy that the project was to be sited at Tepa.
Nana Ampem said over the years, Tepa had contributed significantly to the development of the economy of not only the region, but also the entire nation.
He mentioned the production of cocoa, oil palm and various food crops, as well as timber, as some of the areas that Tepa was well noted for.
“The decision to site the regional hospital at Tepa is, therefore, in the right direction,“ he said.
Nana Ampem disclosed that the traditional council had released 60 acres for the project “ because we know how important health development is”.
He gave the assurance that he and his people would support the government to deliver on its promise to see to the completion of the project.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


THE new Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, has had the baptism of fire over his statement that the Asantehene is a super chief.
He had the baptism at the Manhyia Palace last Thursday.
During his vetting before the Appointments Committee of Parliament, Mr Opoku-Manu was questioned by one of the members of the committee as to whether the Asantehene was a chief and in his answer, he described the Asantehene as a “super chief”.
But when he paid a visit to the Manhyia Palace to introduce himself to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Mr Opoku-Manu came under criticisms for the statement he made.
The Akyempimhene, Oheneba Adusei Poku, who raised the issue, said it was wrong to described the Asantehene as a chief or super chief, pointing out that the Asantehene was the King of Asanteman and should be described as such.
Oheneba Poku explained that the Asantehene was far above a chief, stressing, “In our tradition, a chief is the traditional ruler from paramount chief and below”, he said.
The Akyempimhene, a lawyer by training, said by the Chieftancy Act, it is only the Asantehene who had the power to create a paramountcy in the country. “How then can you call the Otumfuo a chief”? He questioned.
The Akyempimhene said the Asantehene had 66 paramountcies in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions owing allegiance to him and that depicted his greatness.
He advised the regional minister to always consult the Manhyia Palace for advice so that his administration would be successful.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu told the regional minister that he had a herculean task before him since he would be working in an opposition stronghold.
He was, however, confident that the regional minister would succeed if he moved to bring all on board.
He urged the regional minister to deal firmly with the security issues in the region to give the people the peace to do their legitimate business.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu also advised him to initiate new projects and continue with the ones started by the previous government.
He spoke against haphazard development in Kumasi and other parts of the region, stressing that that practice must be seriously addressed.
The Asantehene called on the government to transfer issues bordering on chieftancy and land to chiefs to deal with them since it was easier for Nananom to settle matters of that nature.
For his part, Mr Opoku-Manu said he was at the palace to seek the blessing of Otumfuo because without that, he could not succeed in his work.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


THE Minister of Youth and Sports, Alhaji Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak, yesterday inaugurated a five-member committee of inquiry to investigate the February 8 incident at the Baba Yara Stadium with the firm assurance that the law would deal firmly with anyone found culpable.
He said the government was much concerned about the incident which resulted in four deaths and injuries to a number of football fans during the Glo Premier League match between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak at the Baba Yara Stadium, which Hearts won 2-1.
He said the government was determined to get answers to the problems that occurred during the match and find ways to prevent its occurence in the future.
The committee has a Kumasi-based legal practitioner, Mr James Maxwell Belieb, as chairman. The other members are Mr Welbeck Abra-Appiah, chairman of the Premier League Board, Dr Kofi Asafo-Agyei, a medical practitioner at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Mr Mohammed Alhassan, a radio presenter, and Assistant Commissioner of Police George Mensah of the Ashanti Regional Police.
They have two weeks to present their report to the Minister of Youth and Sports who is expected to present it to the President.
The committee will among others ascertain the total number of casualties, both deaths and injuries, determine whether there were any form of negligence on the part of officials; to find out whether the National Sports Council adhered to laid down regulations in organising matches and to make appropriate recommendations to the ministry on how to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.
Alhaji Mubarak recalled the May 9, 2001 disaster at the Ohene Djan Stadium, which led to 129 deaths and said it seemed Ghanaians were not ready to learn anything from that.
That was why President Mills was determined to put things right because Ghana could not afford to lose precious lives in such manner.
The minister stated that “there will be no witch-hunting in the committee’s work”.
He again urged people with information about the incident to feel free to give them out, promising that the identity of witnesses would be kept secret.