Sunday, August 29, 2010


PLANS are far advanced for the establishment of an Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) centre at the Kumasi Central Prisons to enable inmates to acquaint themselves with computers to help them fit into the ICT world on their discharge from the prisons.
The Ashanti Regional Commander of Prisons, Mr J. Kwaw-Yankson, made this known when a team of officers from the Ashanti Regional Office of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) paid a visit to the Kumasi Central Prisons.
The visit to the prisons was part of the CHRAJ’s annual inspection of detention institutions and it came just after the Access to Justice exercise, which led to the release of some remand prisoners.
Mr Kwaw-Yankson said ICT ruled the world today and it was important that the Ghana Prisons Service found ways to prepare prisoners to meet the challenges with hope on their release.
The Regional Commander said the Distance Learning Programme at the Central Prisons had been registered with the Ghana Education Service under the name, Reformation Junior High School and Reformation Senior High School and currently 30 and 25 inmates respectively were enrolled for the programmes.
He said efforts were underway to receive approval from the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for the schools to be made examination centres to enable the inmates to enroll for the programme to sit for the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) and WASSCE.


THE President of the West Africa Institute of Supply Chain Leadership, Dr Douglas Boateng, has called for the upgrading of the skills of supply chain and procurement professionals in the country to enable them to meet the emerging challenges in the sector.
He said as procurement had become a key area of national growth, there was the need to constantly upgrade the skills of the players in the sector to enable them to catch up with the changes that come up.
Dr Boateng made the call in a press release in Kumasi.
He said much was expected from professionals in the sector in developing a paradigm shift in terms of how local organisations could innovatively stretch the limited financial kitty through strategic sourcing.
 Dr Boateng also stressed the need for Ghanaian organisations to undertake strategic sourcing of goods and services in the face of the dwindling financial returns of local organisations.
That, he said, one sure way of developing local organisations whose growth are crucial to addressing poverty in the country, especially in the rural areas.
Dr Boateng, who is also an editorial board member of ‘Smart Procurement’, an international magazine devoted to effective procurement, said it was only when organisations scrutinised their strategic acquisition that they could post higher performance in their delivery.
“Strategic sourcing has been successfully applied in various public and private sector organisations in many countries and today, it continues to help organisations achieve quantifiable savings,” he said.
Dr Boateng stated that with no sign of a significant upswing in the economic fortunes of the world economy, the downward trend was expected to continue into the foreseeable future.
  He said at the same time, there was increasing demand from shareholders of organisations and society at large for higher performance and significant improvements in service delivery.
“This unprecedented financial challenge and socio-economic value shift necessitates that Ghana and other emerging-economies’ public and private sector organisations’ strategic acquisitions processes be scrutinised to meet the challenges of the time,” he said.
According to Dr Boateng, Africa’s policy makers should not be hoodwinked into believing that the boom in commodity exports would completely cushion the continent from any future financial crisis.
He said “the liquidity crisis is already being experienced in some African countries, including Ghana. If these shock waves continue to translate into further unemployment rates, especially among the youth, it could prove politically tricky for African governments.
Dr Boateng stated that while private sector company directors were quickly subjected to the wrath of shareholders if they failed to ethically and prudently use resources, the same could not be said of public sector institutions.
“Why can’t the same yardsticks be adapted for use in the public sector and especially among state-owned enterprises?” he asked.


A STATE-OWNED midwifery training school is set to open in September, this year at Goaso in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in collaboration with two non-governmental organisations have provided the necessary equipment for its smooth operations.
While the ministry released GH¢28,562, the Centre for the Empowerment of the Vulnerable, a local NGO, and the International Medical Equipment Collaborative, an NGO in the United States of America, jointly provided training equipment valued at $236,000 to the school.
The Asunafo North Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Mohammed Kwaku Doku, told the Daily Graphic at Goaso that all was set for the first batch of students to be admitted in September.
This will be the first midwifery school to be established in the Ahafo part of the region.
The MCE indicated that the establishment of the school would open up the municipality to the outside world and promised that the municipal assembly would ensure that the school progressed.
In a related development, the Municipal Chief Executive, has inaugurated electrification projects in three communities in the area under the Self Help Electrification Project (SHEP).
The communities are Daudakrom, Mpamase and Ahantamo. The projects were initiated in 2000.
Mr Doku said at the joint inauguration ceremony that the project was in line with the government’s social democratic agenda.
We are determined to improve living conditions of the people in the rural areas so that they would feel comfortable staying and working in those areas,” he said.
Mr Doku urged the people to make good use of the electricity to help improve their lot.
The Gyasehene of Akrodie Traditional Area who chaired the function, Nana Boakye Asibuo, commended the government for the interest it had shown in the project.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


FAN Milk Limited has as part of its golden jubilee celebration, donated a special package in support of the Teshie Homowo festival.
The presentation ceremony was preceded by a three-hour clean-up exercise at the Teshie rally ground.
The Ghana National Scholarship Beneficiaries Association (GNASBA) in conjunction with the Teshie Water Sanitation Board and some social groups in the community organised the programme.
Presenting the package which comprised some of the company’s products, footballs, T-shirts and caps, the Brands Manager of Fan Milk, Mr Dziezorm Bologa, paid tribute to the forefathers who by their wisdom, used traditional bye-laws to secure and protect the land and its natural resources, which were being destroyed.
He said the grandfathers had a vision and foresight to preserve the land and used tradition to maintain the plants and the river bodies.
Mr Bologa commended the people of Teshie for their massive turnout towards the special environmental day.
Receiving the package on behalf of the chiefs and people of Teshie, Mr Sam Nii Bonney Quist, the Ledzekuku Constituency Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), was grateful to Fan Milk for the gesture.
He announced that plans were far advanced to construct a new library, a computer centre, among other facilities to enhance teaching and learning in the community.
For his part, Nii Adjei, the Shiketele of Teshie, on behalf of the chiefs and people of Teshie thanked Fan Milk for the donation and seized the opportunity to congratulate the company on its 50 years of successful business in Ghana.
He advised the people of Teshie, especially the youth to do everything possible to promote peace in the area.


THE Offinsohene, Nana Wiafe Akenten III, has called on the government to tell its success story to the Ghanaian people now, instead of waiting for election period.
He said the people were ready to hear what the government was doing to improve their lives but it appeared not much had been done in that respect.
Nana Akenten made the call at a meeting between the Offinso Traditional Council and the Offinso Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Victor Amponsah, at his palace at Offinso.
The meeting, held at the instance of the Offinsohene, was to enable the MCE to brief the council about development projects in the area.
Nana Akenten indicated that most often people tended to blame the government for failing to inform them of developments in the country.
“This tend to put the people in the dark giving room for all manner of speculations and allegations,” he said.
The Omanhene stated that it was not for nothing that the Constitution gave room for the President to appoint Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).
“You were appointed to carry government policies through and inform the people of what was going on in government,” he said.
Reacting to a statement by the MCE that the previous assembly left behind huge debts, which were being serviced by the current assembly, the Omanhene questioned why the assembly should award contracts knowing very well that it did not have the funds to pay for them.
He further raised questions about how the previous assembly used the Common Fund that accrued to the assembly.
“I think something went wrong,” he said.
Nana Akenten said Ghanaians had confidence in the ability of the government to undertake a lot of development projects in every part of the country.
“But it will be difficult for this to be done if there is no money in the coffers,” he stressed.
He, therefore, cautioned MMDCEs to be wary of the way they spent government funds.
In his briefing, Mr Amponsah said in spite of the challenges his administration faced, they had been able to undertake a number of development projects to better the lives of the people.
Among areas that considerable successes had been chalked were in education, health, roads and water supply.
The MCE indicated that the assembly would continue to work in the interest of the people by making sure that funds were judiciously utilised.
He welcomed the meeting with the traditional council, stressing that the law mandated the assembly to work in concert with the chiefs.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


NEWLY-PROMOTED premier division side, B.A. Stars, have congratulated the Dormaahene, Osagyefo Oseadeeyo Agyemang Badu II, on his appointment as a Justice of the High Court of Ghana.
The Sunyani-based club said the appointment of the Omanhene, who is also the Life Patron and bankroller of Champion Club Dormaa Aduana Stars FC, was an honour to the entire Brong-Ahafo Region, especially those in the football fraternity.
Osyagyefo Agyemang Badu, who was a Circuit Court Judge, was recently elevated to the status of a High Court Judge.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Sunyani at the weekend, the President of B.A. Stars FC, Mr Tony Bennet, said the club, was encouraged by the Dormaahene’s affinity for football.
“This has seen him providing the needed resources and other support to build Aduana Stars into one of the fearsome sides in the country today for which B.A. Stars, as a club in the Brong Ahafo Region, is proud of,”
“We at B.A. Stars are confident that his love for the game would continue to grow even as he moves into his new position as a High Court Judge,” Mr Bennet said.
He called for good health, long life and continuous wisdom for the Dormaahene as he undertakes his work as a Justice of the Superior Court.
For his part, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of B.A. Stars, Mr K. Takyi-Arhin, was confident that football development in the region would grow with the Dormaahene as an active participant in driving the game.
Mr Takyi-Arhin who once worked as the Chief Executive of Aduana Stars, said “those of us who have come very close to this Great Omanhene know that he is an achiever, and there is not doubt in my mind that he will continue to progress as a Judge.”
He appealed to him to turn his eyes to other Premier League clubs in the region; namely BA Stars and Berekum Arsenal, so that together the three clubs would drive the region’s football to the promise land.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


A RENOWNED Kumasi-based industrialist, Mr Akenten Appiah-Menkah, has instituted a sponsorship package for the best cartoonist in the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) annual awards.
The package, according to him, was to recognise the laudable role cartoonists played in the development of journalism in the country.
Last Saturday, Mr Appiah-Menkah, who is also a veteran politician, presented the cheque to the GJA at his residence in Kumasi to cover the award at next Saturday’s GJA Awards to be held at the Banquet Hall of the State House.
Giving further explanation for his decision, Mr Appiah-Menkah said he had long been in love with cartoons, stressing that he was someone who could easily interpret cartoons.
He stated that when he was in crisis in the early 1990s, it was a cartoonist who went to his aid first.
According to him, in 1993 former President Rawlings issued a statement calling on the public to reject Apino Soap, which his company produced.
“At that time very few journalists could criticise the powers that be and it was a cartoonist who first came to my aid by depicting the negativity of that statement in a private newspaper before Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh and the late Prof P.A.V. Ansah also wrote condemning the statement,” he said.
He praised the GJA executives for recognising the importance of cartoonists in disseminating information.
Mr Appiah-Menkah indicated that unfortunately he would not attend Saturday’s GJA awards to present the prize to the best cartoonist, as he would be in the Upper West Region with some members of the Constitutional Review Committee.
However, he said he had delegated his wife, Mrs Rosemond Appiah-Menkah, to represent him at the ceremony.


POLITICAL parties are to sign a pact to allow the educational system in the country to work for the next 25 years without any major interference, a Deputy Minister of Information, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has hinted.
According to him, the government was working to get the political parties to sign the pact, since that was one sure way of addressing the interference that tended to dislocate the educational system.
The Deputy Minister was speaking at the opening of the 13th annual congress of the Ashanti Regional Students Representative Council (SRC) held at the Yaa Asantewaa Girls’ Senior High School (SHS) in Kumasi.
The conference was on the theme: “A well-groomed and empowered student leader – a necessity for effective national development”.
According to the Deputy Minister, the decision to revert to the three-year duration for the SHS had been taken in the interest of educational development and not to toy with the future of students, as some believed, noting that the government would never experiment with the future duration of the SHS system.
Mr Ablakwa apologised to SHS students for any inconveniences that they might face following the change in the SHS duration, promising that the government was moving fast to address the challenges.
He spoke well of SRCs, saying their activities helped in grooming students to become assets, not only to their families but also the entire society.
The Deputy Minister, however, noted that the time had come for SRCs to take a second look at their modus operandi to make them more relevant to society.
He also touched on the National Youth Policy and stressed that it would address the hopes and aspirations of the youth.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, charged parents to honour their responsibilities to their children’s education.
He also advised students to appreciate the sacrifices their parents made and work hard to be of use to themselves, their parents and the nation as a whole.
The President of the Ashanti Regional SRC, Ms Anita Appiah, expressed concern over the “back and forth” decisions on the duration of the SHS and noted that it could put students at a disadvantage in their academic progression.
In attendance was the Ashanti Regional Director of Education, Mr Joseph Onyinah, and Mrs Elizabeth Malik, the Headmistress of Yaa Asantewaa Girls’ SHS.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Story: Moses Dotsey Aklorbortu, Kajebil

BEASTLY instincts took the better part of a 28-year-old man when he allegedly butchered his estranged wife at Kajebil in the Ahanta West District of the Western Region yesterday morning.
The 26-year-old woman, Victoria Amoako, a mother of three who had separated from her partner, suffered her fate after she had been invited by the husband to his tailoring shop for money for the upkeep of their children, since he was about to travel out of town.
Without any provocation, the man, John Arthur, who had in the past accused the wife of infidelity and had expressed fear of losing her to another man, pulled out a well-sharpened machete and inflicted deep wounds on the neck, back, knees and wrists of the woman, killing her instantly.
According to the police, when Victoria reached the tailoring shop, Arthur offered her a seat and asked her to wait while he counted the money for her.
The woman, who was said to be sitting with her back towards the husband, did not see Arthur pulling the machete.
When the Daily Graphic got to the scene of the incident about 5:30 a.m., the victim’s body was lying in a pool of blood.
The incident was reported to the Kwesimintsim District Police Command, which moved in to begin investigations into it.
According to the police, the couple had been married for many years and were blessed with four children but one died.
They said the couple had everything going well until the man started accusing the woman of having multiple sexual affairs with other men.
That, according to the police, brought a lot of quarrels between them, a situation which marred the beautiful relationship.
According to them, efforts made to resolve the differences yielded no positive results and, as a result of the mistrust between them, the woman requested that they should be separated, since she was tired of the daily quarrels.
The police said the husband granted the request, without reneging on his responsibility to his children.
According to the police, since the man had been supporting the upkeep of the children, Victoria never anticipated that he had nurtured a plan to kill her when he invited her to his shop.
Victoria’s body has been deposited at the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital, while the suspect has been placed in police custody pending further investigations.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


THE Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) has demolished 30 buildings at Abouhia New Site, a suburb of Kumasi, to pave way for the construction of access roads in the area. 
The buildings, some of which were near completion, were sited in areas earmarked for road construction and the KMA insisted that it had every reason to demolish them.
Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Samuel Sarpong, has inspected the roads works going on in the area.
He told the Daily Graphic in Kumasi that the KMA would not sit down for people to build anyhow.
Mr Sarpong said developers must abide by building regulations, warning that those who contravened the laws would not be spared.
The chief executive gave the assurance that the assembly was determined to make Kumasi a better place to live.
“I, therefore, call on residents to give the assembly all the needed support to enable it to deliver,” he added.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


THE Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) is to begin the installation of split prepayment meters in Kumasi before the end of this year.
The project, which is expected to help reduce commercial losses and improve revenue collection of the company, is part of the Ghana Energy Development and Access Project (GEDAP).
The Ashanti Regional Public Relations Manager of the ECG, Mr Erasmus Kyere Baidoo, confirmed in an interview that arrangements were underway to make the exercise successful.
He indicated that no one needed to apply for the split metres, explaining that the company’s technicians would be moving to customer points to effect the changes.
Information on GEDAP posted on the Internet says,” the overall aim of the project is to improve the operational efficiency of the electricity distribution system and increase the population’s access to electricity, and to help transition Ghana to a low-carbon economy through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions”.
About 346,000 of ECG’s customers in the Ashanti Region are using post-paid (credit) meters.
However, meter tampering, electricity theft, meter reading errors and payment arrears have led to high commercial losses by ECG in that area.
Ashanti Region has the highest energy losses amongst ECG’s operational areas (approximately 32 per cent), which is unacceptably high.
The goal of the proposed investments under GEDAP is to reduce the system losses in the Ashanti Region from 32 per cent to about 22 per cent, and to improve revenue collection.
The split metre had a dual system – one of the prepayment meters mounted in a pole-top enclosure with respective customer interface to improve the operational efficiency of the electricity distribution system, and another in the building itself.
Mr Baidoo said with time, the split metres will be installed in other parts of the region.
He said the company was poised to continuously improve its operational capacity in spite of the constraints.
Even before the split metres were installed, the company was replacing faulty metres of its customers.
To ensure more efficiency in its operations, the ECG had divided Ashanti Region into two operational regions- Ashanti East and Ashanti West, while a number of revenue points had been opened in the districts.
He, therefore, advised customers to make use of accredited offices to address their complaints instead of using third persons.
“Our observation is that many customers most often end at our entry points only to allow themselves to be misled by non-staff.
“Consequently, customers who genuinely want to do business with us end up being extorted and they only turn round to blame us,” he said.

Friday, August 6, 2010


VETERAN football administrator, Jonathan Abbey Pobee, says the decision by Mr Kwabena Kesse to sell the premiership status of Kessben FC to Medeama SC is symptomatic of the failure of the current FA to promote the local game.
According to him the FA had not done anything to generate interest in the local game and it was not surprising that an astute businessman like Mr Kesse sold his club in order not to run into serious financial difficulties.
While commending Mr Kesse for that bold decision, Mr Pobee, who is the chairman of Kumasi-based Neoplan Stars, said the FA “must sit up or else more clubs would follow suit.”
Speaking to the Graphic Sports in Kumasi yesterday, Mr Pobee said the FA appears to place so much emphasis on the Black Stars to the neglect of the local teams.
“Even with the Black Stars, I can say that it is not the FA that has changed things for the better.
“It is the politicians who want to make political gains from the success of the Black Stars that has seen governments doing everything to grow the team,” he said.
Mr Pobee questioned how the FA management used the monies from the 1996 and 2010 World Cups.
“In neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire and Togo, they used the proceeds from their participation in the 1996 World Cup to support local clubs, including even colts teams but the same cannot be said of Ghana,” he said.
The football administrator further indicated that the CAF’s slashing of Ghana’s slots in Africa competitions from four to two was also an indicator of how the FA had run down local football.
“It is absurd for them (FA management) to think that the clubs should be left to do their own thing.
“I am therefore calling for a revolution at the management level of the FA because we deserve better,” he stressed.
Mr Pobee accused Mr Randy Abbey, former Executive Chairman of Kessben FC, for doing virtually nothing to justify his position in the defunct club.
“If you have a whole spokesman of the FA as the Executive Chairman of a club and yet he fails to live up to expectation, you begin to think about what is happening in the FA where he is the spokesman.
“For me, Mr Kesse’s decision is the best to be taken by any business person under those circumstances because he couldn’t have continued to run the club at a loss.
He encouraged him to take his decision to enter into football academy serious “because the way I see the man, he can make it big in that area.”


THE Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has held a special congregation to confer postgraduate degrees on deserving students.
The Special Guest of Honour was the Asantehene and Chancellor of the University, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
In a speech, the Asantehene said the KNUST had chalked up many successes in science and technology education in the country, and added that when the university celebrated its 60 years of existence later this year, it would be doing so with pride.
He challenged the graduates who passed out with Master’s and PhD degrees to go out and portray the good image of the University by contributing positively to national development at their various places of work.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu commended the outgoing Vice Chancellor (VC), Prof. K.K. Adarkwa for effectively steering the affairs of the University during his tenure and expressed confidence that the incoming VC, Prof. W.O Ellis, would build on the achievements made so far.
In his remarks, Prof. Adarkwa said the University would continue to introduce new programmes tailored at meeting the needs of the nation.

MANAGING CITIES...Provost urges politiias not to interfere (PAGE 13, AUGUST 6, 2010)

THE Provost of the College of Architecture and Planning of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has accused politicians of interfering in the work of professionals in the management of cities.
He said metropolitan chief executives (MCEs) usually had no knowledge on city management but instead of allowing professionals to take control of the situation, they did everything to interfere in the work of professionals, only to compound existing problems.
Speaking at the opening of a validation workshop on the draft National Urban Policy (NUP) in Kumasi, Prof. Seth Asiama, who is also the Ashanti Regional representative on the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), said “Urban management is not a political job but a professional one”.
The process of urbanisation holds enormous promise for the socio-economic progress of the nation but over the years, this process has been confronted with a number of challenges.
To harness the full potential of urban areas and address the challenges which may hinder the realisation of that potential, there is the need for a national policy framework or guidelines for the development of urban areas towards achieving the goal of sustainable development of human settlements.
It was against this backdrop that the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), with support from the German Development Service (GTZ), is developing the NUP.
The aim of the NUP includes guiding the ministry and other relevant government agencies to address urban issues in their policies, strategies and work plans and provide a framework for a well-co-ordinated and collaborative approach of the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) towards urban development.
It is also aimed at providing metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs), the private sector and civil society with guidance on urban issues and establish a consistent conceptual framework that will guide interventions to facilitate urban development.
Prof. Asiama called on city authorities to take a serious look at the rate at which slums were emerging in their various localities.
He said the situation was disturbing and indicated, “We expect that the 2010 census will give us disturbing results about the situation”.
He said the development of slums came with serious repercussions for national growth and must be checked at all cost.
He stated that disasters could easily occur in slums in view of the haphazard development and when they happened, people tended to blame the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) for failing to act.
He disclosed that KNUST would introduce a postgraduate degree programme in urban management next academic year as a way of finding lasting solutions to the problem in the country.
The Chief Director of the Ashanti Regional Co-ordinating Council, Mr S.O. Kusi-Appiah, noted that cities contributed substantially to the Gross National Product and as such, their growth was very important to national development.
He said sustainable management practices were crucial in achieving the growth needed for the cities.
The National Co-ordinator of the NUP, Mr Kwadwo Yeboah, said the guiding principles of the NUP took into consideration the democratic path and the broader development agenda of the nation.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I RECENTLY bumped into two young men arguing over whether Kumasi is a beautiful city. While one of them thought Kumasi was beautiful, the other disagreed and they advanced all manner of arguments to support their stand.
As I stood for a while thinking about which of the two men was right, it dawned on me that one needs to critically examine various elements before deciding whether a city is beautiful.
Khushwant Singh, a prominent Indian novelist and journalist, described a beautiful city as one in which the beauty of nature is combined with great architecture.
He explained that it should have green hills as a backdrop, an expanse of sea or a large river flowing through it. It must have a history. Its buildings, bazaars, plazas, markets, places of worship, museums, art galleries and residential quarters should blend harmoniously with their natural surroundings.
There could be other additions to Singh’s description as attempts are made to answer the question of whether Kumasi is beautiful.
Last week, I saw a Toyota pick-up vehicle belonging to the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) with the inscription, “Kumasi Beautification Project”.
“What project is this?” I asked myself. I later came to the realisation that it was the project that was started by the KMA in 2007 with the view to seeing Kumasi, once an admirable city, undergo a historic transformation to befit its status as Ghana’s Garden City.
The fortunes of the one-time Garden City have plummeted due to mismanagement and disrespect for by-laws governing the city.
City authorities believed a beautification project was one sure way of restoring Kumasi to its former glorious days.
Even though the authorities may have had a good reason for coming out with the beautification project, many questioned its relevance as beautification was supposed to be a process rather than a project, which has a life span.
The Chambers 21st Century Dictionary defines the word beautify as ‘having an appearance or qualities which please the senses or give rise to admiration in the mind.’
Indeed, there had long been potentials to build the traditional city of Kumasi into a megalopolis but the political will has always not been there to fulfil this dream.
I have always had the conviction that we need to learn from others in getting the best for our cities. The Chinese, for instance, have, through shared vision, transformed their major cities, including Shanghai and Beijing, into some of the finest you can find anywhere in the world today and we can walk through the same revolutionary lines given the right approach.
More than half of the world’s population currently live in cities. Projections have it that by the next 20 years, another 10 percent are expected to become urban settlers meaning by that time,metropolises in the world would be home to some five billion people.
Consequently, many governments and city authorities are crafting policies and programmes that can turn the fortunes of their cities around and give hope for the people who live there.
So is Kumasi getting any better with its decision to undertake the beautification programme?
To answer this question, there is the need to examine some specific areas that bring beauty to a city and see if Kumasi has moved to make any meaningful impact in those areas.
The old settlements such as Adum, Ashanti New Town, Asafo and Bantama have been considered dignified and beautiful as a result of their spectacular layouts. These suburbs thus inspire in their beauty and harmony.
Conversely, new settlements provide a great disharmony and disorder in planning. In many of these peripheral areas of the city, access roads are virtually non-existent as people build haphazardly. This does not depict a city of beauty.
The city needs to follow modern planning ideas to enable Kumasi to get what is better.
A great city requires beautiful architecture. The architecture of Kumasi is generally synonymous with simplicity and material beauty.
Kumasi may not have skyscrapers,but the simple architecture will leave nostalgic memories of many a visitor.
This is not to say all is well with the city in this respect, as a number of the buildings do not befit the status of the city. Many still live in squalid and unhealthy conditions, which does not hold anything good for the city.
This has been the most challenging aspect of the city’s beautification process. One of the environmental challenges is sanitation.
In spite of the KMA’s effort to overcome this challenge, not much has been achieved as filth continues to pile up in some parts of the metropolis.
The problem has arisen partly due to the inability of the KMA to enforce its bye-laws on sanitation.
The KMA’s bye-laws on sanitation, promulgated in 1995 under section 79 of the Local Government Act 462 of 1993, cover the disposal of refuse, removal of weeds and rubbish. It also provides prohibitions against the disposal of litter, refuse or other matter in gutters and drains, and that any person who contravenes any of the bylaws commits an offence, and shall be liable on conviction by a Court or Community Tribunal to a fine not exceeding GH¢5 which has been revised to GH¢20, or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding three months.
Another environmental challenge is the way lunatics roam the streets. At a point, controversy arose over whether the KMA or the Department of Social Welfare was responsible for taking care of lunatics in the city.
But, it is a fact that keeping mentally handicapped persons in safe places is the responsibility of the KMA and this must be taken serious to enable Kumasi realise some beauty.
In the run up to the CAF Africa Cup of Nations in 2008, an attempt was made by the social service subcommittee of the assembly to clear the city of lunatics, and in the process, about 38 mentally handicapped were arrested and admitted into the Cheshire Home at Edwenase, where they were offered medical treatment. This was however unsustainable and the situation has worsened over time.
The Kumasi Central Market is considered the biggest in West Africa yet, it has not seen the expected development.
The current KMA Chief Executive, Mr Samuel Sarpong, had initiated action to get the market reconstructed and expectations are that this would be carried through to befit the status of Kumasi.
Other satellite markets must also be developed in the interest of the city’s advancement.
The above and other elements such as roads and transportation development are all crucial in determining whether Kumasi is beautiful.


THE Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has inaugurated GH¢700,000 parade grounds for use by the university community.
Christened the Royal Parade Grounds, the facility also has seats for student group discussions and social interaction,Internet facility for research, walkways and slots for various banking institutions to operate ATM services.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony, the Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Professor Kwasi Kwafo Adarkwa, said so far, some financial institutions including the Ghana Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Home Finance Company, Ecobank, Agricultural Development Bank, Union Bank for Africa and Cal Bank had been permitted to operate at the area.
He said the university authorities were also considering granting permission to other financial institutions that have applied to operate ATM services.
Prof. Adarkwa said as part of the measures to provide efficient service to the university community and its environs, they had acquired a stand-by generator to provide power anytime there was power outage.
He explained that regular power supply would not only enhance effective business transaction, but also improve security for residents who patronise the facility at night.
He announced that a set of guidelines had been developed for compliance by those who would patronise the facility including students and staff.
The guidelines, he explained, stipulated the procedure of hiring the facility, usage, fees and charges, as well as the management of revenue that accrues from the usage of the facility.
He commended all stakeholders whose contributions made it possible for the project to be completed on schedule, and urged the community to collaborate to maintain it adequately to enable it be of tremendous benefit to them.


EXIMGUARANTY Company (Ghana) Limited has opened a new business office in Kumasi to cater for the northern part of the country with a call on the company to continue to play a leading role in the economic development of the country.
The First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Henry Kofi Wampah, who made the call, noted that Exim Guaranty Bank had since its establishment positioned itself as a risk mitigating finance house that supports the growth of the productive and export sectors of the economy through credit promotion programmes for exporters, small and medium enterprise operators.
The Kumasi office of the company will serve Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions.
The opening of the office forms part of Exim’s plan to bring financial solutions closer to customers across the entire country and further promotes the objective of improving private sector access to credit for economic expansion and job creation.
Dr Wampah said with the current position of Exim, there was every indication that businesses in the northern sector of the country now had a true partner in development.
Exim, with the application of its 14 products, is now strategically positioned to play an increasing and influential role in Ghana’s financial services sector.
The company had grown its operational capacity by an average of 800 per cent since inception.
Their clientele portfolio turnover had grown by over 1,472 per cent, while shareholders’ funds had grown by 1, 969 per cent since 2002, and operational revenues also increased by 4,500 per cent within the same period.
Besides, its guarantee fund and net worth had grown by 2,166 per cent since its inception and six new products have been designed and added to its product line.
Officials of the company said there was an enhanced visibility of its image and widespread acceptance of its role in the economy.
They envisaged that Exim’s presence in the northern sector of the country would provide further opportunities to advance its role in the economy.
Organised private sector leaders, contractors, entrepreneurs, heads of financial institutions and traditional leaders attended the opening ceremony of the Kumasi office.
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who was represented at the ceremony by the Mawerehene of Asante, Baffour Osei Hyeaman Brentuo VI, gave his blessing to the operations of Exim, emphasising that all the support needed by the company would be accorded.
The Chairman for the occasion, Mr Samuel M. Akrong, a Director of the Board of Eximguaranty, in his remarks, said that Exim planned to design new products to suit clients’ requirements in the new location and expressed the hope that the goodwill exhibited would be fairly reciprocated with good performance on the credit guarantees issued.
Exim also plans to increase operational capacity in the northern sector by an additional 20 per cent by the end 2011.
Mr Akrong, therefore, urged the business community to do business with the company to enable them benefit from the laudable services.
He took the occasion to extend a warm gratitude to the Central Bank for granting the approval needed to establish the regional office for Exim in Kumasi.
He went on to assure the banking supervision unit that the company would comply with the non-bank financial institution’s business rules and regulation.
The Managing Director of Exim, Mrs Felicity Acquah, was happy that the Kumasi office had been established in line with the strategic plan of the company.
She believed having grown the clientele base of the company for the past five years, it was important to attract new clients to grow the business of Exim and also to create deeper understanding of Exim’s products and services.
She, therefore, wished that the banks and other financial institutions would patronise Exim’s Credit Guarantees.
“We at Exim recognise the banks and other financial institutions as our core clients in advancing credit to SMEs in the productive sector.
“We also hope with our presence in the five specified regions, banks and other non-bank financial institutions would embrace our credit guarantee products in detail and forward recommendations and applications forms on Exim’s interventions appropriately to their Head Offices in Accra,” she said.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

KESSBEN FC SOLD...Randy Abbey clubless...Coach Hayford looks to Medeama (GRAPHIC SPORTS, LEAD STORY, AUGUST 3, 2010)

Ghana Football Association (GFA) spokesmanRandy Abbey may be looking elsewhere for a new job following the dramatic changes that have acompanied the outright sale of Kessben FC of which he was the chief executive, to Medeama FC.
His fellow employee at the club, Coach Bashir Hayford, is, however, in talks with the new management stay with the new team.
Businessman Moses Armah, who was the pillar behind Medeama FC in the Division One League, last Thursday purchased Kessben for $600,000, and immediately began structural changes that have affected the hierarchy of the Kessben staff.
Randy who joined Kessben from Hearts of Oak will now need a new constituency to return to the GFA Executive Committee where he has also assumed responsibility in the Emergency Committee.
With the GFA elections in sight following the launch of campaign bids from various fronts, Randy’s switch to another club appears imminent now that his status at Kessben has been nullified.
Businessman and football administrator, Kwabena Kesse, who sold Kessben’s premiership status to Medeama FC said he took that decision because “it is crazy to run a premier club in Ghana.
“After three years of participating in the Premier League, I realised I was in the wrong business. I was not getting returns on my investment, beside the fact that the construction of the Anane Boateng Stadium alone cost me about US$1.6 million, while monthly average expenses on the club was about GH¢40,000.
“Indeed, I was running the club at a loss because no sponsorship was coming, attendance at matches was nothing to write home about, while officialdom at the FA also frustrated us with questionable decisions,” Mr Kesse, the founder and president of Kessben FC, told the Graphic Sports in an interview in Kumasi last Sunday.
He further indicated that support from Asanteman was not forthcoming as some erroneously believed he formed the club to challenge traditional giants, Kumasi Asante Kotoko.
Under the sale deal, the premiership status, players and one bus belonging to Kessben were transferred to Medeama.
The Anane Boateng Stadium, however, remains the property of the former premiership side, and Mr Kesse said he intended to run an internationally-recognised academy at the stadium.
He, however, said he did not sell the club because he was broke. “Far from that. We had 10 businesses in the Group (Kessben Group of Companies) and if we saw that one was running at a loss, there was every reason to dispose of it.”
Following the sale, the Tarkwa-based Division One side which has taken over the premiership status of Kessben FC will now be called Medeama Sporting Club to be in line with their new status.
Medeama made a fruitless attempt to qualify from the last national Middle League to the Premier League, but with the dramatic turn around via the take-over of Kessben, Mr Armah has already indicated his readiness to undertake a journey that would make Medeama one of the giants in the elite division.
Mr Kesse said he had asked Medeama to use the Anane Boateng Stadium for their home matches if they so wished, “but it appears they want to play at Tarkwa”.
Other sources said Medeama planned to use the Sekondi Stadium in the interim while they renovated the Tarkwa Park.
Mr Kesse, who holds a master’s degree in finance, said he had a lot of respect for people like Alhaji Karim Gruzah for managing to carry his club, King Faisal, through in the midst of the challenges in running a club with a handful of supporters.
“All these years we managed to sell only two players and you can surely see how we suffered to get funds to run the club.
“Today, even Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak who have large following are running at a loss, so you can guess what the smaller clubs are going through,” he observed.
Kessben FC started as an academy in 2001, and within five years managed to go through the Third, Second and First divisions to qualify for premiership.
Mr Kesse built the 25,000 all-seater Anane Boateng Stadium as the home grounds of the club, and recruited a number of quality players, including 2007 FIFA Under-17 top scorer, Ransford Osei, for the side.
He, however, believed that with the Ghanaian premiership, “you only think about how to survive rather than selling players to build your financial base. With all these, how can a small club like Kessben survive?”
Mr Kesse indicated that he was not leaving football completely, and hoped to make a strong impact with the academy he planned to set up.


A LARGE volume of human excreta has been dumped on the premises of the Bodwesango St. Peter’s Catholic Church in the Adansi North District of the Ashanti Region.
This is the second Catholic Church in the country to be so desecrated. The building was smeared with the offensive material under the cover of darkness by persons yet to be identified.
Everything in the church, including the Holy Bible on the altar, the effigy of the Virgin Mary and the cross were all smeared with the faecal matter with impunity.
The incident comes just days after some people were arrested for their alleged involvement in a similar action against the Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church in Accra.
It was not immediately known where the large quantity of faeces was collected from but church elders suspected it was taken from a public toilet.
Church members were unsure what was going to happen the next day as the perpetrators also used some of the faeces to inscribe on the wall, “This is just the beginning.”
Five persons suspected to have committed the act have been arrested by the local police.
They are Kwame Abdulai, 26, Kofi Police, 26, Akwasi Marfo, 23, Prince Kwabena Awuah, 41, and Kwabena Abdulai.
Mr Peter Adu, the church catechist, told the Daily Graphic that some members of the church, who had gone for morning devotion were met with an offensive odour at the gate.,
On entering the building, they found to their amazement that human excreta had been spread on everything.
The matter was reported to the police, who arrested the five after investigations.
Explaining the genesis of the incident, Mr Adu said one Opanin Yaw Obinim (now deceased) who was the father of one of the suspects, Awuah, released the land on which the church building stood to the then Catholic Diocese of Kumasi in 1980.
After constructing the church building, the elders of the church reserved part of the land for a planned mission project.
The catechist said after the death of Opanin Obinim, Awuah made moves to claim the reserved land and allegedly went ahead to sell it to the local Methodist Church but the owners managed to reclaim it.
Just recently, Awuah renewed his moves to take control of the land and the matter went before the Kontihene of the town who ruled that the Catholic Church was the rightful owner.
However, Awuah did not take kindly to the decision of the arbitration panel and warned members of the church to wait and see what would happen next.
Following the act, Awuah and the four others were arrested to assist in investigations.


THE Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) is not collapsing as some people seek to portray, Mr S.P. Adamu, the National Co-ordinator of the programme has said.
He said on the contrary, the programme was progressively expanding and that at the end of the year, enrolment figures in beneficiary schools were expected to hit 1,040,000 from last September’s figure of 656,000.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic at Akropong after touring some of the schools in the Atwima Nwabiagya District as part of his three-day tour of the Ashanti Region, Mr Adamu said payment of caterers was also on-going and anyone who doubted it could verify from the caterers.
He said it was important for Ghanaians to support the government to further develop the programme since there were benefits to be derived from it.
He stated that the government had allocated GH¢50 million to support the GSFP this year, promising that the amount would be put to good use.
Mr Adamu disclosed that more schools would join the programme after a national assessment exercise at the end of the year.
The national co-ordinator, who visited schools at Akropong and Asuafua, also addressed meetings with the District and School Implementation Committees (SICs) and caterers.
Addressing the various meetings, Mr Adamu said the GSFP was keeping a close eye on enrolment, attendance and retention of pupils in schools running the programme.
“It is when pupils attend classes and remain in school that we can continue to say we are making progress,” he added.
He reminded the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to see the programme as theirs because at the end of the day, the benefits would go to them.
Mr Adamu reminded caterers to purchase at least 80 per cent of their food items locally.
“This is one way of supporting our farmers to produce more,” he stressed.
“The GSFP is not just to boost education but also to put money in the pockets of our local farmers who will sell their produce to the caterers,” he said.
The District Chief Executive for Atwima Nwabiagya, Nana Asare Bediako, pledged the continuous support of the assembly to the programme.
He said getting the best for the GSFP was part of the government’s “Better Ghana agenda”.
The Akroponghene, Nana Appiah Sarfo Kantanka, stressed the need for emphasis to be placed on the quality of food served to the children.
“Sometimes, I am not impressed about the quality of food and I think something can be done about it,” he said.
The Ashanti Regional Co-ordinator of the programme, Mrs Ophelia Antwi-Boasiako, called on the SICs to monitor the work of caterers to ensure that they did the right thing.
She also asked schools that had not formed SICs to do so because without that, it would be difficult for any serious supervision work to be carried out.