Thursday, November 25, 2010


Story & picture : Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Ashanti Regional branch of the Controller and Accountant General Department’s Treasury Ladies Association (TRELAS) has presented a number of items and cash to the Children’s Hospital in Kumasi to help in the upkeep of patients and to quicken their healing process.
The donation included toiletries, bed sheets, blankets, multivitamin syrups and food items worth GH¢ 600, and a of GH¢ 100.
The event, which was part of activities marking the 10th anniversary of the association, was preceded by a massive clean up exercise by the members, at the hospital.
Making the presentation, the President of the association, Mrs Genevieve Fuseini, said ten successful years of TRELAS was worth celebrating.
In celebrating the successes however, the needy needed to be remembered.
That was why the donation was made to the Children’s Hospital, adding that the association had decided to adopt the hospital to give it the needed support.
Mrs Fuseini said as mothers, members of the association empathised with sick children at the hospital.
She noted that a clean environment would help improve the health of patients and staff of the hospital.
She commended the management and staff of the hospital for their dedication to duty and urged them to build on what had been achieved.
The Hospital Administrator, Mr Ben Kwame Nsiah, who received the donation, thanked the women for the gesture.
He indicated that it was clear that government alone could not cater for all the needs of the hospital and it was important that individuals and organisation went in to help.
He urged other associations to learn from the TRELAS’ example.


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE National Sports Council’s (NSC) hockey pitch in Kumasi is crying for redevelopment to befit its status.
Located close to the magnificent Baba Yara Stadium, the hockey pitch has remained so for a long time as governments over the years have not seen the need to bring it up to standard.
Apart from football, hockey is perhaps the most popular sport in the metropolis.
The sport is enjoyed amongst students and non-students alike but there are no developed facilities for use by players.
Indeed, Kumasi has produced some of the finest national hockey players in the past with most of them using the hockey pitch becoming as their training base.
However, years of neglect had resulted in the pitch a sorry sight today.
About 80 percent of the playing area is dusty and bumpy, which does not allow for fluent play.
There are no stands; no inner perimeter; no commentary box; no changing room. To be blunt, the pitch is an eyesore and it is important that something is done about it.
Players who use the field are usually seen struggling to pass and control well.
Interestingly, some of the competitive hockey matches are organised on the pitch.
It is regrettable that Kumasi, Ghana’s second biggest city should find itself in such a situation.
In a country where almost every important facility is located in Accra, the question remains whether the sport has any future in the Ashanti Region.
Accra currently boasts boats of an international standard hockey pitch, and the question remains whether one cannot be built in Kumasi.


HYPERTENSION has overtaken haemorrhage as the leading cause of maternal mortality in Ghana’s cities.
This has been attributed to the changing behavioural and lifestyle characteristics of women, especially pregnant women, in the cities.
The Deputy Director of Reproductive Child Health at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Aboagye, who made this known in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Kumasi, therefore, called on pregnant women to watch their lifestyles.
Other major direct causes of maternal mortality are infection, unsafe abortion and obstructed labour.
Dr Aboagye was speaking after the opening of a stakeholder dissemination review meeting of a study to address postpartum haemorrhage in Kumasi last Friday.
The study was instituted by the GHS, in conjunction with the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) at Bonsaaso in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region, with the view to finding new ways of preventing the death of women who deliver in the home.
There are three types of high blood pressure in pregnant women.
One is chronic hypertension, where high blood pressure develops before the 20th week of pregnancy or is present before the woman becomes pregnant.
The second is gestation hypertension, where some women just get high blood pressure near the end of pregnancy, while the third is pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), which condition can cause serious problems for both the mother and the baby if left untreated.
PIH develops after the 20th week of pregnancy. Along with high blood pressure, it causes protein in the urine, blood changes and other problems.
Earlier in a speech at the opening ceremony, Dr Aboagye had said all hands needed to be on deck to achieve the Millennium Development Goal 5 of reducing maternal mortality by three-quarters between 1990 and 2015.
He indicated that the country had stepped up the training of midwives, with at least 500 being trained every year.
The Team/Cluster Manager of the Bonsaaso MVP, Mr Samuel Afram, said the project had shown evidence that achieving MDG 5 was possible.
He said until recently when one pregnant woman died, the project area had not recorded any maternal death for about two years.
Mr Afram explained that the project had adopted various measures to protect pregnant women, adding that since health was related to nutrition, the project was working with other related agencies to achieve an integrated comprehensive approach to ensure the safety of pregnant women.
The Regional Advisor for the MVP in charge of West and Central Africa, Ms Mavis Ama Frimpong, said the project and the GHS were piloting the use of an oral medication that prevented bleeding after delivery.
That, she said, had become necessary because of the number of women who delivered in homes in the country.
About 50 per cent of pregnant women in the country deliver in the home, with all the accompanying risks.


THE German Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Eberhard Schanze, has stressed the need for Ghana to adopt proactive measures to tackle the anticipated pollution and other environmental hazards that would arise in the oil and gas industry.
He cautioned that any attempt to place so much emphasis on oil revenue and neglect its accompanying environmental risks could spell doom for the nation.
Mr Schanze was speaking at the opening of a three-day international conference on the management of oil and gas resources and the environment at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi.
The Technical University of Mines of Freiberg, Germany, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the KNUST School of Business organised the conference.
It had the theme: “Environmental disasters of oil and gas exploitation: Lessons from the Gulf of Mexico.”
Mr Schanze also stressed that Ghana should not neglect other productive sectors of the economy like timber and agriculture in the midst of the oil wealth.
He indicated that the nation would see improved development if resources from all the sectors were well managed.
Mr Schanze gave the assurance that Germany would support Ghana to enable it achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
He stated that Ghana had great potential to develop and, therefore, urged the government, parliament and everyone to play their roles in getting the best for the country.
The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mr Jonathan Allotey, said every effort should be made to ensure that the oil and gas industry did not have any adverse impact on the environment.
Mr Allotey stressed the need for the nation to develop a petroleum development master plan that would direct the future development of the various sectors of the industry.
The Pro-Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. Peter Donkor, mentioned the fruitful relationship between Ghana and Germany over the years and said this had been the result of mutual respect and noted that trade between the two countries continued to rise, which was underpinned by good relationship.
Prof. Donkor said the KNUST was appreciative of the immense support Germany had provided in the training of Ghanaian doctors.
He said 42 doctors and lecturers currently at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital had been trained in Germany.


IN Ghana today it is very dangerous for a Member of Parliament (MP) to restrict himself or herself to legislative work without launching himself into issues directly affecting the reduction of poverty and the overall development of his area.
Arguably, the first and foremost objective of an MP is to get re-elected and to do so one must get close to his constituents.
Consequently only egocentric MPs would fail to consider how to use the resources at their disposal, including state money handed to them, to improve their chances of re-election.
A glance at the work of legislators will reveal that it imposes a duty on them to change the development face of their constituencies better than they came to meet it.
In this country one of the insults hurled at our MPs by their constituents has been their inability to advance the development process of their constituencies.
It is against this background that the MP for Kwadaso, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has since his election barely two years ago placed the development of the constituency firmly on his agenda by giving a lot of attention to grassroots development.
Some believe that Kwadaso is not associated with poverty. That is a fallacy.
Kwadaso, one of the oldest communities in Kumasi, has got its own challenges in terms poverty and physical development.
Governments over the years have attempted to address the challenges but a lot more remains to be done.
The initiatives of the MP over the last two years have, however, gone a long way to bring some level of sanity into some of the sectors of development even though more is left to be done to get to the promise land.
One area that Dr Akoto has paid so much attention to is education.
It is a fact that without quality education the future of any community will remain bleak. In Kwadaso the low level of education in basic schools has been partly due to overcrowding in classrooms and the shift stem resulting from inadequate classrooms.
In some of the schools, there are about 100 pupils in a class, resulting in the shift system.
As a solution to the problem, the MP has embarked on a massive project to build more classrooms and rehabilitate dilapidated ones in all the 14 communities in the constituency.
A total of 18 new schoolblocks have been constructed by the MP in eight towns while eight blocks have been renovated, bringing the total to 26.
The schools that have benefited include Ohwimase Anglican School, Nyankerenease Methodist School, Kwadaso Prempeh Experimental School, Kwadaso M/A Primary and Apatrapa R.C. Junior High School.
The rest are Takyiman Presbyterian JHS, Nwamase L/A School and Amanfrom SDA JHS.
This intervention has considerably reduced the class sizes and ended the shift system in many schools.
To date, about GH¢300,000 has been spent on the projects with funds coming from contributions from the private sector, special donations by the Ministry of Education, the GETFund, the District Assemblies Common Fund and the MPs share of the Common Fund and the HIPC Fund.
Apart from physical infrastructure, Dr Akoto has also instituted a scholarship scheme for brilliant needy students in the constituency,using his share of the HIPC Fund.
A total of GH¢11,789 has been spent on 34 students in the junior secondary, senior secondary and the tertiary institutions.
Another special scholarship scheme that puts emphasis on female education is also in place.
Consequently 33 young women are training in various trades, including hairdressing, dressmaking, food and catering and batik making at the Methodist Women’s Training Centre at Kwadaso.
A sound environment plays a key part in sound living. It is in this regard that Dr Akoto has committed himself to environmental issues by launching a major initiative, perhaps unprecedented in Parliamentary practice.
The initiative involves the planting of 10,000 teak seedlings each year on school compounds in the constituency. To date, 21,300 seedlings have been planted.
Under the project schoolchildren are made to plant and nurture two or three seedlings each until the seedlings are well grown.
The objective of the exercise is to instil in the children the value of tree planting so that they grow up with it.
In addition to the regeneration of greenery in the area in the midst of rapid urbanisation, the project will also become a major source of income for future investment in education as the schools are expected to sell the trees and use the proceeds to undertake development projects.
Other areas that the MP has involved himself in include construction of toilet facilities, streetlights, bridges,culverts, roads and health facilities.
These are all important steps to make life a bit comfortable for the people but the MP should be the first to admit that there is still some distance to cover in terms of development.
Indeed, as he told this writer, “I am aware of the challenges and will work in concert with my constituents devoid of party politics to get to the destination.”


TWENTY-SEVEN agricultural research station managers from six African countries have begun a two-week international capacity building workshop at the Crops Research Institute (CRI) at Fumesua, near Kumasi.
The countries include Ghana, Ethiopia, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria.
The workshop focused on issues like understanding agricultural research needs, communication with administration and researchers, programming and prioritisation of station work, and record keeping on the station, among others.
One of the most expensive investments undertaken by governments and international donors in agriculture has been agricultural research.
The investments are to ensure the availability of food and fibre or in general food security.
While some of the researches have yielded dividends, others have been a waste of money, time and energy.
Sometimes, funds devoted for research are not effectively utilised and the problem has been attributed to a number of factors, including the lack of capacity of research station managers.
It is against this backdrop that the workshop was organised to equip the station managers with the requisite knowledge to address the lapses in the system.
Agricon International, a Canadian consulting and capacity building company, organised the workshop with sponsorship from the Generation Challenge Programme (GCP), a global crop research consortium, and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of Ghana.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Director of CSIR-CRI, Dr Hans Adu-Dapaah, called for improved funding to enable the institute to carry out its mandate of ensuring availability of food and fibre.
He said as a result of inadequate funding, training of research managers had been virtually absent.
Dr Adu-Dapaah stated that the work of the station manager to the overall development of agriculture was very important and, therefore, expressed the hope that the workshop would help improve matters.
Dr Hannibal Muthar, GCP Consultant, stated that sustainable food security would not happen in a country where good agricultural research was absent.
He said effective research, administration and support services made a research station better in delivery.
Dr Muthar urged the participants to take the training programme seriously to better the development of agriculture in their respective countries.


THE Ashanti Regional branch of the Controller and Accountant General Department’s Treasury Ladies Association (TRELAS) has presented a number of items and cash to the Children’s Hospital in Kumasi to help in the upkeep of patients.
The donation included toiletries, bed sheets, blankets, multivitamin syrups and food items worth GH¢ 600 and cash of GH¢100.
The event, which was part of activities marking the 10th anniversary of the association, was preceded by a massive clean-up exercise by the members at the hospital.
Making the presentation, the President of the association, Mrs Genevieve Fuseini, said 10 successful years of TRELAS was worth celebrating.
In celebrating the successes however, the needy had to be remembered.
That informed the association’s decision to make the donation to the Children’s Hospital, she said, adding that it had decided to adopt the hospital in order to support it from time to time.
Mrs Fuseini said as mothers, members of the association empathised with sick children at the hospital.
She noted that a clean environment would help improve the health of patients and staff of the hospital.
Mrs Fuseini commended the management and staff of the hospital for their dedication to duty and urged them to build on what had been achieved.
The hospital administrator, Mr Ben Kwame Nsiah, who received the donation, thanked the women for the gesture.
He said it was clear that the government alone could not cater for all the needs of the hospital and it was important that individuals and organisations came on board.
He urged other associations to learn from TRELAS’ example.


OFOSU Micky struck in the second half to help King Faisal overcome Kpando Heart of Lions 1-0 in a Glo Premier match at the Baba Yara Stadium on Saturday.
Faisal, whose form has improved in recent outings, played aggressively and won the day on merit. But it was a hugely committed performance as Lions, led in attack by gangling striker Gilbert Fiamenyo, with support from attacking midfielder Bright Nsiah, exploded.
Faisal keeper Iddrisu Ibrahim pulled some brilliant saves from Nsiah’s thunderbolt free kicks to the applause of the few fans in the stadium.
The early exchanges were fierce, with Faisal trying to pluck holes down the right of the Lions defence. However, the defence tightened up, cutting out the supplies and anytime they attacked the Faisal rear was in trouble.
It appeared Faisal were in for a match of their lives but they put their acts together to probe for the leader which arrived in the second half when Micky Ofosu struck the winner.
Both teams played brilliantly, but failed to utilise the numerous chances that came their way. Indeed Dwarfs Michael Insaidoo managed to put the ball into the net, but the goal was disallowed.
Kessben had an opportunity to score in the 80th minute but Hans Kwofie hit the post.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


THE Amansie West District Assembly has approved exgratia of GH¢1,000 for each of the 62 assembly members for their four-year term, which has just ended.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Charles Oti-Prempeh, announced this at the third ordinary meeting of the assembly this year at Manso-Nkwanta.
He said the district was proud of the work of the assembly members, which he said contributed to advance the development process of their respective areas.
Mr Oti-Prempeh wished the former members who were seeking re-election good luck.
He disclosed that a number of development projects would be executed in the coming year to improve the lot of the people.
The projects include the construction of school blocks at Akontam District Assembly (D/A) Primary, Esaase Primary School and Nintin D/A Primary School.
The DCE said the projects would be funded by the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund.
The DCE also mentioned other projects to be financed by the District Development Fund as renovation of the district assembly block at Manso-Nkwanta, construction of hospital ward at Manso Nkwanta, construction of classroom blocks at Manso Dominase, Nsiano and Manso-Abore, and a library at Antoakrom, among others.
Mr Oti-Prempeh stated that the assembly was fully committed to improving the lives of the people through the provision of people-centred projects and programmes.
He, therefore, urged the people to support the assembly to do more for them.
The DCE said the assembly was putting in place measures to intensify public education on government policies and programmes.
He said the education campaign would enable the people to appreciate what government was doing to better their lot.
In a presentation, the District Scheme Manager of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Mr Oscar Asare Andoh, disclosed that the management of the scheme would undertake a Christmas promotion exercise to get more people to register with the scheme.
The presiding member of the assembly, Mr Asafo Akowuah, expressed the hope that the next group of members would continue the dedication and selflessness displayed by the former assembly members.


SERVICE providers of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) are to be pre-financed to provide services to subscribers of the scheme under a programme known as the “capitation system.”
The programme was the brainchild of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) with support from the World Bank.
The pilot scheme is set to take off in the Ashanti Region and would end in 2013 after which it would be replicated in the other regions of the country.
Ashanti Region was chosen as a result of its central location and heterogeneous infrastructure and culture.
At a news conference in Kumasi to introduce the programme, the Director of Research and Development at the NHIA, Mr O.B. Acheampong, said the programme was targeted at outpatient primary health care.
He said the capitation system was also expected to improve cost containment, share financial risk among scheme providers and subscribers and introduce managed competition for providers and choice for patients.
Subscribers of the NHIS, after registration with the scheme, will be made to choose their service provider and have the flexibility to change the provider after a specific period.
Mr Acheampong said the capitation system would be practised alongside other methods of provider payment mechanisms for other levels of care other than the primary level.
Currently, the methods of payment included the free-for-service system, where there is itemised charge for every service, and the diagnosis related groups, where services are grouped and the same tariff paid for cases that belong to that group.
The director stated that the scheme now pays GH¢1 million per day to service providers in claims, an increase of over 4,000 per cent of the GH¢20,000 paid in 2005.
Mr Acheampong said the reduction in claims processing time, as well as measures like checking fraud and scaling up the free maternal and indigent care programme had ignited public confidence in the scheme.
He, therefore, debunked the assertion in certain circles that the NHIS was collapsing.
“Escalating number of outpatient visits adds to the growing evidence of increasing confidence in the NHIS,” Mr Acheampong said.
He stated that between 2007 and 2009, the average outpatient claims cost increased by nearly 211 per cent.
According to him, presently outpatient claims account for 90 per cent of the total NHIS claims and 70 per cent of total claims’ expenditure.


A PROGRAMME to provide daily meals for schoolchildren in communities within the Bonsaaso Millennium Villages Project (MVP) in the Amansie West District is making tremendous strides.
Known as the MVP school meals programme, it started on pilot basis in three schools in 2007 and now covers all the 27 primary schools in the Bonsaaso cluster with about 8,481 pupils benefiting from it.
The major objective of the MVP school meals programme is to support communities and schools to provide low cost, nutritious meals for pupils on sustainable basis with the view to improving enrolment and retention as well as the health of pupils.
Children are given meals provided by the MVP with support from the communities who provide inputs like firewood and water.
Besides, mothers of the schoolchildren occasionally cook the food free-of-charge for the pupils.
As a result of the success chalked up by the programme, the management of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GFSP) has decided to model its activities along the lines of the MVP school meals programme.
Consequently, officials of the GSFP and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development have paid a day’s visit to the Amansie West District to get first hand information about the MVP programme.
The MVP school meals programme falls under the Millennium Development Goals 2 and 3, which aim at ensuring improved enrolment and retention of both boys and girls in schools in the cluster of villages, eliminate gender disparity in schools, and ensure quality education for all children.
Briefing his guests, the Cluster Manager of the Bonsaaso MVP, Mr Samuel Afram, said the World Food Programme had donated various food items to facilitate the operation of the school meals programme.
He stressed the importance of education in reducing poverty in the cluster and said every effort would be made to improve the school meals programme.
“Today many of the children are in the classrooms because of the school meals programme and everything must be done to sustain the programme even after the end of the MVP,” Mr Afram stated.
Started in 2006, the MVP is a bottom-up all comprehensive rural development initiative aimed at reducing poverty in the beneficiary communities. In Ghana, the MVP is located at Bonsaaso in the Amansie West District.
Partners of the MVP include the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Earth Institute at Columbia University, New York, Government of Japan and the Millennium Promise.
Mr Afram said school infrastructure in the Bonsaaso cluster had improved tremendously under the MVP. From an initial number of just 71 classrooms in good condition in 2006, the number increased to 99 in 2009.
Trained teachers population has also appreciated from 17 to 75 while scholarships jumped from zero to 29 with support for teachers on training also increasing from zero to 29 within the same period.
Mr Afram further stated that CARE International, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) made a donation of 175 bicycles to some communities in the cluster, namely Bonsaaso, Apenimadi, Akyerekyerekrom, Adagya and Takorase to facilitate the movement of pupils who commute more than three kilometres to schools.
The National Co-ordinator of the GSFP, Mr S.P. Adamu, commended the management of the MVP for working hard to improve the school meals programme.
He stated that the programme would help develop agriculture in the area because the food items for the meals were purchased locally.
Mr Adamu said “I have seen that the GSFP can learn a lot from the MVP programme while the programme can also take something from us.”
He emphasised that the GSFP was not just to feed the people, but also to promote agricultural development.
Mr Adamu, however, said not much had been achieved in getting the best for farmers, stressing that efforts were being made to put things in order.
The Ashanti Regional Co-ordinating Director, Mr S.O. Kusi-Appiah, said the Regional Co-ordinating Council was making efforts to incorporate some of the best practices of the MVP in the development planning strategies of the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies in the region.
He said poverty in the rural areas could be minimised with laudable programmes like the MVP school meals programme.
At various forums organised in the communities visited, the residents commended the cluster manager and his team for the wonderful work being done to get many children to school, and expressed the hope that the programme would be sustained.

ASPIRING FEMALE ASSEMBLY MEMBERS ...Promise good leadership (PAGE 11, NOV 18, 2010)

MARGARET Amo Opoku aka Ebenezer who is contesting the Ayeduase Electoral Area seat in the Kumasi metropolis in the upcoming District Level Elections hopes to work assiduously towards changing the face of development of the area for the better.
She said the area lacked some basic amenities needed to make life comfortable for the people and promised to put things right when voted as an assembly member.
She mentioned some of the projects she would tackle as water,education and toilet facilities, among others, and also promised to provide facilities to make markets in the area vibrant to promote businesses.
“Even though there is a market in the electoral area it is not enough and I will work at getting another one built,” she told the Daily Graphic.
Ms Amo Opoku, 60, is a businesswoman and is a graduate of the Sunyani Girls Vocational Institute. She made reference to the essence of education to the progress of society, and said efforts would be made to tackle the challenges of education in the area if given the nod. She further said she would institute measures to assist school dropouts acquire skills training.
Ms Amo Opoku said because of the large student population in the area
as a result of the numerous hostels, there was the need to improve security.
The aspirant says he had lived in the metropolis for 16 years and knew the problems of the area very well. “I am, therefore, well-positioned to lead the people in the assembly.”
She emphasised that the people of the area loved her and this would be translated into hard work when she gets to the assembly.

A 39-year-old Revenue Collector, Ms Agartha Opoku, has expressed her desire to contest the district level elections in the Effiduase East Electoral Area with three men.
Speaking to Daily Graphic on her chances of winning the election, Ms Opoku, who graduated with a senior high school certificate in 1996, said her commitment to support development initiatives in the area over the years makes her a better candidate than her fellow contestants.
“ Everybody in the electoral area calls me “people’s mother”. This is because I have not only been supporting needy children but has also actively involved myself in many development initiatives, especially in the area of sanitation where I helped to repair the only public toilet in the area”.
Stressing, she said, “ when the only public toilet in the area broke down, I singlehandedly mobilised support from key personalities to rehabilitate it, and now, residents, including my opponents, have no problem visiting the toilet at any time”
“With these initiatives, I am certain that given the opportunity, even my opponents would vote for me” she teased.
She said apart from her efforts to rehabilitate the only public toilet, she was determined to support the construction of an additional one to reduce the inconvenience of queuing which has become the order of the day.
Ms Opoku also expressed concern about the problem of water for domestic and other uses, and assured to collaborate with stakeholders to construct a borehole for the community.
Explaining, she said, the Effiduase East Electoral Area has only one borehole that serves them, a situation, which she said, made it impossible for residents to get sufficient water supply.
She said since she identified the problem, she has made the needed efforts to construct an additional one, and, therefore, appealed to the electorate to support her to enable her to implement her programmes to ease the acute water problem affecting them.
“ I will also organise the youth for us to undertake communal labour to support the development of projects in the electoral area to accelerate socio-economic development, she assured, stressing, “as the people’s mother, I have endeared myself to the people so much that mobilising the youth to actively support development projects would not be a difficult task”.
Expressing concern about the problem of school dropouts among the youth, she said, she was determined to collaborate with opinion leaders in the community to support brilliant needy school children who had dropped out from school to get back into the classrooms.
“ I want them back in the classroom for them to build their capacity because they may have something to offer the community in particular and the country in general if they nurture their talents more meaningfully”, she said.
She said when elected, she would also liaise with teachers in the community to encourage students to focus on their academic programmes.
This, she said, would make the students get better grades to enter tertiary institutions to acquire employable skills.

A 50-year-old woman contesting the district assembly election in the Nyankyenease-Apatrapa Electoral Area against four male candidates has indicated her resolve to win the election to enable her collaborate with the opinion leaders in the community to initiate projects that will impact positively on the lives of residents.
“I moved into the area barely two years ago, but I have already made an impact by initiating projects that have endeared me to the residents” declared Madam Akua Afriyie Amanfo.
Stressing, she said “I was born into leadership position and as a gender advocate, I have the edge over my contestants, so they should offer me their unflinching support”.
She expressed concern about the bad state of roads, as well as the deplorable sanitation conditions and inadequate security and lighting system in the area, and pointed out that the poor road network in the area was preventing commercial vehicles from transporting passengers to and from the Central Business District in Kumasi.
This, she said, was undermining the effective operation of their businesses and gave the assurance to collaborate with the Department of Urban Roads of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to rehabilitate the road network.
She also expressed concern about the absence of lamp posts along the major streets in the area, saying “ it undermines security.”
Madam Amanfo said as part of the measures for checking the activities of criminals in the area, she had already organised the youth in the community to form voluntary gangs to enhance security.
She also said she would make malaria control part of her agenda, adding that “the assembly need to develop the drainage system in Kumasi very well to enhance sanitation and reduce the breeding of mosquitoes.”
“ I am very sure of winning the election. Notwithstanding the fact that I am a woman, I am the strongest among all the candidates, in terms of mobilising the youth to undertake development programmes and also lobbying for facilities that would enhance development, so I stand a better chance of winning hands down to support the development of the electoral area”.


A KUMASI Circuit Court has convicted Yusif Sumaila, alias Kalia, for two cases of robbery and sentenced him to 50 years’ imprisonment with hard labour.
Two other robbers, Adams Nurudeen and Suraj Sulemana, were jailed 15 years each.
The first robbery was committed by Sumaila and Sulemana while the other was by Sumaila and Nurudeen.
Passing judgement, the judge, Mr Emmanuel Lodo, warned that he would not hesitate to hand armed robbers stiff sentences to keep them out of society for a long period when they appeared before him.
He noted that the fight against armed robbery should not be the concern of the security agencies alone but also the judiciary.
The judge further remarked that there had been an upsurge in armed robbery in recent times perpetrated mostly by the youth.
He advised the youth to find something meaningful to do or have themselves to blame if they engaged in armed robbery.
In the first case, the court was told that at about 2:30a.m. on August 8, 2010, one Mustapha Mohammed, who was the complainant, was walking with his girlfriend from the Asafo Neoplan Station in Kumasi towards Amakom.
On reaching the roundabout near Ahmadiyya Mosque, Sulemana, riding a motorbike with registration number GR 9502 V, with Sumaila as the pillion rider, pulled up near them.
Armed with a locally made pistol and a machete, the robbers attacked the complainant with their weapons and succeeded in robbing him of 200 Naira cash, CFA 15,000, GH¢764 and a Nokia mobile phone valued at GH¢58, and sped off.
According to the prosecution, on August 11 the complainant spotted Sulemana riding the same motorbike at the Race Course area in Kumasi.
He raised alarm and, with the assistance of some people, arrested him. Sulemana in turn mentioned Sumaila as his accomplice.
Sumaila was identified after he was arrested in another robbery case.
In the other case, the prosecutor said on August 20, 2010, one Ebenezer Boateng, the complainant in the case, was walking to Kejetia to look for a vehicle to Tafo.
An Urvan mini-bus arrived and as the complainant was about to board the vehicle, Sumaila and Nurudeen confronted him at the door.
Sumaila, who held a locally manufactured pistol, ordered the complainant to keep quiet and surrender his belongings.
For fear of his life, he let go his Nokia mobile phone. Immediately after the attack, Boateng made a report to the police patrol team, who managed to arrest Nurudeen at Kejetia.
A knife was found on him during a search and he mentioned Sumaila as his accomplice. Sumaila was arrested on the same day at the Race Course.
A locally made pistol and one live cartridge were found in a small bag hanging across his chest. He also produced the Nokia phone taken from the complainant.


KUAPA Kokoo Limited, a licensed cocoa buying company (LBC), has launched an anti-child labour programme aimed at eliminating the worst forms of child labour in cocoa production within its operational area.
The company currently operates in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Eastern, Western and Central regions.
The past decade witnessed concerns being raised about the possible use of child labour in the cocoa producing areas of West Africa.
Indeed, cocoa consuming countries threatened to boycott cocoa from producer countries found to be engaged in the worst forms of child labour.
It was to prevent any such sanctions that Kuapa Kokoo took up the initiative to institute the programme.
At the launch of the programme in Kumasi on Monday, the Managing Director of the company, Mr Kwasi Aduse-Poku, said the company realised that to maintain fair trade certification and continue to uphold its set values and standards, it was important that steps were taken to mitigate the negative action of child labour from its operations.
Mr Aduse-Poku said a special unit had been formed in the company to work to address issues arising from child labour and the worst forms of child labour.
He expressed the determination of Kuapa Kokoo to support the government to achieve its target of producing one million metric tonnes of cocoa by 2010 and also ensure that Ghana’s international consumers removed any doubts with respect to the worst forms of child labour.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Ashanti Regional Co-ordinating Director, Mr S.O. Kusi-Appiah, the Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, said much as efforts were needed to improve cocoa production by getting the people into farming, nothing should be done to engage children in hazardous farming practices.
He mentioned the laws the government had enacted to protect children and said they must be adhered to in order to protect the image of Ghana.
The Kumasi Asokwahene, Nana Fe Bamoah, who deputised for the Asantehemaa, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem, to chair the occasion, described child labour as a canker that must be uprooted in all spheres of national life.
He said the Asantehemaa was happy that Kuapa Kokoo had taken a lead role in attacking the problem.


KUMASI Asante Kotoko have placed eight players, including four seniors, on the transfer list as part of measures to reverse the downward trend of the club.
They include Francis Akwaffo, keeper Eric Nii Baah, Kwadwo Poku and Kabiru Moro, all senior players of the club.
The rest are goalkeeper Habib Mohammed, Peter Amoah, Elias Ankrah and Mutalabi Mohammed.
A statement signed by the Executive Chairman of the club, Dr K.K. Sarpong, thanked the players for their contributions to the team and wished them the best of luck in their future endeavours.
Just after taking over the club, the new Serbian coach, Bogdan Korak, indicated he would undertake an overhaul of the team which would affect 12 players. But it appears now that more than 12 players could be declared surplus under the exercise.
A club source told the Daily Graphic in Kumasi yesterday that the names of more players would be announced in due course.
However, one player who may be shocked by his transfer is Kabiru Moro. Even though he had not been scoring of late, he had been featured in many matches, albeit as a substitute.
Coach Korak has decided to trim the team to 25 senior players and 15 for the junior side.
In another development, the management of the club has appointed former player and coach, Malik Jabir, as technical advisor and team manager of the club.
Malik has been in and out of the Kotoko technical department and his latest appointment is expected to inject some discipline into that area.


VODAFONE Ghana is to establish the first-ever campus based Internet café at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
The café, which would also be Ghana’s largest, could serve 164 students at a time with high-speed, uninterrupted broadband access.
Work is expected to be completed in February 2011.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Vodafone Ghana and KNUST had consequently been signed in Kumasi.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vodafone Ghana, Mr Kyle Whitehill, signed for his outfit while Prof. W.O. Ellis, Vice Chancellor of the KNUST, initialled for the university.
Currently, students of the KNUST move outside campus to access Internet services because of the absence of such a facility on the campus.
Mr Whitehill said Vodafone was proud to support the development efforts of KNUST, stressing that as one of Ghana’s leading universities, the KNUST deserved assistance to enable it improve on its delivery.
Commenting on the importance of the Internet café, the CEO said: “Students will soon have the information they need at their fingertips, which will make their studying enjoyable and enable them to learn in a more efficient way.”
He stated that the facility had been designed in a way that would facilitate group learning by allowing groups of four to six to sit together.
He said Vodafone Ghana would continue to remain a total communications solutions provider and the first choice for Ghanaians.
Prof. Ellis, in a brief remark, said the decision to establish the facility marked yet another significant event in the growing relationship between the two institutions.
He expressed the hope that the relationship would grow stronger in the coming years.
Prof. Ellis said the KNUST was partnering industries to develop applied technology “and we believe Vodafone is one of such true partners.”
He emphasised that Information Communications Technology (ICT) had become an indispensable part of human growth and as such educational institutions could not do without it.
He said the student population of the university increased annually, which posed a challenge of putting into place the necessary facilities to meet the growing numbers.


BOGDAN Korak, Kotoko’s new coach was handed a baptism of fire when New Edubiase United edged past Asante Kotoko 2-1 at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi yesterday.
The defeat, Kotoko’s fourth in a row, typified the rot in the team and signalled the task ahead of the Serb who took over from Ebo Mends.
Korak was intent on beginning on a clean sheet but the team’s performance left an aftermath of misery on the supporters.
Playing against his former team, Stephen Manu led a hungry Edubiase attack to pummel Kotoko in the first half of the game during which the two goals were fetched.
The end-to-end stuff produced by the two sides kept the game alive in the early part but chances were difficult to come by until the ninth minute when Manu outran John Kuffour only to be denied by goalkeeper Soulama Abdulai.
A minute later Edubiase shot ahead when Nuhu Fuseini floated into the net on seeing Soulama attempting to fix his boots properly while off his line.
The visitors were in perpetual motion and on the 16th minute, Fuseini scored his second, arriving early to profit from Soulama’s fumble to a harmless ball.
Dogged defending by Edubiase’s back four of Emmanuel Nti Mensah, Baba Gullit, Richard Adjei and Iddrisu Yahaya shut the door to the Kotoko attack, save some few galloping runs from Samed Oppong.
Daniel Nii Adjei, Ofosu Appiah and Edward Affum who substituted David Offei after 27 minutes came close in the dying minutes of the half, increasing the frustration in the team.
Kotoko returned from recess transformed and exploded in the opponents half when Kabiru Moro was introduced into the game for Omar Gariba. The gangling striker swept forward at every opportunity but stout defending from Edubiase, backed by brilliant goalkeeping from Nicholas Addo, who kept palming away and blocking shots with his body, to keep the scoreline intact.
Kotoko pulled a goal back on the 71st minute when referee Yaw Ametepe judged Emmanuel Nti Mensah to have fouled Samed Oppong in the box. Nii Adjei made no mistake from the spot.
When Samed Oppong blazed two gilt-edged opportunities away in the dying minutes of the game, one grazing the post, it became evident that Kotoko were in to lose for the fourth time running.


THE derogatory remarks made against former Kumasi Mayor, Madam Patricia Appiagyei by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Asokwa in the Ashanti Region, Mr Maxwell Kofi Jumah, appears to be whipping up support for her in her quest to unseat the MP as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary candidate in the 2012 elections.
A minister in the erstwhile Kufuor Administration, Nana Obiri Boahen, on Saturday, called Mr Jumah to do the honourable thing by throwing in the towel over his ambition to seek re-election as the party’s parliamentary candidate, following his infamous remarks about Madam Appiagyei.
He advised that if he refused to quit the race, the party members should vote against him in the party’s parliamentary primary.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Kumasi, Nana Boahen, who was a minister of state at the Interior Ministry, stated that the derogatory remarks were unpardonable.
He described the “so-called apology” the MP rendered on radio to Madam Appiagyei as a mockery on his political image.
Shelving his parliamentary ambition for the 2012 election can save him the little image left in him.
It will also protect the integrity of the party in its quest to recapture power from the NDC,” Nana Boahen said.
The former minister also took issue with the Ashanti Regional Secretariat of the NPP for “condoning wrongdoing” by rendering apology on behalf of the MP to the woman.
“I was expecting the secretariat to institute disciplinary action against Kofi Jumah and not to jump to his aid. What they did is laughable and cannot hold”.
The NPP, he said, must not condone such acts, especially coming from an MP who is expected to know better.
Mr Jumah, perhaps, the most vociferous NPP MP in the Ashanti Region has been in the news since last week after a statement on radio inferring that Madam Appiagyei, who was his successor at the KMA, got the position through offering sexual favours.
The Asokwa MP made the statement in reaction to reports that Madam Appiagyei was in line to contest him in the parliamentary primary of the party.
Mr Jumah, who later apologised, insisted that the statement was a slip of tongue, and that he never intended to denigrate her.
A planned demonstration by women in Kumasi against the MP was shelved following his apology.
However, Nana Boahen, who is now a private legal practitioner, said no apology could assuage the pain caused the woman.
This is a married woman. So what does the MP want to paint her before her husband?’
The MP’s statement is also an indictment on the one who appointed Madam Appiagyei to the position of Mayor of Kumasi, by implication former President Kufuor, he said.
The former minister said if the NPP was to win the 2012 elections, then leading members of the party needed to watch their utterances.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


THE Police have arrested a 36-year-old man, Alfred Nyan, at Tarkwa for allegedly posing as an operative of National Security in Accra.
Nyan was arrested on Wednesday, November 10, 2010, about 3 p.m. when he was alleged to have assaulted Stephen Eshun and Moris Kuvor, city guards of the Tarkwa/Nsuaem Municipal Assembly, who had been detailed to control traffic in the Tarkwa town.
In the process, Eshun had a blackened right eye, while Kuvor had bruises on the left ear. Both reported the case to the Tarkwa Divisional Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
The Western Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Alhaji Hamidu Mahama, who briefed the Daily Graphic, said when Nyan was arrested he told the police that he (Nyan) was an operative of the National Security in Accra.
He said after further interrogation, it came out that the suspect was making false claims.
The regional commander said a pair of hand-cuffs and an identity card he was alleged to have possessed could, however, not be traced.
DCOP Hamidu said during a search on the suspect’s saloon car with registration number GW 3020 Y, a military camouflage cap and midland walkie talkie were found.
He said the suspect claimed that the military cap belonged to his soldier friend, whose name he did not disclose, while the pair of hand-cuffs belonged to a police friend in Accra called Tony.
The suspect was to be put before the Tarkwa Circuit Court.
In another development, the police have arrested a 35-year-old farmer, Kumor Sanyo, also known as Kwesi Badu, from Polelaniyiri, near Wa, for possessing a locally-manufactured pistol with two live ammunitions.
Also GH¢ 2,800.00 was found on Sanyo, who was arrested at the police checkpoint at Bawdie in the Prestea/Huni Valley District in the Western Region.
He has since appeared before the Tarkwa Circuit Court and been remanded in police custody to reappear on Monday, November 15, 2010.


THE now-famous (or is it infamous?) Ghanaian political phrase, “fear and panic”, seems to have found its way into the camp of Kumasi Asante Kotoko FC, following the decision by new Serbian coach, Bogdan Korak, to trim the playing body from the current 37 players to 25.
Offloading as many as 12 players could be unprecedented in the history of Kotoko, and this has sent shivers through the club as no one kows who would fall victims.
No official list has come up yet but already speculations are rife as to the possible victims of the overhauling. From all indications some of the old horses will get the exit, while some uninspiring new players could also get the sack.
Confirming Korak’s decision, club Public Affairs Manager, Jarvis Peprah, said the coach insists that the number of players in camp was too large to contain.
“The team’s performance has been uncharacteristic of a typical Kotoko and the coach will be right to institute the right measures to put things right”, Jarvis said.
The Public Affairs Manager said after watching the players briefly, he had come to the conclusion that some of them are not Kotoko materials.
Korak formally took over the training of the team last Monday after agreening a reported $5,000 a month salary.
The Serb trainer will also promote five of the Under-20 players into the senior team after seeing the great potentials in them.
Korak, who arrived in Kumasi last week after the exit of Ebo Mends, was on the bench to observe the team when they lost 0-2 to Aduana Stars in a Glo Premier League match at Dormaa-Ahenkro last Sunday.
The coach was reportedly shocked at the club’s output as they fumbled and tumbled in Dormaa-Ahenkro, and decided to move to bring the team back to shape.
Korak, 51, is a former assistant coach of the Serbian national team. His club career saw him coaching local sides, Vereinslos and Hajduk Rodic.
He comes along with countryman, Vladimir Cepzanovic, as physical trainer.
Indeed, the coach is said to have complained about the poor physical condition of the current Kotoko squad and believes Vladimir has the capacity to change things for the better.
Some people are questioning the ability of the coach to turn the fortunes of the club overnight but maagement has expressed full confidence in him and had promisded to give him time to right the wrongs.


THE 2010 International Credit Union Day in the Ashanti Region has been held in Kumasi with a call on the government to properly regularise the operations of credit unions.
The board chairman of the Ghana Co-operative Union Association (CUA), Mr Cyprian Basing, who made the call, said only a well functioning legal and regulatory framework could effectively streamline the operations of the credit unions.
He alluded to the laudable role credit unions had played in creating wealth within the society and said if the unions were effectively regulated, they could do even more to reduce poverty in the rural and other areas of the country to significant levels.
The celebration was on the theme, “Local trusted – serving you.”
Mr Basing said during the past 50 years that credit unions had been in existence in Ghana, they had contributed to building the culture of savings.
He noted the importance of savings in the economic development of the country and said this needed to be encouraged.
The board chairman urged the people to continue to have confidence in the credit unions as they moved to deliver more qualitative services.
He also advised the unions to come up with practices that would give hope to the people and credit unions.
The board chairman stated that the unions had made significant strides in the areas of assets, savings, loan services and membership.
To date, there are about 527 unions with membership totalling over 550,000 operating under the umbrella of CUA.
A lecturer at the Pharmacy Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Dr Yaw Dwomoh-Fokuo, commended the board for working hard to win the trust of the membership of the unions.
He said the work of the board had resulted in the growth of savings mobilisation, credit management, product development and service delivery.


REGIONAL Managers of Olam Ghana Limited, a leading cocoa Licensed Buying Company (LBC), have held their annual conference in Kumasi with a call on cocoa buying companies to produce quality cocoa beans for the 2010/2011 main season to enable the country to maintain its position as the producer and supplier of best grade cocoa.
The Senior Regional Manager of the Quality Control Company (QCC) in the Ashanti Region, Mr S.E. Bisiw, who made the call, warned that stiff sanctions would be applied against LBCs which produce unwholesome cocoa beans in the main cocoa season.
The sanctions, which could lead to withdrawal of licenses, were to ensure that LBCs operated within the guidelines set for the production of quality beans.
According to Mr Bisiw, demands by buyers of Ghana’s cocoa enjoined players of the industry, especially LBCs to ensure that the country continued to maintain her image on the international market as the producer and supplier of quality grade cocoa.
The regional manager expressed concern about increased proportions of under-fermented, and black and decayed beans (abinkyi) found in prepared cocoa presented for grading and sealing by LBCs in recent times.
He said that was why the QCC was implementing the rigid measures to enforce operational procedures for the main crop season in order to improve upon the quality of Ghana’s cocoa.
Mr Bisiw said the last few seasons had recorded challenges in the area of quality and there was the need to reverse the negative situation.
He attributed the situation to deliberate acts by some unscrupulous field operatives for their selfish gains at the expense of the hard won reputation of Ghana’s premium cocoa.
Mr Bisiw stated that Ghana’s cocoa had over the years fetched premium price on the international market, and nothing should be done to reverse it.
He emphasised that if the quality of cocoa beans were poor, their products suffered and the cocoa industry as a whole loses.
“There is no way Ghana could sell cocoa, which is low grade and get away with it,” the QCC regional manager stressed.
He therefore appealed to all stakeholders in the cocoa industry to adopt best practices to keep the name of the country high on the international market.
Mr Bisiw stated that consumer sophistication and expectation kept increasing all over the world, adding “This informed QCC’s determination to enforce the 7.5 per cent acceptable limit of moisture content in cocoa beans.”
In a speech read on his behalf, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, said the government would continue to promote the cocoa industry in spite of the discovery of oil in commercial quantities.
He said the cocoa industry occupied an important place in national development so nothing would be done to disrupt its growth.
The Regional Minister said the recent increase in the producer price of cocoa and the payment of bonuses to farmers were all part of measures to motivate farmers to increase production.
“The cocoa farmer, I can assure you, would be better off under this government following interventions adopted,” he said.
The Country Head of Olam Ghana Limited, Mr Amit Agrawal, gave the assurance that the company would continue to adopt measures that would advance the strides of the cocoa industry.
He also stated that the company was honouring its social responsibilities as a way of complementing government’s efforts at developing the cocoa growing communities.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Ashanti Regional Police Command has retrieved 78 weapons, including five AK 47 assault rifles and 91 rounds of ammunition, in an operation code-named “Operation Drag Net”.
According to the police command, the AK 47 rifles were those either seized from policemen on duty or stolen from police stations.
The other weapons include 23 shotguns, 42 locally-manufactured pistols and eight imported pistols, while the ammunition includes 56 packets of AA and BB cartridges, 23 single rounds for AK 47 rifles and 12 single rounds for G3 rifles.
The Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Patrick Timbillah, made this known when be briefed journalists on the arrest of three persons, including a 73-year-old businessman, for selling three foreign pistols and 12 rounds of ammunition.
Alhaji Azumah Zamramah, the businessman who lives at Alabar in Kumasi, Rauf Yussif, 55, a trader at the Timber Market, and Kwabena Nketiah, 42, a second-hand clothes dealer at Atonsu, were arrested upon a tip-off and in their respective statements to the police they admitted the crime.
Mr Timbillah said upon the tip-off, personnel of the Ashanti Regional CID and the Buffalo Unit arrested the suspects, who were selling the pistols at a unit price of GH¢600.
The Regional Commander said Alhaji Zamramah further stated that one Gao man was the source of his supply but could not mention his name.
He indicated that the police were preparing to prosecute them before a court in Kumasi.
Operation Drag Net, according to DCOP Timbillah, is aimed at gathering intelligence that would assist the police to, among other things, mop up illegal weapons from the system and arrest and prosecute the suspects, clamp down on drug users, and locate and destroy all hideouts of criminals.
He described the method as a preventive police strategy which also had the view to frustrating criminals by hitting at them before they struck.
The initiative is being supported by the already existing police reward system, which provides monetary reward of between GH¢1,000 and GH¢20,000 for informants who provide relevant information leading to successful arrests and prosecution of criminals.
DCOP Timbillah said under the scheme, 58 persons had already been prosecuted and serving various terms of imprisonment ranging from 10 to 35 years.
In addition, 18 criminal hideouts in various locations in the metropolis had been identified and destroyed.
The regional commander called for public co-operation to ensure the success of the operation, saying, “without public support, we can’t succeed”.
In a related development, the Drug Law Enforcement Unit in Kumasi has arrested two persons, Adongo Azure, 30, and Charles Ayine, 26, for possessing dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp. DCOP Timbillah said they were being processed for court.

Friday, November 12, 2010


THE Atwima Kwanwoma District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Tony Nyame, has launched the national mass measles campaign at Ahenema-Kokoben with a call on parents to take keen interest in the exercise because of its benefits.
He said the government had provided all the logistics to make the exercise successful and it was important that the people embraced it by playing their part with all seriousness.
The four-day exercise was expected to vaccinate children of nine months to under five years.
Children within the age group would also be given Vitamin ‘A’ capsules to make them strong and healthy.
Mr Nyame stated that the future of the nation depended on how well today’s children were groomed to take up future challenges.
He called on the people to register with the National Health Insurance Scheme to enable them enjoy its benefits.
The DCE also called for healthy living among the people to prevent contracting preventable diseases.
The Ashanti Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Joseph Oduro, described the immunisation as a serious programme that must be embraced by all.
He disclosed that only one case of measles had been reported in the region this year but it had since been treated.
He said since 2002, no child had died of measles in the country.
Dr Oduro stated that measles was a dangerous disease which could kill, cause blindness, brain damage among other complications.
“We don’t want our children to fall victims to any of these complications,” he said.
The District Director of Health Services, Mrs Dorothy Afoakwa, said it would be unpardonable for parents to allow their children to suffer from the disease when it was preventable.
“Let us therefore, get every child to be immunised and the nation will be the eventual winner,” he said.


TWO years after the creation of the Sekyere Afram Plains District, the district assembly is systematically moving its development agenda forward in a bid to improve the living conditions of the people.
The district used to be part of the Sekyere East District but the vast nature of the latter necessitated its division by the former government.
Sekyere Afram Plains District shares common boundaries with other districts in the region, including Sekyere Central to the West, Sekyere East and Asante Akyem North to the south.
Besides, it also shares boundaries with other districts outside the Ashanti Region such as Kwahu North in the Eastern Region to the East and the Sene District in the Brong Ahafo Region to the north.
The district has about 106 communities and hamlets. Since its creation, the district has proudly taken steps to occupy its rightful place among the districts of the country and has potential to develop rapidly.
At the third ordinary meeting of the assembly at Kumawu recently the District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr J.K. Dankwah, praised the contribution of assembly members in advancing the development process.
He, therefore, wished members who were seeking re-election the best of luck and also urged those who were not seeking re-election to put their rich experience at the disposal of the new members who will win elections.
Over the years, the Ministry of Local Government has impressed on district assemblies to place emphasis on generating funds locally to complement what comes from the central government to finance their development projects and programmes.
As a result of that, the Sekyere Afram Plains District has adopted measures to enable it to improve on its finances.
Mr Dankwah told the meeting that the assembly was able to mobilise GH¢154,879 from its local revenue sources as of September 30, 2010, representing 62 per cent of the estimated revenue target of GH¢227,134.
He said in spite of that, it had become clear that the assembly would continue to rely much on the common fund to finance most of its projects.
Mr Dankwah said the assembly had received GH¢211,353 as its share of the common fund for the second quarter of the year and the amount was being used to finance some approved projects and programmes for 2010.
The DCE urged the revenue unit of the assembly to fully implement the revenue improvement action instituted to achieve the revenue target at the end of the year.
Development projects have been key on the assembly’s agenda. In that respect, it has used part of its common fund to undertake a number of development projects.
Mr Dankwah mentioned some of the completed projects as the construction of a classroom block and office at Akrokyere, area council office at Anyinofi and a 16-seater vault chamber facility each at Wonoo and Nkwanta.
He said there had also been spot improvement on the Temate-Drobonso road, extension of electricity to the teachers’ quarters at Kumawu, Abotanso and Akrofoso,as well as the rehabilitation of the toilet facility at Apebiakyere-Kumawu.
“Ten other projects at various locations of the district have also reached various stages of completion,” he stated.
Mr Dankwah said following the assessment of the assembly by the sector ministry, it scored 74.5 per cent and in that respect, the assembly qualified to benefit from the District Development Facility.
The DCE said the assembly had since been allocated GH¢626,650 to undertake various development projects.
Already, the assembly had approved about 20 projects in a number of towns and villages for execution under the facility. They include the construction of classroom blocks, toilet facilities and rehabilitation of slaughter houses.
The assembly is also benefiting from the second phase of the Millennium Development Authority projects.
They include provision of small water systems at Abotanso and Pepease, boreholes at Dagomba and Aninagya, classroom blocks at Oyoko, Bodomase, Pepease, Drobonso and Dagomba.
Mr Dankwah further stated that the government had awarded contract for the construction of steel bridges over River Afram on the Drobonso-Dawia road, and River Pru on the Anyinofi-Ayim road.
He said when completed, the project would make accessibility to the Afram Plains easier, thus improving the collection of fees from farm products in the Afram Plains.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Sunyani

THE management of Berekum Chelsea has appointed Orlando Wellington as the new head coach of the club.
Wellington, who takes over from Steve Pollack, recently led the national Under 20 team to qualify for next year’s African Championship.
Only last week, Wellington quit Kpando Heart of Lions in what was linked to disagreements over his national team job.
He will head a three-man technical team at Chelsea, which will also include former Hearts of Oak coach Yusif Abubakar, and Baba Alhassan.
Sources at Chelsea said they would give the coach the freedom to handle the Black Satellites alongside his club activities.
Chelsea did what management called a strategic recruitment this season and it appears the team is strengthened to prosecute the national league with confidence.
In Bismark Idan and Emmanuel Clottey, they possess two promising strikers who can create troubles for opponents.
Clottey was invited to the Black Stars recently and had his first cap when the national team drew goalless with Sudan in an African Nations Cup qualifier in Kumasi.
From all indications, the football season would see a better Berekum Chelsea.
Management hopes the team would place in the top four to underline the growth of the side.


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

IT appears the matter between Berekum Arsenals and Kumasi Asante Kotoko over the abortive Glo Premier League Match is not going to see an early resolution.
Days after the GFA disciplinary committee ruled on the matter, Arsenals have filed an appeal, claiming the ruling was flawed.
They contended that the ruling could not hold and that they deserved to be awarded the three points and three goals at stake.
Early last week, the verdict on the disciplinary committee came out on the abortive 6th week match.
While Asante Kotoko welcomed the decision, Arsenals described it as a travesty of justice.
They were, however, hopeful that the right thing would be done in the name of fairplay.
The disciplinary committee ruling directed that the match be rescheduled and played at a date to be determined by the Premier League Board (PLB).
According to the ruling, Ref. Okine was unable to convince the disciplinary committee that Kotoko deceived him wearing different jerseys from what were presented.
Again, the disciplinary committee indicated that the referee for the day should not have called off the match when he had convinced himself that a different strip other than the registered one was presented.
In their protests to the disciplinary committee, Arsenal demanded the three points and three goals but Asante Kotoko called for a repay.


TRUE to predictions, the rippling effects of Asante Kotoko’s defeat to old foes, Hearts of Oak, at the Baba Yara Stadium last Sunday, have told heavily on the technical team.
As of press time yesterday, the Graphic Sports gathered that Coach Ebo Mends had tendered in his resignation letter.
A reliable source close to management said the coach was summoned to a crucial management meeting where he was given the option to resign or get fired.
Not only that. The other technical members were also asked by management to leave.
Perhaps to save his little image left, Ebo Mends, the source said, went for resignation.
But, it was not known whether assistant coach, Ahmed Rockson, goalkeepers’ trainer, Joseph Carr and other supporting staff would follow in the path of Ebo Mends.
Developments before the match pointed to drastic action against the coach should Kotoko be beaten by Hearts of Oak.
For four seasons, Kotoko had not been able to account for Hearts at home- lost two and drew two - and they were very hopeful last Sunday’s encounter which was the fith in Kumasi in a row would end the string of poor performance against the Phobians.
Indeed, management had insisted that it had motivated the entire team enough to warrant victory and only hoped the coach would craft the right strategies to get the battle won.
But that was not to be as Hearts, under the tutelage of Paa Kwesi Fabin, plotted a demolishing exercise that was to create confusion in the camp of their opponents.
Fabin, who was vilified while in Kotoko, silenced his critics who perhaps masterminded his exit from the Fabulous club after the last season, with a tactical game that confused Asante Kotoko.
Like the ancient Roman General and Statesman, Julius Caesar, who said in his famous Latin statement, “Veni, vidi, vici,” meaning I came, I saw, I conquered, after his war with Pharnaces II of Pontius in the City of Zola in 47 BC, coach Fabin said after the victory that, “ We came, fought a great battle and conquered.”
The mannener the “general” Fabin marched his forces going by the name Accra Hearts of Oak to the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi last Sunday to shut out old foes, Asante Kotoko one-nil in their Glo Premier League match, was enough to tell his crticins in Kumasi that he was not finished as they believed.
By the way, the Hearts coach refused to comment on the performance of Asante Kotoko, the club he coached last season only to say that he was highly impressed by the output of his boys.
To Hearts’ CEO, Fred Crenstil, the outcome was a continuation of tradition. “Tradition goes on”, he said after the match.
Crenstil, who went round the stadium with his opposite number, Dr K.K. Sarpong, both waving white handkerchiefs to demand a peaceful match, was a happy man indeed after the match.
Ebo mends on the other hand admitted Kotoko had a bad day, maintaining that his team lost the battle in the middle. “ Our engine room broke down. Albert Bruce was unimpressive in the middle and we lost the match from there.”
He however insisted that sheer determination from Hearts contributed largely to their victory.
Indeed Asante Kotoko should count themselves lucky to have escaped with the slim defeat as Hearts cut took absolute control of the game and created decent chances.
It was not only the Kotoko coach who came under verbal vituperations from the crest fallen supporters. Some of the players received their share of the blame.
The supporters alleged the lifestyles of some of the players were very un-Kotoko and it there was no wonder they kept fumbling and tumbling.
With some 10 minutes to end the game, the demeanour of the Kotoko players surprisingly appeared they were leading on goals.
Instead of getting their acts together to push for the equaliser, they kept massing up in defence, committing elementary errors, an indication they were out of power to match their opponents.
From defence, through the middle to attack, Hearts were on top and what was to become a classic encounter of equals turned out to be a one-sided affair.
Goalkeeper Sammy Adjei proved why he should be on his way back to the national team with another great performance.
With alacrity, the keeper gathered the few dangerous balls that went to his post and his commanding influence told positively on the team.
Referee Cecil Fletcher was a bundle of controversy. Before the match, some Kotoko supporters had accused him of being a Hearts sympathiser, and only prayed that he would be fair.
But was he fair? Some of his decisions did not go on well for the Hearts of Oak fans, who thought the he might have been frightened by the allegations against him by the Kotoko supporters.
Hearts fans questioned why the referee disallowed two goals from Obed Ansah, the man who combined with Uriah Asante to created so much trouble for Asante Kotoko at the back.
Samuel Nzemaba who played on the left side of the Hearts defence was adjudged the best player for the day.


ARMAJARO Ghana Limited, a leading licensed cocoa buying company with headquarters in Kumasi, has in partnership with the state-owned Garden City Radio, launched an education programme dubbed Akuafo Badwa to educate farmers on best practices to help boost the nation’s cocoa industry.
The programme to be aired in the Akan language on Ghana Broadcasting Corporation’s (GBC) Garden City Radio in Kumasi will be handled by experienced broadcasters with deep knowledge in agriculture.
Experts in agriculture especially in the cocoa industry will also appear on the programme periodically to share their knowledge with farmers and other listeners.
The Managing Director of Armajaro Ghana Limited, Mr Rahu Gopinath, said at the inaugural ceremony last Friday that the company was a leader in getting the best for Ghana’s cocoa.
As a result he noted that farmers who constituted the bedrock of the industry could not be neglected in any way.
“That is why the company has consistently come out with initiatives to position farmers in a better position to increase production,” he said.
Mr Gopinath announced that the company’s traceable cocoa project, which reward communities for increase sales, had spent about $3 million to undertake various development projects in some communities in the Ashanti, Central and Western Regions.
An additional $1.8 million would be spent in due course, part of which would go into public education.
Mr Gopinath noted that the mass media was one sure way of reaching farmers with the right information and promised that the newly launched radio programme would be pursued with all seriousness.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, described the Armajaro-GBC partnership as laudable and urged farmers to patronise the programme to achieve its objective.
He said government’s commitment to developing the cocoa industry was on course and indicated that the recent increase in the producer price of cocoa was symptomatic of the commitment.
Mr Opoku-Manu said agriculture, being the backbone of the national economy, needed all the attention not only from government but also the private sector.
He urged presenters who would handle the radio programme to avoid the politicisation of issues.
“Garden City Radio is a national asset and you should try to serve the interest of all,” he said.
The Ashanti Regional Director of GBC, Mr Philip Baidoo, said it was important for the mass media to divert their attention from “too much politics” and take on social issues that could help better the lot of the people.
“We in GBC want to keep to the tradition by always getting what is best for the people,” he said.
Mr Baidoo stated that Ghana’s development had hinged much on cocoa and any programme targeted at improving production must be supported.


SIXTY-ONE drivers who have been arrested by a police special task force of the Ashanti Regional Police Command have been fined various sums of money by the Kumasi Circuit Court.
The fines ranged from GH¢220 to GH¢440.
Thirty other drivers arrested in the exercise were being processed for court.
Chief Inspector Yusif Mohammed Tanko, the Regional Police Public Affairs Officer, told the Daily Graphic that the exercise, which started about two weeks ago, would continue until some acceptable measure of sanity was brought on the roads.
He mentioned road traffic offences committed by the drivers to include speeding, overloading, driving without driver’s licence, lack of vehicular insurance and using vehicles with worn-out tyres, among others.
Chief Inspector Tanko said the regional police command had declared war on traffic offences and would not tolerate any acts on the part of drivers that would put the lives of passengers in danger.
He mentioned the Kumasi-Obuasi, Kumasi-Mampong, Kumasi-Offinso, and the Kumasi-Sunyani roads as some of the areas where most of the traffic offences occurred.
The public affairs officer indicated that before the exercise took off, the police mounted an educational programme to prepare the drivers for what was ahead.
“Yet some of them did not heed our advice and have been caught in the web of the law,” he said.
Chief Inspector Tanko advised drivers to always keep to the laws so that they would not find themselves in trouble.
He said road accidents were causing destruction to lives and property, stressing that it was incumbent on drivers to help the police to check the menace.


A PHENOMENAL display by Accra Hearts of Oak saw them overpowering archrivals, Kumasi Asante Kotoko, 1-0 in their Glo Premier League top-liner at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi yesterday.
Offensive midfielder, Douglas Nkrumah, sent the Hearts supporters to the raptures with the only goal from a spot-kick on the 65th minute.
The Phobians played at a frenetic pace, controlling every bit of the match and could have run home with a bigger scoreline had they remained focused in front of goal.
Kotoko could not ignite the spark and they got lost tactically, and the more aggressive and tactically disciplined Hearts treated the near-capacity crowd to some copybook football.
And finally when controversial referee, Cecil Fletcher, ended the game, the “auros, auros” chorus of the visitors vibrated through the stadium.
Hearts made their intentions clear from the start when Douglas Nkrumah rounded Aziz Ansah but failed to go past keeper Isaac Amoako. Ansah, who was making a return debut for Kotoko after a stint in Nigeria, was a bundle of nerves and could hardly recover from his runs, gave Hearts a field day on the left side of attack.
Sammy Adjei, very composed on the afternoon, was superb in post, turning away two dangerous shots from Alex Asamoah and Samad Oppong on the 11th and 16th minutes respectively.
As the game wore on, it appeared Kotoko were lost in the middle where Albert Bruce was a total flop.
After Douglas Nkrumah failed to take advantage of a bright opportunity on the 20th minute, petit midfielder, Obed Ansah, prised open the Kotoko defence, heading past Isaac Amoako, but it was ruled offside.
The chances fell to Hearts who were in total command, but again when Nkrumah’s low drive kissed the post on the 24th minute, Obed Ansah only headed away in front of an empty net.
Alex Asamoah was taken out of the game in the first half following an injury and his exit proved a big blow for Kotoko since Louis Agyeman and Samad Oppong faded out as the Hearts back four of Bobie Ansah, Nzemaba, Boampong and Osei Bonsu cleared their lines with ease.
After recess, Kotoko attempted to gather some spirit but had no attacking fuzz as the strikers faded out. It was a matter of course that Hearts found the leader. Wilson Andoh raced onto a pass and sped in from the left.
As he set off with searing pace, he shot into the area and the ball hit the hand of Ofosu Appiah in the area. Nkrumah made no mistake about it to set Kotoko crumbling for the second time in eight days.


TWENTY children of the late business magnate and chief of Nkawie in the Ashanti Region, Bernard Mensah Kufuor, have mounted a legal challenge to how his numerous properties and huge foreign currency accounts in Ghana and abroad were vested in his niece and two of his children, 34 years after his death.
They claim that Mrs Comfort Joyce Wereko-Brobby, the niece, and Ben and David Kufuor, the children, used fraudulent means to take custody of the estates of the deceased, who was also the uncle of former President John Agyekum Kufuor.
Consequently, they have filed a writ at the Kumasi High Court seeking a declaration that all properties the late Mensah Kufuor mentioned in his will of May 9, 1964, and any other properties not specifically mentioned in the will fell into intestacy and should be vested in the estate of the deceased.
Among the numerous properties the deceased acquired in his lifetime are Ghana Primewood Products Limited in Takoradi, Bibiani Logging and Lumber Company Limited in Kumasi, Kufuor and Sons Furniture Limited in Kumasi, Atwima Timbers, Kumasi, Dormaa Sawmills, several tracts of lands in Accra, Kumasi and other parts of Ghana and two landed properties in England.
He also left behind a number of foreign accounts, including 560,000 Pounds Sterling in a UK bank account.
In their statement of claim filed by Accra-based lawyer, Egbert Faibille Jnr, the plaintiffs said prior to his death, the deceased executed a will in Ghana on May 9, 1964, which made Mrs Wereko-Brobby the biggest beneficiary of the estate, including two properties in England.
It said on October 19, 1964, the deceased executed another will in London in which he expressly revoked all former wills and codicils he made, and declared the England will to be his will.
The statement said the deceased also directed his executors and trustees of his England will to sell one of his buildings in London and share the proceeds among his children who survived him on his death, and also sell the other London property with the proceeds going to Mrs Wereko-Brobby.
Besides, the England will, according to the statement, directed that on his death, the cash balance in his West Pennsylvania Banking Trust in the USA be handed over to his wife, Justina Kufuor.
It said the Kumasi High Court granted a probate of the deceased’s Ghana will to the executors and the deceased’s two properties in London went to Mrs Wereko-Brobby, who then proceeded to London to take possession of the properties.
Plaintiffs stated that it was in London that Mrs Wereko-Brobby realised her uncle made another will there, which superseded the Ghana one.
The statement said Mrs Wereko-Brobby and David Kufuor made false presentations to the Probate Division of the High Court, England, to the effect that they were entitled to be granted letters of administration in respect of the estate of the deceased.
It said Mrs Wereko-Brobby’s failure to inform the family of the deceased about the England will when she knew that will cancelled the Ghana one and thereby benefiting from the Ghana will was fraudulent and could not, therefore, stand.
According to the statement, Mrs Wereko-Brobby had taken over Bibiani Logging and Lumber Company Limited while Ben Kufuor had taken over Ghana Primewood Products Limited with David Kufuor taking ownership of Atwima Timbers Limited.
It said when the plaintiffs found out that the whole deal that handed over the biggest share of the estates of the deceased to the defendants was fraudulent, their lawyer wrote to them pointing out the illegality of their actions and demanded that they relinquish all properties that had found their way to them.
The statement said a search conducted at the High Court registry in Kumasi by the plaintiffs revealed to their surprise that the late Mensah Kufuor did not deposit any will there.
“The defendants have been most fraudulent in their actions and conduct in respect of the estate of the late Bernard Mensah Kufuor,” it added, noting that only the court order “could compel them to release the assets of the deceased not mentioned in his England will.”