Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ecofest and Opemsoo Festival

The second Opemsoo festival, with the aim of honouring the founder of the Asante Nation, King Osei Tutu I has been launched in Kumasi.
It is expected to be held alongside this year’s Ecotourism Festival which would be staged at Kokofu-Anyinam in the Bosomtwe-Atwima-Kwanwoma District of Ashanti from September 1-6.
The theme for the celebration is, “Celebrating the Golden Jubilee for people, nature and culture”.
Opemsoo is an appellation for the first King of the Asante Nation, King Osei Tutu I who was born at Kokofu-Anyinam and that the festival is to help bring to the limelight the birth place of the great King as well as help to harness the Ecotourism potential in the area.
The birth place of the great King and infact the place where his umbilical cord was buried at the time of his birth in early 1700 had been preserved and regarded as a sacred place.
All persons including the Asantehene visit the place bare footed.
At the launching ceremony, Nana Kwasi Donkor, a Deputy Director at the Centre for National Culture (CNC) said the festival was to be used as a stepping stone to woo tourists to the birth place of the great King.
“Just as Christians go to Jerusalem to see the birth place of Jesus Christ and Muslims go to Mecca to also see the birth place of Muhammed, we would also want Asantes and people from all corners of the earth to come to Kokofu-Anyinam to see the birth place of King Osei Tutu I, the founder of the Asante Nation”, he said.
He said the mother of King Osei Tutu, Madam Gyamfuaa Manu, who was a royal at Kokofu was on her way to her hometown at Esiease when she suddenly went into labour on the way and since she could not continue the journey to her hometown, she branched to Esiease where she gave birth to the great King and stayed there for 40 days before moving away.
Among activities lined up for the festival includes general cleaning exercise in villages in the Kokofu area, a tree planting exercise to improve upon the greenery in the area, a quiz competition for school children, a football gala competition, cultural display and an international seminar on the topic harnessing the ecotourism potential of Lake Bosomtwe.
Mr Ben Anane Nsiah, Ashanti Regional Manager of the Ghana Tourist Board in an address said tourism was now a major catalyst for growth in many small communities in the country.
He said in the last two decades stringent measures had been instituted to make ecotourism fruitful since tourism was the fourth major foreign exchange earner for the country..
Currently about 400,000 tourists come to Ghana annually since the country was rich in a strong and an unadulterated culture.
Mr Nsiah said the Opemsoo and Ecotourism Festival therefore were an opportunity to hipe and promote tourism potentials in the country.

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