Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Authorities of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) have outlined a number of measures to ensure that Kumasi was well positioned to host the various visitors who would be coming to Kumasi during next year’s Cup of African Nations Tournament (CAN 2008).

Like the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, the KMA has sent a request to all taxi drivers to put on uniforms for neat appearance and easy identification. They are also to be provided with identification cards.

Again all taxis are going to be embossed with certain unique numbers for easy identification.

Miss Patricia Appiagyei, Metropolitan Chief Executive who made this known at the official launch of the Kumasi Venue of CAN 2008 said any visiting taxi to the Kumasi metropolis would be made to register with the KMA for an entry permit to be in the city for a required period of time.

These and many other measures are to help ensure that the city was well positioned for the tournament to be able to attract tourists.

The football tournament of African Nations to be held in Ghana from January 20 is the 26th Edition and out of the 16 participating teams, four would be hosted in Kumasi.

About half of the estimated one million visitors to Ghana during the tournament are expected to be in Kumasi.

Looking at the importance being attached to the tournament, the KMA has already started a series of activities towards ensuring a cleaner, more beautiful and befitting city for the tournament.

These include the decongestion and beautification exercise currently underway.

Many measures have also been discussed and are to be instituted to ensure that service providers deliver excellently, according to Miss Appiagyei.

Again, to help ease traffic congestion at about a 2-kilometre radius around the Baba Yara Stadium, which would be the centre of attraction when the tournament kicks off, the KMA in conjunction with the Kumasi CAN 2008 Venue Organising Committee (KVOC), as well as the Metro Mass Transit (MMT), is to introduce the park and ride system.

This system would require motorists to park their vehicles at designated points in the city, where security would be provided, pay a fee and join a bus, which would convey them to and from the stadium before and after the match.

To help make the system workable, certain areas have been identified. These areas include the Central Post Office, KMA Parking lots, Prempeh Assembly Hall, Asem School Park, all the training pitches, the premises of the Centre for National Culture (CNC) and certain spaces at the sub metros.

The KMA Chief Executive also said that the security agencies were planning to ensure that matters of security were treated with the utmost urgency it deserves adding that there is a comprehensive plan to give maximum protection to both the citizenry and visitors.

With respect to accommodation, apart from the about 222 hotels that are already in existence in the metropolis, 120 more including the City Hotel, which are under construction would be completed for usage during the tournament.

Accommodation facility in the tertiary institutions including the one at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is to support the accommodation plan.

As a result discussions are underway with the university authorities in an attempt to alter the university’s calendar on re-opening for the second semester to enable the organising committee have access to the students’ accommodation on campus. The idea of creating tented villages to support the accommodation plan is also seriously being considered. PICTURE SHOWS A SOCCER FAN IN KUMASI


Traditional adowa dance by the Amamereso fie Cultural Group from the Centre for National Culture and “Jama” songs from various football supporters union were some of the side attractions that heralded the official local launch of the Kumasi Venue of CAN 2008 at the Prempeh Assembly Hall yesterday.

It signified the official information for the people of Kumasi and the Ashanti region about the impending CAN 2008 tournament and the benefits of the tournament.

An excited Ashanti Regional Minister, E. A. Owusu Ansah, who lauched the programme said, “from today let us all think, eat, drink and toast CAN 2008, of which the Black Stars of Ghana will be crowned champions for the 5th time”.

The Kumasi local launch of the competition marks a turning point in whipping up public interest in the tournament. This is premised on the fact that the tournament would bring a lot of advantages, such as attracting tourists, fostering business partnerships and friendships as well as good neighbourliness with other nations.

CAN 2008 kicks off on January 20, 2008 with an opening ceremony at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium in Accra. Other local venues — Accra, Sekondi and Tamale — are also expected to do their launches in the coming weeks.

The Kumasi official launch was followed by a street float which attracted cheers from members of the public.

Dressed in the Ghana national colours, the various supporters union stormed the Prempeh Assembly Hall amidst the singing of the Ghana Black Star Cheer Song which sent the entire hall into a frenzy.

“I have just been made conscious of the excitement that would go with the hosting of the tournament” was what Miss Eno Akua Brantuo, a patron at the official launch, was overheard saying as the hall went into a frenzy.

The Ashanti Regional Minister called for an unflinching public support and cooperation in the quest to get Kumasi prepared for the tournament.

He explained that Ghana was chosen to host the tournament for a number of reasons, such as previous experiences in hosting it in 1963, 1978 and co-hosting it in 2000 with Nigeria.

“The peaceful political climate, the exploits of the Black Stars in recent international tournaments and the reputable standing of the country among the comity of nations are all significant factors.

“With such an impressive background, it is important that we strive to ensure another successful tournament”, the Minister said.

He maintained that the decongestion exercise currently being embarked upon by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) was laudable and stressed that every nook and cranny of the city needed to be kept clean since visitors would take advantage to tour the city.

He also called for a warm welcome from residents to all visitors to the city during the period of the tournament.

“Kumasi has always been a pacesetter when it comes to participating and organising national events of this sort”, the Minister said.

Professor K. K. Adarkwa, Chairman of the Kumasi Venue Organising Committee (KVOC) said his outfit was doing its best to ensure that all the infrastructure for the tournament - stadia, training pitches and the city hotel project - were completed on schedule for the competition.

The Chief Operating Officer of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Mr Rex Danquah, mentioned that a number of activities had been scheduled prior to the competition to help whip up public interest in the competition.

Miss Patricia Appiagyei, KMA Chief Executive mentioned that the KMA would ensure that enough buses were made available to transport supporters to the stadium. She said private vehicles would not be allowed entry into a two-kilometre radius of the stadium to help curtail traffic congestion at the stadium area, Rather, the KMA would provide buses for patrons to park and ride.

One significant hiccup of the official launch which the KVOC may have to rectify in future activities was the usual Ghanaian attitude of lateness to functions.

The official launch programme was advertised to start at 8:30am at 10:00am the organisers were not ready for the start of the programme.


An ultra modern Accident and Emergency Centre being constructed by the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) is to be ready by December 2007, making it available for usage during next year’s Cup of African Nations (CAN 2008) in Ghana.

The project is about76 percent complete and currently being equipped with modern gadgets.

It is to help put KATH in a position to be able to handle ordinary and mass casualty cases, in case any should occur during the tournament period.

Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare, Chief Executive of the hospital, who made this known at a mid-year performance review meeting of the hospital in Kumasi mentioned that, a number of staff in the hospital have also undergone training in mass casualty and the hospital was in the process of training more.

He said the hospital has positioned itself to be able to handle medical cases during the tournament period and added that, the move was not only for CAN 2008 but formed part of an overall strategy to turn the hospital into a modern “centre of excellence” in the provision of clinical and non clinical services comparable to international standards.

The Accident and Emergency Centre has been equipped with a helipad on top of the building where helicopters could easily land to drop and pick patients.

Consar Limited is the contractor working on the project.

Dr Asare said so far eight nurses have received training in Israel to support the Accident and Emergency Centre and three more have been sent to South Africa to also train in handling casualty cases. These nurses are expected to serve as trainer of trainees on their return to the country.

He noted that many patients die in trauma cases because of the lack of proper handling and requisite equipment to help take care of them; hence the construction of the modern facility at the hospital was welcome news.

He said hospital has been receiving support from the Israeli government and that it was currently collaborating with it to use the Accident and Emergency Centre as a training centre in mass casualty not only for Ghana but the entire West African region.
The Israeli government in 2002 helped to set up a trauma centre at KATH and subsequently helped to train six staff to help man the place.


The Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment (MLGRDE) is liaising with Attorney General and the Judicial Service to adequately equip the district courts to deal expeditiously with sanitation cases.

This followed moves by the ministry to enforce sanitation laws through education and the courts.

This came to light at a two-day meeting in Kumasi to discuss the report of an environmental sanitation tour undertaken by a delegation of the ministry to Bangladesh and Ethiopia recently.

The tour was to help develop a sustainable rural sanitation module in the country, with the aim of finding a lasting solution to environmental problems confronting the nation.

Participants of the tour were sponsored by MLGRDE to undertake a study tour of Ethiopia and Bangladesh, where sanitary conditions are far better off than Ghana.

It enabled them to acquaint themselves with the sanitation situation in those countries and replicate them in Ghana.

Among the participants were Mr Osei Asibey Antwi, Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Amin-Adams Anta, Tamale Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Kweku Quansah, Programme Officer at MLGRDE and other experts in sanitation from various district assemblies across the country.

Environmental sanitation had been identified as a powerful driver of the nation’s development as it affects the quality of life and productivity of the population.

A greater number of diseases reported to the hospitals and other health institutions in Ghana are sanitation related among which, includes malaria, typhoid, diarrhea diseases, worm infestations and bilharzias.

These diseases are said to account for over 70 percent of outpatient department attendance in hospitals and are responsible for most infant mortality.

According to the participants their study tour revealed a greater political and community commitment to sanitation issues in those countries.

“There are no open defecations there”, Mr Quansah, Programme Officer at MLGRDE said and added that it came to light that it required a lot of political commitment in Ghana to develop feasible strategies and coherent programmes to address the sanitation challenges facing the country.

“As a nation, we have not placed priority on sanitation”, he said.

Sanitation in Ghana is poor and as one goes round the cities and towns, what one sees is filth.

Drains are choked with garbage and human excreta, open spaces and beaches which, should serve as recreational grounds have become defecating and dumping sites for all kinds of waste.

Major roads and streets including lorry parks are all littered with garbage. The situation in low income communities especially those in the cities and major towns is a sorry sight.

In some cases inadequacy of resources have been accused of aggravating the problem but in other cases indiscipline seem to be a major contributory factor.

People throw out waste and urinate anyhow and in some cases defecate in public places with careless abandon.

Contributing, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Emmanuel A. Owusu Ansah said over the years, so much resource had been committed by government, metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies and their development partners into sanitation yet there seemed to be no breakthrough for to the problem.

He also added his voice to the need to enforce laws on sanitation adding, “if the courts are properly resourced it should not take more than three days to deal with a sanitation case”.

The Minister observed that the problem of sanitation should not be left on the shoulders of government and its agencies alone since it was a national problem and everybody should be part of its solution.

Accordingly, he called for the need for the private sector to be encouraged to build their capacities to meet the challenges in waste management.

“We have reached a stage in the country’s development when sanitation services can no more be free. At present less than 15percent of the population pay for sanitation services.

“The assemblies therefore find themselves in a dilemma when they have to spend their development budget on sanitation to the detriment of other projects”, he said.

Mr Owusu Ansah challenged the MMDAs and the technocrats to come up with appropriate technologies of waste collection, transportation, treatment and final disposal.

“It is about time we move away from the traditional ways of waste management and rather see to as a resource which can be used to create wealth and generate employment opportunities”.