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