Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Suame artisans grateful to UNIDO

The Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organization (SMIDO), an umbrella organisation and development wing of Suame Magazine has expressed appreciation and embraced the offer by United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to provide US$24million to support business at the Suame Magazine in Kumasi.
The Director-General of UNIDO, Dr Kandeh Yumkella, made the offer known when he paid a courtesy call on President J.A Kufour at the castle last week.
Already a feasibility study on the business investment and facility support for the project has been completed.
The Suame Magazine, which was established in the 1930s, is composed of a cluster of artisans engaged in vehicle repairs and metal works. It has over 12000 enterprises and more than 100,000 mostly young artisans.
The promotion of business investment and facility support at the Suame Magazine is part of the Millenium Citites Initiative (MCI) being implemented by UNIDO.
When the Daily Graphic asked Mr. Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo, the consultant to SMIDO about the expectations of the organisation in the wake of the UNIDO facility, he said among the immediate priorities would be building the institutional and entrepreneurship capacity of artisans and setting up of common facility centres.
He added that a particularly attention would be paid to the establishment of the Suame Tech Automatics Engineering Institute (STAEI Project), as well as the Industrial Village Project through which SMIDO has successfully negotiated for a 1000acre land at Asonomaso.
Mr Azongo said SMIDO has greatly been inspired by UNIDO’s gesture, but said they are cautious not to prejudge its outcome since its mode of management and dispensation was yet to be unveiled before the primary beneficiaries, the artisans.
He said development was a complex exercise, financial flows and investments were important and added that the success of every intervention was decisively dependent on the mode, contextual efficacy and comprehensiveness involved in the planning, management and utilisation.
He said the over reliance on conventional centralised command structures for implementation of projects has not been groundbreaking enough to challenge sustainable poverty eradication.
He therefore expressed the hope that there would be sufficient scope in the current facility to accommodate an appropriate blend of institutional development and the physical component development.
“SMIDO hopes the facility will mirror and not bypass SMIDO’s mission, institutional system and operational philosophy of Assisted Self-Reliance Strategy”, Azongo said.
According to him Suame Magazine being the leading cluster in Africa and the first to benefit from such a facility coupled with its development should be seen as a forerunner to pilot the best operational concept and financial investment model for the rest of the clusters in Africa.
“I believe if these primary development issues are well-rehearsed on board the UNIDO intervention, the project would emerge as the best showpiece of sustainable development and poverty eradication through wealth creation in Ghana.”
Mr. George Asamoah Amankwa, the President of SMIDO on his part said SMIDO was very grateful to UNIDO, the Government of Ghana, the Millennium Cities Initiative and all the stakeholders who have played diverse roles in ensuring the provision of the facility.
This facility would be utilised in ways and on such terms that will ensure the realisation of the ultimate goal of turning Suame Magazine into a technologically advanced industrial estate.
SMIDO has had good relationship with UNIDO and the Millennium Cities Initiative project. SMIDO has been captured in the MCI’s and UNIDO’s Kumasi Investment Guide, which was launched recently in Kumasi.
Mr Amankwa called on all the artisanal groups in the country to identify with SMIDO in order to benefit from the development expertise and policies of SMIDO to champion a common cause for artisans in the country.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Police nab man for car snatching

The police have busted one member of a gang of vehicle snatchers operating in the Kumasi metropolis and its adjoining areas.
The suspect, Kwame Asukum, 28, a native of Chuchuriga in the Upper East region and a lotto seller at Race Course was arrested by a police patrol team in the midst of a robbery spree around the Bantama market area last Thursday.
He is said to have been involved in a number of robberies in the area within the past three months and the police have appealed to the public to come forward and identify him.
Inspector Yusif Mohammed Tanko of the Ashanti Regional Police Public Relations Unit said a police patrol team chanced on the robber while he and his gang attempted to snatch a taxi car.
He said between 10pm and 11pm on Thursday April 24, Daniel Ampomah, 37, was driving a KIA Pride taxi with registration number GT 4691 G near the Bantama market, when he was stopped by Asukum, who asked that he should be taken to Bohyen.
Asukum after sitting in the car was said to he pulled a knife at the throat of the driver and shouted to signal his gang (four persons), who had then laid ambush to join him.
The taxi driver was said to have struggled with them and shouted for help and a police patrol team arrived at the scene.
All five suspects were said to have taken to their heels but the police managed to arrest Asukum.
Inspector Tanko said Asukum volunteered information and said he was recruited into the robbery gang about three months ago and that since he joined, they have succeeded in robbing three cars at the same spot.
He told the police that they in turn use the cars to pick unsuspecting passengers and rob them of their mobile phones and other valuables and later abandon the car.
He said so far he has benefitted from four mobile phones, which he sold and kept the monies for himself.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thai Princess visits Manhyia Palace

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, on Monday organised a durbar at the Manhyia palace in Kumasi in honour of the the Crown Princess of Thailand, Her Royal Highness, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
Princess Sirindhorn, who is in Ghana to participate in the 12th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), went to Kumasi on Monday to pay homage to the Asantehene.
She was greeted with churns of tunes from the fontomfrom drum at the palace where the Asantehene sat in state and received homage.
Speaking on behalf of the Princess, the Thailand Ambassador to Ghana Mr Witthaya Bhoosuwan noted that the Princess was in country to share with UNCTAD participants the experiences of Thailand in using Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as a tool in enhancing education.
Thailand is noted for excelling in the usage of ICTs as a tool in enhancing education.
The Princess said it was the hope of Thailand that its experiences in ICTs could be adopted and used in Africa to enhance education adding that there was the need for countries to meet and discuss how development could be extended to other countries.
She said it was her first time of visiting Ghana and was appreciative of the warm welcome and hospitality extended to her and her entourage and prayed for an improved relation between Ghana and Thailand.
Princess Sirindhorn said she decided to visit the Asantehene upon her arrival in Ghana since she had heard about the King.
The Princess said she was happy to learn about the efforts the Asantehene was making towards education with the setting up of the Otumfuo Education Fund and presented an envelope, containing an undisclosed amount in support of the education fund.
She also said she was happy to learn that Asante’s were very proud of their culture.
Speaking on behalf of the Asantehene, Nana Gyamfi Ababio, Asanteman Adontehene said the reputation of the Crown Princess had reached very far areas and that the Asantehene was aware of the efforts of the Princess in promoting education in Thailand.
He said Asanteman constituted a cradle of culture in Ghana and that there was the need to reckon that culture was an indispensible part of development.
The Asantehene said it was his wish that culture would be brought into meaning with modernity and called for the need for the relationship between Thailand and Ghana to be strengthened to bring about economic and cultural development.
Otumfuo presented the visiting President with an expensive non-washable kente cloth (Akyempim Sika Foturo), whereas the Crown Princess also presented a gift to the Asantehene.

Malian President at Manhyia Palace

A colourful durbar of chiefs in Asanteman was yesterday held at the Manhyia Palace in honour of the visiting Malian President, Mr Amadou Toumani Toure who is in the country on a three day state visit.
Otumfuo presented the visiting President with an expensive non-washable kente cloth (Akyempim Sika Foturo), to signify the bond of friendship existing between Ghanaians and their Malian counterparts.
Traditionally, the Asantehene sat in state and received greetings from his paramount chiefs before later extending a special invitation to the Malian President through the Mponponsuo sword bearer for him to shake hands with him.
President Toure, who led by President J. A. Kufuor was driven through the principal streets of Kumasi amidst cheers from school children and residents before arriving at the durbar grounds at Manhyia.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster a sister city relationship between Kumasi and the city of Mopti in Mali, where the Malian President hails from was signed to help foster cooperation, exchange of ideas and cultural exchange between the two cities.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Emmanuel Owusu Ansah and the Malian Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Mahamadou Bellebart appended their signatures to the MoU on behalf of the Mayors of the two cities.
President Toure, who spoke French through an English interpreter, explained that he was highly elated about the reception accorded him in Kumasi and Ghana in general.
The Malian President said he was highly honoured to be in Kumasi to pay homage to the Asantehene, whom he had heard lots about saying his late father once lived in Kumasi.
“I am particularly impressed that I am able to pay respects to the Royal Family of Asanteman and to convey fraternal greetings of the people of Mali to you”, he said.
He said Mali and Ghana have trade links dating back so many years in history as well as in modern history through the Ghana-Guinea-Mali union.
He said there were lots of Ghanaians in Mali who live at Mopti, Gao and Bamako doing business over there just as there were some Malians also in Ghana doing business.
He prayed that the fraternal relationship existing between the two countries would continue to exist.
As custom demands, the Malian President presented drinks (whisky, schnapp and brandy) to the Asantehene.
Responding, the Akyimpimhene Oheneba Adusei Poku who spoke on behalf of the Asantehene called for the need for the Malian President to make arrangements so as to enable Mali benefit from Ghana’s Inland Port, which was under construction at Boankra in the Ashanti region.
He said for instance that Malians could acquire lands at Boankra and build warehouses, where they could keep their imports before onward transportation to Mali.
He said Ghanaians and Malians had a lot in common and called for continued cooperation between the two countries saying the visit of the President was going a long way to foster the bond of friendship existing between the two countries.