Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Work on Oforikrom-Asokwa carriageway starts

President John Agyekum Kufuor at the weekend cut the sod for work to commence on a €37million dual carriageway from Oforikrom to Asokwa in Kumasi.
The project being jointly funded by the Government of Ghana and France forms part of government's move to handle the traffic situation in the city of Kumasi for easy vehicular movement.
The project, which will include the construction of an interchange at the Timber Gardens at Asokwa and improvement of the Lake road, is expected to be completed in two years.
It is being executed by a South Korean company, M/S Shinsung Engineering and Construction Limited.
The construction of the Oforikrom-Asokwa Bypass follows the near completion of the Sokoban Wood Village project, which is a key component of the project where wood workers at Anloga (who are carrying out their activities in the right of way for the road works) are to be relocated to give way for the construction of the road.
There would be a construction of another interchange at the Anloga traffic lights.
President Kufuor said that development of the Kumasi arterial road networks is on course in fulfilment of the government's promise made in November 2006 to undertake the Kumasi Road and Urban Development Project.
Roads earmarked for expansion in Kumasi are the Sunyani road from the Komfo Anokye roundabout to Abuakwa, which works had already started and scheduled for completion in 2010.
The Mampong road from the Suame roundabout to Ahwia and the Western Bypass from Sofoline to Santasi roundabout. The rest are the southern Bypass from Santasi roundabout through Ahodwo roundabout to Timber Gardens and the Eastern bypass from Timber Gardens to Oforikrom junction.
President Kufuor noted the significant aspect of the project was the outer ring road which is a 70 kilometre road around the city which would divert non Kumasi bound traffic away from the city.
Already a route location survey has been completed and properties which are to be affected have been assessed for compensation.
The President appealed to property owners to be patient with government and stop further developments of their properties while the acquisition processes proceed since any property development on the earmarked roads would greatly affect the progress of the project.
President Kufuor repeated the government's resolve to expand the country's transport infrastructure to support investment in the productive sectors of the economy, specifically agriculture, tourism, education, health and internal trade.
“Without doubt, investments in these sectors are critical to achieving a middle-income status and attaining the Millennium Development Goals,” the President said.
He stated that heavy government investment in the road infrastructure development has expanded the road network from 38,000 kilometres in 2001 to 63,000 kilometres as of 2007 and that from a rating mix of 27 percent good, 17 percent fair and 56 per cent poor in 2001, the road network now shows 46percent good, 35percent fair and only 19percent poorer as of 2007.
He disclosed that US$90million has been secured to rehabilitate the railway line.
The Minister of Roads and Transport, Dr Richard W. Anane said €10million has also been secured for the Anloga interchange and work would soon start for it to be done concurrently along the lines of the Oforkrom-Asokwa Bypass.
He said the construction of the project would further reduce human and vehicular traffic congestion in the city.
The French Ambassador to Ghana Pierre Jacquemot said his country would continue to support Ghana in her developmental efforts because of good governance, stability and cooperation existing between the two countries.
Daasebre Osei Bonsu, Mamponghene, who represented the Asantehene, said Otumfuo Osei Tutu II was very happy about road developments in Kumasi.
The Mamponghene appealed to the government to ensure the implementation of all projects that were on the drawing board for the metropolis.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Emmanuel Asamoah Owusu-Ansah, in an address read for him by his deputy, Mr Osei Assibey Antwi, said the government was dedicated in the development of the Kumasi's infrastructure to match its growth.
He said Kumasi was strategically located at the heart of the country and the nerve centre of the road network which undoubtedly enhances commerce, tourism and business activities.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Lady Julia to spearhead redevelopment of Kumasi Children's Park

After years of neglect, the Kumasi Children’s Park is now going to be redeveloped under the initiative of Lady Julia Osei Tutu II, wife of the Asantehene.
Lady Julia announced her intention to assist with the redevelopment of the facility when she toured the facility on Thursday to have firsthand information on the state of affairs at the park, which has completely been abandoned in the last eight years.
She explained she was going to raise money with the help of the public to see to it that the main children’s park in the metropolis, which was now in a very bad shape and not in use, bounces back to life to help serve the interest of children.
As her contribution towards providing a more serene environment for children to interact, read, play and learn, Lady Julia said she would ensure that the park was redeveloped to a modern status.
She said the present state of the beautiful large tract of land at the park was indicative of the lack of maintenance culture in the country and called for the need to institute a well laid plan for the development and management of the place.
A team of architects has since been put together to fashion out a plan for the redevelopment of the facility.
A member of the team, Mr Edward Botchway said they would be looking at an estimated GH¢3million for the first phase of redevelopment. He however said about GH¢9million would be needed for the entire development of the facility.
He mentioned a modern electronic library, conference facility and internet cafe as some of the facilities they hope to add to the children’s park.
He expressed worry that a facility of that sort, which was sitting in the middle of the metropolis had been allowed to go waste unattended.
The Kumasi Children’s Park, which was developed in 1989 to serve as a recreational and learning centre for children in the Kumasi metropolis and beyond has since year 2000 been completely abandoned, putting the place in a deplorable state.
The facility had become a den for thieves and drug addicts and a place for church services and funeral celebrations.
The state of affairs has turned to discourage rather than attract children to patronise the facility for which it was established.
The place is totally dark in the night and has become a den of robbers and drug pushers.
Since the place has become a dangerous place to tread, residents in surrounding areas, such as Afful Nkwanta, Amakom, Oforikrom who normally use the park to access other areas no longer uses it after 7pm.
There have been numerous calls on individuals and organisations to collaborate efforts to maintain the Children's Park and library, hence the decision by the Asantehene’s wife to lead in the redevelopment of the park has been welcomed by Kumasi residents.
The Metropolitan Chief Executive, Ms Patricia Appiagyei, who accompanied Lady Julia on her inspection tour.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Crazy shorts galore at Luv FM's pool party

It was fun galore at the Luv FM – Smart Energy Drink Crazy Shorts Pool Party, as ladies of different shades converged at the Miklin Hotel in Kumasi and paraded what was described as the craziest shorts of all times in the Garden City.
The atmosphere was indeed packed with lots of excitement as patrons ‘fed their eyes’ on ladies wearing shorts of different types.
The organisers of the pool party, Luv FM had requested lady patrons to appear at the function in shorts and indeed shorts of different shades were paraded at the event.
Activities lined up for the day included swimming competition, rap competition, dancing as well as crazy shorts exhibition among ladies.
Both young and old patrons had fun as the event was packed with exciting activities.
A lady from Tafo, Murabel Antwi emerged as the winner for appearing in the craziest shorts of all time and she took home a carton of Smart Energy drink, a T-Shirt and souvenirs from Luv FM.
Winners of other competitions also took home cartons of Smart Energy Drink and souvenirs provided by Luv FM.
Artistes in the persons of 4x4, Lord Kenya, King Ayisoba and Okyeame Kwame entertained patrons with tunes from their various songs.

Monday, June 09, 2008

OTSUNOKO SPEAKS: “I will expose fake pastors”

POPULAR radio talk show host, Kwabena Asare, aka “Otsunoko”, has stated categorically that he will never stop exposing the negative activities of fake pastors so long as he remains in the radio business.
This, however, does not mean he has any sinister motives against pastors or churches.
The anchorman of, “wiase mu nsem”, on Nhyira FM in Kumasi, perhaps the most listened to programme in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions, said, “I am only interested in helping to expose wrong doings in society”.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Graphic Nsempa in Kumasi, Otsunoko said what he was doing amounted to pastoral work only that he had not received the calling yet.
For many in Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions, Otsunoko is one of the finest presenters in the radio industry who has been contributing greatly in exposing wrong doings in society.
Ironically, his name “Otsunoko” in Ga language literally means “do something”. Therefore Otsunoko has taken it upon himself to expose some of the false prophets, activities of witches and wizards as well as marital problems and other social vices on his radio programme, which is aired on Nhyira FM between Mondays and Fridays from 7pm to 10pm. Numerous revelations bordering on witchcraft, wonder stories, marital problems and some bad activities of certain pastors are made known on the programme. He claimed he has been studying the Bible very well and is presently involved in a research on the genesis of sin, which he was undertaking with the help of a collaborating institute in the United Kingdom. He therefore does not agree with people who think that he was personally interested in attacking pastors on his programme. “It would surprise you to know that many members of the churches, whose pastors cheat them and practice all sorts of negative activities come to me with their own stories”, he said.
Otsunoko said his interactions with many of the pastors had indicated that many of them make numerous promises to their flocks, mainly the women, some of whom they have sexual relations with.
“So when it gets to the point where the women feel cheated, they rush to the media and to be precise, Otsunoko’s programme for exposure of the pastors. ”Before the stories are aired, the pastors are contacted for their versions and it is interesting listening to the explanations of some of them on air as many of them end up exposing themselves the more”, he said. Whilst some pastors have achieved fame with their appearance on Otsunoko’s programme, others have lost theirs as a result of exposures made about them on the programme. According to Otsunoko, it was through his instrumentality that the fetish priest at Akomadan, Nana Kwaku Bonsam, has become very popular in media circles in recent times. Adding, he said, although, Nana Bonsam had been around for some time, “he was operating on the quiet without media attention until he appeared on my programme”. Otsunoko described himself as someone who had since his infancy yearned to help expose wrong doings in society. “I was a very troublesome boy during my childhood days but I always insisted on the truth”, he stressed. He claimed there was a prophecy about his birth and that the prophecy was that, he was going to be a strong boy, who would insist on nothing but the truth and would also save lots of people from trouble and from being cheated. This prophecy was said to have come from three people at a time Otsunoko's mother, Madam Martha Agyeiwaa, a businesswoman, had given birth to two children and was earnestly looking for a third one which was not forthcoming. The last prophecy was said to have been made by one Prophet Mary of Kyebi in the Eastern region. “So all that I am doing now is a prophecy come true”, he said. On how he ended up in the radio industry, Asare said he entered the industry at about 10 years ago at Otec FM in Kumasi as a panel member on discussion programmes and was motivated by listeners to take up job as a radio presenter on full time basis because of how he made positive contributions on air as a presenter of highlife, gospel and reggae music on part time basis. In 2003, whilst still working at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) hospital as a laboratory technician, he secured another part time job at Classic FM in Techiman and worked only on weekends as a presenter. After a year’s sojourn at Classic, he moved to Kumasi to work with Radio Mercury on full time basis where he played highlife, reggae and gospel music. At Mercury there was a programme called “Nsem Pii”. The concept of the programme was to broadcast foreign wonder stories, superstitious stories and stories on witchcraft with occasional broadcast on local witchcraft stories. The host of that programme, ‘Sir’ Richard was one time physically attacked at the Radio Mercury premises by a group who claimed he had exposed their diabolic activities on the programme. Sir Richard was said to have been frightened by the physical attack and decided not to host the programme again. That marked the turning point in Otsunoko’s career as he was asked to take over the programme. When he took over, he discarded the idea of broadcasting mainly foreign stories and veered into the local scene where he invited so called wizards and witches to the studios to tell stories about their activities. The programme “Nsem Pii” became very popular in Ashanti and beyond and attracted many listeners to Radio Mercury. People started rushing to the station for their stories to be broadcasted. There were times that Otsunoko travelled to shrines, interviewed fetish priests and invited some of them to the studio. Perhaps the story that enabled Otsunoko to attract more attention was the Sefwi Yaw Donkor murder case in 2004 where he managed to convince Donkor, a suspected murderer then, to the studios of Radio Mercury to tell his story on the murder case. Donkor’s account on radio gave the police a clue to the fact that, he was the brain behind the murder and was subsequently apprehended from where he led the police to exhume the body of the deceased, which he secretly buried in the bush. From then on Otsunoko organised a durbar at the Cultural Centre at where a number of supposed witches and wizards from various parts of the country converged and recounted their stories which was broadcasted live on air. He left Radio Mercury for the new Nhyira FM in 2006 after the death of the Chief Executive of Radio Mercury, Nana Kwabena Poku. At Nhyira, he introduced the programme “Wiase mu nsem”, which had the same concept as that of the “Nsem Pii” programme. A native of Nsuta in Ashanti, Otsunoko was born in Accra some 40years ago to the late Sergeant Owusu Bediako a.k.a. Akatapore of the Ghana Police Service and Madam Martha Agyeiwaa, a businesswoman. He schooled briefly and moved to Koforidua Anglican Primary as his father was on transfer there, then to Tamale Anglican Middle School and Duayaw Nkwanta Anglican Middle School. He had his secondary education at the Duayaw Nkwanta Secondary School where he completed his ‘O’ Level in 1990. From there he took some private courses and obtained a certificate in laboratory technology, worked for two years at the KNUST Hospital and later to Rophi Clinic at Akwatialine before taking up radio on full time basis. Otsunoko claims his hobby is travelling and has travelled to many Asian countries including India. He claims he does not like food very much but prefers taking tea at all times and does not like making friends. He is married to Naana and they have three boys.
The talk show host s also a philanthropist who occasionally make donations to various orphanages as well as assisting needy people who come on his programme.

Paa Joe Appiah's tomb vandalised

Unknown persons at the Tafo Cemetery in Kumasi have desecrated the tomb of the late Mr Joe Appiah, a renowned politician and statesman who died 18years ago.
Family members were shocked on Tuesday morning as they discovered that the tomb had been desecrated.
A cleaner was going to clean the tomb when he discovered that it has been broken into from one of the edges.
However that of his wife, Peggy Appiah, who died two years ago, which lay next to his husband’s tomb was not touched.
An inspection of the tomb revealed that the casket had been opened with the cover lying sideways. The bones had been scattered and some parts of them were missing, together with jewellery and a rich kente cloth which were used in burying him in 1990.
The skull together with parts of the bones and a blanket which the bones laid on were however intact, except that they were scattered in the casket.
A shocked Ms Abena Appiah, one of the daughters of the late statesman described the act as disgraceful.
She wondered why someone would attack the tomb of her father after 18 years saying, “This is indicative of the act of wicked minds”.
“It is pathetic as it makes it look like a restage of his whole death”, Abena told the Daily Graphic in Kumasi.
The matter has since been reported to the Police and investigations have been instituted into it.
Inspector Yusif Mohammed Tanko of the Police Public Relations Unit confirmed to the Daily Graphic that investigations had been instituted into the matter.
He said the family members claimed that some jewellery they used in burying the late statesman were missing.
Some people in Kumasi have however attributed other sinister motives to the whole incident saying it goes beyond ordinary robbery.
Some have read political motives into it saying whoever took the bones was probably going to use it for juju so as to be able achieve political victory.
“You know, this is an election year. Anything can happen”, an auto mechanic at the Tafo cemetery said.
The Tafo cemetery has no security at night and has no fence wall as well.
Thieves quite often break into the graveyard at night, open the tombs and steal just any items they can lay their hands on.
The Cistern of the cemetery, Mr Frimpong told the police after this latest incident that he was unable to stop criminals from going there because he was the only person around.
The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly had, on numerous occasions, announced plans of fencing the cemetery so as to stop it from being used as a hideout for criminals.
“People under the cover of darkness walk out of the place with caskets and other items on their heads," an elderly man, who resides near the cemetery, said.
The late Joe Appiah was a Ghanaian statesman and politician who was born in 1918 and died in 1990. He had relations with the Manhyia Palace and was closely involved with the West African Students' Union (WASU), eventually becoming its president in the United Kingdom.
Through his involvement with WASU, he came to know many of the main players in the fight against imperial rule in Ghana and elsewhere in Africa among whom were Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President to whom he became very close.
Dr Nkrumah was Joe Appiah's first choice for best man at his wedding to Mrs Peggy Appiah (nee Peggy Cripps) a British Royal in 1953. Mrs Appiah, who died in 2006 has her tomb next door to her husband at the Tafo Cemetery.
Joe Appiah, a renowned lawyer and his young family returned to Ghana in late 1954.
Soon after, his friendship with Dr Nkrumah was ruined; he joined the National Liberation Movement (NLM) party and won the Atwima-Amansie seat in 1957.
After the coup that overthrew Nkrumah in 1966, he was asked to explain the new regime's motives to Ghana's friends and neighbours. Joe Appiah was intermittently involved in public life as a diplomat and a government minister from then on until his retirement in 1978.
He returned to Kumasi, where he continued to fulfil his duties as a clan elder. He was remarkable for the consistency of his moderate nationalism, his Pan-Africanism, his cosmopolitanism and the steadying role he played in post-independence Ghanaian politics. His autobiography is an important source for the late colonial/early post-colonial period in Africa.

Dan Lartey affirmed GCPP flagbearer. But EC says its illegal

Daily Graphic Monday June 9, 2008 Front Page

Story: Enoch Darfah Frimpong in Kumasi & Donald Ato Dapatem in Accra

About seventy people on Saturday met at the Prempeh Assembly Hall in Kumasi to affirm Mr. Dan Lartey as the flag bearer of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) in an election that the Electoral Commission (EC) has described as illegal.

According to the EC, the congress, which was marked with strange and interesting developments, was unlawful because prior to the congress, the party had organised only one regional congress instead of 10 regional congresses, as required by law.

The Director of Elections at the EC, Mr Albert Arhin, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic on Sunday, said the party had been informed previously that unless the EC had supervised the regional congresses, it would not oversee its national delegates’ congress.

He said the EC had advised the hierarchy of the GCPP to organise regional congresses in the remaining nine regions and ensure that they were supervised by the EC before the commission could supervise the national delegates’ congress to make it acceptable.

About 80 people, including journalists and observers, attended the congress that elected the octogenarian politician for the third time running as its presidential candidate.

Mr Lartey and the chairman of the party, Mr John Thompson, had earlier given conflicting figures about the number of delegates expected at the congress.

While Mr Lartey mentioned 1,300, the national chairman said they were expecting up to 500 delegates.

And when the numbers they were expecting were not forthcoming, they explained that, the delegates were "held up in traffic".

The entire event, which also included the election of national executive members took about an hour to complete.

Quite surprisingly, the elections were carried out without the involvement of the Electoral Commission (EC).

No other political party was at the congress to give any solidarity message.
Ten national executive members of the party, five of whom were absent at the congress, were also acclaimed.

They were Mr John Thompson as National Chairman; Miss Georgina Rita Bimpong as Women's Organiser; Mr. Adams Ali, General Secretary; Mr Kwasi Ameyaw, Treasurer; and Mr Amadu Haruna, Deputy Organiser.

Those who were absent but acclaimed as national officers were Mrs Adelina Dennis, First Vice National Chairperson; Mr Adu Tetteh as Second National Vice Chairman; Mr Caleb B. K Dorfenyoh as National Organiser; Mr Justice Worae, Youth Organiser; and Mr Ohene Ofori, Educational Secretary.

In his acceptance speech, Mr Lartey said when given the nod as President of Ghana, he would increase wages and salaries of workers by 400 per cent.

He said workers had not been given salaries to meet the rising cost of living, and promised that his government would ensure improved conditions of service for workers at all times.

He said his main focus as President would be on domestication and that he would concentrate on improving local industries.

Mr Lartey said now that he was aware of the support of his party followers and he had accept.ed to lead them to the general election, the campaign of the GCPP was in "full gear.”

He charged the few delegates around to go back and preach the message of "domestication".

He said he was happy the GCPP had been able to organise its national congress at long last.

Explaining why many of the delegates and some of the national officers were not present at the congress, Mr Lartey said, "1 have information that they are still on their way here only that some of them are stuck in traffic at Nsawam on their way to Kumasi from Accra."

"You see the road network in the country is very bad so my people have been stuck in a traffic jam at Nsawam spending almost four hours over there."

Earlier, Mr John Thompson, the National Chairman, said they were waiting for more of the delegates to join them and added that 100 delegates could form a quorum for the congress to go ahead.

But, the congress went ahead with less than 80 people, journalists and observers inclusive.

Mr. Thompson, in his address, charged the few delegates who were present to go back and work hard to ensure victory for the party in the December elections.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Plans to improve water supply in Kumasi

Aqua Vitens Rand Limited, Operators of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has developed a water supply master plan for the Kumasi metropolis and its surrounding areas. This is to help improve on water supply for the metropolis and its surrounding areas in the next two years. The metropolis has been experiencing acute water shortages in recent times forcing management to institute a water rationing programme to equitably distribute water. This water problem has been attributed to a rapid increase in the population in the city without a commensurate increase in water production. The demand for water in Kumasi and its surrounding areas with a population of about 1.8million far exceeds supply of about 65 percent thereby resulting in acute water shortages. Mr Haruna Asoga, Ashanti Regional Public Relations Officer of the GWCL told the Daily Graphic that the master plan to be developed would entail the construction of new main transmission pipelines, rehabilitation and refurbishment works at the Owabi and Barekese treatment plants as well as construction of a new treatment plant. He said a total plant output of 120,000 metric cubes per day was expected to be achieved on completion of the project. He said the entire project, which has been estimated at Euros 37,999,870 is being funded by the Dutch Government Mixed Credit Facility under ORET/MILIEV programme. It would consist of a grant of 50percent of the contract price and 50 percent contribution by the Government of Ghana through a concessionary loan from the Fortis Bank. M/S Taylor Woodrow B.V is expected to implement the project on a turnkey basis. Kumasi being the capital of the Ashanti region and the second largest urban centre in Ghana as well as an important administrative and commercial centre, gets its water source from the Barekese and Owabi Headworks respectively. The total capacity of the two headworks are 95,000 metric cubes per day with Owabi producing 13,600 metric cubes per day and Barekese producing 82,000 metric cubes per day. Mr Asoga said the scope of the project would be construction of water transmission mains from Barekese to Suame, an additional 27,300 metric cubes per day treatment facilities at Barekese, construction of new booster stations and reservoir as well as modification and expansion of the treated water pumping station. He said the distribution network would be reinforced and extended and that a sludge treatment facility would also be constructed. He said a technical support including a programme for reduction of unaccounted for water, training of GWCL staff on asset management, hydraulic management, water resource study, master plan study and two years post construction operational support. Mr Asoga explained that the project when completed would improve the reliability and increased availability of water supply to Kumasi and its surrounding areas. This, he said was expected to increase the productivity of inhabitants of the metropolis thereby leading to economic development and reduction of poverty. The project will also tackle the environmental problems created by non-treatment of effluent from the existing plant and lead to the maximisation of the social and health benefits of clean safe reliable drinking water. "In the final analysis water supply to the metropolis would be enhanced to accelerate business opportunities such as food processing industries, tourism and other productive ventures and alleviate hardships associated with shortages of water to women and children in the region", he said.