Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Blazing fire in Kumasi Central Market

Fire yesterday blazed through the Kumasi Central Market, leaving in its wake massive destruction of stalls and wares, including foodstuffs, footwear, cooking utensils, drums of edible oil and clothing.
The inferno brought the business hub of the metropolis to a standstill as personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) had a difficult time gaining access to the scene and tracing water hydrants due to congestion at the market and the haphazard manner tables, shops and stalls had been arranged or constructed both in front of the market and in the market itself.
The firefighters however managed to gain access to the blazing fire and battled it all afternoon, heavy smoke still oozing out by press time.
As the firemen battled the blazing fire, the outskirts were a scene of sorrow, anguish and pain as scores of traders, mostly women, who had lost valuable items and goods screamed, sobbed or wept uncontrollably.
Some of the traders lay sprawled on the road in front of the market as they mourned their losses, drawing a large crowd to the scene.
An elderly woman who could not contain her loss of an unspecified amount of money and goods screamed, “God, I am finished!”, as she was led away and consoled by friends and relations.
The cause of the fire could not immediately be established but it started at about 2:00pm when business activity was at its peak and razed from behind the main storey building to the western end of the market close to the railway line and in the area popularly referred to as "Eighteen mu".
By 5:30pm, about a quarter of the market, said to be the biggest in West Africa had been completely burnt down.
Some traders in haste to salvage their goods unpacked them from their stores and rushed them out of the market.
Personnel of the Ambulance Service were on standby to provide medical assistance to casualties whilst the police were also around to maintain law and order, as well as protect life and property. It had not been established whether there were any casualties at the time of filing this report.
Business activities came to a standstill as traders, commuters and customers ran helter-skelter to avoid the inferno.
Some traders claimed they spotted the fire in the area of the bag dealers and within minutes it had torched many stores and shops.
Successive Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executives have announced plans to pull down old structures of the market which is susceptible to fire outbreaks to make way for new and modern one but nothing concrete has been down over the years.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Asantehene 10th anniversary golf

Picture shows His Royal Highness, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II playing his favourite sport - golf. Check the King out as he tees off.

Picture shows His Royal Highness, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II playing his favourite sport - golf. Check the King out as he tees off.

The Asantehene’s 10th anniversary Gold Cup Open Golf Championship was held at the weekend at the Royal Golf Course in Kumasi.
The four-day 72-Hole event, which was opened to both amateur and professional golfers from Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and some other African countries was sponsored by MTN and Diageo with support from other co-sponsors and the Manhyia Palace.
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, himself a keen golfer, took the ceremonial tee-off on Thursday in a 4-Hole event with Nana Bi-Kusi Appiah, Manso Nkwantahene, Mr Baffour Awuah, Captain of Kumasi Golf Club and Mr Eben Albertyn, Chief Technical Officer at MTN.
The competition, which ended on Sunday May 24, 2009, was played in accordance with the rules of the world’s golf governing body and the local rules of the Royal Golf Club.
It formed part of activities marking the 10th anniversary celebration of the enthronement of the Asantehene on the Golden Stool.
Mr George Andah, Marketing Officer of MTN said a total of GH¢50,000 was pumped into the competition by the sponsors and added that GH¢10,000 of the sponsorship package was to be used for a water project at the Royal Golf Course.
The winner in the professional event took home GH¢5000 and a 3.5G wireless modem from MTN.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Prof. Kantanka elected new Bishop of Kumasi Methodist

The Kumasi Diocese of the Methodist Church Ghana has elected Very Rev Professor Osei Sarfo Kantanka, Director of the Lay Ministries at the Freeman Centre as the new Diocesan Bishop.
He polled 147 votes in an election which was conducted at the weekend at the 48th Synod of the Diocese in Kumasi as against 48 and 34 votes polled by his other contestants, Very Rev Dr Paul Boafo and Very Rev O. Samuel Kwaku Boakye respectively.
Professor Kantanka who is also a lecturer at the College of Agriculture at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) takes over from Right Rev Professor Emmanuel K. Asante in October 2009 as Diocesan Bishop.
Professor Asante on his part has been elevated to the high office of Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church Ghana, and he would be taking over in October 2009 from Most Rev Dr Robert Aboagye Mensah, the current Presiding Bishop.
Very Rev Prof Osei Sarfo Kantanka said his election was a call to duty as a chief servant of the Methodist Church in Kumasi and its surrounding areas.
He said the position of a Bishop was an office which required dedication and hard work and that he would need the support of the entire membership of the church to be able to deliver.
He mentioned that his vision was to ensure that the church embarked on agricultural projects so as to ensure that there was food to feed people in the country.
Rt Rev Professor Emmanuel Asante on his part said Prof Kantanka’s elevation was not a victory for an individual but a victory for the Lord who chooses whom he wants to lead his church.
He prayed that God would grant him grace to be his chief servant and leader adding that there was no way he could do the work alone without support from the entire membership of the church.
He asked the Bishop elected to be humble and not be a dictator in his dealings, rather work in consonance with the vision of the synod to be each others keeper.
Meanwhile in another development The Kumasi Diocese of the Methodist Church has congratulated the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, for a successful 10-year reign which has brought about peace, development and unity among Ghanaians.
“We take advantage of your reign to extend to you the heartfelt congratulations of all the people called Methodists”.
This was contained in a citation presented to the Asantehene at the 48th annual synod of the Kumasi Diocese of the church held at the Wesley Cathedral in Kumasi at the weekend.
The citation read by Right Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, Bishop of the Kumasi Diocese, was presented by the Most reverend Robert Aboagye Mensah, outgoing Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church Ghana, to mark the 10th anniversary celebration of Otumfuo.
It said the Methodist church Ghana is grateful to all Kings of Asanteman who displayed hospitality to emissaries of “our Lord Jesus Christ, through the Wesleyans and Methodist”.
“This spirit of hospitality was outstandingly demonstrated in the reign of nana Kwaku Dua I in the granting of lands on which the Kumasi Methodist circuit offices and the diocesan offices are now sited.”
The citation said “as shown by the promotion of Wesley College and Mmofraturo School, education has been the hallmark of Asante kings, but you have excelled in your concern for education, by the creation of the Otumfuo Education Fund that extends its facilities beyond Asante to other parts of Ghana.”
“Again your counselling and leadership have led to the reconciliation, peace, unity primarily among Asante chiefs, such leadership that has also been utilised to affect other needy areas of Ghana.”
“Your vision has extended to health-care especially HIV/AIDS and sponsored development projects that responded to the needs of ordinary people at the community level”
It said “we are thrilled to remark that divine guidance marked your ancestral line back to Nana Osei Tutu I, when he was coupled by the outstanding priest Okomfo Anokye to initiate unity”.
“This time round, by your faith, your highness Otumfuo Osei tutu II, should surely be coupled by the eternal high priest, our Lord Jesus Christ whose present representatives, the Bishops are always near you.”
The citation together with a Bible, Methodist hymn book, weekly Bible lesson and a sheep were received by Nana professor Agyewodin Adu-Gyamfi, Acheraensua Omanhene, on behalf of Otumfuo Osei Tutu.
He thanked the Methodist church for its contribution to education, health and social services in Ghana.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Kumasi to get bigger shopping mall

Kumasi is set to get one of the largest and most modern shopping malls in West Africa, bigger than what was currently in Accra.
The Methodist Church Ghana has released its large tract of land located near the Suame roundabout to managers of the Accra Mall, for them to set up the facility in Kumasi.
Right Rev Professor Emmanuel K. Asante, Bishop of the Kumasi Diocese of the Methodist Church who made this known said the church was currently in negotiations with managers of the Accra Mall to fine-tune the project, expected to cost about US$42million.
The Bishop, who was speaking at a media briefing ahead of the 48th annual synod of the Kumasi Diocese of the church, which comes on from May 13-17, 2009 said the designs for the retail venture were still in their final stages and that if all should go well, construction works would commence in September 2009.
“We have a few in-house things to do like meeting with the Asantehene to clarify on certain aspects before construction work commence”, he said.
The project is expected to use about 18months to complete when construction starts, the Bishop said.
He explained that the mall was expected to be a great success in making a major impact on the lives of residents of Kumasi.
The about 20 000m2 mall, to be named Garden City Mall, will be the second modern shopping centre in Ghana and will be comparable to other similar sized shopping centres anywhere in the world.
The Methodist Church’s land in Kumasi near the Suame roundabout, which had been lying idle for many years is highly accessible and borders the Suame roundabout. It is surrounded by roads on all its boundaries which make it highly accessible. An extensive interchange is planned for the future on the roundabout.
The site is currently vacant, except for a number of minor structures. It is dished along its east and west axis and has a number of natural storm water channels which lead to a single outlet on the east boundary.
Rt. Rev Professor Asante said it had taken the church a long time in deliberating on what to do with the land until they finally settled on the shopping mall.
He said the design of the mall is contemporary in all aspects with an underground car park, entertainment centre, a mini promotions court in the basement among a host of other facilities.
Over the past years, consumer demand for convenience and quality has grown considerably and modern retail has been expanding at a very fast pace in the emerging markets.
Although some critics have questioned the impact of modern retail growth on emerging economies, it is generally considered beneficial as it produces a myriad of positive benefits that far outweigh any perceived disadvantages.
A growth in the retail industry has been said to be a catalyst for job creation, the reduction of protectionism, infrastructural improvements, improved standards of living, competitive advantages and economic growth.
Also a growing economy and a commercial boom have been said to have resulted in unprecedented retail growth. Ghana with a total population of 20 million people, 35percent of which is now urbanized has about 1.6 million of that population living in Kumasi, Ghana’s second capital city.
Kumasi is a city with very few buildings over two storey high and up until now, goods have been provided via a multitude of street sellers and strip shopping environments. A growing middle class with disposable income has created a substantial demand for consumer goods.
People all over the world have been described as surprisingly similar in their shopping patterns and habits and as such the Garden City Mall is expected to raise living standards by providing food and products as well as leisure facilities in a safe and congenial shopping environment.
Kumasi residents will be able to enjoy the goods and services widely available elsewhere in the world.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Suame Magazine Institute gets support

The quest by the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation (SMIDO) to ensure the application of modern automatics engineering in vehicular diagnostics and repairs in the industrial operations of Suame Magazine has received a significant boost. This followed the engagement of Mr.Lubomir Spacek, from the United Kingdom, an international expert and a service engineer from WABCO, one of the leading European and Global auto brands for a two day seminar on Electronic Braking Systems(EBS) and Anti Lock Braking systems(ABS) at Suame Magazine. The seminar was organised for 50 artisanal students and instructors of the Suame Magazine Automatics Technical Institute (SMATI). The seminar which was facilitated by the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation (SMIDO) and the European Truck & Trailer Parts LTD (ETTP) was the first in the series of such seminars intended to expose the artisanal engineering students at SMATI to modern auto engineering best practices in the global automobile industry. The European Truck & Trailer Parts LTD (ETTP) is the authorised sales representatives of leading European auto brands such as Bosch, Mahle Filter, SACHS, WABCO, Garrett, Holset, Ferodo and FD Diesel in West Africa with its headquarters in Accra. The artisans were taken through a wide range of lessons in vehicular stability and road safety through modern Electronic Braking Systems, Anti Lock Braking systems and the basics of auto diagnostics engineering. The lectures were delivered by Mr. Lubomir Spacek ,through interpreters who are part of the SMIDO local team of experts in auto diagnostics studies currently assisting the students at the Suame Magazine Automatics Technical Institute (SMATI). A cross section of students interviewed were highly impressed with the exposure and said they wish they had been introduced to this system very early in their career to minimise the dangers of try and error in vehicular repairs. Some of them saw the exposure as a reminder of the level of denial and lack of interest in their trade by policy stakeholders who could have initiated this earlier on in the life of Suame Magazine. They were issued with certificates after the two day seminar. In an interview with the Resident Director of ETTP, Mr Ingo Weiler, he said the successful organisation of the seminar was to test the ground to assess the capacity of the artisans for them to appreciate modern automatics engineering practices. He indicated that upon the establishment of the institute prospects have improved for SMATI-ETTP partnership for equipment support, curricula development, common project adoption and implementation as well as the engagement of renowned global industry experts through their international partners for seminars at Suame Magazine. On his part, the consultant to SMIDO, Mr.Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo, indicated that they were working vigorously to formalise the partnership with ETTP by June this year to strengthen their collaboration in all spheres of automatics engineering. He said he greatest desire was to ensure that both conventional and indigenous technologies were well harmonised for incorporation into the industrial operations of Suame magazine via SMATI. He indicated that apart from the transfer of technology component of the prospective partnership, they intend to push for the kind of collaboration which will enable SMATI and ETTP to initiate projects with the Ministry of Transport to offer state-of-the art solutions to national development challenges in the automobile industry in the country.

UEW produces particle boards from crop residue

THE University of Education Winneba (UEW) has made a technological breakthrough, with the production of particleboards using various crop residues and elephant grass for use in the furniture manufacturing industry.
The Faculty of Technical Education of the University located in Kumasi, in collaboration with the BMK Particle Board in Takoradi, produced the particleboards using residues including corn stalk, sugar cane bagasse and empty fruit bunch of the oil palm.
Over the years in Ghana, agricultural residues such as corn stalk and sugar cane bagasse were usually burnt on farms with their inherent pollution of the environment and the reduction of soil nutrients because of the belief that they have no economic use..
However, the University led by the Dean of the Faculty, Professor Reynolds Okai, with collaboration from BMK Particle Board in Takoradi, researched and uncovered that such agricultural residues could be utilised for the production of particleboards by industry.
The university has subsequently successfully manufactured different particleboard products such as beds, tables, bookshelf, TV stands, lockers and chipboards from the agricultural residue.
This was made known as well as exhibited at the university’s 5th Media Encounter in Kumasi on Wednesday, which was aimed at enhancing the relationship between the university and the media.
The encounter was on the theme, “UEW and National Education Reforms: Inspiring innovation and gender mainstreaming in UEW”.
Making a presentation on the industrial utilisation of the agricultural residue, Prof. Okai said the research was motivated by the increased demand for tropical timber which had resulted in depletion of large areas of forest cover.
He noted that Ghana’s forest cover of over eight million hectares during independence has reduced drastically to 1.4milion hectares and that illegal logging and chainsaw operations, farming activities and over dependence on traditional species including odum and mahogany were accounting for depletion of the forest.
Prof Okai said the ban on chainsaw operations and the promotion of lesser-known species were some of the measures instituted by the government to halt the depletion of the forest as well as the setting up of an annual allowable cut of one million cubic metres of round logs.
He said inspite of these measures, the annual timber requirement was estimated at 4.5million cubic metres of round logs and that there was the need to look for alternative species or materials as substitute for timber production.
He said as part of the research the corn stalk, elephant grass, sugar cane bagasse and empty fruit bunch of the oil palm were extracted from Daboase, a semi-deciduous forest zone in the Western region.
The Dean of Faculty of Education said they were then converted into chips, broken down into small particles, dried and screened and then glued together to form mats.
Prof Okai said the research indicated that the particleboards made from the agric residue were of fine quality than those made from wood and were also sweetable to use as chipboards.
He also added that the boards made from agric residue were also better in terms of water and moisture absorption than that of wood.
Also on gravity, he said the agric residue board have more weight than that of wood.
Prof Okai therefore called on government to help revamp the BMK Particle Board at Takoradi as well as help set up a particleboard production plain in the Brong Ahafo region where corn was grown in abundance.
Again, he called for establishment of a particleboard plant in the Eastern region preferably Nkawkaw and said there was the need for government to assist the private sector to set up particleboard plants.
The Vice Chancellor of the UEW, Prof Akwasi Ameyaw Asabre said the university was also researching into waste plastic and that it was currently doing some work on used water sachet and that findings of the research would be made public when it was completed.
He called for assistance from the government to enable the university to do more than it is now doing.
He announced that beginning next academic year, the university would open an additional campus at Ajumako in the Central region to bring the campuses of the university to four, Winneba, Kumasi, Mampong and Ajumako.
It would be recalled that the UEW had already discovered that the oil palm trunk could be utilised for lumber and furniture production.
Unfortunately, industry was yet to take up the findings for mass production.

Otumfuo durbar - A lifetime feast

A grand durbar, which climaxed the 10th anniversary celebrations of the enstoolment of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II as the 16th occupant of the Golden Stool, turned out to be a great cultural feast for thousands from all parts of the world.
A significant aspect of the durbar was the exhibition of the wealth of the Asantehene and his state as shown in the regalia paraded in his procession to the durbar grounds.
The rich culture and heritage of traditional rulers of Asanteman and other parts of the country were in full glare as Otumfuo Osei Tutu II led his paramount, divisional and sub chiefs to celebrate the anniversary at the Baba Yara Stadium.
The durbar ground witnessed varieties of Kente cloths, an assortment of colourful state umbrellas of different shapes and sizes and other traditional costumes, which brought memories of yesteryears, when traditional costumes were the order of the day.
The main focus of the festival, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II was the centre of pomp and pageantry. The King sat in his palanquin from Asafo and danced his way unto the durbar grounds accompanied by long retinue of palace attendants depicting the various roles they play at the palace.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu was adorned in rich kente cloth with ornaments of gold on his hands and feet. The weight of the gold ornaments made it difficult for him to lift his hands to greet the dignitaries who had gathered at the stadium in his honour.
The Asantehemaa, Nana Afua Kobi Serwaa Ampem who is about 105years old arrived at the durbar grounds briefly, paid homage to her son and departed. She received great cheers for having given Asanteman a great King,
But many were those who were disappointed, as they could not see the real sacred Golden Stool, which represent the soul of Asanteman.
A replica Golden Stool was carried to the stadium and displayed on a special chair (Hwedom) made for it.
Again many foreigners who anticipated to see more drumming and dancing were disappointed as they could only do with speeches after the Asantehene had taken his seat.
Parents had to carry their children on their shoulders for them to have a clear view of the Asantehene and his wealth as he rode in a palanquin from Asafo to the stadium in the once-in-a-life-time experience event.
The Asantehene was led by the “samanka”, which consist of a brass pan borne by one of the Asantehene’s healers and diviners “Nsumankwafo” and in it were talismans and herbs said to posses the power to drive away evil spirits so as to pave the way for the King to approach.
The “nsumankwafo” carried “bodua” which is a flywhisk made of animal tail and treated with medicine to drive off evil spirits.
Following closely after the “samanka” was the “sika mpaboa”, sandals with gold studded straps. It depicted the power of the King as it symbolises the fact that the King’s feet must never touch the bare ground.
Then came the “nsafoa” bunches of steel, silver and gold keys, symbolising that all doors were shut and locked up in the palace whilst the Asantehene was out.
This was followed by “mentia” (elephant tusk short horns) made of “kokwangya” horns, which in literal sense are known as “never left behind”, because they are always on hand whenever the King turns out in state.
“Nkofe”, present when the King turns out in public and “ntahera” which together with the two preceding horns heralds and announce the arrival of the Asantehene. The last one, “nkontwema” reminds all of the need to keep to time or the importance of being punctual.
Following the horns were chairs, “krokowa”, footstool for the Asantehene when he sits in public, “banwoma” an elephant skin that serves as a carpet for the chair, “Hwedom” which the Golden Stool rests, “Hwedomtea”, a chair on which the Asantehene sits and which is placed on a leopard skin. It is decorated with silver and gold studs, the back of this chair is embossed with a circular design in silver, called “dwenie”.
“Asipim nnamu”, “mmaadwa”, “hwedom”, “kodeedwa” were all part of the chairs that were displayed last Sunday.
Then came the drums, “sika akua”, “sika sankuo”, “nkukuadwa”, “mpedi”, “nkrawire”, “etwie”, “prempe” and “kwantempomuta” all together comprising the Asantehene’s musical ensemble.
Next in the procession were the swords, “asomfena” – courier swords, “mfena” and “mfenatenefuo” – sword bearers.
Following the swords were the umbrellas, “boaman”, “oyokomaa”, “nyankonton” – rainbow, “akokobaatan”, “nankanini”, “mfoanfoa”, amd “prekese”.
“Dwete-kokuo”, a silver casket in which were placed odd requirements of the Asantehene as he goes out from the palace, such as gold dust he would need to make purchases or to give away as presents was also around.
“Nseniefo” court criers and carriers who follow the symbolic regalia wearing gold decorated caps and are responsible for the maintenance of quiet and order when the Asantehene sits in public and also used as couriers of messages were also there.
“Ekyemfoo” bearers of shields made of wicker and decorated with skins of colobus monkey and “taa-hyefuo” bearers of gold and silver decorated tobacco pipes were also in the procession.
Their presence in the procession signified that it was the wish of the people that their leader should live to an old age since pipes are smoked mostly by the aged.
Other regalia of the procession were “ekyem” (war shields), “adumfuo” and “abrafuo” (guards and executioners”, “kokosesefuo” (young men of the royal family with fans), “ahopraduo” (bearers of the King’s elephant tail whisks, “nkotokuwa” and “sanaa and fotuo” (bags made of elephant hide containing god weights –sanaa- and gold dust – fotuo”)/
Indeed, the durbar was a great cultural feast that also signified the unifying factor of the Asantehene bearing in mind the calibre of dignitaries from all over the world as well as Ghanaians from different ethnic groupings and political parties that were there.

MTN rocks Kumasi with Otumfuo concert.

Okyeame Kwame proved that he was a real force to reckon with when in a unique style, he performed to pay tribute to His Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II for his modernisation of the chieftaincy institution.
At a concert, which was held in the Asantehene’s honour as part of his 10th anniversary celebrations last Friday, Okyeame Kwame arrived on stage in a palanquin, clad in a kente cloth with a sword “afena” in hand to signify the celebration of chieftaincy.
He gave the audience some acapella, poetry recitals all in praise of the Asantehene before flying onto “cloud nine” to bring out some old and new songs from his collection.
The Jubilee Park, the venue for the show was choked with people, comprising both elderly and young who trooped in from almost every corner of Oseikrom to be part of the anniversary.
The amazing performances exhibited by various artistes on the night was preceded with a “show your stomach” dance by the Master of Ceremony, Kwame Adinkra a.k.a. Apotiti of Angel FM who danced to the tune of “Alhaji Alhaji, Alhajo…” before introducing himself and the artistes.
Kwaku Gyasi as usual kick started the night, singing to live band music in praises to God almighty for the Asantehene’s life as well as ask God to give him long life.
Obrafour followed Gyasi to show his love to the people of Oseikrom through the power of music.
Lord Kenya appeared wearing a white top over a blue checked skirt and was determined to give off his best in his home soil but poor sound quality thwarted his efforts and before he could burst into his usual “jittery” moves, Charter House, organisers of the show had to call for an abrupt end in the performance.
The disappointed Kenya coolly walked off the stage for the anomaly to be rectified.
It was at this point that a big anniversary cake for the Asantehene was brought onto the stage for cutting. Unfortunately the audience in the popular stand could not get a bite as only the VIP guests did get to enjoy it.
A colourful firework display was also exhibited in honour of the Asantehene.
It was after that moment that the MC for the show, Kwame Adinkra explained that an earlier rainfall caused water to enter the sound systems thereby resulting in the hitches.
Lady Prempeh, followed by Echo, Ritchie and Asem took their turns to perform.
The audience welcomed the announcement of Okyeame Kwame with cheers and applause to show that they were there for no other thing but good music from the “Rap Doctor”
Batman Samini attested to the fact that he was not just a good rapper but could sing to live band music and do it well as he unleashed scintillating tunes to entertain the fans.
With heavy security presence made up of both police and military personnel, not many bad incidents occurred at the function apart from a few miscreants who thought they could take the law into their hands but the vigilant security personnel managed to track them.
While others were dancing and sweating, some of the fans were also pushing closer to the stage to catch a closer glimpse of the artistes
It was a well-organised show with a modern magnificent stage and lightening but the sound quality system could have been better.