Sunday, February 13, 2011


President John Evans Atta Mills on Tuesday 8th February 2011 cut sod for the commencement of work on the University for Energy and Natural Resources in Sunyani in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

The university which is to be located at the school of forestry in Sunyani will also have campuses at Nsoatre and Dormaa – Ahenkro in the Sunyani West and Dormaa West Districts respectively. The sod-cutting in Sunyani the second in a matter of one week for the construction of two public universities in the country with the first one taking place in Ho for the construction of the University of Health and Allied Science on Monday 7th February, 2011 are in fulfillment of a manifesto and campaign pledge by then candidate Mills in the 2008 general elections.

In his key note address, president Mills said his government has given the Brong-Ahafo region what it deserves. “These are the more reasons why we are in government, to serve the people and not to be served by the people”. He wished the university would give more admissions to the people from the region. He advised students from the region to take advantage of the university now at their doorsteps to better their lots saying “if you students from this region do not take advantage of this university to better your lots, then our toils would be in vain”The President assured the Chiefs and people of Dormaa that they were going to have two campuses of the university in their area and that the rumors that Dormaa had been sidelined in the allocations of campuses of the university were false. The president ended by thanking Nananom for giving lands for the university.

The Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister Hon. Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo in his short but impressive welcome address was full of praise for the president for fulfilling a major manifesto and campaign promise to the people of the Brong-Ahafo Region. He continued “Never in the history of this country has any president given this region a public university but during your reign”. In recognition of this I crave the indulgence of Nananom to bestow on you the tittle “Oseadeyo” meaning he who does what he says. The regional minister also mentioned the many educational infrastructures from basic to second cycle institutions that the region has enjoyed during his time.

The Vice President of the Brong-Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs, Pemapem Yaw Kagbrese V, who deputized for his president Osahene Kwaku Aterkyi II as the chairman for the occasionthanked President Mills for the university adding “we are also very appreciative that the ‘Better Ghana Agenda’ which you promised Ghanaian as part of your campaign message have been fulfilled in the Brong-Ahafo Region. “Education has received a major boost in the region and this can find expression in the many projects which are being constructed throughout the region for basic and second cycle institutions”. He appealed to the president to expedite action on the implementation of the negotiated agreements under the Single Spine Salary Structure of the Teachers and workers in Ghana adding “Teachers of this country need to be encouraged to teach our children to become useful citizens, while the other workers also need to be motivated with good salaries to increase productivity”.

The Chief also had issues with those who suggested to the 1992 constitutional Review Committee that the chieftaincy institution should be scrapped because it has out-lived its usefulness adding “This suggestion is indeed disheartening and misplaced”. He continued that the chieftaincy institution even though it is faced with many challenges, partner government in development and calling for its abolition is unacceptable.

A Presidential adviser and convener to the implementation committee Dr. Christine Amoako-Nuama thanked the chiefs and people of the region for their support and co-operation through out the process up to the sod- cutting. After the speeches, President Mills cut the ceremonial sod for the commencement of the project.

The ceremony was very short but very impressive and interesting. Attendance was very high as people from the length and breath of the country and beyond troop to the durbar grounds to be part of the historic occasion. They included Hon. J.H Owusu Acheampong, Alhaji Asoma Banda
and Hon. Cecilia Johnson all Council of state members. Others were Mr. Alex Segbefia Deputy Chief of Staff, on. Betty Mould Iddrisu Minister of Education and her deputy Hon. Dr. J.S Annan,Hon.Alex Asum Ahensah Minister for Chieftaincy and Culture and the two Deputy ministers of Information Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Hon. James Agyenim Boateng.Also in attendance was the General Secretary of the ruling NDC Hon. Asiedu Nketia as well as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, Chiefs and their Queen mothers, the clergy, people from the academia, supporters of the ruling National Democratic congress (NDC), the Press and the general public. Security was very tight as personnel from the military and the police as well as the other forces were there in their numbers.

Entertainment was at its peak as the Tanokrom Agromma and sound system provided music and people wrinkled their waists like never before. People were so elated that every where of the durbar grounds you go, people`s face including those of the chiefs were beaming with joy. The joyful moment was however yet to come and it actually happened when president Mills reachedthe durbar grounds. The crowd became uncontrollable with shouts of Atta ooo Atta,Atta wo ye nyame ama (God sent), Atta wate Y`anim (you have made us proud) among others. As I followed him on the exchange of greeting with the chiefs, I could see the faces of the chiefs and their Queen mothers beaming with joy with most of them embracing him. One unfamiliar thing that showed that Nananom were very much appreciative of the president`s gesture was that, yesterday unlike other occasions that I have witness the president`s encounter with the chiefs after he (President) has greeted them, they normally choose few chiefs usually their linguists to return the greetings but yesterday all the paramount chiefs who were there decided to go and welcome the president themselves.

A cross section of people we spoke expressed happiness about the project. “I am so happy that we are now going to have a public university in our region and we will not have to travel to Accra and other places to seek for admission were the words of Ansu Patrick an SHS one student of St. James.

“I think establishing a university in our region will boost business in Sunyani and I think we are grateful to the president were the words of a lady who gave he name as Atta Georgina.
In conclusion, the programme was very successful and most people were very appreciative of the president`s decision to establish a public university in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

Friday, February 4, 2011


A Biometric Passport centre has been commissioned today the 19th of January 2011 at the Brong Ahafo capital city of Sunyani. The centre the third of its kind to be commissioned in the country is located at the premises of the Sunyani Municipal Assembly. The centre which is among five (5) to be established across the country is to decentralized the acquisition of passports in the country and therefore lessen the burden of Ghanaians always travelling to Accra to acquire passports.

Commissioning the centre, the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Chris Kpodo said the commissioning of the Biometric passport centre in the Brong-Ahafo region is a step in fulfilling the NDC governments’ commitment to the people of the region. According to him the biometric passport was launched in the country some ten (10) months ago by the government to replace the old one so that Ghanaians will enjoy recognition and respect wherever they travelled to in the world. He added that the biometric passport has special security features which unlike the old one will avoid impersonation and middlemen and therefore ensure the security, recognition and respect of Ghanaians.

He assured that the centre will be manned by a competent team from the ministry of Foreign Affairs and the immigration service and appealed to the people of the region to support them for the success of the centre. He warned that anybody who pays more than the require fees and the one who receives it will both be dealt with according to the laws of the country because their NDC government abhors corruption but embraces transparency and accountability. He ended by thanking the people of the Brong – Ahafo region for deciding the fate of Ghana in the 2008 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

The Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister

Hon. Eric Opoku on his part expressed gratitude to the ministry of Foreign Affairs and the government for that matter for choosing the Brong-Ahafo Region as one of the five (5) regions to benefit from the project. He said the commission of the centre will go a long way to help in the online application for passports and reduce impersonation and middlemen who take advantage of the applicants as it was with the old passport

He appealed to the youth in the region that now that the centre has been established in the region, they should try to acquire passports and visas which are the requirements for travelling abroad so that the issue of youth in the region entering people`s country illegally resulting at times in their being jailed or killed on the deserts would be a thing of the past.

The Omanhene of Seikwa Traditional area in the Tain District of the Brong-Ahafo region Nana Kwaku Dwuma Ankoanna ll who was the chairman for the function in his closing remarks thanked the NDC government for remembering the people of the Brong-Ahafo region by establishing one of the centers there and pledged the support of the people of the region to the government and the centre saying “commissioning of biometric passport centre in Sunyani is a welcome news because it will lessen the burden of always travelling to Accra when people from this region need passport. Later Ambassador Chris Kpodo with the help of the Brong-Ahafo deputy regional Minister and Nananom cut the tape to officially commission the centre.

When later contacted the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Sunyani Hon. Kwasi Oppong Ababio who helped in the acquisition of office for the centre at the Assembly was full of joy that at long last the project has come into fruition. He assured that his outfit will continue to give the centre the needed assistance to help in the smooth running of the centre.

A show was put up by people from the centre for National Culture on how middlemen used to dupe people who applied for the old passport through them and how the biometric passport could easily be acquired by oneself to the admiration of the gathering.

A cross section of people I spoke to the after the programme expressed divergent views about the commissioning of the centre in the region with most of them expressing gratitude to the government for the project.

Nana Yaa Yamaa Queen of Sunyani said “We are grateful to the government for recognizing our region by choosing our region as one of the five regions to benefit from this project”. “I think it will go a long way to help us”.

“This centre will go a long way to lessen the burden of people from this region of always travelling to Accra when they need passports and I think we are so much indebted the government” were the words of Mr. Kwasi Lampo NADMO coordinator of Sunyani municipal assembly.

“I am not too sure how this centre will help us to acquire our passports easily as is being touted because look at what happened to people who visited the Accra centre when it was commissioned”. What did we not hear about the same favoritism and corruption were the words of an onlooker who only gave his name as Oppoku.

On the whole however many people were happy and welcomed the commissioning of the centre in Sunyani.

The short ceremony attracted dignitaries from the region and outside it. They included the Director of passports Madam Afua Benneh who is a daughter of the region, Immigration Officers, Security Chiefs, some Municipal and District Chief Executives, Chiefs and their Queens, the press, Heads of Departments and the public.

Attendance was high and entertainment was at its best as the Tanokrom Aggroma entertained the gathering with Kete Dance.