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Asantehene launches $400m devt drive

BY: Daniel Kenu
Nana Agyenim Boateng II (standing) speaking at the dinner for business executives in Kumasi. Those with him are Nana Effa Appenteng (2nd right), Bompatahene; Baffour Asare Amankwatia VI (3rd right), Bantamahene; and Mr Kofi Badu (1st left), the Chief of Staff, Manhyia Palace. Picture: EMMANUEL BAAH
Nana Agyenim Boateng II (standing) speaking at the dinner for business executives in Kumasi. Those with him are Nana Effa Appenteng (2nd right), Bompatahene; Baffour Asare Amankwatia VI (3rd right), Bantamahene; and Mr Kofi Badu (1st left), the Chief of Staff, Manhyia Palace. Picture: EMMANUEL BAAH

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has initiated a 10-year development drive expected to cost $400 million to transform Kumasi into a modern industrial city.

The money for the project is being sought from Eximbank, with Fidelity Bank as the local facilitator.

The Asantehene is using lands within his traditional area as collateral for the loan.

The Amoamahene, Nana Agyemin Boateng, announced this when he represented the Asantehene at a dinner organised for business executives in Kumasi last Friday.

He said five major projects, including a jute factory, mango processing factory, metal fabrication support project and a kente development project, would be carried out, alongside other auxiliary ones.

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Main projects

Part of the money is earmarked for the construction of a jute processing factory at Sabin Akrofuom (Nkoranza) to promote cocoa, cashew nut and other related crops to grow the local economy.
The jute factory is expected to create about 3,000 direct and 2,000 indirect jobs for the youth.

The mango processing factory, also to be sited at Sabin Akrofuom (Nkoranza), is expected to create about 100 and 300 direct and indirect jobs, respectively.

The metal fabrication support project dubbed: “The Otumfuo Osei Tutu II industrial hub ", to be sited within the Suame Magazine enclave, is intended to harness the engineering culture around the enclave and make Suame a prominent automobile metal fabrication centre, creating some 4,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Also on the bill is a Kente Development project to be sited at Bonwere in the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality to be named after the late queen mother of Ashanti, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem.

Nana Agyemin Boateng said as the population of students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) increases, Otumfuo would make land available for business persons to build more infrastructure to accommodate the first batch of graduates of the free senior high school next year.

For this purpose, he said, Otumfuo — who is also the Chancellor of the university — was wooing a number of business people and partners to provide both hostel facilities and lecture halls.

Auxiliaries

The Amoamahene said beyond the five main project areas, the king is also in talks with Tullow Oil and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to put the Kumasi Children's Park — renamed Lady Julia Children's Park Ashanti World of Order — into a new resource to serve the youth and the society.

Support

In all these, Otumfuo called for support from the business communities, particularly business moguls from Asanteman, to contribute and own some of the 'non-funded' projects as part of their contribution towards building Kumasi.

United Ashanti

At the launch of the projects, the Bompatahene, Nana Effah Apenteng, called for a united Ashanti to help Asantehene build and bequeath a befitting legacy.