President John Dramani Mahama yesterday inaugurated the Rattray Park Kumasi City, a multi-purpose recreational centre in the Ashanti Regional Capital, with the assurance that the government will continue to work to develop the city.
"Kumasi is a city I love very much," he said, pointing out that the socio-economic importance of the city was not in doubt.
The park, an initiative of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), is named after Captain Robert Rattray, a Scottish who was the Assistant Colonial Secretary in the Gold Coast and clerk to the Legislative Assembly of Accra in 1919.
He was a special commissioner and the colonial government anthropologist in Ashanti in 1920, who did a lot of research work on the Ashanti Kingdom and the people of the Gold Coast in a bid to help the government understand the people.
He was also the first man to fly an aircraft (glider) to West Africa, and crash-landed at the site where the ultramodern recreational centre stands.
The park , which has a number of facilities, including a huge fountain, an artificial lake and a restaurant, is said to be the biggest and most beautiful in West Africa.
The inauguration was attended by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II; his wife, Lady Julia and many people in and outside the Ashanti Region.
President Mahama touched on the fact that many cities in other parts of the world were adopting the concept of green cities.
Regrettably, however, in Ghana because of the indiscriminate sale of lands and other factors, the concept was alien to some cities, he said.
In that context, he commended the Chief Executive Officer of the KMA, Mr Kojo Bonsu for his vision in undertaking the project and asked other metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives to emulate Mr Bonsu’s example.
He also expressed the hope that the project would generate revenue for the assembly.
"The beauty of what is standing here compares to what you can find anywhere in the world," he said of the park.
The President said there were plans to construct a second terminal for the Kumasi Airport and called for an amicable settlement of all issues impeding the reconstruction of the Kumasi market.
Turning his attention to Accra, President Mahama warned that the Efua Sutherland Park was not for sale so all persons making moves to buy the land should back off.
Mr Bonsu said the project was funded solely by the assembly. He said also that his vision to lead the assembly in the restoration of the greenery of Kumasi was on course and gave the assurance that the new Kumasi market and Kejetia Terminal redevelopment would go ahead as planned.