Constituency watch: Manhyia South: Culture, business & more
The Manhyia Palace, the seat of the Golden Stool of the Asante Kingdom and the home of Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, can be found in the Manhyia South Constituency in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital, making the constituency the centre of Asante tradition, with its overarching tourism potentials.
The constituency is blessed with the Manhyia Palace Museum, referred to as the home of culture, with artifacts that date back as far as 1925.
Aside from its tourism attractions, the area is noted for youth empowerment through capacity building via artisanal enterprises.
Manhyia South is one of the five sub-metros within the Kumasi metropolitan district. The rest are the Subin, Nhyiaeso, Bantama and Manhyia North constituencies.
Manhyia, Ashtown, CPC, Krobo Odumase, Afia Kobi and Dichemso are some of the popular communities in the constituency.
At Afia Kobi lies the biggest commercial hub, popularly called Alabaa, which is well-known for the trade in bicycles, motorcycles and cargo tricycles in the Kumasi Metropolis.
Alabar is noted for its congested environment — both human and vehicular.
The congestion is worsened by the many shop owners who display their wares on the shoulders of the busy road, leaving pedestrians competing with vehicles on the road.
The constituency is one of the most illuminated places in the Kumasi Metropolis.
Mathew Opoku Prempeh, MP for Manhyia South, paying homage to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II (seated), during a durbar at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi
Concerns of residents
The constituency has, in the course of the last four years, benefitted from the construction of four astro turfs.
However, some youth in the area told the Daily Graphic that they had had enough of such sporting facilities and needed their Member of Parliament (MP), Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, to invest in other areas to create employment opportunities for them.
“It is an undeniable fact that our MP has done a lot for this constituency,” one Charles Appiah told the Daily Graphic team, adding, however, that the youth needed jobs.
A 68-year-old artisan, Master Kofi Small, a blacksmith at Dichemso, also appealed to the MP for the area to channel his energy and resources on other equally productive avenues.
Some residents who also shared their concerns with the Daily Graphic appealed for roads within the constituency to be fixed.
A resident of Dichemso, Peter Okyere, said the deplorable Apeja Road (Ashtown Post Office area) needed to be fixed, saying the poor road was affecting the economic lives of the people.
Others also expressed their displeasure about the stalled drainage project from the Mall to the Ashtown downtown, near X5, not too distant from the Asawase junction, and appealed to the city authorities to complete the project.
An aerial view of the Airport Roundabout in Kumasi
Sam Pyne – MCE, KMA
The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) has channelled efforts into enforcing relevant bylaws to ensure sanity in the constituency and improve the lives of the people.
The Public Relations Officer of the assembly, Henrietta Efia Konadu Aboagye, affirmed the KMA’s commitment to work closely with the MP to bring development to the constituency.
She said one key component of the assembly’s agenda, led by the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Sam Pyne, was to ensure that every household had a decent toilet facility and good drinking water, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Six which seeks to “ensure access to water and sanitation for all”.
Education continues to be the frontline of the numerous social interventions in the constituency, to empower the youth.
Apart from the numerous basic and senior high schools that have received various forms of assistance, such as the construction of new classroom blocks and revamping of existing facilities, schools in the constituency continue to enjoy such support, with the latest being the construction of a six-unit one-story block at the Serwaa Nyarko Senior High School, which is near completion.
Hundreds of residents have benefitted from a scholarship scheme instituted by the MP, which has, over the years, given opportunity to brilliant but needy students in the constituency to further their education.
The Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, through the initiative of the MP, has trained over 480 youth, the majority of them female, to pursue vocational training in the areas of cosmetology, tailoring, consumer electronics, auto mechanics and fashion design.
Over 90 per cent of roads within the constituency have been tarred
About 90 per cent of the roads in the urban constituency are tarred, and officials say there are plans to fix the Ashtown post office road, popularly known as ‘Apeja Road’, and the road behind the famous X5 Restaurant.
The MP, affectionately known as Napo, said the remaining road would be completed by the end of next year to boost economic activities in the constituency.
“Whether it is jobs or infrastructure or other needs, I have determined to fight for what my constituents deserve, and it is a matter of pride for me to point to my modest successes in this regard,” he said in an interview.
“My vision for Manhyia South is a prosperous, healthy and vibrant community and being there for one another as one big family. Together as one people, there is so much we can achieve and make our community even better, and I sincerely believe the best time lies ahead of us,” he added.
Alabaa is known for the sale of motorcycles and tricycles
Manhyia South is one of the 47 constituencies in the Ashanti Region.
Based on history, the constituency is considered a stronghold of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP). The NPP has won this parliamentary seat consecutively in the past seven elections — 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020.
Dr Prempeh, in 2008, won the seat for the first time, obtaining 35,958 votes, representing 86.2 per cent of the total votes cast.
His closest opponent was Sylvester Lewis of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), who managed the second position with 5,043 votes, representing 12.1 per cent of the votes cast.
Dr Prempeh retained the seat in the 2020 parliamentary election, garnering 27,985 votes representing 84.7 per cent, as his closest contender, Abubakar Sulemana of the NDC, managed 5,047 of the votes, representing 15.28 per cent of the votes cast.