Former President, John Agyekum Kufuor, has called for closer collaboration between Members of Parliament (MPs) and metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) to enhance the speedy socio-economic progress of the nation.
He, therefore, urged them to eschew envy, bitterness, character assassination and undermining one another in the discharge of their political duties since such antagonism between the two political entities could negatively affect their determination to develop their constituencies, districts, municipalities and metropolises.
President Kufuor’s address was delivered on his behalf by the MP for Twifo Atimorkwa, Mr Abraham Dwumah-Odoom,at Akyem Ofoase near Oda last Saturday at a grand durbar to climax the 10th anniversary celebration of the creation of the Akyemansa District Assembly in the Eastern Region.
The Akyemansa District Assembly was inaugurated on April 24, 2008, during the tenure of former President Kufuor.
The former President advised MMDCEs not to be armchair politicians but they should look for foreign and local investors to mobilise all available human and material resources to not only develop their areas, but also to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth.
He said considering the availability of abundant land for rice cultivation, he had decided to site a rice processing factory in the area.
President Kufuor said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government was taking realistic measures to put an end to rice importation to conserve foreign exchange for investment in other sectors of the economy.
In his address, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Akyemansa, Mr Paul Asamoah, said the district assembly started operating in a three-classroom block donated by the Ofoase Methodist Church and was furnished by Mr David Oppong-Kusi, the then MP for Ofoase-Ayirebi Constituency.
He stated that before the inauguration of the assembly, the district had no tarred roads, limited access to potable water, limited health facilities, dilapidated classroom blocks, limited electricity coverage, no fire service station and poor telephone network, among others.
Mr Asamoah noted with pride that from a history of a classroom administration block, the district assembly currently had its own administration block, DCE’s and District Coordinating Director’s bungalows and staff quarters all at Ofoase.
“In addition, we have been able to build a fire service station and quarters for the Police Commander to promote law and order,” he stated, adding that the district had risen from a no tarred road in 2008 to 38 kilometres of tarred roads, mentioning in particular the Chia-Ofoase-Ayirebi and Ofoase-Akokoaso roads.
Access to education
The DCE said access to education and health had also improved greatly with the construction of additional 44 classroom blocks, construction and rehabilitation of a number of health facilities across the district.
He stated that very soon, the assembly would inaugurate a GETFUND-financed science laboratory for the Akyem Ayirebi Senior High School (SHS) and a boys’ dormitory at Akokoaso SHS to enhance teaching and learning in those institutions.
According to Mr Asamoah, electricity had also been extended to many communities while telephone network could be accessed in most parts of the district.
He said the main targets for the 10th anniversary celebration were to build a medical officer’s bungalow and to develop a district hospital to improve healthcare delivery as well as procure musical instruments to create a live band ?? as a way of generating employment for the talented but unemployed youth and to help develop their musical skills.
In an address delivered on behalf of the MP for Ofoase-Ayirebi, Mr Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, by his Special Assistant, Mr Andrews Owusu-Debrah, he said he had awarded scholarships to 200 SHS 2 and 3 students, undergraduates, as well as those in polytechnics and colleges of education towards the completion of their education.
Mr Oppong-Nkrumah, who is also the Minister of Information, added that he had teamed up with the DCE to connect 31 rural communities to the national grid, adding that he had also provided medical equipment and consumables to the Brenase Health Centre.
Citations and awards were presented to a number of dignitaries for their contributions to the creation of the Akyemansa District. They included former President Kufuor, Mr Kwadwo Agyei-Darko, a former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Messrs Emmanuel Nana Acquah Frimpong, Victor Owusu Ahenkorah and Mr Tom Budu, all former DCEs, Mr David Oppong-Kusi, former MP, Obrempong Boakye Akoto, Kotokuomhene and Mr Gyasi Abrokwah, the first Presiding Member of the Akyemansa District Assembly.