The Ejisu Constituency, which was carved out from the then Ejisu-Juaben Constituency in 2016, is one of the constituencies in the Ashanti Region represented in
The constituency is known as one of the most important historical communities with tourist attractions and a rich cultural heritage and, also home of the famous Yaa Asantewaa who led the Asante kingdom to fight the British colonialists.
Aside from the Yaa Asantewaa Museum, the constituency boasts of four other UNESCO sites located at Edwinase, Kraph, Besease and Adako Jachie.
One of the communities in the constituency, Bonwire, which is located 18 kilometres on the Kumasi-Mampong Road, is home to the country’s most popular cloth, Kente.
With a population of 130,000 people, the main occupations of the constituency are kente weaving, farming and trading.
The constituency, located in the central part of the Ashanti Region has been one of the strongholds of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in both presidential and parliamentary elections since 1992.
Aside from the 1992 election, which saw the NPP boycott Parliament, all the members of Parliament from the then Ejisu-Juaben Constituency and now the Ejisu Constituency have come from the NPP party.
In the 2020 parliamentary elections, the situation was no different as the NPP candidate, Mr John Ampontuah Kumah, won the elections by polling 69,800 of the total votes cast.
The Daily Graphic caught up with Mr Kumah as part of its ‘Constituency Watch’ series to find out some of the developmental challenges in the constituency and how he intended to address them.
Mr Kumah identified unemployment as one of the biggest problems in the constituency.
To address the situation, he said, he intended to create at least 100 entrepreneurs with an annual turnover of GH¢1 million each over the next four years.
He said he had already met with graduates in his constituency and encouraged most of them to start their own businesses.
“I intend to create the club 100 which will create an entrepreneurial club made up of at least 100 people in the next four years. I want them to start businesses that will grow to rake in at least GH¢1 million annually. That is the objective and I believe by so doing we will be able to create more jobs for the youth,” he explained.
Mr Kumah, who is the former Chief Executive of the National Entrepreneurship Innovation Programme (NEIP), which was tasked with developing and training entrepreneurs, was confident that his past experience would help him achieve that task.
Boankra inland port
Mr Kumah also noted that the Boankra Inland Port when completed in the next three years would create lots of sustainable jobs for the youth in the constituency.
“We are lucky to have the Boankra inland port in the constituency and fortunately we are looking forward to its completion in the next three years so hopefully, once the inland port starts operation, lots of sustainable jobs will be created in the constituency,” he noted.
He said he was also looking at establishing a tractor assembling plant with the funding coming from the India Exim Bank to create more jobs in the constituency.
Yaa Asantewaa tours
Mr Kumah also pointed out that one key item the constituency boasts of is the Kente from Bonwire which is a national heritage.
“So, I am trying to design a concept called the ‘Yaa Asantewaa tours’ which will seek to promote Bonwire kente and at the same time promote tourism in Ejisu. We have a special place in Ghana’s history where a Queenmother of Ejisu led one of the Ashantis to war against the British and we want to take advantage of that to promote tourism in various monumental places in Ejisu, while also promoting the Kente,” he explained.
Mr Kumah also noted that the constituency had lots of infrastructural challenges which he would be hoping to solve.
“As part of my primaries, I did a research and found out that communities needed modern toilet facilities so I linked up with the private sector and so far, we are building 30 modern toilet facilities which are at various stages of completion.”
“We also identified that some of the communities have been disconnected due to lack of bridges and so we have started working on some bridges. Already we have constructed two through private sector fund-raising,” he stated.
He said most of the roads in Ejisu also needed facelifts, something he is working with the urban roads directorate to resolve.
Profile of Mr Kuma
Mr Kumah started his basic education at the Rapid Preparatory School in Sunyani, after which he proceeded to Opoku Ware Senior High School for his senior high school education in 1994.
He then continued to the University of Ghana in 1997 where he graduated with a degree in Economics and Philosophy in 2003. After his first degree, he did his MA in Business Administration at GIMPA where he specialised in finance.
Mr Kumah then went back to the University of Ghana for his second degree in LLB and after completing in 2011, gained admission into the Ghana Law School at Makola for his professional certificate in Law.
He was called to the Bar in October 2013 and has since practiced as a solicitor of the supreme court of Ghana from 2013 to now. After his call to the Bar, he practised for a while and in 2017, enrolled at the Swiss Business School for his Doctoral Studies.
He graduated from the Swiss Business School with a doctorate in Business Innovations and a post-graduate in Applied Research.
Mr Kumah has been married to the Head Pastor of the Disciples of Christ Ministries, Mrs Lilian Kuma, since 2007 and has four kids with her.
Early political life
According to Mr Kumah, his political life started as a young boy in basic school when he became the school prefect at Rapid Preparatory School and also later became the school prefect at Opoku Ware Secondary School.
He said he was also involved in student politics back in University of Ghana where he was part of the Student Representative Council; he also contested for NUGs President.
“From 2003, after my first degree I went to Ejisu to join the NPP and to start working and developing myself to become the MP in future and I have been in active politics since then.
He said it was his second attempt of coming to parliament after he failed to get the nod at the 2015 primaries.
Mr Kumah believes he has a lot to offer to the 8th Parliament and was therefore looking forward to contribute immensely to deepen parliamentary work in the country.