29 April 2003

Ghana: J. K. Siaw Remembered

Nkawkaw — The name of the late Mr. Joshua Kwabena Siaw, popularly known as J. K. Siaw, an industrialist, was prominently mentioned by a number of dignitaries who addressed the people at various functions organised by Kwahu citizens as part of the recent Easter celebrations.

J. K. Siaw whose Tata Brewery factory and other properties were seized by the erstwhile Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) in 1979 was remembered due to his patriotism and desire to assist and develop Kwahu.

Speaking at one of such functions at Kwahu Pepease to inaugurate a ¢3 billion two-star hotel called Modak Royal Hotel, the minister of Information, Nana Akomeah, commended a number of citizens including the late J. K. Siaw, Anim Addo, E. A. Saka and Kwame Ofosu Bamfo (Sikkens).

The rest are Ernest Bediako, Mike Twum Barima, Kofi Peperah, Fred Ntim, among others, as people who have helped the growth of the nation's economy. He reiterated the government's support of individual enterprises for the growth of property-owning democracy to ensure the success of the government's "Golden Age of Business" programme.

He, therefore, urged individual entrepreneurs to take advantage of the government's private enterprise fund to establish small and medium-scale enterprises and companies to absorb the high number of unemployed youth in the country.

He advised Kwahu entrepreneurs and industrialists to take advantage of the number of tourist potential in the area and invest in that industry which could offer employment to the youth in the area.

The Eastern regional minister, Dr. Francis Osafo Mensah, said had it not been the 1979 Rawlings-led revolution as a result of which a number of privately-owned enterprises, companies and other properties were seized, notably the J. K. Siaw's Tata Brewery factory, a number of local and foreign investors would have invested in the country.

He, however, appealed to Kwahu businessmen and women to invest in the private sector now that a government, which understands business, has come.

He promised them the government's protection at all times under the present constitutional rule.

He assured the people that the Abetifi-Pepease and the Pepease-Bukuruwa-Kwahu Tafo road would be reconstructed and tarred to enable more tourists to visit tourist attractions in the area.

The chief executive of the hotel, Mr. Samuel Amoafo Dankyi, said the hotel, which he started two years ago, is to provide decent accommodation to a number of visitors and tourists who visit the area.

Meanwhile, a number of Kwahu citizens have reiterated their call on the NPP government to return all the assets of the late J. K. Siaw and others, which were forcibly seized by the AFRC regime to their rightful owners to give meaning to the government's declaration of the golden age of business.

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