29 May 2013

Ghana: Kumasi Mayor Dreams Big, Wants to Rebrand City to International Standards

In his bid to give Kumasi an international face, the new Mayor has urged all stakeholders to join the train of rebranding the city dubbed: "A new Kumasi, to our destination."

He has indicated that Kumasi needs to compete with international cities such as Johannesburg, Boston and London, and has called for the support of all stakeholders such as telecommunications, financial institutions, the media and individuals.

Mr. Kojo Bonsu announced this at the First Ordinary Meeting of the 3rd Session of the assembly last week Tuesday that a series of activities had been outlined towards achieving this objective.

This includes the holding of international conferences in Kumasi, known as "Invest in Kumasi", to bring investors both local and foreign to the city, with the hope of providing the opportunity for Kumasi to showcase her rich business potential, to herald the building of a 2,000-seater conference centre.

According to the Mayor, an Airport City would be created in a facelift to exhibit the status of international scenes, and that facilities, such as hotels, banks, restaurants, and parking lots would be made available to increase the revenue base of the Metropolis, as well as the region, and the country as a whole.

The Mayor announced that a wall would be constructed around the Tafo Cemetery, one of the oldest and biggest cemeteries in the Metropolis, to beautify its environs.

He said Kumasi would join the World City Network of about 40-city membership, as the first African City to share ideas, experiences and best practices under sister-city programmes. According to Kojo Bonsu, Kumasi stood to benefit a lot from the sister-cities relationships, which seek to promote the capacity building of local government officials, through exposures, knowledge transfer and partnerships.

The KMA boss said Kumasi would continue to strategically explore the opportunities of the sister-cities concept, which, over the past decade and half, the KMA had benefited from in the construction of community micro-projects, capacity building for officials through exposures and training, and computerisation of data system development, when it engaged itself with several cities in Europe, North America and Africa.

He hoped the KMA's engagement in sister-cities relationships would enable both technical and political officials of the KMA to improve on their capacity to perform their functions effectively, as well as facilitate the mobilisation of resources for sustainable community micro-projects and local the economic development of Kumasi, which currently, had three active relationships with Almere in the Netherlands, Dortmund in Germany, and Atlanta in USA.

The MCE stated that current areas of interests of these sister-cities were environmental sanitation, knowledge management, climate change and cultural exchange respectively, and gave the assurance that these relationships would be strengthened, while efforts would be made to revive the dormant ones, such as Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso and Wichita in USA.

Mayor Kojo Bonsu further indicated that the KMA would re-visit the Sister-Cities Committee, strengthen the coordination mechanism and re-design the sister-cities programme to realise the potential benefits of the sister-cities concept.

Pix: Kojo Bonsu in the 24-carat gold chain symbol of the Mayor of Kumasi

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