THE Vice-President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, has commended the chiefs and people of Nkoranza in the Brong Ahafo Region for being the first community in the country to initiate the mutual health insurance scheme which had made it possible for the government to adopt and replicate the scheme nation-wide.
“By adopting this scheme, health service delivery has become affordable and accessible, thereby relieving ordinary people from the inhuman cash-and-carry system of the not-too-distant past,” he stressed.
Alhaji Mahama made the commendation at a grand durbar of the chiefs and people of Nkoranza to raise funds for the establishment of the Nkoranza campus of the Anglican University of Science and Technology and also to climax their annual Munufiekese Festival at Nkoranza over the weekend.
The Anglican University, initiated by the Anglican Church in Ghana, will start formal admission of students between September and October 2009. The Nkoranza campus of the university will offer Agriculture Science programmes to help develop the agricultural sector in Nkoranza and the nation as a whole.
Vice-President Mahama noted that the increase in food production over the last few years was the result of the sustained peace and stability prevailing in the traditional area and the country, as well as the pragmatic agricultural programmes and policies pursued by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration to ensure food security.
He stated that the Nkoranza Traditional Area had many different ethnic groups living and farming together, on which he congratulated the chiefs and all the ethnic groups and urged them to continue to live together in peace, particularly before, during and after the elections.
“Do not allow anybody to exploit your ethnic diversities for cheap political advantage. You are all living witnesses to the progress, stability and peace which you have been enjoying under President Kufuor. It is only under the NPP that you can continue to live in peace and unity. I, therefore, urge you to return the NPP to power by voting for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on December 7,” he urged the people.
Vice-President Mahama said the NPP, under President Kufuor, had recognised the hard work of the people of the traditional area and the strategic position of Nkoranzaman and that was why it upgraded the Kintampo District to a municipality, while it created three more districts to bring government and development to the doorstep of the ordinary people in the traditional area.
“One hallmark of the NPP administration is the equitable distribution of development projects throughout the country, irrespective of one’s political affiliation or ethnic origins. Thus over the last eight years Nkoranzaman has seen unprecedented and tangible development throughout the area, which has enhanced the quality of life of the people here,” he stated.
In the road sector, Vice-President Mahama said the Nkoranza-Ejura road that had been abandoned over the years was now a first-class road, while the Nkoranza-Sekyedumase-Aframso road which was virtually impassable was now motorable.
He added that the government had also started work on the Nkoranza-Jema road and said it would be completed soon, while a contract had been awarded for the paving and tarring of Nkoranza town roads, saying the contractors would commence work before the end of the year.
In the energy sector, Alhaji Mahama said Nkoranzaman had had its fair share of rural electrification projects, with about 75 per cent of towns and villages enjoying uninterrupted power supply, while work on the remaining communities was on course.
The Omanhene of the Nkoranza Traditional Area, Okatakyie Kudom Agyeman IV, earlier in his welcoming address, had given a brief history of how the Anglican Church started in Nkoranza in the 1920s.
He said when the traditional council heard about the proposed Anglican University, he personally led his elders to the University Council to get it to establish a campus at Nkoranza, which would become operational within the shortest possible time, and, therefore, urged all and sundry to contribute their widow’s mite towards the establishment of the university campus in Nkoranza, adding that education was the key to the development of every society.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, for his part, commended the traditional council for pushing for the establishment of the university campus and urged the youth in the area to take advantage of it to educate themselves in order to contribute their quota towards the development of the area.
The Omanhene of Seikwa, Nana Kwaku Dwumah Ankoanna, who represented the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs, paid glowing tribute to the Nkoranzahene for his foresight and urged the people to support the traditional council to bring the establishment of the university campus to fruition.
The Rector of the Sunyani Polytechnic, Prof Kwesi Nsiah-Gyabaah, who chaired the function, stressed the importance of science and technology education to the socio-economic development of the nation.
The Vice-President, on behalf of the government, pledged GH¢5,000 towards the establishment of the university campus in Nkoranza, while the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister and the Regional House of Chiefs representative, on behalf of the Regional Co-ordinating Council and the house, pledged GH¢1,000 and GH¢100, respectively.
Later in an interview, the President of the Anglican University of Science and Technology Council, Prof Mariam Ewurama Addy, disclosed that since the university was science and technology based, there was the need to build laboratories and other facilities before it took off.
She gave the assurance that the university would begin admitting its first batch of students between September and October 2009.
Currently the Brong Ahafo Region can boast five new tertiary institutions, apart from the Sunyani Polytechnic.
They are the Anglican University of Science and Technology which is yet to take off, the Catholic University College of Ghana at Fiapre, the Methodist University Agriculture Campus at Wenchi, the Valley View University Campus at Techiman and the Faculty of Forestry Resource Technology campus of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, also at Fiapre.