The chiefs and people of Mampong-Akuapem in the Eastern Region have called on President Mills, to as a matter of urgency, declare Mampong as Cocoa City.
According to them, the city (Mampong) has contributed tremendously to the growth and development of cocoa in Ghana.
In 1870, Tetteh Quarshie, a renowned Ghanaian Blacksmith undertook a voyage to Fernando Po, now Bioko in Equatorial Guinea. About six years later, he returned to Ghana with a few cocoa pods and planted them in Mampong-Akuapem , which became the foundation of Ghanas Great Golden Pod and the economic trail blazer for Ghana.
With the introduction of cocoa, the countrys economy was greatly transformed. Hitherto, palm-oil and rubber were the main staple industries in Ghana. The Paramount Chief of the Mampong-Akuapem Traditional Area, Osabarima Nana Kwame Otu Dartey III made the call at the launch of the Ohum festival in Accra, over the weekend.
He added that the declaration of the town as Cocoa City would bring more developments to the people, adding it will also position the town as a tourist destination in Ghana.
Launching the 2011 edition of the Ohum festival, the Minister of Tourism, Ms Akua Sena Dansua assured the chiefs and people of the area that government would see to their request.
She revealed that since 1893, when the first cocoa beans were exported from Ghana, the country has earned over $1trillion from the production of over 38 million tonnes of Cocoa. In view of this, the government will ensure that the town gets its share of the cocoa revenue, Ms Sena Dansua stressed.
The Minister also paid glowing tributes to Tetteh Quarshie and the forefathers of the town, saying Ghanaians are forever grateful to Tetteh Quarshie for his entrepreneurial abilities and the forefathers of Mampong-Akuapem who embraced Tetteh Quarshies enterprise and took it to very ambitious heights.
Furthermore, one cannot eulogise the pioneering and the prominent role that Mampong citizens play in the development of this country, without mentioning the name of the distinguished Dr. Oku Ampofo, an Orthodox Medical Practitioner, whose venture into traditional medicine culminated in the establishment of the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine at Mampong-Akuapem, which has become an icon as far as health tourism in Ghana is concerned, Ms Sena Dansua stated.
She, therefore, urged the youth of Mampong-Akuapem to emulate the can do spirit of their forebears, so that one day, they can also become illustrious.
The North Dayi Member of Parliament (MP) assured Ghanaians of her Ministrys preparedness to collaborate with all stakeholders in the promotion of tourism, whether domestic or international. This, she believes will among others create jobs and generate income and wealth, enable us learn about each other culture, whilst fostering national unity and tolerance, which are critical to national development.
Announcing the activities to mark the celebrations, The Chairman of the Planning Committee of the Ohum festival, Mr. Steven Larbi said the festival would start on the 1st of October with a clean-up exercise on the principal streets, palace square and community centre, and end on Sunday, 9th October, with inter-denominational thanksgiving service at Obikyere Community Centre.
He appealed to citizens of the area as well as the public to attend the fun-packed festival.
Source: Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh/The Chronicle
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