From Sebastian R. Freiku .
The Singaporean High Commissioner to Ghana, His Excellency Hawazi Daipi, last week Tuesday, March 26, 2019, led a delegation to pay a courtesy call on the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Kumasi, Osei Assibey Antwi.
The visit, amongst others, was to express Singapore’s keen interest in building a strong relationship with the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA).
HE Daipi said Singapore attaches much importance to environmental sustainability, and in pursuance of their objectives, they were willing to work with Ghana in attaining the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15.
The goal emphasises the need to protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halting and reversing land degradation, as well as biodiversity loss.
The Singaporean High Commissioner observed that his country had relocated all car manufacturing companies outside the cities to avoid pollution, and further said that his government had also put restrictions on the number of vehicles allowed to ply the streets to limit the amount of carbon emitted into the air for the wellbeing of the people.
Envoy Daipi indicated that the two countries should continually share development experiences, while promoting technology transfer for the growth of their economies.
Mr. Assibey Antwi elaborated on various projects being implemented by the Nana Akufo-Addo-led government, including the ‘Free Senior High School (SHS)’ policy, ‘Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ)’, ‘One District, One Factory (1D1F)’ project, ‘One District, One Dam’, and other novelty programmes structured to make life comfortable for the people.
Commenting on the government’s ‘Youth in Afforestation Programme’, the Mayor explained that the initiative was geared towards improving the vegetation cover of the nation.
According to him, the Assembly had, over the last two years, been implementing a project dubbed ‘Keep Kumasi Clean and Green’, under which various tree species had been planted to improve the biodiversity and ecology.
Assibey Antwi, in reacting to the High Commissioner’s question on his greatest challenge in the two years of his tenure, cited congestion at the central business district of Kumasi, inadequate funding from both Internally Generated Fund (IGF) and donor funding for infrastructural development, as well as waste management.
The MCE appealed to the High Commissioner to assist Ghana in attracting investors from Singapore, in order to help develop Kumasi into a city to befit its status as the ‘Garden City of West Africa’.
He cited food processing, housing regeneration, development of the Kumasi Airport, modern car parks, and tourism as some of the investment opportunities available in Kumasi.