Kumasi Prepares For Independence Celebration
Preparations have heightened in Kumasi for the celebration of the country’s 63rd independence anniversary.
The independence anniversary is being celebrated on the theme: “Consolidating our gains” and the climax will have the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Keith Rowley, as the Special Guest.
Publicity on the event is low in Kumasi, in spite of the fact that it is the first time the event is being hosted in the Garden City.
Organisers have, however, been busy shaping up the 43,000-capacity Baba Yara Stadium, the venue for the anniversary parade.
The week-long celebration began last Friday with the 28th February Christianborg Crossroad Shooting Incident in Accra and Muslim prayers on that same day in Kumasi and around the country.
Last Saturday, a major clean-up exercise was held in the Garden City, also as part of the programme line, which will be climaxed on Friday with a parade by schoolchildren, the security services and other identifiable groups.
Independence Day is an official state holiday observed in Ghana and the Ghanaian Diaspora on March 6.
The day marks the declaration of independence from the United Kingdom, which saw a Ghanaian, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, become the first Prime Minister of the independent country.
Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African country to attain independence from British colonial rule.
This will be the second time the event is being held outside Accra, after it was held in the Northern Regional capital, Tamale, last year.
This decentralisation of the national event is a way to bring the meaning, experience and the story of the country’s independence closer to the people.
Ahead of the event, efforts have been stepped up to beautify Kumasi, particularly in and around the stadium, while the roads leading to the stadium are also receiving some painting.
The median of major roads, especially between Ejisu and Oforikrom, is awash with portraits of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, as well as major political players of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), including President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, former President John Agyekum Kufuor and the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, Mr Antwi Boasiako, popularly known as Chairman Wontumi.
There are drapings of the colours of the national flag at vantage points, while the main entrance to the stadium and houses in its immediate surroundings have all been painted to beautify the area.
Last Friday, the Ashanti Regional Fire Service began watering the grass at the stadium to bring out its lush green colour.
Also, the entire stadium arena and the seats in the stands have been painted in the national colours of red, gold and green.
A few hotels the Daily Graphic visited, including the Golden Bean, owned by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), have been fully booked, but officials could not say whether it was linked to the celebration or not.
The official residence of the President in the region, the Regional Coordinating council.