COCOA MONUMENT IN KUMASI
Story: SERWAH NKYIRA OPOKU, Kumasi
A BEAUTIFUL bronze monument portraying a female farmer with a machete harvesting cocoa pods from a cocoa tree and a male farmer sitting and breaking the cocoa pods has been unveiled in Kumasi.
The monument, aimed at appreciating the efforts of cocoa farmers, is located at the triangle that links the Osei Tutu I Street to the Ghana Water Company Street. The area is popular known as “Abinkyi” and is close to the Lambark Gas and Shell depot at the former Briscoe area.
The erection of the monument forms part of the on-going beautification exercise by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to help bring the city back to its Garden City status.
Kuapa Kokoo, a licensed cocoa buying company in Ghana, sponsored the project at a cost of GH¢40,000.
This is the company’s contribution towards the beautification exercise by the KMA.
The Chief Executive of KMA, Mr Samuel Sarpong, who unveiled the monument explained that the beautification exercise was aimed at clearing the city of filth, rid pavements, walkways, triangles, circles, quadrangles, as well as the principal streets, of unauthorized structures in other to give the metropolis a healthy and pleasant environment for socio-economic development.
He noted that the decongestion to clear the traders who had occupied the pavement and streets, was part of the beautification process.
Mr Sarpong mentioned that the private sector had been a formidable partner since the process started, adding that “some companies and agencies have collaborated with KMA by financing the redevelopment, beautification and maintenance of the various road intersections to prevent re-occupation by traders”.
He added that though the exercise was for the city to redeem her image as the Garden City of West Africa, it had also attracted mixed feelings.
He stated that while traditional authorities, as well as corporate bodies in the city, supported the process, the affected traders continue to curse and demonise the assembly.
He commended Kuapa Kokoo saying: “It is important that in the life of every corporate body, a landmark is established for the sake of posterity and KUAPA Kokoo is leaving a legacy for the city of Kumasi as its headquarters, as ell as create an awareness of their existence”.
Mr Sarpong expressed the assembly’s appreciation to Kuapa Kokoo for the development of the triangle and further urged other corporate bodies to come on board and assist with the beautification process since it was not over yet.
The Managing Director of Kuapa Kokoo Limited, Mr Aduse-Poku, gave a brief history of the company and noted that it was the only farmer-owned cocoa buying company in the country.
He explained that the company embarked on the project as a way of showing appreciation to the cocoa farmers for their hard work and contribution towards the socio-economic development of the nation.
He noted that income from the export of cocoa have assisted with the development of every sector of the country’s economy.
He added that the recent discovery of oil should not overshadow the importance of the export of cocoa to the development of the nation.
The Executive Director of the Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union (KKFU), Mr Emmanuel Authur, appealed to KAMA to consider naming the triangle after the company so that they would be in charge of the maintenance as well as the constant beautification of the area.
Daily Graphic Page: 29 Thursday, August 12, 2010