“The theme for the 66th Independence Day Anniversary; ‘ Our Unity, Our Strength, Our Purpose’, embodies the urgent need to work together to overcome the dire consequences of the turmoil confronting us as a nation”. This was noted by the Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon. Simon Osei-Mensah during this year’s Independence Day celebration that took place at the Jubilee park within the Ashanti Regional capital.

According to Hon. Simon Osei-Mensah, ‘we need to bring back the unity of purpose to engender the needed strength required to address the challenges we face as a country.

Despite the challenges that the whole world is facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Russian-Ukraine war of which Ghana is not an exception, the Government of Ghana, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has introduced several policies and programs such as Planting for Food and Jobs, Planting for Export and Rural Development, Rearing for Food and Jobs, One District One Factory among others aimed at helping to address the fundamental economic challenges, he added.

The Regional Minister explained that despite the challenges, the Ashanti Region has received an appreciable number of development projects since 2017. Some of these projects are the Kumasi International Airport, the Boankra Inland Port, TVET, STEM and Creative Art Schools, Health facilities, Residential accommodation complex for Court of Appeal Judges, the Kejetia/ Central Market Phase II among others.

Touching on the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council’s (ARCC) initiative to beautify the Ashanti Region, Hon. Simon Osei-Mensah indicated that the ARCC together with MMDAs within the Region in 2018 started an initiative to clean and green the Region. The initiative has however been rebranded after partnering with ZOOMLION under the name Sustainable Cleaning, Greening, and Beautification of Ashanti project. Under the current project, 13 Assemblies within Greater Kumasi have been supplied with new waste collection trucks.

Hon. Simon Osei-Mensah expressed his gratitude to the President for appointing him for two successive terms, currently making him the longest serving Ashanti Regional Minister under the Fourth Republic.

The event, which was a joint celebration of the 7 Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies (MMAs) within the Greater Kumasi namely was attended by all the 7 Metropolitan namely (Suame Municipal Assembly, Asokwa Municipal Assembly, Tafo Municipal Assembly, Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Kwadaso Municipal Assembly and Oforifrom Municipal Assembly) Municipal Chief Executives as well as all heads of the security services and heads of department. The representative of the Asantehene, Bantamahene and Baffour Owusu Amankwatia VI chaired the occasion.

This year’s celebration witnessed 6 Cadet and 5 Non Cadet Senior High Schools, 8 Public and 5 Private Basic Schools as well as 3 School Bands drawn from the various MMAs participating in a parade together with contingent from the security forces.

At the end of the march past, St. Loius SHS and Osei Kyeretwie SHS were adjudged the best performing SHS for cadet and non-cadet respectively. At the Basic category, D & D Academy and Roman Girls JHS were adjudged best performing school for private and public schools respectively as well.

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