The Millennium Cities Initiative (MCI) has been assessing the social and public infrastructural needs of Kumasi, with a view to attracting private investments to the city.
The Ashanti regional capital was named the first millennium city in Ghana in 2007, under the project of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
The Initiative assists selected, under-resourced urban centers to become viable sub-Saharan cities, in the efforts to attain the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
The MCI's social sector and investment-related research in Kumasi has focused on health, education, water and sanitation and gender.
Stakeholders, including traditional authorities, local assemblies, NGOs and trade groups, will be meeting in Kumasi this week to share in an action plan.
Abenaa Akuamoa-Boateng, MCI's Regional Coordinator for West and Central Africa, tells Luv Fm the needs assessment looks at the gaps and costs involved in meeting the MDGs.
“We all know that to attract any business-minded entrepreneur into your city, you have to have very good social infrastructure”, she noted.
“And therefore what the Millennium Cities [Initiative] seeks to do is to look critically at the city, analyze the needs in the social and investments sector, help the city come up with plans and strategies to address those problems”.
The social infrastructure includes very good schools, hospitals, utility services and roads.
Mrs. Akuamoa-Boateng says this will make the business environment of the city investor-friendly.
The MCI has been undertaking projects to attract job-generating investments to the region.
Mrs. Akuamoa-Boateng says some interventions under the initiative, including the 'Kumasi Investment Guide' publication, have helped create awareness about investment opportunities in Kumasi.
“We also went on some road shows, we went to the US and there we talked about the bamboo bike and I thank God that now we have the bamboo bike factory in Kumasi and we've already had so many orders”, she added.
Story by Kofi Adu Domfeh/Luv Fm/Ghana