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05.07.2004 General News

Asantehene visit to US a huge success - Embassy

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Accra, July 5, GNA - The Ghana Embassy in Washington and Mr Kojo Yankah, Media Consultant to Manhyia Palace, have described Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene's visit to the United States as a huge success. A release from the Embassy to the Ghana News Agency on Monday said Mr Yankah had explained that the " World Bank is considering a request by Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, for a grant to support water and sanitation facilities for 1,000 communities in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Volta and Central Regions.

"Making a clarification on the Ghana Embassy's press release for Region meeting and that the 20 million dollars reported for the project was a floated sum for discussion but as at now no monetary value had been put on the request though it has been favourably received by Mr Wolfensohn.

"Work is to be done in and especially a pilot project in five communities, based on the experience of the community-based management system at Juaben in the Ashanti Region.

"The full monetary value will be made public in due course. Otumfuo Osei Tutu is in the United States as a special guest of Mr Wolfensohn.

Earlier report said the World Bank would give Asanteman 20 million dollars and technical assistance for a water and sanitation project under the "Asanteman Council's Promoting Partnership with Traditional Authorities Programme" sponsored by the Bank. More than 500,000 people in 1,000 communities in Asanteman and other parts of Ghana would benefit from the project.

A release from the Ghana Embassy in Washington to Ghana News Agency said Mr Wolfensohn announced this in Washington DC on Thursday at a luncheon held in honour of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who is visiting the United Sates as the Special Guest of the Bank's President. The release said Mr Wolfensohn made the announcement after Senior Officials of the Africa Division and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the Bank had listened to the Asantehene's proposal on Water Management and its Potential for Success.

"The proposal is partly based on a very successful case study of community water management system from Asante-Juaben under the leadership of the Juabenhene Nana Otuo Siriboe II."

The release said Mr Wolfensohn also asked the IFC's Principal Investment Officer, Morgan Landy, to work with the Ghana Office of the Bank towards the establishment of an Internet Cafe in Kumasi, a Venture Capital and a Plant Pool of heavy machinery.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu had indicated in his proposal that out of a population of 20 million people in Ghana about 7.4 million of them did not have access to potable water and were exposed to poor sanitation.

The Asantehene had also requested for the establishment of the Venture Capital and Plant Pool to enable Ghanaian businessmen to borrow money and hire machinery so that they could compete successfully with international companies for Government contracts because local contractors and businessmen did not have the capital to buy machinery. The new Vice President of the Bank for Africa, Dr Gobind Nankani and Vice President and Corporate Secretary, Dr W. Paatii Ofosu-Amaah represented the Bank while the Juabenhene Nana Otuo Siriboe; Atipehene, Arnold Prempeh; Media Consultant, Mr Kojo Yankah and a Ghana Embassy Official, Ivor Agyeman-Duah were on the side of Asanteman.