President Kufuor inaugurates Essipon Stadium
President John Agyekum Kufuor on Sunday inaugurated the $38.5 million multi-functional state-of-the-art Sports Stadium built in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis.
The facility with a seating capacity for 20,000, took 20 months to complete, one-and-a-half months ahead of schedule.
It will serve as one of the venues for the "MTN Ghana 2008" Tournament, which is six days away.
Inaugurating it, President Kufuor, said there was no doubt that the hosting of the prestigious Confederation of African Nation's Cup competition would give a boost to the country's economy.
He therefore urged the people in the area to take full advantage of the economic opportunities that would be provided.
Additionally, he counseled the management of the stadium, to ensure high level of professionalism and best practices to keep it always in good shape.
President Kufuor recognized the significant contribution made by the metropolis to the country's football, citing prolific striker, Edward Acquah, from the area, who was reputed to have scored more goals for the national team, the Black Stars, than any other player.
Sekondi-Takoradi, he said, therefore deserved such a facility.
He said the vision of the government was to give each regional capital its own stadium.
The President praised the contractors, Shanghai Construction Group of China, for the good job done and said it was one more example of the growing Sino-Ghana relations.
Professor Dominic Fobi, Minister of Education, Science and Sports, described it as a whole new legacy for the people in the Western Region.
It would open a new window of opportunity through the generation of economic activities, he observed.
Nana Kobina Nketsia, Omanhene of Essikado, said the people were grateful to the government for the project.
He said Ghanaians, noted for their passion for football, should feel proud and thankful to the government for providing them with four world-class stadiums.
Mr Shi Chan Yu, Deputy Project Manager of the Chinese Company, said the harmonious environment and support they enjoyed from the government and people enabled them to deliver ahead of schedule.