The chaotic scenes that characterised activities in the central business district (CBD) of Kumasi have given way to order as the city readies itself to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the enstoolment of Otumfuo Osei Tutu ll as Asantehene.
Kumasi is expected to receive hundreds of people from across the country and other parts of the world during the Akwasidaekese, which will be the high point of the anniversary on April 21, and many will be using the city centre for various activities.
The opening of the roads to and from the imposing Kumasi City Market, otherwise known as the Kejetia Market, and a recent decongestion exercise undertaken by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) in the area appear to have done the trick.
The decongestion was undertaken as part of preparations to open the new market and also put the city in readiness for the Asantehene’s anniversary celebration.
The streets and pavements are now very neat and the nuisance created by recalcitrant traders and drivers, which resulted in insanitary conditions and heavy traffic congestion, has abated.
Although the market is yet to be opened, the breathtaking architecture has added greatly to the beauty of the city centre.
The KMA has resolved to sustain the gains made in bringing discipline to the CBD.
Security men are occasionally deployed by the assembly to keep an eye on people who may want to revert to the old ways that made the city centre an eyesore.
The Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Osei Assibey Antwi, told the Daily Graphic that the assembly was leaving nothing to chance to ensure that Kumasi lived up to expectation before, during and after the anniversary.
Since 1992, the KMA has spent huge sums of money to undertake decongestion exercises but it could not sustain the gains.
This time, however, the MCE said the assembly was determined to sustain what had been achieved and ensure that the city did not return to the old ways.
The anniversary activities continued yesterday, with Otumfuo Osei Tutu visiting Breman for the Nkonwafieso som.
Breman, about eight kilometres from the Manhyia Palace, is where the Royal Mausoleum for Asante kings is located.
What took place at Breman was a private affair, but going by the description of the event — Nkonwafieso som, to wit, worshipping in the stool house — it was likely that the Asantehene invoked the spirits of past kings to protect Asanteman.
Many years ago, Kumasi was described as the Garden City of West Africa.
As the second largest city in Ghana, the seat of Asanteman was neat, beautiful and greenery.
Over the years, these accolades gave way to congestion, traffic and trading activities at unauthorised places in the city.
Many efforts were made in the past to restore the city to its status as one of the most enviable habitations in the sub-region.
With the 20th anniversary of the enstoolment of Otumfuo Osei Tutu underway, the KMA has intensified efforts to give the central business area a new look.