President John Dramani Mahama on Friday called on the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to establish recreational centres that would provide greeny environments for tourism and increase revenue.
He specially appealed to the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to embark on a reclaiming exercise to regain the accolade of “the garden city of West Africa.”
President Mahama said this when he jointly inaugurated the Rattray park, as part of his three days tour of Ashanti Region.
The project was executed by the KMA and named after Captain Robert Sutherland Rattray who was the first ‘Government Anthropologist’ of Asante in 1920.
The ultra-modern park has a large fountain, a gym, cafeteria and other recreational facilities for both adults and children and would serve as the centre of excellence in the West African sub-region.
The programme was also attended by Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, King of the Asante Kingdom, ministers of state, the clergy and politicians.
President Mahama said tree planting and grassing the environment could reduce floods and disasters and called on the assemblies to include tree planting in all their development projects.
He commended Mr Kwadwo Bonsu, Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive for the initiative.
President Mahama called on Otumfuo Osei Tutu to intervene in the litigations that have over the years delayed in the construction of the Kumasi Central market project.
He said the designs and money for the market project are ready and the longer the project delays the more penalties government pays for the seed capital.
Mr Bonsu, said the naming of the park after Ratrray is to immortalise him in his contribution in Ashanti folklore in some of his publications such as; Ashanti Law and constitution(1927), Religion and Art in Ashanti(1929), Akan-Ashanti Folklore (1930) among others.
He said the park is to revitalise the body and mind to promote healthy lifestyle in the city.
Mr Bonsu said apart from reclaiming the title as the garden city of West Africa, the park would also promote tourism and create numerous jobs.
He said the project which started in 2013 was completed on schedule because of collaboration with other agencies such as Lands Commission and Regional Coordinating Council.
Mr Peter Anarfi Mensah, Regional Minister commended all those who contributed towards the realisation of the project and urged the caretakers to do their work diligently to maintain the park as an iconic one in Ghana and beyond. GNA