Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Let's have a race: Mayor versus Mayor

Some might argue that the job of the Accra Mayor is very difficult, after all Accra is the capital and with that comes more responsibility. AV the Accra Mayor has had a bit of problems promising all the promises he could in the wake of the market fires only for the Railway Authority to contradict him in the media and claim he had spoken out of turn because the pressure was on him.

On the other hand, the new Kumasi Mayor, Kojo Bonsu (KB) has not had the extra four years to settle into the post and on top of that he's facing a crisis of his own - crime. It could be argued that he has a tougher job. But he's come out swinging! I found through Chris Scott, blogger on MADinGhana, this article outlining some of KB's plans for Kumasi. He's going to restore meaning to the title The Garden City by planting 1 million trees. I've been to a legitimate Garden City - Singapore - and I know if it is achieved it will be so amazingly beautiful. Kumasi doesn't get half as much tourism as Accra, Cape Coast or now Takoradi and it doesn't get half the NGOs as Tamale, Bolgatanga and Wa, so it needs to really bolster what little appeal it can have and that will take more than just planting trees and guarding streets with CCTV.

That being said I'm happy to have a clear plan being set out for once. I sure do hope he doesn't become yet another promising-politician who never meets goals. AV hasn't given us as clear a plan. What exactly does Millennium City mean? It's a shiny vague buzzword that doesn't let us really measure or mark anything. I mean except for the MDGs when was the last time the word millennium was relevant to people? I was 9 when the word millennium had significant meaning. I think we need a more concrete plan by AV with dates and costings and pictures and CAD and whatnot.

Accra has a few advantages over Kumasi. The international airport and international status that comes with being a capital city. The fact that businesses are mainly based there. The beach! The fact that most internal migration is down to Accra.

Kumasi has the peacefulness. It's a perfect retreat for those wanting a quieter city life. It is home to what is by far the most famous ethnic group in the country and all the history that comes with that.

Both cities have similar population sizes. So let's see in 2017, which would be the best improved city in Ghana and which would be awarded the title of #1 city. Of course we know that Takoradi, Kasoa, and Cape Coast aim to throw a spanner in the works but the best Mayor will find a way to get around them.

Let The Games Begin!

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