Politics of Wednesday, 2 July 2014
The Eastern Region has continued to be a a difficult area for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) since 1992. The party has not fared well in the region particularly in the capital, Koforidua.
However, the party made significant gains in most of the constituencies in the 2012 election. One of such constituencies is the New Juaben South.
From a vote of 20,000 in 2008, the party raised its total votes to 24,925 in 2012, which has been described as unprecedented. One person who was said to be instrumental in this was the current New Juaben Municipal Chief Executive, Dr Kwaku Owusu Acheampong, who was then the parliamentary candidate of his party.
“I did not do it alone as the constituency and regional executive had to pool resources to make this happen. To be able to raise your votes to such a significant level in a typical opposition stronghold was no mean achievement.
In fact, it was not easy at all,” Dr Kwaku Owusu Acheampong told the Daily Graphic in an interview on a wide range of issues in Koforidua.
According to Dr Acheampong, the current economic challenge being faced by the country demanded that “all of us have to work hard to increase productivity because donor funding is dwindling and both individuals and organisations must honour their tax obligations to enable us to be on our own”.
“In New Juaben, for instance, there are loopholes in the revenue-generation process and, therefore, we need to have a database of which a task force has been formed. There is so much pressure on the District Assemblies Common Fund and we need innovative ways for getting enough internally generated funds (IGF) to support the government to move the development process forward,” he added.
On the strike action by the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG), he suggested that the IGF and school fees should be used by the polytechnics and the universities to pay for the book and research allowance so that the government would be relieved of undue pressure.
Dr Acheampong was happy that crime rate had gone down drastically due to the good works of the joint task force which had seen Koforidua enjoying relative peace, with people going about their duties normally.
He advised Ghanaians to continue to live in peace and express their opinions on issues instead of resorting to insults and personality attacks, pointing out that “my doors are always opened to criticism and suggestion. The media should be the last resort and let us discuss issues to move the country and New Juaben to flourish as an emerging metropolis”.
For those who do not know Koforidua, one can confidently say that it is one of the cleanest towns in the country. With my little stay in the municipality, I can confidently say that if Koforidua is not the best then it could be ranked as one of the best in the country.
“My priority is to ensure we have a very neat municipality. I am always on the heels of Zoomlion Ghana Limited and despite some challenges sanitation is better. However, my concern is how people throw refuse into drains, which has been identified as an attitudinal problem and this must change,” he said.
Dr Kwaku Owusu Acheampong has a working experience of 33 years starting as a pupil teacher. After obtaining his Ordinary Level certificate, he enrolled at the Presbyterian Training College at Akropong Akuapem after which he taught for 10 years.
He then moved to the University of Education, Winneba (between 1991 and 1994) to read diploma in Social Studies and came back to teach at the Koforidua Senior High School for four years.
Two years later, he went for further studies at the same university leading to award of Bachelor of Education (Social Studies) degree.
Dr Acheampong, with the desire to build his capacity, then enrolled for a Master’s in Business Administration (General Management) at the East London University after which he continued with his doctorate programme in Business Administration, specialising in Strategic and Business Administration at the Breyrer State University, California in the USA.
He worked briefly at the National Vocational and Technical Institute as a counsellor and moved to Koforidua Polytechnic to lecture in Business Management in addition to being the director of research at the polytechnic.
He did some part-time lecturing at the University of Cape Coast and the Kwame Nkrumah University for Science and Technology Distance Learning Programme until his appointment as the New Juaben Municipal Chief Executive.