Renowned Ghanaian journalist and columnist, Mr. George Sydney Abugri has been presented with an award for his outstanding contribution to the development of Ghana and the port and industrial city of Tema. Eleven other individuals who have excelled in various professions and careers were honoured at the 10th edition of the Tema Excellence Awards held on 20th August 2019.
In his acceptance speech, Mr. Abugri said that Tema is the first ever planned urban settlement in West Africa. He said when Tema was built, it was anticipated that the city would serve as a model for the building of similar urban settlements in other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
The veteran journalist and writer said unfortunately, the infrastructure of Tema had so deteriorated over the years that it no longer looks like the port city Ghana’s first President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah built. According to him, green belts demarcated in the city have been encroached upon and destroyed, whilst there are serious problems with waste disposal, sanitation, road infrastructure, water supply and the sewage system.
Mr. Abugri described Tema as a unique city where nearly two-thirds of the country’s manufacturing industries are located. The city is also home to West Africa’s most patronized sea port and the country’s only oil refinery, he said. He therefore called on the residents of Tema, industries in the metropolis and the media to join hands in stopping the deterioration of the city’s infrastructure and restore the city to its former beauty.
The Member of Parliament for Assin Central Constituency, Kennedy Agyapong who was Guest of Honor for the occasion, received an award for his contribution to the development of democracy in Ghana and his courage in speaking critically on national issues. MP Agyapong appealed for government support for local businesses to make them thrive and be profitable.
He said local businesses are not asking the government for handouts but the necessary support to operate profitably.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Tema Excellence Awards, Mr. Kofi Poku, said the awards launched ten years ago, are aimed at recognizing the efforts and contributions of residents who had distinguished themselves in the service of Tema and Ghana, and to encourage the youth to emulate the hard work and dedicated service of such personalities.
He deplored the failure of successive governments to halt the deterioration over the years, of the infrastructure of the city Ghana’s first President Dr Kwame Nkrumah built. Mr. Bosompem called on Tema’s residents, businesses in Tema and the government to join hands in rebuilding the city’s decaying infrastructure.
The Member of Parliament for Tema East constituency and Deputy Minister of Transport, Nii Kwartei Titus Glover was honored for his hard work and contributions towards the development of the constituency, Tema and Ghana. The Honourable Titus Glover added his voice to the calls for a concerted national effort to rebuild Tema and restore it to its former beauty and glory.
“The Tema you see today, is not the Tema Kwame Nkrumah built”, he told the younger generation of residents.
Other awardees were Mrs Margaret Nsiah Asamoah, immediate past Tema Regional Director of Education; Mr Bismarck Brown, a media practitioner; Mrs Barbera Aful Asamoah of Santa Barbera School ;Rev. Col, Paul Adjei Brewu (Rtd) ;Captain Ben Duah, a retired army officer ; Dr Kwabena Opoku Edusei; Dr Kofi Asare, Apostle Dr Robert Ayikuma Laryea and Nii Bortey Klan I, Chief of Klagon.
A citation being presented to Mr Sydney Abugri