Sunyani - A Star in the
A feature by Robert Tachie-Menson
Sunyani, Dec. 7, GNA – "Wow! What a scene!" This
writer exclaimed as he stood atop the imposing
six-storey COCOBOD building in the centre of
Sunyani, the Brong Ahafo regional capital, and
lowered the head to view the dual carriageway
leading from the city centre to the main trunk
road to Kumasi.
The beautiful scenery created by the
streetlights bemused him for several minutes.
Colourful reflections along the street added
beauty to the already beautiful scene of the
city. The picturesque scenery is replicated on
the other side along the Sunyani-Berekum road
running across the frontage of the Regional
Sunyani at night can be compared to any other
urban centre in the world of today. The
Municipality is endowed with all the
characteristics and facilities obtained in a
modern city - internet cafes; casinos; schools,
a university; a polytechnic; exquisite hotels;
hospitals; an airport; social centres; banks and
nightclubs among other facilities.
The time was 1915 hours and a good number of
workers whose offices are located within the
COCOBOD building had closed and left for their
homes. Stunned by the scenery, what ran through
the mind of this writer was the gloomy picture
that many Ghanaians, who had not visited the
Municipality, had painted about Sunyani.
Having spent the greater part of one’s youthful
life in Accra, the national capital, with stints
at Winneba in the Central Region as a Radio
Reporter, this Writer had grown to become part
of those, who perceived Sunyani as a growing
The prejudice was so much that this writer had a
though time deciding whether to accept an
appointment the GNA offered to him to work at
its Sunyani Office.
The last time he had visited the city was about
18 years ago when his father was a Military
Officer at the Liberation Barracks of the Three
Garrison. Sunyani has indeed come a long way
since then. It has made significant progress in
all facets of development.
Sunyani has not only undergone drastic
structural changes, as businesses have also
sprung up at every corner of the Municipality
with commercial activities booming.
As a regional capital, it is expected to be the
nerve centre of Brong-Ahafo, but unfortunately
it can hardly live up to this tag. It has lost
this status to towns like Techiman and Kintampo,
due to vibrant commercial activities, which
attract traders from neighbouring countries
including Burkina Faso and Niger.
One of the numerous evidences that attest to the
extent of the Municipality’s physical
transformation is the all time outstanding
monument - the gigantic COCOBOD building, which
also doubles as the tallest concrete edifice in
It is, therefore, not strange that the picture
of the multi-purpose edifice appears on postage
Constructed during the National Redemption
Council Regime of General Ignatius Kutu
Acheampong, the building is the first
fascinating spectacle on reaching Sunyani. It
houses several offices and companies that
transact a wide range of businesses.
Sunyani boasts of first class roads, which are
interlaced with other access roads leading to
the city's major commercial points. The city's
streets are usually wide and generally kept
clean in generally good environmental conditions
and a serene atmosphere.
The Municipal Assembly’s commitment to the
proper organization of Sunyani was given a
thumbs-up by the Netherlands Ambassador to
Ghana, Mr Arie C. A. Van Der Wiel, when he paid
a courtesy call on the then Regional Minister,
Nana Kwadwo Seinti in September 2005. As he
shook hands with the Minister the Ambassador
remarked: "Sunyani is a beautiful and a well
Another interesting aspect of the Municipality’s
life is the tremendous growth in the hospitality
industry. There are more than 150 hotels and
guesthouses in the Region and Sunyani boasts of
a chunk of it. It has two and three star hotels,
which include the plush Eusbett Hotel; Hotel De
Jet; Tropical Hotel and Regent Hotel and Resorts
that are striving to rub shoulders with
well-established ones in the national capital,
Visitors to Sunyani are often fascinated and
amazed at the sight of the beautiful hotels and
modern infrastructure. It, therefore, came as a
big surprise and a huge blow to people in the
Region when it was realized that the
Municipality had been excluded from the list of
selected towns where new stadiums were to be
constructed for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations
(CAN 2008) soccer fiesta.
Sunyani was initially selected among the list of
cities to host the tournament but Tamale, the
Northern Regional capital, was given the nod
Many believe the construction of the stadium
could have added extra beauty and a touch of
class to its already captivating landscape.
There has also been a massive upturn in the
socio-economic life of the people, with the
implementation of some prudent Government
policies on education, health and other sectors,
which have increased employment and brought
significant positive changes in the lives of the
majority of the residents.
The residents were visibly in the doldrums some
15 years ago, as a result of lack of education,
lack of employment and inaccessibility to good
The private sector is also gaining significant
steady growth with the increasing spectacle of
erection of miniature canopies dotted across the
Municipality, notably those owned by
hairdressers and other small-scale
entrepreneurs, who operate in small
confinements, cut out from the main business
Their canopies are usually made of metal bars,
which are neatly fenced with free-flowing
material, creating simple working space.
Generally, residents assess their current
standard of living under highly objective lens.
Mr Joseph Anane, unemployed, who arrived in
Ghana after spending some 12 years in Israel
acknowledges Sunyani’s tremendous fast pace of
"I have a plot of land that I now farm on and
I'm able to look after my family by selling some
of the maize. There are now new buildings
around. People are building new houses in
Sunyani", he added.
The youth are not left out in this forward march
in modernity, as the sense of appearing pretty
and looking trendy in fashionable clothes is not
lost on them.
Most of them parade the principal streets
displaying the latest designer wear, regardless
whether their physique or body contours fit in.
Joyce, a 22-year-old apprentice hairdresser, a
victim of circumstances, said she usually put on
a "Show Your Stomach" attire just to match her
"I don't mind the exposure it may cause my body,
I only wear this to match my jeans down", she
Many others say they wear these trendy dresses
"just to keep them trendy".