The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu ll, has tasked the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), to extend financial support to all member states of the group.
He said EBID needed to support ECOWAS states because of the effect of COVID-19 on the economies of those states.
The Asantehene encouraged EBID leadership to garner resources to support the member states in terms of developmental projects to boost their economies and create jobs for the people.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu made the call when officials of the bank, led by its President, Dr George Agyekum Donkor, paid a courtesy call on him at the Manhyia Palace, Kumasi, on Thursday.
The Asantehene lauded the appointment of Dr Agyekum as the President of the bank, and advised him to be a visionary and development-oriented leader, ready to promote development in West Africa.
Dr Agyekum assured the Asantehene that he would work hard to support ECOWAS member states.
The courtesy call followed a tour of the Garden City Mall, located at the Tafo Pankrono municipality, near Suame Roundabout, in Kumasi.
The mall is being developed by Retail and Reality, the managers of Accra Mall and co-partnered by the Methodist Church of Ghana and the Asanteman Council with funding from the EBID through the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB).
It is expected to be completed and opened to the public by April, 2021.
About 80 per cent of work had been completed, and all shops within the estimated 130 million US dollar mall, had been leased to prospective business owners who were ready to operate once it was opened.
The purpose of their visit, according to Dr Agyekum, was to brief the Asantehene on the state of the project after their tour of the facility.
Dr Agyekum stated that EBID has so far invested 20 million dollars, and the Ghana Commercial Bank has also supported with 20 million dollars loan facility.
He said EBID would be committed to the development of West African states as the bank had financed a number of projects in Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Benin, Ghana among others, at about 2.9 billion US dollars.
The Chief Executive of the Garden City Mall, Mr Alex Bruks, noted that, the mall, which was by far the biggest in the country, had the potential of creating over two thousand direct and indirect jobs.
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI