The immediate past Member of Parliament for the good people of Prestea-Huni Valley Hon. Lawyer Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi has been lauded in the Municipality and the country at large for her tremendous performance and commitment for development before, during and even after her tenure as Legislator (2016-2020).
Within the Constituency, the Association of Hairdressers and Tailors have eulogized her for the yearly donation of sewing machines and hairdryers to graduate apprentices, routinely funding for several youth to undertake apprenticeship programs within and outside the Municipality. Available records indicate that she is the first Member of Parliament to institute that initiative in the Municipality. Further through her Wassa Hemaa Foundation, the first ever Youth Skills Training Centre is ongoing at Wassa Nkran and another one at Huni Valley under the Ministry of Tourism World Bank Project. Recently, she collaborated with Aseda Foundation and Prestea Sankofa Gold Limited to organize a Skills Training workshop for about One Thousand, two hundred (1,200) women and youth in Prestea and its environs.
As a Deputy Minister / Minister within the first four years of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s Government, through her active lobbying significant developmental projects for the good people of Prestea-Huni Valley including the famous Prestea-Himan inner-city roads, the new Himan Bridge, construction of Huni-Valley to Bogoso road/ Huni Valley Town Roads (ongoing), construction of the first ever AstroTurf at Aboso in the Constituency and a second ongoing in Prestea, establishment of the only Robotics Lab in Western Region at Bogoso, construction of the Bogoso Government Hospital, construction of a Modern Model Market for Bondaye, Construction of two Courts and Judges residence in Prestea-Himan and Bogoso, construction of two Mini Factories (Gari and Palm oil) at Huni-Valley, Palm Oil Processing Factory at Fantefokrom under the 1D1F programme, establishment of Minerals Commission Satellite office at Prestea, Community Mining Scheme at Aboso, feasibility work towards establishment of a TVET SHS at Aboso, Rural telephony and Rural Electrification projects amongst others were all provided by Central Government, Agencies and Institutions.
In the area of employment, she assumed power at a time when Prestea Sankofa Gold Ltd, the only Government owned gold mining company had collapsed under the previous Administration. As the MP, her major step towards employment was to ensure that Government through GNPC provided the investment required to revamp Prestea Sankofa Gold Ltd, which is now engaged in active and profitable production thereby retaining its workforce and employing more youth. It’s also worth mentioning that Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi has assisted in the employment of several youth in the Security Services, Mining Sector, other Government Agencies and Institutions as well as Private Sector companies as compared with her predecessors.
As an MP, through effective utilisation of her Common Fund, and Getfund as well as her Foundation, the Wassa Hemaa Foundation, and her lobbying skills, key sectors like health, education, capacity development, and infrastructure received a boost in the Constituency. In the area of education, she supported the initiative of the Municipal Assembly to provide Ultra modern KG blocks in the Constituency by constructing two KG Blocks at Koduakrom and Odumase, well furnished with a modern playground for the children. All the three second cycle institutions; Prestea Senior High Technical School, St Augustines Senior High School at Bogoso and Huni Valley Senior High School benefitted from the Construction of Classroom blocks, Laboratories, Boys and Girls Dormitories, Assembly Halls and a School Bus. For the first time in the history of the Municipality, the Municipal Capital Bogoso got a brand-new Basic School Block for English and Arabic through the Zongo Development Fund with the other one in Prestea renovated by Lawyer Barbara Oteng Gyasi and attached with a Mobile library. Distribution of mathematical set for the BECE candidates became a norm with fully funded vacation classes and payment of registration fees. Donation of computers and motorcycles and other support to the Education Directorate and financial assistance to individual students demonstrated her commitment to Education and Educational excellence.
On Health, even before she was elected as a Legislator she paid $10,000 dollars being the full cost of the first incubator under the Kokroko Charity Foundation to be installed at the Prestea Hospital, initiated and built the a One-Story Ultra Modern Children’s Ward thereby raising its standard to a Peadeatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Prestea Government Hospital fully furnished with requisite medical equipment. She also lobbied for two additional incubators for the facility. Now the Municipal Capital can boast of an Ultra Modern Hospital Facility, the Bogoso Government Hospital initiated during her tenure as Legislator, rehabilitated Aboso Health Center Female Ward and Medical Laboratory, lobbied for Goldfields to pave the grounds and wall the entire facility, donated Covid 19 safety items valued at Ghc100,000. Also medical equipments including delivery beds were supplied to CHPS Compounds due to her commitment for safe maternal care, not to mention support to individuals for medical interventions such as hole in heart surgeries to save the lives of two children ( in Prestea and Kofi Djan) and other constituents which convinced the Health Directoriate to award her specially, the first ever MP to be recognised by the Directoriate in the history of the Municipality.
Also through the Foundation, a Micro-loan scheme was instituted to grant small loans to market women and traders to support entrepreneurship. Annual distribution of free Palm seedlings, wellington boots and fertilizers to the farmers as well as lobbying for the establishment of Cocobod office at Prestea was geared towards enhancing trade and agriculture.
With regards to social interventions and activities, on annual basis disability friendly equipment such as wheel chairs, white canes, clutches etc were donated to the Disable Association for distribution to members and periodically at Easter time, Widows and the Diable were feted to foster togetherness and mutual support. The children of the Municipality were also not excluded as an annual Christmas Party was held in a selected electoral area each year. As a devout Christian, Lawyer Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi supported activities of various churches and special mention may be made of sponsorship of four (4) Priests on Pilgrimage to Israel, donation of a Pickup to the Chief Imam of Prestea, support for the construction of Churches and a Mosque and lobbying for selected muslims to participate in HAJJ Pilgrimage.
On her National duties as Tourism Minister, she worked tirelessly to pass the Creative Arts Bill and facilitate the construction of Kwadaso Creative Arts School which on completion will be the first ever Public Creative Arts School in the history of the Country. Her dedication to the implementation of the famous ”Year of Return” and subsequently the development of the framework of “Beyond the Return” brought massive economic boost to the Country and has enhanced the position of Ghana as a tourism destination.
The above impressive achievements within just four (4) years have become the topic of discussion by the good people of Prestea Huni Valley, touting her as the best MP Prestea Huni Valley has ever had. Even more amazing and unbelievable to the constituents is the unwavering commitment demonstrated after ceasing to be MP, such as institution of an Award for Best Veteran Female Farmer and donation of a Single Cabin Pick Up as a prize in 2021 and 2022, the spot improvement of Aboso to Wassa Nkran Road at a total cost of Ghc100,000, the sponsorship of selected brilliant but needy tertiary students, completion of projects initiated during her tenure with personal resources such as various community centres amongst others.
This unprecedented performance has led the constituents to urge her to take steps to lead the Constituency as they would vote massively for her to win the 2024 election to continue her good work for Prestea Huni-Valley.