Business grinds to a halt in Kumasi ahead of Asantehemaa’s burial


Business activities are expected to grind to a halt in Kumasi Thursday, as the late Asantehemaa is laid to rest in the evening.

The Manhyia Palace, ahead of the burial of Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II at the Bremang Mausoleum, ordered the closure of all shops.

Banks and other financial institutions, though are unaffected by the directive, say they will either suspend operations or open for a limited period on the day.

The airwaves are filled with radio announcements from one corporate institution or the other announcing their schedules.

Some are exploring SMS messages and e-mails to reach their customers. Access Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Unibank have already served notice of suspension of operations on Thursday.

Access Bank, for instance, has already sent Short Message Service (SMS)messages to its customers, informing them of the new arrangement.

“Dear customer, our branches in Kumasi will be closed on Thursday, January 19, for the funeral rites of Asantehemaa. Our e-banking services will, however, be available. Thank you,” the message stated.
Others banks like CalBank, GCB and Stanbic will close some of their branches to business while others run half-day.

“Dear valued customer, our Ash-Town branch will be closed to the general public on Thursday, January 19, to observe the funeral rites of Asantehemaa. Suame, Adum, Asokwa, KNUST and Harper Road branches will operate from 8:00 am to 2: 00 pm,” a Stanbic Bank message to customers read.

Telecommunication companies are responding to the one-day ban, as well.
MTN Ghana has announced the closure of its offices and Connect shops in Kumasi.

The company’s Corporate Communications Department wants customers in need of urgent assistance to call help lines.

Traders at the Kumasi Central Market, the biggest in West Africa, and other centres have been told the facilities will be closed for business Thursday.

There is virtually no objection to the directive as traders say they have no option but to respect the ban, despite the disruption.33987050.295