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Bono, Bono East, Ahafo regions: Campaign promises at play

or the first time, the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions will be celebrating Ghana’s independence anniversary today as separate administrative regions.

Since April 4, 1959 when the erstwhile Brong-Ahafo Region was created, the now Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions existed as one entity.

Campaign promises

The creation of the erstwhile Brong-Ahafo Region was in fulfilment of a campaign promise by Dr Kwame Nkrumah and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) during the 1956 electioneering.

Former President of the Ghana Journalists Association, Ms Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, affirmed this historical fact when she said during a symposium as part of activities for the celebration of the Brong-Ahafo @ 60 that “the region was promised during the 1956 general election campaign while the 2016 election campaign promise dissolved the union”.

“Thus, the history of Brong-Ahafo, its evolution into three regions, is situated between two election promises” she stated, and thus called the story of the Brong-Ahafo Region as “a tale of two promises’, she stated.

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Socio-economic and political roles

The three regions have played their roles in the political, social and economic development in the country with the late Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia, from Wenchi serving as the Prime Minister during the Second Republic, J.H Mensah, former Finance and Senior Minister, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), J.H. Owusu-Acheampong, and General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu-Nketia and the immediate-past Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, among other political big shots as some of the prominent personalities from the area.

They are also known to have produced a lot of prominent footballers for the country with notable names such as James Kwasi Appiah, ex-Black Stars Coach, Maxwell Konadu, ex-Assistant Black Stars Coach, Asamoah Gyan, former General Captain of the Black Stars, Kwasi Owusu, former Black Stars Captain and Dan Owusu, a three-time Goal King.

Currently, the three regions can boast Dormaa-Ahenkro-based Aduana Football Club, Berekum Chelsea F/C, Bechem United and Techiman Eleven Wonders, all playing in the Ghana Premier League.

Separation

From April 4, 1959 when the region was created until February 13, 2019 when the region was formally separated into three administrative regions, the chiefs and people of the now three entities lived as a people with a common destiny.

However, in fulfilment of the 2016 election campaign promise by the then candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and in response to petitions by some chiefs, the Electoral Commission conducted a referendum on December 27, 2018, for the creation of the Bono East and Ahafo regions.

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In that historic referendum, a total of 276,763 people representing 99.68 per cent of the total vote cast voted “Yes” as against 675, representing 0.24 which voted “No” in the Ahafo area.

The Bono East also recorded 448,545 “Yes” votes representing 99.50 out of the 450,812 votes cast with 1,384, representing 0.3 “No” votes while 883 ballots, representing 0.2 per cent were rejected.

On February 13, 2019, President Akufo-Addo formally handed over instruments for the creation of the Ahafo and Bono East to the chiefs and people of the two areas at separate functions and named Goaso as the capital for Ahafo and Techiman as capital for Bono East.

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The Ahafo Region has six municipal and district assemblies (MDAs) while Bono East has 11 MDAs.

With 17 out of the 29 MDAs of the erstwhile Brong-Ahafo Region carved out for the creation of the Bono East and Ahafo regions, the remaining 12 MDAs with Sunyani as its capital was renamed the Bono Region.

That was done to change the corrupted “Brong” back to its correct pronunciation as Bono.

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Bread basket

The three regions, which lie in the forest zone, have been touted as the bread basket of the country and are noted for the production of major crops such cocoa and timber.

The area is also the leading producer of cashew which has been described as “the next cocoa of Ghana”.

It produces 55,000 metric tonnes out of the 70,000 tonnes of raw cashew nuts produced in the country annually.

Other cash crops grown in the forest area are coffee, rubber and tobacco while the main food crops are maize, cassava, plantain, yam, cocoyam, rice and tomatoes.

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Yam and maize production are very high in the savannah zone, around Techiman, Kintampo, Nkoranza, Yeji, Prang and Kwame Danso.

Culture/tourism

The Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions have rich and diverse cultural practices that can be traced back to their ancestral roots while their unique tourist attraction sites attract many people from far and near.

The predominant ethnic group in the three regions is Akan, which includes the Bonos and Ahafos.

Other groups include Mo or Dagba; Nafana; Guan; Kolongo; Mande; Nchumuru; Banda. Each ethnic group has its own language or dialect, festivals and customs.

The numerous tourist attractions in the region include the popular Kintampo Waterfalls, which was recently rehabilitated after a disaster that claimed the lives of some patrons and the Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary.

Others are the Buoyem Caves and Bats Colony in the Techiman Municipality, the Fula Falls in Kintampo, the Tano Boase Sacred Grove, the Bono Manso Slave Market, the Forikrom Boten Shrine and Caves, the Nchiraa Waterfalls, the Duasidan Monkey Sanctuary near Dormaa Ahenkro and the Kintampo Geological Centre of Ghana.

There are also the Bui National Park, the Bui Dam, the Hani Archaeological Site, the Busia Mausoleum, and River Tano Sacred Fish at Techiman, the Asumura White Necked Rock Fowl Conservation and the Nwoase Ostrich Farm among others.

Source: https://www.graphic.com.gh

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