Abetifi Constituency has great potential for tourism development. The largely undeveloped tourism sector is reflected in the relief, drainage, festivals, hotel accommodation, restaurant and bars, pottery, historical sites and shrines.
The people of Kwahu East are hospitable and generous. Owing to their affinity to trading the Kwahus are widely spread throughout the country with majority concentrated in Accra and Kumasi. Thier interaction with different cultures and the fact that they have trading relationships with most of the different cultures has made them very popular in the country.
In terms of practices, the people of Kwahu East observe the festive days like Akwasidae, Awukudae, and Fofie and keep these days sacred. It is a known fact that, every traditional area has its own ‘taboo’ day, where people do not undertake any activity on the farmlands but rather engage in communal labour. For instance, Nkwatia and Tafo observe Fridays as taboo day while Abene, Aduamoa and Pepease observe Wednesdays as taboo days during which time they organise communal labours instead of going to the farm. To date anybody caught contravening these sacred norms is charged before the Traditional Authority and fined.
Besides the traditional days, Easter Celebration has become the most patronised festivity among the Kwahus. During Easter, all the citizens abroad return home with friends to celebrate with their families back home. A number of social gatherings and funfair activities are organised during the four day celebration. The traditional authorities and organisations such as Churches take advantage of the occasion to organise fund raising events for developmental purposes.
The Easter Celebration holds a great potential for tourism if well harnessed by the Assembly. The ubiquitous Paragliding Festival of Kwahu South which has gained international attention and patronage offers a great opportunity for Kwahu East to organise eco-tourism activities on the sidelines of the Paragliding Festival to attract tourists. Potential tourist sites like Oku Water Fall of Bokuruwa, Maakye (Echo Cave) of Akwasiho, Ankoma Water Fall and Ramseyer Site (Highest habitable Point of Ghana, 2080 ft asl) can be developed to the standard of modern tourist sites.
Funeral rites that provide solemn occasions for sober reflection have also become occasions that bring people together. It is one single most important event that brings the youth home to mourn with their people. It also enables the youth visit their old parents.
Attendance to funerals is one aspect of life that the people participate without reservation. Funerals are organised in turns among all the major traditional towns within 40 days interval and rotates from one community to the other. Business in mourning clothes is always brisk during days prior to funeral periods.
The people of Kwahu East practice the matrilineal inheritance system. Female and children in the extended family under this system are considered important for the survival of the family as a unit. Inheritance is therefore passed on from brothers to their sisters’ children (nephews and nieces). Females’ share of labour and contributions to the family income from agriculture is quite substantial.
Polygamy is a common social characteristic in the District, particularly in less urban and farming communities. The extended family, otherwise known as “abusua” or clan, is the basis of their social structure. This helps to promote communal spirit among the indigenous Kwahus which has also caught up with the settler ethnic groups.
Forced or child marriage is non-existent in the district. However, there is a high rate of teenage pregnancies in most of the communities which has implication for primary and reproductive health care in the district. The construction of the Kotoso Reproductive Health Centre and four other CHPS compounds by JOICFP/PPAG in collaboration with the Assembly is therefore a further in the cap of the district in its efforts at addressing the health related issues of teenage pregnancies. Generally, there is no known negative traditional practice in the District.
Communal spirit is very high in most Communities. The Chiefs and the community leaders usually mobilize the people for communal labour. The communities normally set aside one day in a week for communal work. Asikam, a rural community in the Suminakese Area Council is noted for its strong communal and self-help spirit. The organisational ability of the Unit Committee is unparallel in the District. This has contributed to the community benefiting from two EU Micro Projects in two successive years.
Among the resources naturally found in the district are:
Kwahu East District is endowed with some mineral resources of economic importance. Notable amount them are gold, bauxite, manganese, granite stone and clay. The bulk of these mineral resources still remains untapped and could be found in the following locations as shown in the table below
Table 6.1. Location of Mineral Resources
TYPE OF RESOURCE LOCATION
Asikam, Aduhema, Mota, Hweehwee
4. Granite Stone
Bokuruwa, Abene, Hweehwee, Sempoa, Abetifi, Ankoma
Odumasi, Aduhema, Asikam
All over Ghana, the Kwahus are noted for the celebration of the
Easter festival. On this occasion, all well meaning Kwahu travel back home to join in the celebration of the Easter festivities. All manner of entertainment abound during this occasion. A recent addition to the celebration of Easter festivities is the annual Paragliding festival on Odwenanoma Mountain which is located close to the Kwahu East District hence the ability for patrons to reside in the relatively cheaper hotel accommodations and commute to the paragliding site. This chapter cannot end without a comment on the celebration of funerals by the Kwahus who revere the death. Funerals which are mostly held at weekends serve as a curious attraction to the tourist.
For anyone to appreciate the culture and traditions of the Kwahus as a people, it may be better to visit some historical sites in the area. Notable among them are the ancestral walkways, Abene, the paramountcy, Bruku shrine, Ramseyer route, Bassel Church, the highest habitable point in Ghana etc.
The Bruku Shrine can be found between Kwahu Tafo and Kotoso. This shrine which represents a great deity among the Kwahu people has two magnificent rock projections namely the “Bruku” and “Boagyaa”, the male and the wife respectively. Their priests were reputed for using psychic healing, herbal medicine and sooth saying to heal, settle cases and control their subjects. They also induced fecundity of the soil and fertility of human beings and animals.
Any person who introduced any god from elsewhere needed to seek permission from “Bruku” the fetish priest. Sacrifices were and continues to be offered by both the Chiefs and other fetish priests in the Kwahu traditional area to the shrine.
The development of tourism and provision of hotel accommodation are inseparable. Tourists need comfortable accommodation and restaurants to provide both local and continental dishes. Presently, there are a few first class hotels and restaurants located in the District. These include
Modak Royal Hotel (Pepease),
Bob Linus Hotel (Abetifi) and Loop Hills Hotel (Nkwatia). Others which are mostly budget hotels are Top Hotel (Abetifi), Omari Serwaa Hotel (Aduamoa) and House of David Hotel (Nkwatia).
In spite of the existence of these hotels and restaurants, more investment is needed in this area to adequately cater for the accommodation needs of tourists. During Easter and other festive occasions, tourists face serious accommodation problems as all existing hotels are booked in advance.
The Afram River Resort (Inland harbourKotoso)
The Highest Habitable point in Ghana
Ramseyer Presbyterian Church, Abetifi, is located at the highest
habitable point in Ghana (2080ft asl)
The table below shows the identified potential tourist features in the District.
Table 6.1 Potential Tourist Features and their Location
|Bruku Shrine||Kwahu Tafo|
|The Gaping Rock||Kotoso|
|The Afram River Resort Inland harbour||Kotoso|
|The Highest Habitable point in Ghana||Abetifi|
|Oworobong Water Falls||Oworobong|
|Nana Ampong Adjei Cave||Abene|
|Maakye (Echo Mountains)||Akwasiho|
|The Padlock Rock||Akwasiho|
|The seat of Paramountcy||Abene|