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Agona-Akrofonso is a town in the Sekyere South District of the Ashanti Region of Ghana, West Africa. Agona-Akrofonso is approximately 38 kilometres (24 mi) north-east of the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi, off the Kumasi-Mampong highway. The population of Agona-Akrofonso is estimated to be about 1,600 inhabitants. The geographic coordinates for Agona-Akrofonso in the Sekyere South District of the Ashanti Regions are latitude 6°55'15.045"N and longitude 1°28'11.9634"W.
People of Agona-Akrofonso
The people of Agona-Akrofonso are Ashantis, belonging to the Akan clan of Ghana, although other Akan people are found as far away as the Ivory Coast, to the west of Ghana. The people of Akrofonso speak the Twi language, although the language of business, commerce and instruction in educational institutions is English, as in all of Ghana.
History of Agona-Akrofonso
Agona-Akrofonso is one of only a few places in the old Ashanti Kingdom where Okomfo Anokye, the legendary Chief High Priest and advisor to the King of the Ashanti Nation, visited during the late 17th century, at the height of the Great Wars with the Denkyira people. According to legend, the People of Akrofonso relocated from the original settlement approx. 37 kilometres (23 mi) from Kumasi, to the current existing core of the town where there still exist historic buildings needing rehabilitation and preservation. The historic center of Akrofonso was planned in a grid fashion from the start, as has been documented in other cases from historical literature concerned with town planning and urbanization. Other town planning principles can be observed in Akrofonso, at large, including a waste-water collection system, public places of convenience, school buildings that double as community health centers, and protected lands.
Since the 1980s, development of Akrofonso has progressed at a faster pace. The housing stock has increased well beyond the historic core, accompanied by an increase in population and urbanization. Efforts to map out the current geographic extent of Akrofonso is needed as part of a desirable town planning effort, for any town of its size and stature.
The Akrofosohene Stool (seat of Chieftaincy of Akrofonso) is rightly one of the significant Akan stools from the Ekuona clan and family. Reportedly, the patriarch of the Ekuona is Nana Asante Gyima of Adanse and their totem is the Buffalo (Ekuo), symbolising honesty and uprightness.
Development in Akrofonso
There are several pending infrastructure, development plans and projects currently being considered or under construction in Akrofonso, including a 60-foot-high (18 m) potable water tank with a capacity of over 12,000 US gallons (45,400 L). To travel to Agona-Akrofonso from Kumasi, take the Kumasi-Mampong toll road, going north. At the main intersection at Agona market, near the lorry park, take the road going east to Asamang. The Akrofonso water tower is approximately 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the intersection. The public primary school is to the right of the water tower tank, and the old historic part of town is to the west.
There are several public water wells all around Akrofonso that are available to the people for a low fee, per bucket. However, many homes have private water wells, and the same applies to toilets. The water tower is being developed through private enterprise and is expected to be completed before June 2012, giving all residents access to a central water source and a potentially better quality/safer water source.
Agona-Akrofonso can also boast of a football club known as Multi Stars which currently plays in the third division of the Ghanaian league division. It started with notable players such as Ofori Christian, Brother, Kwabena Bresiamah, R.K., and their first coach was Boadi Nyamekye popularly known as Kapitulate.
Education in Agona-Akrofonso
The local government runs a kindergarten in Agona-Akrofonso that is not always fully attended by all eligible children. There are many reasons for poor attendance, including poor health or parents' inability to provide supplies, such as shoes, and the need for children to remain at home to help their parents. In addition, there is a primary and middle school called Junior High School. The school's buildings were built in 1942, and have received few upgrades. On graduating from the Junior High School, children typically attend one of the secondary schools, called senior high schools, in Sekyere South District, although many leave the area entirely to attend school in Kumasi, Accra, or other big cities and towns in Ghana. Highly recognized schools such as Adisadel College, Prempeh College, Opoku-ware School and St. Louis School are a few to mention. Tertiary-level education in the town is also progressive. After senior high school, some of the students proceed to universities, polytechnics, nursing and teacher training colleges across the globe. Other students may end their educational careers and become farmers, or join an apprentice trades company/group (such as for masons, carpenters, roofers, plumbers, etc.) to learn a trade.
Early in 2012, citizens and supporters of Akrofonso began developing plans to develop the town, focusing in part on the Junior High School. Some long-delayed school improvements are now needed to replace the roof, repair load-bearing columns, repair windows, doors, and book shelves, and paint the interior and exterior of the building. In addition, furniture (chairs and tables) is needed. Future phases will address potable water needs, hand-washing stations and a new school fence.
In other cases, young people who leave Akrofonso travel overseas to countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, etc. Consequently, there is a growing number of native Ghanaian diasporans from Agona-Akrofonso all over the world. Many make frequent financial and other remittances to family members, and often visit. This allows for individuals and their families to maintain crucial contacts, including business and educational relations, and sponsorship of construction projects all over Akrofonso and in the nearby towns (Agona, Asamang, Jamasi, etc.).
Agona-Akrofonso is on the Ghana National Electricity Grid, and many homes have electricity. Cocoa production is the primary occupation. However, the production of food commodities (yams, cassava, poultry, plantains, cocoyams, fruits, etc.) is also important to the local economy. Starting from 2012, some of the local teenagers also are involved in mining activities across mining centers in the country.
- Kumasi (Ashanti Region Capital City)
- GhanaHero.com. "Scereece Dev. Services sponsored developments in Akrofonso". Retrieved 15 December 2012.
- "Ghana National Electricity Grid", Geni.org.
- "Cocoa production in Ghana", cocobod.gh.