WHY MUST TECHIMAN BE CONSIDERED AS BONO EAST REGIONAL CAPITAL? Featured
Techiman is the capital of the Techiman Municipal, and one of the eleven Districts/Municipalities that successfully petitioned the President of Republic of Ghana for the creation of the Bono East region. The city borders with four Districts/Municipalities namely, the Techiman North District to the north, Wenchi Municipality to the north-west, and Nkronza South Municipality to the southeast in the Brong Ahafo Region and Offinso North District to the south in the Ashanti Region. The population of the Municipality according to the 2010 Population and Housing Census stands at 147,788 with 71, 732 males and 76,056 females with a population density of 227.7 persons per every square kilometer. Researchers and Civil Society Organizations have suggested that Techiman city be considered for the regional capital of the newly created Bono East Region, because of its robust existing social and economic features which are prerequisite for development. There are also ensuing calls by a group of elites to consider the city as the capital on the grounds that it will lessen cost which would be incurred by central Government to construct a Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) and its associated take off structures from the scratch.
The city has a well-planned urban layouts. The sub-urban communities are linked to one another with connecting roads at an average proximity of 1km or less apart. The city is heterogeneous composing of the natives and migrant populations from the northern fringes of Ghana and beyond. This is reflected in the names of settlements and communities like Mamprusiline, Sisalaline, Wangaraline and Hausalines amongst others. Nevertheless the people are well composed, law abiding citizens with high sense of civic consciousness. Their relationships are integrated into complex but simple systems of interaction which warrant development in an atmosphere of peace and tolerance. The city of Techiman is blessed with large trading activities, strategically located to serve the people of Ghana and across the West African sub-region. The Techiman market, which has become a daily affair is believed to be the largest of its kind in the West African Sub-region. The city has earned itself the food basket of Ghana, thus attracting people of varied destinations and generating huge sums of revenue for the government. This positions the Assembly well to continuously fulfill its mandate of providing infrastructural development and social services across the Municipality. Aside of the commercial factors, the municipality is endowed with fertile lands and good climate which support agriculture in all its forms including the production of food and cash crops. The Municipality can also boost of huge participation in industrialization. The production of crops like cocoa, cashew and others make raw materials readily available for Agro-industries. Better still, investors and many other industries have shown interest to invest in the areas of Waste Recycling, and fruit processing. The economic landscape of the city is quiet robust which has the potential to put the propose Bono East regional capital into creating more employment opportunities. Techiman is the commercial nerve center of the Brong Ahafo Region with a very active financial market. The city has a total of fifteen commercial banks and over thirty micro finance institutions as well as various insurance companies. Citing Techiman as the capital of the Bono East region will therefore use the city to capture the region well on the global online market. Agricultural and livestock practices are widespread in the Municipality. Dominants among them are cattle rearing, poultry and marine or aquatic farming. The Ghana Irrigation Development Authority is supervising irrigation farmers and also extending irrigation activities to cover other areas in the Municipality. Resources set aside for this purpose could be channeled into other prioritized areas for a smooth take- off of the new region. Historically, the people of Techiman are descendants of a worrier group known in Ancient Ghana as the Bono. In the Akan cycles they are referred to as “Akan Mu Opesie” to wit, the first child of the Akans. Their origin dates back to the 11th century AD. The Bono territory/state is geographically situated between the savanna and forest zones of Ghana and grew to become a prime central location for trade activities. Bono kingdom was very instrumental in major ancient trade activities of both Trans-Saharan trade and Trans-Atlantic slave trade, with complex but simple social systems stemming from chieftaincy dominance, and migration with unique settlement histories. The Bono Kingdom has various festivals which are celebrated among the people of Techiman. These festivals are “Apoo,” “Fofie,” and Yam festivals. The festivals are used to promote unity, cohesion and culture of the people. The festivals uphold social interaction and settle family disputes among the people of the area. They also attract both domestic and international tourists during the weeklong celebration. Techiman and its environs are gifted with unique tourism potentials from natural and man-made perspectives. The natural environment is characterized by a supernatural ecology demonstrated by the Tano Boase sacred grove, the relics of Bono Manso, the former capital of Bono state, and the Atweredaa spiritual crocodiles in the stream along the main market square and many others. The Forikrom rock cave could be tested archaeologically to confirm for ancient habitation in relation to slave raid garrison for the purposes of boosting tourism in the area. The beautiful landscape of Techiman coupled with over 95 hotels well qualifies the city as a suitable place for a regional capital. The Techiman Traditional Council is known for its vibrant efforts towards national development and has been keen in preserving the cultural heritage of the area. The Chieftaincy institution in the Techiman Traditional Area has a clear lineage thereby ensuring peaceful succession without the conflict which characterize some successions in other parts of the country. The traditional council has also taken steps to reserve a 150m sq land for the Nkwantananso Cultural Centre to house artifacts and other relics of the Bono state in line with the call of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board to build museums in every Region and District across the country. The Nkwantananso Cultural Centre can be adopted as a regional museum of the Bono East Region. This will not only promote tourism and mobilize revenue, but it will also serve as a vehicle to integrate the Bono East region’s diverse populations into a more unified society. The rich historical background, vibrant existing social, economic structures among others of Techiman and its environs are far advanced to warrant the Municipality for a regional capital status of Bono East region. The writer, Jobila M. Zakari is an anthropologist and a Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Techiman