The Brong Ahafo Region was created on 4th April 1959 (by the Brong Ahafo Region Act No. 18 of 1959). The Act defined the area of the Brong Ahafo Region to consist of the northern and the western part of the then Ashanti Region and included the Prang and Yeji areas that before the enactment of the Act formed part of the Northern Region. Before the Ashanti Empire was conquered by the British in 1900, the Brong and Ahafo states to the north and northwest of Kumasi (the capital of Ashanti empire and the present Ashanti Region) were within the empire.
Nana Akumfi Ameyaw III traces his ancestry to King Akumfi Ameyaw I (1328-63), under whose reign the Brong Kingdom with its capital at Bono Manso grew to become the most powerful kingdom of its time. Indeed oral tradition has it that nearly all the different groups of the Akans, including the Asante, trace their origins to Bono after migrating from the “north”.
The first remembered King of the Bono Kingdom is King Asaman, who is credited with leading his Akan people from what may be present day Burkina Faso or even further north, to Bonoland (Buah, 1998). Later migrations led to the Asantes, Fantes, Denkyira and other Akans settling in their present locations.
Nana Akumfi Ameyaw is credited with the creation of gold dust as a currency and gold weights as a measure, which was later developed and adopted by all the other Akan groups, particularly the Asante. Legend has it that he even supported his yam shoots with sticks made of pure gold.
It was when King Opoku Ware of Asante defeated Bono in 1723 and destroyed Bono Manso that the capital moved to Techiman (Takyiman). Techiman and other Bono states therefore came under the Asante Empire until 1948 when Akumfi Ameyaw III led the secession of Bono from Asante, supported by other Bono states such as Dormaa.
The most significant change the British administration in Ashanti brought to the people of the Brong and Ahafo states until 1935 was that it made them independent of Kumasi clan chiefs (Busia, 1951, pp. 165-166). The British administration worked out a strategy that severed the interference of the Kumasi clan chiefs with the internal affairs of the Brong and Ahafo states.
When the Ashanti Confederacy was restored in 1935 by the British administration, however, most of the Brong and Ahafo states saw that their independence from Ashanti was being threatened, because by restoring the Ashanti Confederacy, they were to revert to their former overlords in Kumasi. Though the Brong states joined the Ashanti Confederacy, most of them were not happy with the re-union because they felt their long historical association with Ashanti had brought them nothing.
The opportune time came when in 1948 Nana Akumfi Ameyaw III, the Omanhene (paramount chief) of Techiman led Techiman to secede from the Ashanti confederacy (Austin, 1964, p. 294). The secession of Techiman was supported by some of the Brong states and this led to the formation of the dynamic Brong political movement, Brong Kyempem Federation. The movement was formed in April 1951 at Dormaa Ahenkro under the auspices of the Dormaa State.3 The main objective of the movement was to struggle for a separate traditional council and a separate region for the Brong Ahafo states.
The name of the movement was later changed to the Brong Kyempem Council. In March 1955, the Prime Minister informed the National Assembly that the government was considering “the possibility of setting up a Brong Kyempem Council” to fulfil the desire of the Brongs for the establishment of a development committee for their area and that the government would “examine the case for the establishment of two administrative regions for Ashanti”.
In March 1959, the Brong Ahafo Bill was passed under a certificate of urgency by Parliament. The Brong Ahafo Region Act was enacted after receiving the Governor General’s assent. Sunyani was made the capital of the new region
Brong Ahafo, with a territorial size of 39,557 square kilometres, is the second largest region in the country (16.6%). The region shares boundaries with the Northern Region to the north, the Volta and Eastern Regions to the south-east, Ashanti and Western Regions to the south, and Cote d’Ivoire to the west. The central point of the landmass of Ghana is in the region, at Kintampo.
The region has a tropical climate, with high temperatures averaging 23.9oC (750F) and a double maxima rainfall pattern. Rainfall ranges, from an average of 1000mm millimetres in the northern parts to 1400 millimetres in the southern parts.
The region has two main vegetation types, the moist semi-deciduous forest, mostly in the southern and southeastern parts, and the guinea savannah woodland, which is predominant in the northern and northeastern parts of the region. The level of development and variations in economic activity are largely due to these two vegetation types.
For example, the moist semi-deciduous forest zone is conducive for the production of cash crops, such as cocoa and cashew. Brong Ahafo is one of the three largest cocoa producing areas in the country, mainly in the Ahafo area, which shares common border with western Ashanti. A lot of the cashew in Ghana is produced in Brong Ahafo, some of which are processed into brandy and cashew wine at Nsawkaw in Wenchi.
Timber is also an important forest product, produced mainly in the Ahafo area around Mim, Goaso and Acherensua. Other cash crops grown in the forest area are coffee, rubber and tobacco. The main food crops are maize, cassava, plantain, yam, cocoyam, rice and tomatoes. Yam production is very high in the guinea savannah zone, around Techiman, Kintampo, Nkoranza, Yeji, Prang and Kwame Danso.
Tourist Attraction Sites
The ecology of the region has produced lots of tourist attractions. Some rivers create beautiful tourist sites as they flow on rocky landscapes. The Pumpum River falls 70 metres down some beautiful rocky steps to form the Kintampo Falls, as it continues its journey towards the Black Volta. The Fuller Falls, 7 kilometres west of Kintampo, (the centre point of the country), also provides a scenic beauty as River Oyoko gently flows over a series of cascades towards the Black Volta.
Another scenic site is the River Tano Pool which houses sacred fish that are jealously protected by the local community who live along the river near Techiman. There is also a pool on the Atweredaa River, which runs through the Techiman market.
Another type of tourist attractions are caves, sanctuaries and groves. The Buabeng-Fiema Monkey sanctuary, located 22 kilometres north of Nkoranza, covers a forest area of 4.4 square kilometres. It serves as home for black and white colobus and mona monkeys. The forest also provides a natural habitat for different species of butterfly. Buoyem caves, which are hidden in a dry semi-deciduous forest, house a large colony of rosetta fruit bats. The Pinihini Amovi caves are also historic underground caves near Fiema
The tourist attraction sites in the region cannot be complete without mention of the Tanoboase Sacred Grove. It is believed that the grove is the cradle of Brong civilization.
The groove served as a hideout to the Brongs during the 18th century Brong-Ashanti wars.
It is currently used for hiking and rock climbing. The Bui National Park, stretching from Atebubu through Banda to the proposed site of the Bui Dam, is home to many rare wildlife and vegetation. Part of the Volta Lake flows through the region and Yeji, Prang, and Kwame Danso are important towns along the banks of the lake, which can serve as growth poles for tourism development in the region.