1. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE NSABA GHANA COMMUNITY PROJECTS (AUGUST 1995 TO AUGUST 2011)
From August 1995 to August 2011, over this 16-year period, I spent part of my vacation period coordinating community development projects at Nsaba, Ghana. The first three months from mid-August to mid-November 1995 were spent primarily to search for potential donors. In mid-November 1995, a few individuals donated some money and together with the group donation of the Uniting Church, Chester Street, Epping, Sydney, Australia (my Church) in the third week of November 1995, we were able to finance our initial work on community development project at Nsaba in early December 1995 during my two-month vacation period (December 1995 and January 1996).
In general, the coordination of community project involved raising funds from individual, church and school sources in Australia for activities at Nsaba. Funds raised are released to local co-ordinators for various activities. Observers worked with local co-ordinators to ensure that monies were properly used. Personal monitoring of project activities was undertaken with exchange of communication with coordinators and observers through electronic and postal mails and bi-annual visits to Nsaba during vacation periods. Phase 1 was implemented from November 1995 to August 1996 and Phase 2 was implemented from January to June 1998. Implementation of Phase 3 started in 1999 and was completed in June 2004.
Phase 4 started in January 2005 and was completed in November 2008. Phase 4 had several components. The first component dealt with the execution of “private projects” that had large public externalities. These private projects included the construction of 0.6 kilometre pipe line and the supply of electricity based on the erection of six electricity poles in the Freetown suburb of the town. These opened the way for new and old residents of the suburb to tap into water and electricity supply from the national systems. The second component was the adjustment and strengthening of the first three phases through activities such as repair and upgrading of pipeline and conversion of fixed monthly water charging to one based on use of water-measuring metres. The third component involved the construction of a toilet facility for the Nsaba Islamic Junior Secondary School together with the Nsaba Islamic Community.
The Phase 5 of this special development project started in 2010 with fund-raising activities in June 2010 and is being completed in August 2011. The major components of this phase were the construction of a three-room modern water closet toilet facility and urinal for the Nsaba Presbyterian Church and the connection of pipe borne water supply to the Mosque of the Nsaba Islamic Community.
The outputs of Phases 1 and 2 projects, which cost or 1,757 Ghana cedis (GHS), 14,252 Australian dollars (A$) or 9,652 United States dollars (US$) included the supply of pipe borne water to 11 public schools and centres; partial renovation and upgrading of buildings and facilities of 15 public schools, composting of biodegradable solid wastes undertaken in several public schools; supply of electricity to a residential area (North Salem Ward) through connection to the national electricity grid, benefiting directly about 200 householders and supply of pipe borne water to the home of a traditional healer and birth attendant, who is the President of the Local Association of Traditional Healers, Herbalists and Birth Attendants. The supply of pipe borne water to the traditional healer was meant to improve the hygienic status of her home environment and to allow her to use treated water for mixing of herbal medicines that are given to patients instead of relying on polluted water from nearby streams.
The outputs of Phase 3 project, which cost GHS12,582 or A$32,054 or US$20,389, included two five-room modern water closet toilet facilities each linked to a 500-gallon overhead water storage tank for the Presbyterian Junior Secondary School established in 1900 and the Methodist Junior Secondary School established in 1953, a seven-room modern water closet toilet facility also linked to a 1000-gallon storage tank for the Roman Catholic Junior Secondary School established in 1965, renovation of a water closet toilet facility of the female hostel of Nsaba Senior Secondary School, assistance towards the completion of the original three-class room block of the Islamic Junior Secondary School, the fourth junior secondary school at Nsaba, which was built by the Nsaba Muslim Community, partial renovation of buildings of several schools and construction of a room as office for the African Methodist Episcopical (AME) Zion Primary School, which was converted as a classroom for the AME Zion Kindergarten. A 100-dollar donation from a donor living in the United States in 2004 was used to support the renovation of the Nsaba community centre which used to be the old Agonaman Local Council building during the First Republic. The centre was converted back to be the headquarters of the Agona East District Council in 2008.
The outputs from Phase 4 included the extension of electricity through the national electricity grid, supply of pipe borne water and the installation of four street lights in the South and East Freetown suburbs of Nsaba. In August 2006, pipe borne water was also extended to the Peprakrom suburb of the town benefiting about 500 residents living near the two Roman Catholic Schools. The third component of Phase 4 was the construction of a modern toilet facility for the Islamic Junior Secondary School costing about 5,300 US dollars completed in July 2008. The total costs of Phase 4 project were GHS12,947 or A$15,202 or US$13,186.
The outputs of Phase 5 project were (1) the construction of a three-room modern water closet toilet facility for the Nsaba Presbyterian Church (2) the construction of a modern two-room four-chamber urinal for the Nsaba Presbyterian Church adjacent to the new toilet facility (3) supply of pipe borne water including water storage tank to the Mosque of the Islamic Community at Nsaba (4) the repair and adjustments to facilities constructed during the first four phases of the project (5) supply of pipe borne water to the Freetown ward of the town using the Methodist Junior Secondary School water metre and water storage tank to sell water at commercial rates to Freetown residents in order to pay the water bills of the Methodist Junior Secondary School (6) supply of pipe borne water to Peprakrom Ward through the water metre and water storage tank of the Catholic Junior Secondary School in order to pay the water bills of the Catholic Junior Secondary School and (7) supply of water to the homes of two traditional and faith-based healers.
The total costs of Phase 5 project were GHS18,203 or A$12,657 or US$12,273.
The total costs of all the Nsaba Ghana Community Projects (Phases 1 to 5) were GHS45,489 or A$74,166 or US$55,500. These costs were financed by individual and institutional donors from Australia (GHS29,594; A$52,870; US$38,445; 71.3%), local beneficiaries (GHS9,562; A$10,891; US$9,050; 14.7%) and my nuclear family (GHS6,333; A$10,405; US$8,005; 14.0%).
THE 25 INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP FINANCIAL SPONSORS OF THE NSABA GHANA COMMUNITY PROJECTS FROM 1995 TO 2011 WITH CONTRIBUTIONS IN AUSTRALIAN DOLLARS (A$) AND THEIR PROPORTIONS OF TOTAL FINANCING COSTS OF THE PROJECTS ARE LISTED BELOW.
1. Knox Grammar School, Wahroonga, Sydney, Australia; A$17,268.00; 23.28 per cent.
2. Sydney, Australia Family Contributors Wishing to Remain Anonymous; A$12,266.31; 16.54 per cent.
3. Local Nsaba, Ghana Beneficiaries; A$10,891.45; 14.69 per cent.
4. Dr. Kwabena A. Anaman and Family; A$10,314.21; 14.03 per cent.
5. Congregation and Members of the Uniting Church, Epping, Sydney, Australia; A$8,739.20; 11.78 per cent.
6. Saint Ignatius College Riverview, Sydney, Australia; A$3,000.00; 4.04 per cent.
7. Scots College, Bellevue, Sydney, Australia; A$1,960.00; 2.64 per cent.
8. Saint Andrew Uniting Church, Longueville, Sydney, Australia; A$1,630.00; 2.20 per cent.
9. Santa Sabina Catholic Ladies College, Strathfield, Sydney, Australia; A$1500.00; 2.02 per cent.
10. New South Wales Uniting Church in Australia Board of Mission, Sydney, Australia; A$1,000.00; 1.35 per cent.
11. Uniting Church in Sydney, Australia; A$1,000.00; 1.35 per cent.
12. Methodist Ladies College, Burwood, Sydney, Australia; A$753.30; 1.02 per cent.
13. Saint Michael's Roman Catholic Primary School, Lane Cove, Sydney, Australia; A$673.25; 0.91 per cent.
14. Ms Rashidah Jair, Kuala Belait, Brunei Darussalam, Southeast Asia; A$500.00; 0.67 per cent.
15. Uniting Church, Toowong, Brisbane, Australia; A$500.00; 0.67 per cent.
16. Australian Islamic College, Sydney, Australia; A$500.00; 0.67 per cent.
17. Mrs. Elva Bieler, Longueville Uniting Church, Sydney, Australia; A$400.00; 0.54 per cent.
18. Our Lady of Hope Christian Catholic Primary School, Epping, Sydney, Australia; A$330.50; 0.45 per cent.
18. North Sydney Presbytery of Uniting Church, Sydney, Australia; A$300.00; 0.40 per cent.
20. Professor William Glen Boggess, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, United States; A$149.93; 0.20 per cent;
21. Annandale Presbyterian Church, Sydney, Australia; A$136.80; 0.18 per cent.
22. Kirk Club, Presbyterian Church, Epping, Sydney, Australia; A$100.00; 0.13 per cent.
23. Dr. Michael Barhoun, Macquarie Centre Dental Clinic, North Ryde, Sydney, Australia; A$75.00; 0.10 per cent.
24. Professor Gabriel Ogunmokun, Perth, Australia; A$48.00; 0.06 per cent.
25. An Anonymous Cash Contributor, North Sydney, Australia; A$40.00; 0.05 per cent.
Total Cash Contributions; A$74,166.56; 100.00 per cent.
Cover page of Phase 1 report showing water supply to Presbyterian Primary School completed on 13 December 1995
Cover page of Phase 2 report showing children of the Nsaba Islamic Primary School and Junior Secondary School admiring their new public stand pipe erected in June 1998
Cover page of the Phase 3 report showing in the background the seven-room modern water closet toilet facility for the Nsaba Roman Catholic Junior Secondary School completed in June 2004.
THIS SECTION OF THIS REPORT WAS FIRST DEVELOPED BY KWABENA A. ANAMAN IN 1991 WHEN THE AUTHOR WAS WORKING IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA AT THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND LIVESTOCK, PORT MORESBY. IT WAS FURTHER REFINED AS A CONCEPT NOTE TO PROVIDE THE THEORETICAL PUSH FOR THE START OF IMPLEMENTATION OF NSABA GHANA COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS IN 1994. THE AUTHOR BENEFITED FROM DISCUSSIONS DURING HIS TWO-DAY PRIVATE RESEARCH VISIT TO THE BASEL MISSIONARIES HEADQUARTERS IN BASEL, SWITZERLAND IN SEPTEMBER 1994. THIS CONCEPT NOTE HAS BEEN REVISED SEVERAL TIMES WITH THE LATEST REVISION IN JULY 2011.
2. ECONOMIC RATIONALE FOR USING COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS AND INSTITUTIONS AS AN IMPORTANT ENGINE TO ENSURE SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN GHANA
Starting from the pre-colonial period to the present era, African societies have generally been driven by what I call the three main institutional “economic engines”. These three economic engines are the market (individuals), the traditional community and the state (government). These three institutional engines are described below beginning with the market.
A market exists when two or more people are engaged in an exchange of goods and services. This is predicated on the fact no one single human being can produce all the goods and services that he/she needs over an extended period of time. Thus a market is functioning when a person goes to a village store and buys produce for his/her family use. The market is also at work when a buyer purchases goods and services from a seller using telegraphic bank transfers even though the buyer and seller may not have ever seen each other. Economists, through research work in an attempt to understand human behaviour across cultures and times, have extended the concept of market to any interaction that involves an exchange between two or more human beings. Thus a market exists is functioning when two people engage in consensual sex in a closed location based on the laws of the land.
A theory lies behind the market system or process that allows the thousands of actions The theory underlying the market process is described by neo-classical economic theory which has evolved over the last 200 years. This process is underpinned by the behaviour of self-interested and self-centred human beings seeking to maximize their satisfaction from the production, distribution and exchange of goods and services subject to the availability of resources and technology. Neoclassical economic theory considers plant and non-human animal species as inputs or resources to be used to serve human needs. However since human beings are themselves inputs or resources used by other living things through death processes, the neoclassical economic theory that enshrine human beings as the centre of the philosophical basis of the earth and universe is questioned by many environmentalists including followers of African traditional religions.
Neoclassical economic theory though recognises that individual human beings are not “economic islands” because they live in a society of human beings. Hence interdependencies or externalities between and among individuals occur. Externalities result in what economists call "market failure". This simply means that the self-interested actions of individuals may not always lead to good outcomes for society. Under the situation of market failure, the market system fails to achieve the maximum interest of society. This failure is in general caused by a number of factors. Some of these factors that result in market failure are described below:
First, the cost of participation in certain markets by individuals, for example, starting certain businesses may be too high and thus effectively bars many people from participating in those markets. For example, in the case of Nsaba, even though the town had pipe borne water supply since 1965, it was only until 1998, with the implementation of our Phase 2 Special Community Development Project, that the outlying area around the Methodist and Roman Catholic Schools, which were over one kilometre from the centre of the town, was connected to the town pipe borne water supply system. Before 1998, both the market system and the state failed to supply water to the area. People living in the area relied on unsafe water. The market failed because no single individual came forward to connect pipe borne water supply from the centre of the town to his/her house which would have positive externality effects of bringing pipe borne water to other people and schools in the area. The state failed because the government did not have the means or did not consider it important to extend pipe borne water supply to the area to service the schools sited in that area.
Second, the market system also fails in the presence of racial, class, religious, gender discrimination and other barriers, and high artificial hurdles that prevent members of certain groups or classes from participating fully in economic activities in certain markets. With the Nsaba Special Community Development Projects, we incorporated all schools and students into the programme regardless of their religious status. In particular, special efforts were made to finance projects for Islamic schools at Nsaba even though all the overseas monies raised for the projects were contributed by Christians and other non-Muslims.
Traditional community organisations and institutions were developed and/or evolved to address some of the problems arising from market failure discussed above. The traditional community includes extended family, clan lineage, chieftaincy structures and traditional cultural and religious institutions. The traditional community concept can be expanded to include various religious organisations such as churches which perform some similar functions. The state evolved due to the failure of both the market and traditional community to address adequately certain needs of society especially in the areas of internal security, defence and external relationships with other states. During the pre-colonial period the size of the state was generally small in Africa. A notable exception was the Kingdom of Dahomey in present-day Republic of Benin. On the other hand, the Ibos of present day Nigeria organised their traditional societies with little formal state structures. The relatively small role of the state in ancient Africa appeared to have been driven by the relatively large role played in society by traditional community organisations. In the modern era, the state comprises of district, regional and central Governments.
The three institutional economic engines of the market, the traditional community and the state currently exist side by side in Africa. All three institutions have strengths and limitations in addressing problems of dynamically changing society in an era of globalisation and rapid environmental destruction. It can be argued that the relative neglect of the traditional community sector in the planning and implementation of structural adjustment programmes in Ghana since the early 1980s contributed to the large increases in poverty. Structural adjustment programmes (SAPs) introduced in Africa are generally of the central planning variety often based on a fixed set of conditionalities. They tend to rely on economic models which assume that the market and the state are the only institutional economic engines of society.
Hence privatisation of many Government services was undertaken without adequate consultation with traditional community organisations especially those organisations which had previously run such services in the pre-colonial, colonial and post-independence periods. For example, traditional chieftaincy authorities maintained quasi-police service, carried out environmental protection activities and directly managed certain community assets. Various Christian Churches such as the Presbyterian Church built and ran schools and hospitals. Privatisation of Government services was also undertaken without any significant strengthening of traditional community organisations to handle some of the responsibilities abandoned by Government as a result of the diminution of the state mandated under the structural adjustment programmes. Widespread poverty increased as many individuals were suddenly left to fend for themselves.
The present challenge is to strengthen traditional community organisations such as youth groups, town development committees, traditional chieftaincy authorities, churches, other religious organisations and old boys’ and girls’ associations to enable them to participate directly in the economic development of their communities as complementary services delivery mechanisms. This participation is especially useful for small communities and towns where modest efforts by community organisations can make some real impact on the quality of life of people living in those areas. Some suggested initiatives that Government can take to strengthen community organisations to advance economic development in Ghana are discussed below.
First, the Central Government can donate an annual grant of up to 10,000 U.S. dollars or its equivalent in local currency to each of the 1,000 medium-sized rural towns with a population between 5,000 to 20,000 through the Traditional Chieftaincy and Town Councils for the purpose of assisting community development projects initiated by the people themselves. Local people can then augment this donation by raising extra revenues through contributions and solicitation of outside grants to finance their projects. This Central Government initiative should be separated from on-going activities of District Councils. The town development initiative is aimed at encouraging individual towns to make extra efforts to accelerate their own development. Government could then reward those communities which use their funds well with more continuing funding and extra resources. This is likely to lead healthy competition among various towns in any district and substantial direct impact on the lives of local people. This scheme is also likely to draw local people away from grand tribally-based regional development programmes of some non-governmental organisations with the focus on simpler and more achievable smaller town community projects. Annual Government expenditures on the proposed town community development grant scheme would be around 10 million U.S. dollars which is less than 1% of the national budget.
Second, another initiative that can be undertaken is to develop and maintain a large central town market for agricultural produce and other non-agricultural items. The development of a large central market is likely to reduce unemployment in rural areas since many youth can stay in the town and be part-time farmers producing food and agricultural produce to sell in the market while at the same pursuing off-farm work. The development of central market can be a joint private sector/community development whereby private sector investors can work together with local communities. In addition, the expatriate community overseas can be encouraged to invest in the development and renovation of central markets in various rural towns in Ghana on a commercial basis directly with traditional community organisations.
Third, the privatisation of essential services such as water in rural areas could involve the partnership of utility suppliers with churches and traditional chieftaincy authorities. For example, the Ghana Water Board can negotiate with Church and Traditional Authorities for the payment of fixed monthly fees so that the public pipe borne water stands in rural towns and villages could be accessible to all residents who do not have home-based portable water. The church or traditional authorities could then use direct and indirect means of raising revenues to pay the required fixed monthly fees, for example, weekly church collections. This approach could also improve the conservation of water through regular attendance by community organisations to deal with the problem of water wastage resulting from burst street water pipes which are often left unattended for long periods of time. Given the nature of many kilometres of laid street water pipes straddling many rural areas, it might not be possible for the Ghana Water Board or any privatised entity to attend to all burst street pipes quickly without the active cooperation of community organisations in towns and villages. The currently high level of the rural population going back to using untreated water from polluted rivers and streams because of the inability to pay newly-imposed water charges could lead to major community health problems in the future.
The biggest source of water losses in Ghana and many developing countries is outside-the home transmission losses. This is a particularly big problem in rural parts of Ghana where burst public pipe line can remain unattended for days or even weeks. Without some considerable community involvement to monitor and check these transmission losses, no privatised water operating agency can maintain a sustainable public water system. The cost of incorporating high outside-the-home transmission losses will lead to high monthly water charges beyond the reach of most rural people. This will then encourage the illegal tapping of water by breaking into public lines often at nights to fetch water. Under such a situation, the government will not have the necessary resources to police and secure the public water lines.
Fourth, the renovation of fragile extended family houses through material assistance is another major developmental concern. Government housing policy in Ghana as in many other policies have tended to be biased towards nuclear family units. Implementation of structural adjustment programme in Ghana since mid-1980s resulted in thousands of workers in Government departments and corporations being laid off. Without any formal social security system, many returned to their home villages and towns and were absorbed into extended family houses. At the same time Government borrowed money from overseas to establish home mortgage and financing schemes to serve the needs of a few urban dwellers. A new programme in the line of the old roof loan housing scheme established in the 1950s and 1960s is urgently needed to renovate many dilapidated extended family houses in rural areas to absorb retirees and the unemployed who are not be able to build their own houses.
The re-development of extended family houses can incorporate clear private property rights. For example, for each extended family house, self-contained flats with modern toilets and baths can be developed at each of the four corners of the house for members of the family to maintain their privacy while the central area is used for meetings of the extended family and clan lineages. In this regard, the fixed costs of electricity connection and installation of pipe borne water supply are shared among many people. It is therefore possible that the Government can give small loans of 1,000 to 5,000 US dollars for individuals such as teachers and Government workers to develop self contained flats as part of extended family houses rather than wholesale new development of houses.
THE PICTURE BELOW TAKEN IN AUGUST 2011 SHOWS THE FRONT PORTION OF THE RENOVATED HEADQUARTERS' BUILDING OF THE AGONA EAST DISTRICT ASSEMBLY (DISTRICT COUNCIL) AT NSABA. THE FIRST FLOOR OF THIS BUILDING WAS ORIGINALLY BUILT IN 1962 TO HOUSE THE THEN AGONAMAN LOCAL COUNCIL. THIS LOCAL COUNCIL WAS ABOLISHED IN 1971 AND WAS REVIVED IN 2008 AS THE AGONA EAST DISTRICT ASSEMBLY.
THE PICTURE BELOW TAKEN IN APRIL 2011 SHOWS THE MAIN STREET IN THE SALEM WARD (PRESYBTERIAN CHURCH AREA OF NSABA) INCLUDING THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH BUILDING ERECTED IN 1960. THE PEOPLE IN THE PICTURE ARE STUDENTS OF THE NSABA PRESBYTERIAN SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL WHO USES THE CHURCH FOR THEIR SERVICES ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON.
THE NEXT SEVEN SECTIONS ARE DEVOTED TO THE DESCRIPTION OF NSABA TOWN, AND ITS HISTORY INCLUDING EARLY CHRISTIAN CONTACTS ESPECIALLY THOSE WITH THE SWISS-GERMAN BASEL MISSIONARIES.
3. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF AGONA NSABA TOWN
"Nsaba is a pretty small African town", says Ms Jutta on her home page website with the address: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/77bdc/
Nsaba is geographically located at Latitude 5 degrees 39 minutes North of the Equator and Longitude 0 degree and 45 minutes West of the Greenwich Meridian Line. The town situated 95 kilometres northeast of Accra, the capital city of Ghana. It is also about 40 kilometres north of the Atlantic Ocean. It takes just about two hours by car to get to Nsaba from the Accra International Airport driving through the George Walker Bush Highway in Accra to Malam and then taking the Accra to Cape Coast Road. Turning right at Gomoa Akotsi, one gets to Agona Kwanyako in about 20 minutes. Thereafter Nsaba is roughly 35 minutes drive from Agona Kwanyako. The trip from Accra International Airport to Gomoa Akotsi is between 60 to 70 minutes.
Nsaba is a rural town in the Central Region of Ghana with an estimated 2015 population of about 10,500 people. The 2010 Population and Housing Census of Ghana puts the population at 9,376 people living in 1353 houses and 2460 households with an average household size of 4.0.
The town is the capital of the Agona East District, one of the 216 districts and municipalities in Ghana. It is also the Headquarters of the Central Regional Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, one of the 15 Divisional Presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. The original Nsaba Presbytery founded in 1922 directly created the current Central Presbytery, West Akyem and Western Ghana Presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. The current Central Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana was inaugurated in 1992 following the formation of the West Akyem and Western Ghana Presbyteries from the Nsaba Church.
The town is an important educational centre with over 20 schools including a government-assisted senior secondary school with a population of about 2,000, five junior secondary schools, several vocational institutes and the Presbyterian Church Educational Centre for the training of lay priests in Ghana. The major economic activities in the town are cocoa farming, food farming, retail stores, construction and government services revolving around schools and local government administration. The schools at Nsaba are discussed next.
4. SCHOOLS AT NSABA
As at March 2015, there were 25 registered public and private schools at Nsaba with a student population of slightly over 5,000. The largest school is the Presbyterian Senior High School founded in 1962 which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012. It has a population of about 2,000 of which 65% are females. The Presbyterian Primary School is the oldest school at Nsaba and the entire Agona State including the two districts. It was founded by the Basel Missionaries in 1894. The second oldest school is the Presbyterian Junior High School founded in 1900 also by the Basel Missionaries. It was known as the Presbyterian Middle Boarding School until the 1987 educational sector reform. Its current enrolment is 223 made of 122 boys and 101 girls. There are a total of five public junior high schools, three private junior high schools, six public primary schools, three private primary schools, three public kindergarten, one crèche and one post-secondary vocational school. More details are provided below for the individual schools.
1. Presbyterian Senior High School. Founded in 1962 by the Government of Ghana and the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. Current enrolment as at January 2012 is about 1,900 with about 65% being females.
2. Presbyterian Junior High School, formerly Presbyterian Middle Boarding School. Founded in 1900. Current enrolment as at January 2012 is 223 with 122 boys and 101 girls.
3. Presbyterian Primary School. Founded in 1894. Current enrolment is 530.
4. Presbyterian Day Care Centre and Kindergarten. Founded in 1978.
5. Methodist Junior High School. Founded in 1953.
6. Methodist Primary A School. Founded in 1914.
7. Methodist Primary B School. Founded in 1961.
8. Methodist Church Day Care Centre and Kindergarten. Founded in 1991.
9. Roman Catholic Junior High School. Founded in 1965.
10. Roman Catholic Primary School. Founded in 1961.
11. Islamic Junior High School. Founded in 1999.
12. Islamic Primary School. Founded in 1989.
13. AME Zion Junior High School. Founded in 2000.
14. AME Zion Primary School. Founded in 1993.
15. AME Zion Kindergarten. Founded in 1993.
16. Solid Foundation Junior High School. A private school.
17. Solid Foundation Primary School. A private school.
18. Church of Christ Junior High School. A private school.
19. Church of Christ Primary School. A private school.
20. Better Home Academy Junior High School. A private school.
21. Better Home Academy Primary School. A private school.
22. Girls Vocational Training Institute. Founded in 1994.
23. Presbyterian Church Layperson Training Centre. Founded in 1998.
5. BRIEF HISTORY OF NSABA
Evidence of human settlement at Nsaba dates back to at least 1400 AD. By 1500, Nsaba had become a functioning village where people from different parts of the catchment area went to beat sponges giving the name of the area as Nsaborowe or sponge beating. The word became corrupted as Nsaba in later years. In 1693, the town was well established and was chosen to become the Paramount Seat of the Agona People.
The Agona State was made up of a voluntary association of ten principal towns and their outlying villages. The Agonas were called Agoro ye na meaning people whose plays or acts were exceptional. Agoro ye na was shortened over time to Agona. By 1693 the Agona State had become fully established with key chieftaincy positions allocated to all the 10 principal towns in the State with a well-coordinated Army. The distribution of the Agona chieftaincy positions over the 240-year period from 1695 to 1935 was as follows:
1. Agona Nsaba: Omanhene or Paramount Chief
2. Agona Nyakrom: Adontehene
3. Agona Asafo: Nifahene
4. Agona Kwanyako: Kyidomhene
5. Agona Abodom: Benkumhene
6. Agona Swedru: Gyasehene
7. Agona Duakwa: Benkumhene
8. Agona Bobikuma: Tufuhene
9. Agona Kwaman: Twafohene
10. Agona Nkum: Obaatan
In 1701, the Akyems under King Ofori Panin The First invaded the Agona State. The Akyem Army was heavily defeated at Agona Nsaba by the Agonas assisted by some specialist troops from the Borbor Fante States such as Ajumako, Ekumfi and Gomoa The Akyems were trapped around the Nsaba River Agyei which became a sea of blood. With the abortive invasion of Agonas, the weakened Akyem Army was defeated by the then rising State of Asante in the following year (1702) during the first of several wars between the two States (Akyem and Asante). Professor Adu Boahen indicated in his book "Topics of West African History" that the Agonas were conquered by the Borbor Fantes. But this was not true rather the Agonas sought military assistance from the Borbor Fantes during the Akyem invasion of 1701. Over this period, the Agonas were actually conquered by the Akwamus.
The pre-eminent power in the coastal and middle forest region of the Gold Coast (now Ghana) from 1690 to 1730 was the Akwamu Kingdom. The Akwamus had established their supremacy along the Coast by defeating the European power on the Coast, the Danes, in 1693 with the capture of the prized Christianborg Castle belonging to the Danes, in Accra by King Asomani and his Akwamu Army. The Akwamus also conquered the Agonas, Akyems, Akuapims, the Guan-Akuapims (Larteh and Okere) and the Gas during the first few decades of the 18th Century.
In 1730, the Akwamu vassal states of Agona, Akyem, Akuapim, Guan-Akuapim and Gas formed a military coalition and defeated the Akwamus forcing them to retreat behind the River Volta where they established new settlements anchored around their new principal town of Akwamufie. The Agona Army Contingent of the Coalition Army captured the prized town of the Akwamus called Asamankese (Asare-man-kese; the big town of Akwamu King, Asare). In later years, the Agonas retreated to their base selling off the conquered Akwamu land.
After the defeat of the Akwamus, the Asantes became the pre-eminent power of the Gold Coast (Ghana) in the 18th Century. This pre-eminence was achieved by the Asantes after defeating the Akyems and other middle-forest-belt Akan states in a series of wars in the 18th Century. However, it was in the 19th Century that the Asantes attempted to take over all the coastal and near-coastal States under King Osei Tutu Kwamina Asibe Bonsu and later Kings. This forced the near-coastal and coastal States such as the Agona to sign a treaty of friendship with the then supreme European power along the Gold Coast, the British.
Thus, in the 19th Century, The King of Agona, Nana Yaw Duodu, was one of the leaders of 17 coastal and near-coastal states who signed the Bond of 1844 Friendship Treaty with the British Colonial Government on the 6th of March 1844. The other 16 states were Abora, Ajumako, Anomabu, Asikuma, Assin Attandasu, Assin Apemanim, Cape Coast, Denkyira, Dixcove, Dominase, Ekumfi, Gomoa, James Town (Accra), Twifu, Wassa Amenfi and Wassa Fiasi.
The Asantes engaged the British and their local allies in a series of six wars over the 77-year period from 1824 to 1901. In the first Asante-British War in 1824, the Asantes defeated the British Force in the Battle of Nsamankow with the beaheading of the British General, Sir Charles McCarthy and with his head taken to Kumasi, the capital of the Asante State as a trophy. Looking for revenge, the British Colonial Force revamped and added more allies including the Agona State. In 1826, the enhanced Allied Army defeated the Asantes in the Battle of Katamanso near Dodowa. The third Asante-British War was the Bobikuma War of 1863 in which the Asante Army routed the British Force and their local Allies at Bobikuma after unexplained withdrawal of large number of native troops from Bobikuma by the British Commander, Major Cochran. Agona Troops were part of the native contingent at the Bobikuma War.
The underlying causes of the 1863 Bobikuma War were not fully settled and in 1873, against the advice of several of the Asante Kingmakers, King Kofi Karikari launched a big invasion of the coastal and near-coastal states with an Army of 40,000 men led by General Amankwa Tia in the early part of 1873. After a few battle victories, the Asante Army was bogged down and could not achieve the main objective of the campaign of forcing the coastal and near coastal states to come under the Asante Empire. The Army decided to return to Kumasi and took heavy losses on their retreat back home with only about 20,000 out of the original 40,000 soldiers returning home.
In 1873, two contingents of the Asante Army were engaged by Agona soldiers. One contingent of the Asante Army entered Nsaba, the capital of Agona State in 1873 and met an empty town which had been completely evacuated under the orders of Agona King, King Kofi Kontoh. This Asante contingent was then trapped in the Agona Rivers of Akora and Agyei and leading to many deaths of the invading army and their eventual retreat. The other Asante Army contingent was trapped in the caves and holes around the Ayensu River at Agona Kwanyako. The retreat of the Asante Army from Nsaba and other Agona towns such as Kwanyako reinforced the widespread reputation of Agona People as People Whose Acts are Exceptional (Agoro Ye Na) and were not willing to annex or invade other people but were prepared to defend themselves to the maximum point of their power.
In mid-1873, upon pleas from their local allies and States to prevent further invasion of their states by the Asantes, the British decided to fully engage the Asantes with considerable numbers of their own troops. This brought about the Fourth Asante-British War of 1873-74 known as the Sangreti War. The British Army brought a battalion of over 1,000 British soldiers equipped with superior long-range guns and the under the command of Sir Garnet Wolseley. Several contingents of black soldiers from the British West Indies were also brought to join the invading army that included thousands of local soldiers from the coastal and near-coastal states including Agona, Akyem, Assin, Denkyira and Wassa. The British Allied Army invaded Asante and after a fierce campaign of about six months defeated the Asante Army capturing Kumasi in February 1874. King Kofi Karikari failed to meet the victorious army in Kumasi to negotiate a direct settlement. This led the British Commander to order the burning of Kumasi town in February 1874. General Amankwa Tia was killed a few miles south of Kumasi in early 1874 while defending the capital. The defeat led to the dethroning of King Kofi Karikari who was replaced by his brother, Prince Mensa, as the new Asantehene.
Agona Soldiers also participated in the 5th Asante-British War of 1896-1897 and the Sixth War (Yaa Asantewaa War) of 1900-1901 on the side of the British. The field commander of the British Allied Army in the Fifth War was Brigadier Baden Powell who later founded the Boys Scout Movement in the early part of the 20th Century. In a summary, of the six Asante-British Wars, Agona Soldiers participated in five of them allied with the British Army.
In 1884, the King of Agona, Nana Kofi Kontoh consented to a donation of 37 acres of prime forest land at Nsaba for the establishment of the Christian Church by the Swiss-German Basel Missionaries from the Evangelical Church of Switzerland and Germany. After several fruitless search for land in the dense tropical forest region of Ghana, the Basel Missionaries returned to Nsaba to plead for land to develop their Church with the promise of making Nsaba a major educational and religious Centre in Ghana. The Oyoko Clan Leaders who actually owned the donated land, sensing the prospect of the development of modern education for their citizens, gave the land as a gift despite warning from the Oracle of the Nsaba Gods and Deities that several clan leaders would die if they allowed the Basel Missionaries to establish their Church on the donated land. This led to the rapid growth of the Basel Missionary activities in the forest region of Ghana.
W. Roman was the first Basel Missionary sent to Nsaba in 1890 and established the Church in 1890 in a temporary shelter. He was followed by Missionary Boehner. Jakob Sitzler was the third and probably the most influential Basel Missionary sent to Nsaba. He was a volunteer from 1894 to 1896 assisting the then resident Missionary, Boehner and became the full-time Missionary from 1896 to 1898. Together with Missionary Boehner and the Nsaba Community, he built the old church in 1894 and established the primary school, now Nsaba Presbyterian Primary School in 1894. A junior secondary school, now Presbyterian Junior Secondary School, was established in 1900.
According to Historian, Debrunner, during the first two decades of the 20th Century, the Nsaba outpost was considered the favourite of the Basel Missionaries in Ghana. This explained the considerable investment in education and agricultural extension and sanitation facilities at Nsaba made by these missionaries. The Basel Missionaries were expelled from Nsaba and other towns in Ghana in 1917 during the First World War by the British Colonial Government.
Due to its historical importance, Nsaba was given a British Post Mark in 1905. However, activities of German-speaking Christian Missionaries at Nsaba were becoming a bother to the British Colonial Authority in Ghana following the start of the First World War in 1914. Thus in 1917, during the First World War, the British Colonial Authority expelled all Swiss-German Basel Missionaries from the Gold Coast now Ghana. By 1917, Nsaba had become the pre-eminent Basel Missionary Christian Post in the Gold Coast and the British Colonial Authorities suspected that these Missionaries were acting as spies for the German Government. In 1929, the Pastor of the Church at Nsaba led a request to the British Colonial Office requesting the return of Swiss-German Basel Missionaries to Nsaba and other parts of the Gold Coast. The rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany in the 1930s alarmed the British of the presence of German-speaking people at Nsaba and other parts of the Gold Coast.
In 1931, a major disagreement arose among the Divisional Chiefs of the Agona State and this was tabled to the British Colonial Government for resolution. The British Colonial Government demoted the Nsaba Chief from his position as the Paramount Chief of the Agona State and installed the Chief of Agona Nyakrom as the new Paramount Chief of the Agona State in 1935 after a commission of enquiry was set up to investigate the issue. This was vehemently protested by Nsaba Chiefs and People but was rejected by the British Colonial Government.
In 1951, the Convention People's Party (CPP) led by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah won the first ever Legislative Elections and Dr. Nkrumah was elected Prime Minister of the Gold Coast under British Colonial Government in February 1951. This development came after extensive agitation by the People for self rule. The British Colonial Authorities insisted on two more national elections in 1954 and 1956 before independence was assented to on 6 March 1957. The CPP won one of the two Agona constituencies in the 1954 national election with the other seat going to the National Liberation Movement (NLM) which was sponsored by the Royal Family of Agona Nyakrom which traced its roots to the town of Nyakrom in the Ashanti Region. The NLM was also supported by the Asante Royal Family.
In order to win the crucial 1956 national election and usher in political independence for the Gold Coast (Ghana), Dr. Nkrumah personally negotiated a series of deals with Chiefs and People including prospective parliamentary candidates for the CPP to present a united front. This was done in several parts of the country. In order to win both the Agona West and Agona East constituencies, Dr. Nkrumah met representatives of the Agonas including chiefs and other key leaders and an agreement was reached that two paramountcies would be created for the Agona People when Ghana got independence in 1957. These paramountcies would be based at Nsaba and Nyakrom and individual town chiefs could choose to serve under Nsaba or Nyakrom. Dr. Nkrumah personally visited Nsaba and declared that Nsaba would be given its Paramountcy back if the CPP was returned to power.
With the clear victory by the CPP in the 1956 national election, the British Government agreed to give Gold Coast its political independence on 6 March 1957. In 1958, the new Government of the CPP by an Act of Parliament re-established Nsaba as a Paramount Seat of the Agona People and the majority of the Agona Town Chiefs returned to serve under Nsaba Chief.
Agona Nyakrom remained the second paramountcy seat. Thus since the formal creation of the Agona State in 1693, the Agonas had two paramount seats and two traditional areas: (1) Agona Nsaba Traditional Area and (2) Agona Nyakrom Traditional Area.
Further, in 1962, three local councils were created with their capitals at Agona-Swedru )Swedru Urban Council), at Agona Nyakrom (Nyakrom-Nkum Urban Council) and at Agona Nsaba (Agonaman Local Council for all other Agona Towns outside of Swedru, Nyakrom and Nkum). In 1965, Parliament created one more constituency for the Agona Area based at Nsaba making three in all for the area. Thus by the end of the reign of the CPP during the First Republic, the Agona Area had three local councils and three constituencies.
On Thursday 24 February 1966, the CPP Government under Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown in a military coup led by Lieutenant Colonel Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka and Major Akwasi Amankwa Afrifa who were both based in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region. After the 1966 military coup, certain sections of the Agona People agitated for the abolishing of the Nsaba Paramountcy Seat by the ruling military junta called the National Liberation Council (NLC). This was agreed to by the NLC and the Nsaba Paramountcy was abolished but was fiercely opposed by the Chiefs and People using legal means.
In early 1967, the National Liberation Council formally abolished the Nsaba Paramountcy Seat. A few months after this abolition decision, on 17 April 1967, a group of soldiers from the Ho Recce Mortar Regiment of the Ghana Army led by Captain Arthur, Captain Yeboah and Second Lieutenant Osei-Poku staged a military coup to overthrow the National Liberation Council. This coup almost succeeded. They captured key government installations in the capital city of Accra and executed Colonel Kotoka in front of the current Accra International Airport. The coup was foiled later in the day by loyalist troops.
The abortive coup of 17 April 1967 disorganised the NLC and brought increased tensions into the military junta whose major unifying force, Colonel Kotoka had been killed in the abortive military coup. In 1968 under increasing pressure from the Chiefs and People of Nsaba, the NLC issued a special decree to restore the Agona Nsaba Paramountcy Seat and reinstated the 1958 Act of Parliament that created the Agona Nsaba Paramountcy. Thus once again, the Agonas had two Paramountcies and two Traditional Areas.
In 1969 national elections were organised to usher in the Second Republic. The constituency of Agona East was restored with its capital at Nsaba. However, in 1971, under the centralisation drive of the Government of the Second Republic, the Agonaman Local Council based at Nsaba was abolished. This led to the gradual decay and death of the thriving Farmers' Market at Nsaba. In 1979 and 1982, the Agona East Constituency with its capital at Nsaba was formalised as part of the Third and Fourth Republican Constitution.
In 2008, the national government of Ghana created 26 more districts. This list was increased to 32 with the last district created being the Agona East district with its capital at Nsaba. The President of the Republic of Ghana who created the Agona East District under the powers of the Fourth Republican Constitution was Mr. John Agyekum Kufour. Mr. Kufour was incidentally the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Second Republic Government that abolished the Agonaman Local Council based at Nsaba.
The new Agona East District Assembly was inaugurated in the same office of the Agonaman Local Council built in 1962 and shown in the second picture above. The inauguration of the new Agona East District Assembly was done on 29 February 2012. This event reinforced the reputation of Nsaba as a place where whatever is taken away is sooner or later returned often by the very people who took the thing away or their representatives.
Agona Nsaba underwent rapid economic development from 1951 onwards with the instalment of the first African government in Ghana. These developments included the Agona Swedru to Akyem Oda road constructed in 1958, the establishment of a senior secondary school and the Agona Local Council both in 1962, and the supply of pipe borne water from the Agona Kwanyako Dam in 1965. Nsaba has a long history of environmental protection. For example, re-use of old refuse dumps and landfills for farming and gardening activities was done in the 1960s and 1970s in the Ankobea Ward near the major trunk road from Nsaba to Oda and wards such as Salem Ward.
The town, like most parts of Ghana, suffered considerable decay and decline after the first military coup which overthrew the government of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the Convention People's Party in February 1966. After a 20-year period of decline from 1966 to 1985, a period also marked by unresolved chieftaincy disputes in the town, town development efforts anchored around the use of communal labour were revived starting from 1986.
Since 1986, members of the Nsaba Community including its expatriate component, living in Ghana and overseas countries, have made significant attempts to revive the development of the town. One such development was the electricity supply to Nsaba from the national electricity grid which was completed in February 1987. This project was sponsored by town members based on communal labour and financial contributions. The Nsaba Community with the assistance of the National Government also established a district health centre with a maternity ward in 1999. Several new schools were opened in the town during the 1986-2011 period of development revival. These included the Islamic Primary and Junior Secondary Schools, the African Methodist Episcopical Zion Primary School and several kindergarten sponsored by various churches and a few privately-run schools. The Agona-Nsaba Citizens Association of Greater Accra (ANCAGA), an association of expatriate Nsaba citizens resident in Accra, the capital city of Ghana, also undertook several development projects in the town including the construction of a community centre. Various individuals have also made their own attempts to undertake various community development projects in the town over the last 20 years.
One such effort was the Nsaba Town Community Development Special Project coordinated by Professor Kwabena A. Anaman in five phases from August 1995 to August 2011 described above.
The list of Paramount Chiefs or Kings of Agona based at Nsaba from 1693 is as follows:
1. Nana Boabae Asiedu. The first King of the Agona State. He successfully repelled the invasion of the Agona State by King Ofori Panin and the Akyem Army in 1701.
2. Nana Boapia Afriyie
3. Nana Yaw Mintah. He led the Agona Army in the allied defeat of the Akwamu Empire.
4. Nana Awua Osani
5. Nana Kwamena Asomanin
6. Nana Yaw Duodu. He signed the 1844 Bond with the British Colonial Authority on behalf of the Agona State.
7. Nana Kofi Kontoh (picture shown on this website). He donated 37 acres of prime forest land to the Swiss-German Missionaries from Basel, Switzerland for the development of the Christian Church in 1884. The area of land is now called Salem Ward.
9. Nana Yaw Asomanin
10. Nana Kwaku Sam. He reigned from 1900 to 1905 and led the Agona Army as a squadron of the combined Gold Coast Army under the British Colonial Government to defeat the Asante Army in 1901 Yaw Asantewaa War.
11. Nana Kodwo Omenana.
12. Nana Yaw Yeboah
13. Nana Kwame Menano
14. Nana Kwabena Aboagye
15. Nana Kwabena Asare.
16. Nana Kwaku Asuah
17. Nana Afua Anyamah. She was the First Female Paramount Chief or Queen.
18. Nana Kwasi Nyame
6. MORE DESCRIPTION ABOUT NSABA INCLUDING ITS HISTORY
It is generally accepted based on archaeological-linked scientific evidence that human beings evolved as walking and talking apes between 50,000 to 100,000 years ago on the plains of East Africa. Early human beings distinguished themselves from other apes and mammals by their abilities to talk. They then spread themselves around the world including other parts of Africa. Archaeological evidence suggests that there were settlements along the coast of Ghana as far back as 30,000 years ago indicating that it took at least 20,000 years for early humans to reach Ghana from East Africa.
The evidence of traditional chieftaincy practices of the Effutu people in Ghana (based at Winneba, 40 kilometres from Nsaba) are identical to the practices of Ancient Egypt suggesting migration from this part of the world. The Effutus, like other Guan people in present day Ghana, are thought to have arrived in Ghana around 8th Century, much earlier than the more populous Akan-speaking people who arrived in present day Ghana possibly around the 12th or 13th Century.
The people of Nsaba are Agonas, a sub-group of the Akan ethic group. The Akans are the largest ethnic group in Ghana and a significantly large ethnic group in the neighbouring country of Ivory Coast (42%). The Akans, currently numbering about 12 million people (in year 2015), constitute about 47.5% of the current population of Ghana based on the final results of the 2010 Ghana Population and Housing Census. They have a traditional matrilineal system of lineage and culture.
One of the main identities of the Akan group are the day names given to children at birth which were discouraged by the Christian missionaries but now recognised by the local Churches. Weekly Church collections and dues are now often based on day-names with males and females born on the same day of the week collecting their monies together. This acts as a form of competition spurring greater donations for the Church. The seven matrilineal clan lineages and 40-day months are also important Akan identities.
The Ghana Statistical Service and the Government of Ghana Akans into about 15 sub-groups based on the Population Census format recognising Agonas as a distinct Akan sub-ethnic group. This classification was used for the various Population Censuses conducted in Ghana in 1948, 1960, 1970, 1984, 2000 and the more recent 2010 Census. Agonas are given a distinct numerical code of 01 for the Akan group separate from the Fante subgroup which has a numerical code of 14.
Based on the 2000 Population Census, Agonas were among the top 20 ethnic groups in Ghana, the 17th largest ethnic group in Ghana, accounting for about 1.4% of the entire population of Ghana. Agonas were also the second largest ethnic group in the Central Region of Ghana accounting for 6.2% of the population in the Region. Agonas are distinct from Fantes who accounted for 9.9% of the population of Ghana in 2000 compared to the largest group, Asantes (14.8% of the population in 2000) and the second largest group, Ewes (12.7% of the population in 2000).
The 2000 Ghana Population Census gives the following classifications related to ethnic groups as follows:
(1) Asantes, 14.8%; (2) Ewes, 12.7%; (3) Fantes, 9.9%; (4) Bonos including Bandas, 4.6%; (5) Dangmes, 4.3%; (6)Dagombas, 4.3%; (7) Dagartes, 3.7%; (8) Akyems, 3.4%; (9) Gas, 3.4%; (10) Akuapims, 2.9%; (11) Kokombas, 2.7%; (12) Nabdom, 2.4%; (13) Kusasi, 2.2%, (14) Kwahus, 1.9%; (15) Ahantas, 1.5%; (16) Wassas, 1.4%; (17) Agonas, 1.4%; (18) Gonjas, 1.2%; (19)Sefwis, 1.2%; (20) Nzemas, 1.2% and all other ethnic groups, 18.9%.
The Akans migrated into the present day tropical forest region of Ghana and Ivory Coast from the savannah region of northern West Africa around the 12th or 13th Century AD to preserve their matrilineal-based cultural system from advancing more militarily-powerful patrilineal-based groups. On arrival in the present day Ghana and Ivory Coast, the Akans split into different groups with some moving closer to the coastal areas near the Atlantic Ocean while other groups stayed in the middle forest belt region. Over time about 20 independent Akan subgroups or states emerged partly due to the geography and limited transportation infrastructure.
The key Akan groups are Agonas, Akwamus, Asantes, Fantes, Bonos, Akyems, Akuapims, Kwahu, Wassa, Ahanta, Nzemas, Assin, Denkyiras and Aowin. The Agona Kingdom, a relatively small state, emerged in 1693 as one of the independent Akan states with its capital at Agona Nsaba. The independence of Agona State during pre-colonial era was largely secured by strategic alliances with the Akwamus and Fante states against incursions from Akyems.
The common Akan language, the seven matrilineal clan lineages and other important identities remained the same across the various Akan subgroups though naturally different Akan language dialects emerged. There are currently four written dialects of the Akan language: Akuapim Twi, Asante Twi, Fante and Nzema. The Agona dialect is mainly a Twi dialect with some Fante minority expression. This is due to the fact that the Royal Families of most of the key Agona towns migrated from Twi-speaking areas. This migration pattern and the fact that the Agonas are sandwiched between Fante and Twi-speaking Akans has led to the development of this unique dialect.
7. HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN GHANA WITH EMPHASIS ON NSABA
Religions evolved with the evolution of apes into human beings in East Africa at least 50,000 years ago starting with traditional religions that enshrine a belief in a Supreme Being or God. Traditional religions primarily link human beings to a Divine Creator through intermediate deities or supra-normal beings emphasing the balance of human beings with nature including other animals. A major revolutionary change in religions emerged about 8,000 years ago (Sixth Century BC) in Persia (Iran) with the movement of Zoroastrianism founded by the Persian Prophet, Zoroaster or Zarathustra, anchored on the central belief of only one God (monotheism).
The key concepts of Zoroastrianism included a belief in one God which has a counterpart evil Being (Satan), the capacity of human beings to choose between right and wrong, confession of personal sins, post-life judgment of human beings incorporated in heaven and hell, the coming Saviour (Messiah), resurrection of the body, recital of prayers five times a day and the New Year Festival (Noruz). These concepts influenced the development of the major monotheistic World religions such as Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
Christianity first arrived on the soil of present day Ghana with the arrival of Portuguese traders and merchants in the last quarter of the 15th Century. Based on some historical accounts, there were some Christian followers among the citizens of ancient Ghana Empire, who mainly practised traditional African religions. Ancient Ghana Empire lasted for about 1,000 years from the 3rd Century AD to the 13th Century AD. Several groups in modern Ghana are believed to have migrated from the southern parts of the Ancient Ghana Empire (Debrunner, 1967). From the 15th Century AD, Christianity was mainly practised by European traders and children and a few local converts until the arrival of Swiss-German Basel missionaries in 1828 when full evangelical work was directed at the indigenous people.
Agona Nsaba was one of the towns settled by the Basel Missionaries. The town is an important religious centre with at least 40 Christian Church denominations and a small but significant Muslim community having a permanent presence in the town. The town is considered to be one of the five main Presbyterian Church towns in Ghana and is the headquarters of the Central Region Presbyterian Church. The 1982 and 1991 Synods were held in the town with the 1982 Synod remembered for its major resolutions.
The Basel Missionaries were the first Christian missionaries of European descent to settle and work at Nsaba starting around 1890. After the establishment of the Basel Church in the town, other Christian Churches also established their missions such as the Methodist Church of the Wesleyan Missionary Society of Great Britain and the Roman Catholic Church. Several Christian Churches of African origin also exist in the town such as the Musama Disco Christo Church, an offshoot of the Methodist Church.
Traditional religious beliefs centred on the concept of one God with lower influential deities remain a cornerstone of the cultural system. Debrunner (1967) argued that the lower influential deities and gods were strictly speaking tutelar spirits or guardian angels subservient to the Supreme Being or God. Nsaba was one of the towns the early Basel Christian missionaries worked closely with local traditional healers and religious priests. An example is an account of Kwame Oppon, a traditional healer who treated some of the early missionaries as published in the German language by Friedrich Hermann Fischer (1991, pp. 506-507). The early Akan version of the Bible also contained several traditional religious names and identities.
A common Akan cultural institution adopted by the early Christian missionaries and still used is the “Asafo” system. The traditional Asafo system was made up of youths organised around companies whose members were called upon on very short notice to participate in a variety of community and traditional state activities. Asafo company members had to be always prepared to be called upon to participate in a range of activities at any time. These activities included traditional festivals, community development projects, town security activities such as defending the population against attacks from wild animals from the forests entering human settlements. The Asafo companies also acted as the voluntary army in times of wars.
At Nsaba and other places in Ghana, Christian missionaries invoked the Asafo institutional concept to establish the “Kristo Asafo” or “Elders of the Church of Christ” and “Kristo Asafomma” or “the Army of Christ’s Followers” as a rallying point for conversion and spread of Christianity in Ghana similarly to the concept of the Salvation Army. The Asafo concept also probably influenced Lord Baden Powell, the founder of the Boys Scout Movement in the establishment of that organisation. Lord Powell was the Deputy Commander of the British Army Division based in the Gold Coast (now Ghana) which finally defeated the Army of the Asante Empire in 1901 directly commanded by Queen Mother Yaa Asantewaa. Lord Baden Powell returned to London a few months after the 1901 war and established the Boys Scout Movement a short while later.
Several symbols of the traditional Asafo system and other local cultural institutions have also been adopted by local Ghanaian evangelists and pastors of various Pentecostal Churches to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For example, several well-known traditional Asafo war songs and chants have been adapted as Christian songs. These adapted songs are often sung at open-air mass Church meetings or evangelical services to mobilise and prepare the crowd for the main events: the delivery of sermons and faith healing.
7.2 Basel Missionaries’ Activities at Nsaba
The Basel Missionaries settled in Nsaba in 1890 and made it one of their most important outposts in the tropical forest region of Ghana. Land for the Nsaba Basel mission was acquired from the Paramount Chief and a Basel Missionary Church outpost was established in the town in 1884 (Debrunner, 1967). W. Roman was the first missionary to be posted to the town followed by Missionary Boehner and then Jakob Sitzler and his wife from 1894 to 1898. The Sitzlers built the Old Church and Missionary Headquarters with the Nsaba Community around 1894 to establish the local Church. These structures still exist. The Old Church building was renovated in November 2011 by the Government of Ghana as part of activities for the hosting of the 27th Ghana National Farmers' day at Nsaba on 2 December 2011.
In 1914, the Nsaba Congregation was the second largest of the Basel Churches in Ghana (Presbyterian Church of Ghana, 1992; Debrunner, 1967). The largest Basel Church was at Akropong in the Akuapim Region where the Basel Missionaries first settled in 1828 after their entry to Ghana. The choice of Akropong area was due to the relatively cold weather in that area. The first group of missionaries who arrived in 1828 did not survive due to tropical diseases. A second group arrived in the 1840s made up of some West Indians were able to establish effectively the Church in the Akuapim region. The late entry of the missionaries to the forest region was probably due to the difficulty in adapting to hotter and more humid climate.
The Basel missionaries established several educational institutions in Nsaba such as the Primary School in 1894. They also built a Special Post-Primary School for Boys in 1900 (now the Presbyterian Junior Secondary School; a mixed school) which has educated many prominent people who have served in various positions in Ghana and overseas. These people include several national Government Ministers and Special Advisors such as Brigadier Nunoo-Mensah, the current National Security Advisor of the former President of the Republic of Ghana, Professor John Evans Atta Mills.
A Special Post-Primary School for Girls was also later built. Initially this post-primary school was part of the Boys’ School established in 1900 but it was later moved to adjacent area. The Special School for Girls was converted to a mixed Training College in 1962 and later to a Senior Secondary School in 1972. The Basel missionaries also established several on-farm trials on gardens of Christian converts living near the Mission Station for introduced tropical crops from South America and established bore water supply system.
The Basel Missionaries were expelled by the British Colonial Authority during the First World War because the Gold Coast (now Ghana) was a British colony and Britain was at war with Germany so missionaries of German descent were expelled from many British colonies (Presbyterian Church of Ghana, 1992). The last Basel Evangelical Missionary, Reverend Henking left Nsaba in 1917. After the expulsion of the Basel missionaries, their work was undertaken by Scottish Presbyterian missionaries from Great Britain. A few Basel Missionaries were readmitted to Ghana to work in the Asante Region in the mid-1920s. In 1926, the Scottish Missionary Church and the remnants of the Basel Missionary Church merged to form the independent Presbyterian Church in the country (Debrunner, 1967).
In 1929 Presbyters and Catechists of 36 Congregations in Agona and Akyem areas under the Pastor of Nsaba petitioned the Colonial Office in London through the Governor of the Gold Coast to formally protest the expulsion of the Basel missionaries and requested their return to assist local African evangelists working in Nsaba and other areas of the Gold Coast. In 1931, the London Colonial Office approved the return of the Basel missionaries to the Gold Coast and Reverend Henking returned to Nsaba from Basel to resume his duty in 1933. However in 1939, at the beginning of the Second World War, missionaries of German descent especially the Basel and the Bremen missionaries, were imprisoned and later deported from the Gold Coast.
7.3. Relationship Between Early Christianity and Traditional Religions
The apparent close relationship between some of the early Christian missionaries and local traditional healers and medical practitioners at Nsaba and other areas of Ghana appeared to have been driven by a number of factors. Firstly, tropical diseases and the lack of effective drugs from Europe to deal with them took a heavy toll on the missionaries. As such the missionaries turned to local healers for treatment of various illnesses. In addition, several of the missionaries were botanists and showed some interest in working with local healers to understand the medicinal properties of various plants of the tropical forests. It was therefore not surprising that in several areas, some of the Christian missionaries recruited some traditional healers and religious priests as Church Elders, a practice now discouraged by modern Ghanaian Churches.
Secondly, the missionaries could not fully understand the cultural and environmental systems of the tropical forests especially those rules and regulations dealing with several wild animal species some of which have now become extinct due to increasing encroachment of the forests through human activities. For example, at Nsaba, it was well known of repeated appearances and sightings often at nights at the boundary of the forests and human settlements of several species of rare animals such as the humanoid apes (Sasabonsam) and dwarfs (mmoatia) especially around the edge of the forest behind the two Post-Primary Schools. Eye witnesses including graduates of both Post-Primary Schools indicated that these animals would come and bang violently on the doors of their dormitories of the boarding houses resulting in screams from students which permeated the town. This sometimes brought the immediate mobilisation of the local Asafo company to patrol the area in an attempt to drive away these creatures.
A major philosophical conflict between traditional African religions and early Christianity centred on the question of whether certain non-human animal species have values or hold values and therefore ought to be compensated for the loss of their environment through human economic activities or destructive actions. Traditional healers and religious priests maintained that such compensations were necessary to pacify these creatures quite similar to the compensation criteria of human legal systems and also to limit the destruction of ecosystems and habitats of these animals. This position was not formally accepted by the Christian Church though several of the early missionaries especially the botanists attempted to understand it.
Thirdly, despite the earlier assertion of close cooperation between some missionaries and traditional religious priests, many Christian missionaries considered traditional African religions as strictly paganism of the Old Testament variety especially in the area of spiritual objects. Traditional religions considered selected environmental resources such as rare species of plants and animals and rivers and lakes as places or assets where spirits and deities might reside temporarily with the capacity to move from place to place.
Destruction of these plants and animals for human development therefore often required some form of compensation through the sacrifices to compensate the deities which used these places as temporary residential places. Many Christian missionaries and local evangelists regarded this phenomenon as an indicator of paganism or animism. However some local Ghanaian evangelists have integrated many rules and rituals of traditional religions into their Churches, for example, the “Osofo-Komfo” Religious Movement founded by the late K. Damuah, a former Roman Catholic priest.
In general, the multi-component nature of traditional religions was not fully understood. The functions of traditional healers and religious practitioners were varied and included (a) experts of herbal medicine involved in the treatment of various sicknesses and ailments such as fractures and many psychotic disorders; (b) working with traditional rulers in the design, improvement and enforcement of safeguards for protection of rare plants and animals and other environmental resources such as rivers and streams; (c) exercising traditional judicial powers in resolving interpersonal conflicts and/or conferring punishments on lawbreakers, (d) exercising para-normal and extra-sensory powers and (e) and as custodians of traditional religions. Traditional religious priests were predominantly women, a factor used by some members of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana to argue for the ordination of women as priests in that Church.
Not all traditional healers or medicine men perform all the five functions described above. Some traditional healers are strictly traditional herbal medical practitioners or traditional psychics. These include modern doctors who have incorporated traditional herbal medicine into their modern practice as is widely done in China as an alternative institutional health delivery system. In Ghana, a traditional herbal medicine research institute financed by the Government has been set up at Mampong in the Akuapim area. In addition, the Ghana Traditional Healers and Psychics Association, made up of traditional and modern healers has been recognised by the Government and active especially since independence in 1957.
With these regards to the five main functions of traditional healers and religious priests, many Christian missionaries generally did not differentiate the first two objectives from the others. Nevertheless some Christian missionaries understood the multi-component nature of traditional religions and supported use of traditional medicine and related environmental protection.
Concerning judicial functions of traditional religious priests, this is one area where several early Christian missionaries of African descent undertook dialogue with traditional religious priests and appealed to them directly for clemency and forgiveness for people who committed serious violations of traditional laws. The exercise of extra-sensory powers by traditional medicine men in non-European cultures has been widely reported since the 19th Century by European travellers and Christian missionaries (Orbis Publishing Limited, 1996; Douglas, 1977).
Psychics are used for selected police investigations in Australia and other developed countries including the tracking of missing people. An example was the 1996 case involving a missing person whose body was found in Botany Bay area of Sydney. With regards to the religious component of traditional culture and religion, the acceptance of one Supreme Being was well known. The Supreme Being was the most important deity and the final arbiter of all human matters whose name was mentioned first in the pouring of libations. However traditional religions allowed for existence and worship of other lower powerful deities.
Fritz Ramseyer, a leading Basel missionary who worked in Ghana, wrote in the early 1900s that the native people had widespread belief in God. The challenge of the Christian Church to him was to convince the natives to appeal directly to God through His Son, Jesus Christ instead of appealing through a hierarchical step of lower-powerful deities. Ramseyer concluded that such an understanding of traditional religions would ensure a promising future for Christianity in Ghana and Africa. Local Christian evangelists have adapted and improvised Ramseyer’s message. They indicate that God as a Spirit has a Channel and Frequency. Christians, they argue, should directly appeal to God (bypassing the Intermediate Agents of Deities) through persistent prayers, fasting and faith in Jesus Christ (for example, Acquah and Asante, 1992).
This message has also been taken up by some prominent local musicians such as C.K. Mann. His early musical albums shot Mann into major prominence in Ghana. He was crowned the “King of Highlife” in Ghana in 1972. Highlife is a popular musical style in West Africa especially Ghana and Nigeria. It is a mix of traditional African music fused with jazz and more recently with reggae from Jamaica. Mann’s album “Party Time with Cee Kay” contained a popular tract in which he exhorted people to worship God directly through establishing direct links bypassing intermediate agents.
The extensive privatisation of water services and basic health services in Ghana over the last 30 years have led to high service charges and hospital fees which are often beyond the financial means of many rural poor. Increasingly more rural people are quietly using the services of traditional healers, herbalists and religious priests and traditional birth attendants to address their needs while maintaining their Christian identity through regular Church attendances.
The increasing use of the services of these traditional indigenous health professionals makes it an economic imperative for the traditional health services to be modernised especially in the improvement of the hygienic aspects. One way of enhancing these services is through the supply of safe drinking water to the homes of traditional religious priests, healers, herbalists and birth attendants for use by these people in the preparation of herbal medicines and also for use by resident patients. Our Phase 2 project included a subproject which involved the supply of pipe borne water to the homes of traditional healers and birth attendants.
8. IMPORTANT TIME LINES OF HISTORICAL EVENTS CONCERNING NSABA AND AGONA PEOPLE FROM 1600 TO DATE.
1. 1400: Early known human settlement in the town possibly by isolated remnants of Guan Peoples, Awutus and Effutus, who migrated to the present day Ghana earlier than the Akans groups such as Agonas.
2. 1500: Nsaba developed into a village settlement of dozens of huts by dozens of Akan migrants from Akwamu and Tekyiman.
3. 1693: Nsaba was chosen as the Paramountcy Seat of the Agona People with its Royal Dwumana Chief declared Omanhene of Agona State.
4. 1701: The Agona Army defeated the Akyem Army under King Ofori Panin The First after the latter had invaded Agona.
5. 1730: Agona Army allied with the Akyems, Akuapims, Guan-Akuapims and Gas defeat their Overlord, the Akwamus.
6. 1826: Agona Army joined the Gold Coast British Allied Army to defeat the Asantes in the Battle of Katamanso in the second Asante-British War.
7. 1844: Nana Yaw Duodu, the Omanhene of Agona State signed the Bond of Friendship with the British. He actually went to Cape Coast to sign it in November 1844 after the original agreement was promulgated on 6 March 1844.
8. 1863: The Agonas sent a contingent to join the British Allied Army on the Gold Coast that went to war with the Asante Army in the Bobikuma War which the Allied Army lost. This was the third Asante-British War.
9. 1873: The Agona Army successfully resisted the invasion of a contingent of the Asante Army led by General Opoku Fofie at Nsaba and Kwanyako. The 1873 invasion was sanctioned by King Kofi Karikari to force Agona State and other states into the Asante Empire.
10. 1873-74: The Agonas sent a contingent of troops to join the British Allied Army that invaded the Asante State in the Sagrenti War which led to capture of Kumasi and defeat of the Asantes and subsequent dethroning of King Kofi Karikari. This was the Fourth Asante-British War.
11. 1884: King Kofi Kontoh, on behalf of the Agona State and the Oyoko Clan Family of Nsaba, donated 37 acres of prime forest land to the Swiss-German Christian Missionaries from Basel to establish a branch of the Evangelical Church of Switzerland and Germany at Nsaba.
12. 1890: The first Swiss-German Basel Missionary, W. Roman settled at Nsaba and established the Evangelical Basel Church in a temporary shelter.
13. 1894: Swiss-German Basel Missionary, Jakob Sitzler arrived at Nsaba as a volunteer to assist Missionary Boehner, the Second Basel Missionary to settle at Nsaba.
14. 1894: Work started on the Basel Missionary Headquarters at Nsaba.
15. 1894: Work started on the construction of the old chapel at Nsaba by the Basel Missionaries.
16. 1894: Work started on the construction of the Nsaba Primary School and the Teachers' Flats by the Basel Missionaries.
17. 1896: A contingent of Agona Troops joined the British Gold Coast Allied Army in the invasion of Asante in the Fifth Asante-British War which led to the defeat of the Asantes.
18. 1898: Missionary Jakob Sitzler left Nsaba after four years stay, two years as a volunteer and two years as a missionary. Jakob Sitzler was probably the greatest Christian missionary or priest or pastor, Ghanaian or non-Ghanaian, who worked at Nsaba.
19. 1900: The Basel Missionaries completed the construction and inauguration of a junior secondary school at Nsaba which was also a boarding school.
20. 1905: Nsaba was granted a British Postal Service Postmark recognising it as a postal destination.
21. 1914: The Nsaba Basel Missionaries Church became the second largest of the Basel Churches in Ghana after the Akropong Presbytery.
22. 1917: The Basel Missionaries were expelled by the British Colonial Authorities from the Gold Coast including Nsaba.
23. 1930: The construction of the Nsaba Central Farmers' Market was completed by the Omanhene.
24. 1931: Several divisional or Town Chiefs of the Agona State formally rebelled against the Omanhene of Agona based at Nsaba.
25. 1935: The British Colonial Authority demoted Nsaba Chief as the Omanhene of Agona State.
26. 1951: Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) won the Legislative Elections organised by the British Colonial Government. Agona voters voted massively for the CPP.
27. 1954: The CPP won the national elections for Parliament but won only one of the two Agona seats. The other seat was won by the National Liberation Movement (NLM). The NLM was supported by the Royal Family from Agona Nyakrom who traced their ancestry directly from Nyakrom in the present day Ashanti region.
28. 1954: The Agona Local Council was set up as a local government entity.
29. 1956: Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the CPP won the national parliamentary elections. The CPP won both Agona Constituencies (seats)
30. 1957: Ghana gained independence from Great Britain on 6 March.
31. 1958: The Parliament of Ghana enacted an Act to restore the Traditional Paramount Seat for Nsaba abolished by the British Colonial Government in 1935. Thus for the first time since the Agona State was formally established as a Paramount Traditional Area in 1695, there were two traditional seats of power in the Area. These were (1) Agona Nsaba Traditional Area and Paramountcy and (2) Agona Nyakrom Traditional Area and Paramountcy.
32. 1958: The government completed the construction of the Agona Swedru-Akyem Oda which passed through Nsaba.
33. 1960: Ghana was formally declared a Republic after the Presidential Elections won by Dr. Nkrumah. Both Agona constituencies voted massively for Dr. Nkrumah.
34. 1962: The Agonaman Local Council was established at Nsaba as its headquarters. Two other local councils were established for Agonas: The Agona Swedru Urban and the Agona Nyakrom-Agona Nkum Urban Council.
35. 1962: The Presbyterian Training College was established at Nsaba.
36. 1964: The referendum for one-party state was approved with overwhelming support from Agona Voters.
37. 1965: A third constituency was created for Agonas by President Kwame Nkrumah based at Nsaba making a total of three constituencies for the Agona Area.
38. 1965: Modern pipe-borne water supply system established at Nsaba and other major Agona towns after the completion of the Agona Kwanyako Dam.
39. 1966: A military coup overthrew the government of CPP. All political parties were banned and the constituencies abolished.
40. 1967: The Agona Nsaba Traditional Paramountcy Seat or Omahene Position was abolished by the military junta, the National Liberation Council (NLC).
41. 1968: The NLC enacted a special decree to restore the Agona Nsaba Paramountcy or Omanhene after a very intensive campaign by the Chiefs and People of Nsaba using all available legal means. Thus once again the Agona State had two Paramount Chieftaincy Seats at (1) Agona Nsaba and (2) Agona Nyakrom.
42. 1968: The construction of the new post office building was completed at Nsaba after the delay caused by the 1966 military coup. The construction was largely done using communal labour and resources of the local people.
43. 1969: The Agona East Constituency was established with headquarters at Nsaba following the promulgation of the 1969 Second Republican Constitution. Majority of Agona East voters chose the Progress Party (PP) parliamentary candidate, Mr. J.A. Anyan.
Agona Nsaba voters were told that if they did not support the PP candidate the Paramountcy returned by the NLC would be abolished. A special durbar of chiefs and people of Nsaba were held in the town in 1969 to deliver the message from the NLC government. Thus Nsaba voters switched from the All People Republican Party (APRP) to vote for PP.
44. 1969: The PP Government which won the parliamentary elections enacted and enforced the Aliens Compliance Order forcing hundreds of West African nationals especially Nigerians out of Ghana in October 1969. Several Nigerians living at Nsaba especially in the Zongo Area of the town were forced to leave and sold their properties and stores at bargain prices to local Nsaba people.
45. 1971: The PP Government abolished the Agonaman Local Council in October as part of centralisation drive where the 700 local councils of the First Republic were replaced with about 60 district councils.
46. 1972: The PP Government was overthrown in a military coup by Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong on 13 January, three months after the abolition of the Agonaman Local Council based at Nsaba.
47. 1976: Agona Cocoa District including Nsaba confirmed its position as the fourth largest cocoa production district in Ghana after Tepa, Sunyani and Kumasi Cocoa Districts. Ghana was the leading producer of cocoa in the world during that year.
48. 1977: One of the worst droughts in the history of Ghana occurred. This drought is now known to have been linked to the most severe form of the El Nino Southern Oscillation Phenomenon (ENSO) recorded. Production of major crops at Nsaba declined and people resorted to harvesting of bush fruits for survival.
49. 1979: Junior officers of the Ghana Armed Forces overthrew the government of the Supreme Military Council on 4 June. Elections were held in August which were won by the People’s National Party (PNP), an offshoot of the CPP. The Agona East Constituency seat was won by the PNP. The 15 seats in the Central Region were split between the PNP and the Action Congress Party (ACP) led by Colonel Frank Bernasko, a native of Cape Coast. Incidentally, ACP won all the seven core Fante seats of the Central Region. The PNP won the eight seats belonging to the Agonas, Assins and Denkyiras in the Central Region.
50. 1982: The Synod of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana was held at Nsaba.
51. 1983: The worst drought in the history of Ghana occurred. This drought is now known to have been linked to the ENSO phenomenon. Production of major crops at Nsaba declined and people resorted to harvesting of bush fruits for survival.
52. 1987: Nsaba was connected for the first time to the national electricity grid system in February since the completion of the Akosombo Dam in January 1966. The connection to the national grid was made possible through large financial contributions and provision of communal labour by Agona Nsaba citizens living in Ghana and overseas.
53. 1991: The Synod of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana was held at Nsaba. This Synod was known for the major decisions related to the reform of the Church.
54. 1992: Ghana returned to multi-party democratic governance with the holding of national elections in November and December ushering in the Fourth Republic. The majority of Agona East voters supported the National Democratic Congress (NDC) party of the military leader, Flight-Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings. The NDC also won the Agona East parliamentary seat.
55. 1995: A special development project initiative called the Nsaba Ghana Community Projects which aimed at improving the water supply, environmental sanitation and health status of the people of Nsaba was launched by Dr. Kwabena A. Anaman, with funds from several Churches and Schools from Sydney, Australia.
56. 1996: The second national elections under the Fourth Republic were held in December. The majority of Agona East voters chose the NDC party for both the Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
57. 1998: The Nsaba Ghana Community Projects initiative completed the establishment of pipe-borne water supply to 10 public kindergarten, primary and junior secondary schools at Nsaba involving laying over three kilometres of pipe line.
58. 2000: The third national elections under the Fourth Republic were held in December. The majority of Agona East voters rejected the NDC party and supported the candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. John Agyekum Kufour. This was partly due to the bold promise made by Mr. Kufour during the year at Nsaba that he would renovate the dilapidated Nsaba Central Market if elected to power. The NDC however retained the Agona East Parliamentary seat.
59. 2004: The fourth national elections under the Fourth Republic were held in December. The NPP won both the Presidential and Parliamentary elections at Agona East Constituency.
60. 2008: On 29 February, the newly-created Agona East District Assembly was inaugurated at Nsaba. Thus local government was returned to Nsaba after 37 years absence.
61. 2008: The Nsaba Ghana Community Projects initiative completed the construction of four modern toilet facilities for junior secondary schools at Nsaba with the last one constructed for the Nsaba Islamic Junior Secondary School. The three earlier ones were constructed in 2000, 2002 and 2004.
62. 2008: The fifth national elections under the Fourth Republic were held in December. The NPP Parliamentary candidate retained his seat by a mere 34 votes. However, the NDC Presidential Candidate, Professor John Evans Atta Mills won the Presidential Election in the constituency by about 1,500 votes out of a total of about 30,000 valid votes cast. Professor Mills also won the country-wide national election and became President of the Republic of Ghana on 7 January 2009.
63. 2011: The Nsaba Ghana Community Projects initiative formally ended in August after 16 years. The Projects built a modern toilet facility for the Nsaba Presbyterian Church, connected pipe borne water supply to the Nsaba Mosque of the Muslim Community and also connected pipe borne water supply to two more traditional healers in addition to the first traditional healer supplied with pipe borne water in 1998.
64. 2011: The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana passed a resolution in its meeting in August to remove the Central Presbytery Office from Nsaba to Cape Coast. The resolution which was quietly sneaked into the list of resolutions of the Meeting was taken without any consultation with the Central Presbytery Office of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, the local Nsaba Church and the People and Chiefs of Nsaba. Further, no reason was assigned for the propose move which was to take effect in 2013. It was a revival of a similar move proposed at the 1991 Synod of the Church which was quickly quashed after a fierce protest by the Nsaba Church.
Some Agona Nsaba citizens and other Agonas believed that the resolution to move the Central Presbytery from Agona Nsaba was motivated largely on ethnic grounds due to Agonas being a small minority ethnic group in Ghana and was an attempt to marginalise Agona People.
65. 2011: The National Farmers’ Day of the Republic of Ghana was held for the first time in Agona Area at Nsaba on 2 December. It attracted thousands of visitors and farmers from all over the country and was chaired by the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, Mr. John Dramani Mahama.
66. 2011: In December, the Local Congregation of the Nsaba Presbyterian Church informed individual members of the Church resident outside Nsaba of the decision by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana to remove the Central Presbytery from Nsaba which was taken in August 2011. The decision was taken without any consultation with the Nsaba Church or its members.
67: 2011: Protest action against the proposed move of the Central Presbytery from Nsaba was started in December with a series of letters of protest sent directly to the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana against the move.
68. 2011: The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana visited Nsaba in Ghana in December after his receipt of protest letters from several Nsaba individuals to inform the Nsaba Congregation of the proposed move of the Central Presbytery. The proposal was strongly and unanimously rejected by the Nsaba Congregation in his presence.
69. 2012: A worldwide campaign against the proposed move of the Central Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana was launched in January with one of its Internet host bases as the Nsaba Ghana Community Project website.
70: 2012: A new modern seven-classroom block was commissioned for the Nsaba Islamic Junior Secondary School in January by the former President of the Republic of Ghana, Flight-Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings. The building was a gift donated by Brigadier-General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, National Security Advisor of the President of the Republic of Ghana and an old boy of the Nsaba Presbyterian Junior Secondary School.
71. 2012: The Boundaries Committee of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana met the Nsaba Congregation and the Nsaba Traditional Council at Nsaba to discuss the actual implementation of the proposed move of the Central Presbytery from Nsaba on 4 May.
The Nsaba Congregation and the Nsaba Traditional Council welcomed the Commission to the meeting at the Church but steadfastly refused to discuss any issue concerning the implementation of the proposed move. They argued that since the Presbyterian Church of Ghana did not even consult the local Church before its decision to move the Central Presbytery in August 2011, this was against natural justice and gross disrespect of the Nsaba Church and the People and Chiefs of Nsaba given the immense sacrifices made by Nsaba People to establish the Presbyterian Church of Ghana in 1922 and the spread of the Church in Ghana.
72. 2012: A new classroom complex for the Nsaba Presbyteriann Junior High School (formerly known as the Nsaba Boarding School) was commissioned by the Central Regional Minister on 10 November 2012 during the festivities marking the Traditional Akwambo Festival of the People of Agona Nsaba.
The new school building replaced the original building constructed in 1900 by the People of Agona Nsaba and the Basel Missionary Church of Switzerland. The old building was partially destroyed by severe rainfall on 18 June 2010. The construction of the new building complex which was financed by the Ghana Education Trust was undertaken largely under the initiative of Brigadier Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, the National Security Adviser of the President of Ghana.
73. 2012: On 7 December 2012, parliamentary and presidential elections were held throughout Ghana. The presidential election was won by Mr. John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). The Agona East parliamentary election was won by Mrs. Queenstar Mame Pokuah Sawyerr of NDC. She unseated the previous Member of Parliament who belonged to the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
74. 2013: Mrs. Queensland Mame Pokuah Sawyerr, the newly-elected Member of Parliament for Agona East was appointed the Deputy Regional Minister for the Central Region by the President of the Republic of Ghana in March.
75. 2013: On 9 March a seven-member Executive Team of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana lead by the Moderator, Professor Emmanuel Martey met representatives of the Agona Nsaba Traditional Council and the Agona Nsaba Local Presbyterian Church to discuss issues dealing with the local Church and the Central Presbytery.
The meeting which started around 11am lasted for about two hours. The Moderator announced the proposed move of the Central Presbytery Office from Agona Nsaba to Cape Coast announced by the Presbyterian Church of Ghana has been suspended after a review initiated by the local Agona Nsaba Presbyterian Church and the Agona Nsaba Traditional Council. The worldwide campaign mounted by various Agona Nsaba Citizen Associations around the world against the proposed move by the Presbyterian Church of Ghana had achieved its primary objective.
During the meeting which was held at the Agona Nsaba Presbyterian Senior Secondary School, issues involving the increased resourcing of the Agona Nsaba Presbyterian Church and the Central Presbytery were also discussed. Historical and political factors such as the removal of several local councils from the Agona Area after the 1966 military coup, the relative depopulation of Agona towns due to the severe deprivation of Agona Area and its people after the 1966 coup, the efficiency of use of donated monies especially those coming from Disaporian citizens and the demographic patterns of movement of people in the Ghana and in particular the Central Region and their effects on membership of Christian Churches such as the Presbyterian Church of Ghana were also discussed.
9. THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY AT NSABA IS ILLUSTRATED WITH PICTURES FROM THE BASEL MISSIONARIES' ARCHIVES SHOWING THE DEVELOPMENT OF NSABA SALEM RESIDENTIAL WARD AND THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH AND SCHOOL FACILITIES. THESE PICTURES WERE TAKEN FROM AROUND 1890 TO 1898. COPIES OF THE PICTURES WERE PURCHASED BY DR. KWABENA A. ANAMAN DURING HIS TWO-DAY RESEARCH VISIT TO BASEL MISSIONARIES' HEADQUARTERS, BASEL, SWITZERLAND IN SEPTEMBER 1994. THE PICTURES ARE ILLUSTRATED BELOW.
Picture 1: The development of the old Presbyterian Church (on the left) completed in 1894. On the right is the Presbyterian Primary School building completed in 1894 attended by the Coordinator of the Nsaba Ghana Community Projects starting in 1960. Further behind the Primary School is the house for the Pastor.
Picture 2: The old Church building which was completed in 1894. This building was renovated by the Government of Ghana in November 2011 as part of the activities of the 27th Ghana National Farmers' Day held at Nsaba on 2 December 2011 and attended by the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana and many other key government personalities.
Picture 3: Basel Missionaries Jakob Sitzler and his wife who worked at Nsaba from 1894 to 1898.
Picture 4: The King (Paramount Chief) of Agona State in front of his palace at Nsaba. Picture taken around 1894. The King was Nana Kofi Kontoh.
Picture 5: Basel Missionaries Mr. and Mrs. Sitzler in their study room at the Basel Missionaries' house. Picture taken around 1894.
Picture 6: Basel Missionaries' House Complex under construction at Nsaba. Picture taken around 1894. The house complex still stands and is currently being used as the National Lay Training Centre of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and is the Headquarters Office of the Central Regional Chapter of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana.
Picture 7: The fully completed Basel Missionaries' House Complex. Picture taken between 1894 to 1896.
Picture 8: Mrs. (Frau) Sitzler with five house servants at the Basel Missionaries' House Complex. Picture taken between 1894 to 1896. The lady seated second on the right from Mrs. Sitzler is the paternal grandmother of Dr. Kwabena A. Anaman and the lady on the far right is the maternal grandmother of Mr. Alex Hanson-Manful, Mrs. Rosina Mansa Bediako.
10. EXHIBIT: ARCHIVAL INFORMATION INDICATING THAT TRADITIONAL HERBALIST KWAME OPPON OF AGONA NSABA TREATED BASEL MISSIONARIES AT AGONA NSABA IN THE 19TH CENTURY. THIS EVIDENCE IS CONTAINED IN THE WORK BY FRIEDRICH HERMANN FISCHER PAGES 506 AND 507. THE FIRST TWO PAGES OF THIS EXHIBIT INDICATE THE LITERATURE SOURCE.
11. CITED REFERENCES AND BIBILIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
Acquah, G.I. and Asante, I.E.K. (1992). How to Get God’s Attention. All Saints Ministries, Agona-Swedru, Ghana, 19 pp.
Adu-Boahen, A. (1971) Topics in West African History, Longman, London.
Afrifah, Kofi (2000) The Akyem Factor in Ghana's History 1700-1875, Ghana Universities Press, Accra, Ghana, 259 pp.
Anaman, Kwabena A. (1996). Report to Financial Contributors and Supporters of the Agona-Nsaba Town Development Special Project Undertaken in December 1995 and January 1996 at Agona-Nsaba, Agona District, Ghana, (14th February), 38 pp.
Anaman, Kwabena A. (1998). Agona-Nsaba Town Community Development Special Project Phase 2 Undertaken from January to June 1998 at Agona-Nsaba, Agona District, Ghana: Report to Financial Contributors, Supporters and Beneficiaries, 81 pp.
Anaman, Kwabena A. (2004). Nsaba Town Community Development Special Project Phase 3 Undertaken from 1999 to 2004 at Nsaba, Agona District, Ghana - Construction of Modern Toilet Facilities for Public Junior Secondary Schools and Activities Dealing with Construction, Renovation and Maintenance of Public School Buildings: Final Report to Financial Contributors, Supporters and Beneficiaries, 39 pp.
Anquandah, J.K. (2006) The Splendour of Traditional Art, http://www.ghanaculture.gov.gh/modules/mod_pdf.php?sectionid=506, accessed 27 September 2014.
Balmer, William Turnbull (1926) A History of the Akan Peoples of the Gold Coast, Atlantis Press, London, 208 pp.
Bempah, Kofi (2010). Traditional Religion of the Akan People of Ghana, Booksurge Publishing, Charleton, South Carolina, United States, 305 pp. http://wwww.akantraditionalreligion.com
Davidson, B. (1972). History of Africa. Spring Books, London, Great Britain.
Debrunner, H.W. (1967). A History of Christianity in Ghana. Waterville Publishing House, Accra, Ghana, 375 pp.
Douglas, A. (1977). Extra-Sensory Powers: A Century of Psychical Research. The Overlook Press, New York, U.S.A., 392 pp.
Ellis, Alfred Burdon (1894) A History of the Gold Coast of West Africa, Chapman and Hall, London, 400 pp.
Fischer, Friedrich Hermann (1991). Der Missionarzt Rudolf Fisch und die Anfange Medizinischer Arbeit der Basler Mission an der Goldkuste (Ghana), Verlag Murken-Altrogge, Hezogenrath. Available from Basel Mission Archives, Basel, Switzerland.
Ghana Statistical Service (2014) 2010 Population and Housing Census: District Analytical Report - Agona East District, Ghana Statistical Service, Accra, 67 pp.
Hinnels, J.R. (editor; 1997). Zoroastrianism. The Penguin Dictionary of Religions, Second Edition, Penguin Books, London, United Kingdom.
Historical Dictionary of Ghana refer to the Agona item.
Kea, R.A. (1982) Settlements, Trade and Polities in the Seventeenth Century Gold Coast, Baltimore and London: John Hopkins University Press.
Mann, Charles Kofi (1971). Party Time with Cee Kay and Carousel Seven. Essiebons Record Company, Accra, Ghana, 42 pp.
Orbis Publishing Limited (1996). Psychic Worlds: The World of the Unexplained. The Book Company International Pty. Limited, Sydney, Australia, 127 pp.
Presbyterian Church of Ghana (1992). Central Presbytery Inauguration, Agona-Swedru, Ghana, 33 pp.
Ward, William Ernest Frank (1948) A History of the Gold Coast, George Allen and Unwin, London, 387 pp.
12. RELATED LINKS ABOUT NSABA
The reader can consult the related links to get more information about Nsaba and Ghana.
Nsaba Science Foundation for Girl Child Education, a non-governmental organisation that promotes the education of the youth of Nsaba especially girls with the address: http://www.nsabachild.org.gh
Information about districts in Ghana
General information about Ghana
13. INFORMATION ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS WEBSITE
This new website is a successor to the Nsaba Ghana Community Projects website which was housed by expage.com. The latter website was closed down in March 2007 as the expage.com system shut down. The old website was in existence for five years (2002 to 2007) and received 8,065 visits.
This website was re-developed on 22 April 2008. It was last updated on 25 January 2016.
Nsaba Ghana Community Projects formally ended on 31 August 2011. Over the period, September 2011 to December 2016, post-project monitoring and adjustments are being undertaken to ensure long-term financial sustainability of project outputs and full financial adoption by stakeholders and beneficiaries.
This website is being maintained as a source of research information for workers interested in the history of Nsaba, Agona People and Ghana, and community development in general. The operating license of this website has been renewed till 21 April 2020.
This website has now been accessed the following number of times:
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