A group of chiefs who referred themselves as ‘coalition of chiefs for Bono East Region’, in the Brong Ahafo Region who has petitioned president Akuffo-Addo for the creation of Bono East Region has outlined reasons for their demand.
In June this year (2017), the chiefs had petition the President to partition and create three 3 regions in the Brong Ahafo Region in order to bring governance closer to the people, considering the total geographical land area of the Brong Ahafo region. In a meeting held in Techiman to sensitize stakeholders on the creation of Bono East Region, the chiefs outlined reasons for their demand for the create Bono East Region.
The chiefs in a presentation to the stakeholders said the population of the region was 561,000 at the time the region was created. They added that currently, the population of the region stood at 2,310,933 (GSS 2013), comprising eight 8 municipal and 19 district assemblies. They noted that the population growth rate of the region is 2.3% slightly above the national average of 2.18 % (2016 estimate).
They argued that population in terms of the proposed Bono East origin was densely populated with 993,895 (according to PHC 2010), and said the figured represent 43% of the Brong Ahafo Region as a whole. They noted that the population was projected to rise to 1,222,000 by (2020) and that immigration in the area was the major factor of population surge.
On the size of the Region, the chiefs said the Region is the second largest in Ghana with 39,557sq.km, representing 16.6% of the total land size of Ghana. The chiefs are of the view that the proposed Bono East Region has a total land area of 25,313.98sq.km, representing 64% of the entire land mass of the Brong Ahafo Regional and 10.6% of Ghana total land size.
In terms of natural resources, the chiefs said the proposed region was endowed. They noted that it has diamond at Mansie and Gold deposit at Anyima in the Kintampo district. It also has gold deposit at Donkro-Nkwanta under exploitation for mining by Newmont Ghana. The proposed region was also said have petroleum at Premuase and Kojokrom in the Sene East as well as clay deposits abound in large quantity.
The proposed region was said to be endowed with economic tree such as mahogany, onyina, senyaa, rosewood, shear trees, teak, and papaa among others.
Economically, the chiefs said Bono East was endowed with large arable land for farming and that over 70% of the people were involve actively in farming. They asserted that the proposed region leads in the production of maize, cowpea, soya beans, yam, cassava, tomatoes, and water melon and in cash crops such as cashew and mango.
On trade, the chiefs noted that in terms of market, the proposed region provides market centres for a variety of goods and services with agricultural products being the main ones. The chiefs cited the Techiman market as the biggest food market in Ghana and West African sub-region. They added that aside Techiman, large food market centres exist in Kintampo, Nkoranza, Atebubu, Yeji, Wenchi, Kajaji and Kwame Danso. Also said trading involving wholesale and retail characterized these markets. The area they noted is the food trade hub in Ghana.
In terms of industries in the proposed region, the chiefs cited factories for processing cashew nuts, soya beans, tomatoes at Techiman and Wenchi, cassava processing into industrial starch at Atebubu and commercial Gari processing. Others include quarry factories for producing stones for building and construction as well as manufacturing of clay products.
On services, the chiefs cited vibrant financial services sector, such as GCB, ADB, NIB, and GT bank among others. Others include rural banks, licensed savings and loans companies and credit unions, the proposed new region can boast of. The chiefs also cited booming hospitality services which provide decent and affordable accommodation for business people and tourists.
Touching on tourism, the chiefs said the proposed Bono East Region can boast of many tourist attraction Centres such as sacred groves and caves at Buabeng/Fiema and Buoyem respectively. Others include Digya in Sene and other potential areas yet to be developed as well as rich culture and tradition expressed during festivals such as Apoo and yam among others.
On fishing, the chief noted that the Volta River in the North/North Eastern sector of the region provides a huge water body for fishing. Therefore, smoke and fresh fish abound in large quantities. They added that the sector can employ many people in the river line communities and reduce poverty in the proposed region.
The chiefs further noted that the provision of infrastructure such as Regional administration, regional offices for heads of departments, ministry and agencies would bring development to the new region. The new region would also create employment, thereby absorbing the employed and reducing unemployment among the youth.
IMORO T. AYIBANI