KAS holds conference for queen mothers in Sunyani

Paramount Queen Mothers In Sunyani
Paramount Queen Mothers In Sunyani

An annual conference and workshop for paramount queen mothers in the Bono/Bono East Regions and selected representatives of other regions in the country will soon commence in Sunyani, the Bono Regional capital.

The two-day event spanning Monday to Thursday, May 15-18 this year is being organised by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in partnership with the National Queen Mothers’ Platform and the Bono Regional Queen Mothers’ Association.

It aims to explore the complex relations between traditional leaders and the modern legal and political systems in Africa on the theme “Traditional Leaders in Contemporary African Governance: The Clash of Laws, Authorities and Responsibilities”.

Nana Yaa Ansua, the Paramount Queen Mother of Drobo Traditional Area in the Jaman South Municipality of Bono Region and also the Executive Secretary of the National Queen Mothers’ Platform told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview on Monday in Sunyani.

On the theme, Nana Ansua who is also the President of the Bono Regional Queen Mothers’ Association explained traditional leaders were an integral part of African society and had played a significant role in governance for centuries.

She added “the role of traditional leaders in contemporary African governance has become increasingly complicated due to the clash of laws, authorities and responsibilities”.

Nana Ansua said traditional leaders held a special place in African societies as they were regarded as the custodians of cultural traditions and social norms coupled with the reverence accorded to them by their communities.

She said they had traditionally played a key role in resolving disputes, enforcing local laws and providing social services such as healthcare and education, adding that “in many African countries, traditional leaders are recognized by the government and are granted legal powers to administer justice in their communities”.

Nonetheless, Nana Ansua said the introduction of modern legal and political systems had led to conflicts between traditional and modern authorities, creating a complex legal landscape, where traditional leaders were caught between two conflicting systems.

She observed one of the main challenges faced by traditional leaders was the lack of clarity in their roles and responsibilities because traditional systems of governance were unwritten and relied on oral traditions, which could be difficult to reconcile with the written legal systems of modern governments.

She said that had led to conflicts over issues such as land rights, criminal justice and the protection of human rights and another challenge was the clash of authorities, saying traditional leaders were recognised by their communities as the ultimate authority on local issues, but they might not have legal recognition from the government.

She said that could lead to conflicts with government officials which could also undermine the authority of the traditional leaders.

Despite these challenges, Nana Ansua said traditional leaders continued to play a significant role in African governance, as they provided a link between communities and the government and could help to bridge the gap between traditional and modern systems of governance.

She added traditional leaders also had a deep understanding of their communities and could provide valuable insights into local issues that might not be apparent to government officials.

The National Queen Mother’s Platform and the Bono Regional Queen Mothers’ Association for the past few years had been working with the KAS-Ghana Office to develop capacity of traditional leaders in the broad areas of their operation, Nana Ansua said.

She hinted this year’s programme, would offer participants the opportunity to delve deeper on the theme through a workshop setting, concluding that “the role of traditional leaders in contemporary African governance is complex and multifaceted and requires a delicate balance between traditional and modern systems of governance and a recognition of the unique role that traditional leaders play in African societies”.

She reiterated this conference thus “aims to provide a forum for discussion and debate on the important issues, and to explore ways in which traditional leaders can be integrated into modern governance systems while still maintaining their cultural identity and authority”.

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