The historical socio-political division of Ghana along cultural lines, normally linguistic resulted in what are known as Traditional Areas. Chiefs normally head these areas. The Chieftaincy Institution exists alongside the modern administrative structures government, as custodians of Ghana’s cultural heritage. Even the most urbane Ghanaian relates to one or the other of these Traditional Areas.
Akuapem Traditional Area extends from Berekuso, (some 20 kilometres from Accra the capital of Ghana eastward along the Akuapem-Togo range of mountains, covers an area of about 900sq. meters with a current population of about 225000 based on the 2000 census.
Akuapem unlike other typical traditional areas in Ghana do not have a homogeneous group of people language wise. This is evidenced in the name Akuapem.
Indeed the name in the twi language (which is predominant in Akuapem) means “akuw apem” a thousand groups. The grounds that came together under an elaborate customary accord in 1733 consist of Akans, like Akim-Kamena, Akwamu and other Twi speakers. The rest were Guans, Kyerepons, some Gas and Ewe speakers.
Since 1988, the Traditional Areas spans two local governments’ administrative districts; Akuapem North and Akuapem South Districts.
The historic Community in the past experienced many “firsts”. This was the area where cocoa, now the mainstay of Ghana’s economy was first grown by Tetteh Quarshie, at Mampong from Fernando Po and by Swiss Missionaries, at Aburi and Akropong all 3 towns on the Akuapem Hills.
The British Colonial Administration established the very first Botanical Gardens at Aburi towards the end of the 19th Century.
Christianity took root early in Akuapem in 1856, and with it, quality education. At the time of free primary school education under the First Republic of Ghana, many of the present generation of elite in Ghana must have passed through the hands of a highly trained and dedicated Akuapem teacher and missionaries.
The early lead in enlightenment has not been suitable because the cocoa industry has long collapsed, due to the emergence of poor soils leading to relative poverty and emigration of Akuapems to both the cities and the hinterland further inland to look for greener pastures. The resultant rather sparse population, coupled with the creeping encroachment of the capital city on Akuapem lands under the recent local government reforms era, threatening to make a dormitory town out of the Traditional Area. The sense of “being left behind” has been the subject of discussions among citizens of the Area for a long time.
Akuapem Traditional Area contains about 225,000 people in a defined geographic area (2000 Census).The Akuapem CF serves the area within the Akuapem Traditional Area and beyond. The Traditional Area currently spans two local government districts, namely Akuapem North and South District and Municipal Assemblies with their head offices at Akropong and Nsawam respectively.
The Akuapem Community Foundation evolved out of the Akuapem Forum formed in October 2001. The idea of turning the Forum into a Community Foundation began when the Lead Coordinator met Dr. Juraj Mesik of the World Bank at a conference in November 2003. When Dr. Mesik introduced the community foundation concept, it appeared the right fit. Akuapem Community Foundation is a community foundation in Ghana, which serves the Akuapem Traditional Area in the Eastern Region of Ghana and Beyond. The CF was incorporated on 14th April, 2005 with an initial membership of seventeen (17) public spirited individuals of Akuapem descent cutting across the North and South District boundaries, as well as language/ ethnic barriers. These individuals have set out to give Time, Talent and Treasure to help their community.
The main goal of Akuapem CF is to marshal resources to build an endowment fund, for Grantmaking, execution of own programmes, and to cover operational cost. The CF also aims to
offer Leadership and Co-ordination of efforts where these are lacking.
The CF aims to promote and complement but not take over the areas of operation of any existing agencies or charitable organizations that are making efforts to meet the educational, youth, gender, health, cultural, environmental, civic, historic, moral and public needs of the Akuapem Traditional Area and beyond.
Akuapem CF has been engaged in youth development since its establishment in 2005 through its Akuapem Education Day Programme with the theme, ‘Beyond BECE, there’s 2nd Cycle’. The
Akuapem Education Day Programme was instituted in 2005 for the 2nd Tuesday in November each year for all Junior High Schools in Akuapem. The Day concentrated on looking for solutions to the problems that have been militating against the delivery of quality education in the traditional area such that for many years many basic schools score 0% pass at the BECE.
The Day as listed below is also used to highlight our thematic areas, through lectures, etc. still with the major theme ‘Beyond BECE, there’s 2nd Cycle’.