The Royal Akyem Kingdom, arguably one of the richest chieftaincy institutions in Ghana and beyond boasts of a foundation formed on the collective sacrifice of its people, whose high level of bravery in battle has made the kingdom what it is today.
The story of the kingdom and its people, coupled with the rich customs, culture and traditions of the area like many others are not wholly known to many, including the indigenes of the proud but humble kingdom of Akyem Abuakwa.
That is why the Akyem people, students and teachers of history, and the entire country must applaud the effort and initiative that has given rise to a publication that speaks the voice of the kingdom's history. Especially at a time when the chieftaincy instution is coming under severe scrutiny and attack with calls by some for its abolishing, the effort of Mr. Kwasi Amfo Kwakye cannot be overlooked.
Mr. Amfo Kwakye took it upon himself to educate the current generation of the formation of the kingdom, and how it has evolved over the years. The book, 'The Royal Akyem Kingdom' was written during the period of the formative reign of Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin.
The name Akyem Abuakwa, according to legend is derived from the bravery of a “leopard and serpentine” nature their forebears inflicted on their enemies during the series of battles to form the kingdom under the leadership of both Atta Apianin Kwaframoa and Kuntunkununku (I).
The 245-page book opens with a colourful picture of King Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, dressed in full chieftiancy regalia, reflecting on the way forward for is people. It equally contains a profile of the king's life, education and ascension to the thrown.
“After his gradution, he entered the business world in 1984, starting with a career in insurance at the orange brokerage in orange, New Jersey, a company he stayed with until 1990.”
The five main divisions' within the kingdom namely Adonten, Nifa, Benkum Oseawuo and Gyaase, with their respective heads and their profiles equally got mentioned in the book. The author took a look at the Okyehene's many initiatives geared towards the proection of the environment.
The Okyeman Environment Foundation is one of the major steps taken by the King to safeguard the life of the environment. Among other things, the foundation was set up to foster and promote progressive environmental practices in the traditional area.
The vision of Osageyfuo Amoatia Ofori Panin in the area of health care for his people was also captured by the author. It spelt out key areas the King wants to see achieve during his reign- diesease prevention, creation of health centres, healthcare education and trauma centre.
For first timers, the book introduces you to the natural mineral resources that abound in the Kingdom and which Ghana continues to rely on for her development- diamond, bauxite, clay and gold.
It's within the vision of the Okyehene, according to the book, to establish a University College of Agriculture and Environment Studies at Bunso, to compliment the efforts of the king's drive towards protecting the environment.
Akyem Abuakwa as a state has for many years contributed illustrious sons and daughters whose contributions to both Ghana and global development cannot be underestimated and the book lists them very flamboyantly. The likes of Dr. J.B. Danquah, reputed to be the first African to receive a PhD from a British University, Nana Akuffo Addo, William Ofori Atta, Rev. Asante Antwi, Prof. S.K.B. Asante, Gloria Ofori Boadu, as well as Ghanaian born British and Labour MP Paul Boateng, are some of the illustrations greats from the kingdom profiled in the book.
The book is impressive with colourful pictures of the Okyehene's engagements and a historical profile of his ascension to the stool and the various divisions of the Akyem Abuakwa chieftaincy institution.
'The Royal Akyem Kingdom' is definitely a good read and will be launched on June 13.
By the dailyEXPRESS Newspaper[[email protected]]