- Gbese Mantse & Adontehene of Ga State
Customary practices and usage, including chieftaincy, is a remarkable and respected institution, which is the foremost custodian of the cultural values of the various tribes, together with their traditional leadership, their value systems and beliefs are integral part of Ghanaian society and history. Since time immemorial, chieftaincy and traditional leadership have stood the test of time as the sacred institutions and fibre that unite and hold our society together over the years, before the advent of party politics.
Customary and chieftaincy practices, and usage have accordingly been adjusted after the advent of party politics and therefore, complement political leadership to uphold societal values, national cohesion and unity.
The Ga tribe and Ga-Adange culture is one prominent, domineering key tribe in the Ghanaian society and their customs, beliefs, value systems and practices are very pronounced as an outstanding key and integral part and parcel of the many diverse tribes and ethnic groups of the Ghanaian society.
The Gbese Stool is an important division of the larger Ga State and culture. Customary practices and usage are popular in the Ga State and Ghana at large.
Records available indicate the Gbese State is one of the seven quarters that constitute Ga-Mashie. Additional records, also from the Ghana National Archives (GNA), according to British Colonial documents, on the other hand, say that the Gbese Stool has ninety-two satellite towns, with the highest number of towns and villages bequeathed to it from the past inter and intra-tribal wars many years ago.
Nii Ayi-Bonte 11, Gbese
Nii Ayi-Bonte 11 & his ascension
Some 15 years ago, specifically in 2007, when the Gbese Stool became vacant, the mantle fell on the then Mr. Thomas Okai – a decorated entrepreneur, businessman and sports administrator – from Naa Onidin Akua /Akwete Krobo Saki We, the third Royal Gbese Ruling House. They went through the rigorous processes and procedures to validly nominate and install then royal Thomas Okai according to Ga customary practice and usage; and he is now known as His Royal Majesty Dr. Nii Ayi-Bonte II – the current occupant of the Gbese Stool.
Power & influence
The Gbese Stool and its occupant, His Royal Majesty Dr. Nii Ayi-Bonte II, compositely represent one of the most powerful, influential and indispensable stools and chiefs in Ghanaian chieftaincy practice, especially in Ga and Ga–Dangme customary practices and usage.
Cultural icon & brand ambassador extraordinaire
The Gbese Mantse is an unashamed, thorough and true son of the Ga State, royalty and royal lineage to the core, who has since his childhood always fought, defended, projected and promoted the Ga-Dangme culture as bestowed to Ga kith and kin by their ancestors. The Gbese Mantse was born, nurtured and grew in Ga-Dangme culture and royalty. This, in turn, adequately prepared him and got him well versed in the Ga culture, its customary practices and usage before ascending the throne, repositioning him and his transition from a private citizen to royalty – smooth and seamless. This also strengthened him formally as the foremost custodian of Ga-Dangme culture as a traditional leader.
Since his ascension to the Gbese Stool some fifteen years ago, His Royal Majesty has not looked back; instead, he has explored vast business acumen, experience and innovative leadership to rehabilitate, restore and elevate the fading impact of the Gbese Stool and State to assume its rightful place to contribute its quota toward improving the standard of living of his immediate subjects, Ghanaians and the world at large.
National unity & cohesion
Peace, unity and cohesion in Gbese, Ga-Dangme State, Ghana and the world at large are core values and principles that Dr. Nii Ayi-Bonte II holds high, and promotes with zeal.
Dispute & litigation
Disputes and endless litigations are excruciating challenges that have bedevilled Ghanaian royalty and chieftaincy in various traditional areas and paramountcies around the country, including the Gbese Stool and the Ga State, where these disputes have eroded and taken the shine off the chieftaincy institution over the years.
Since ascending the throne, dynamism has become His Royal Majesty’s hallmark. The Gbese Mantse has brought dynamism and pragmatics to bear on the Gbese Stool. He has taken conscious steps and made efforts to rally and collaborate with the Ga Paramountcy, the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs (GARHCs), the National House of Chiefs (NHCs), Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs (MOH&RA), and other identified stakeholders to document procedures and processes for seamless succession and its governance structures in Gbese in order to nip chieftaincy disputes and litigation that breed insecurity and retard progress, as well as bring modernity and restore the fading impact of chieftaincy in the Ghanaian society.
School dropout rate is very prevalent among indigenes and subjects in Gbese. In order to promote education, promote human capital development, reduce poverty and improve the standard of living in Gbese, Ga-Dangme and beyond, the Gbese Mantse has instituted the Gbese Scholarship for Junior High Schools for the poor and vulnerable in Gbese, to tackle school-dropout and fallen standards in education.
Accra Region – Gateway to Ghana Tourism Delights
Tourism is a remarkable, outstanding, inclusive and a multimillion dollar universal industry which is founded on man-made, natural, cultural and heritage resources.
Ghana’s tourism resource overview
Ghana has great and peerless national tourism resources in all the four key broad resource classifications, which are found across the length and breadth of the country, but partly remain undocumented, unpackaged and un-marketed and in their raw primary state /undeveloped and inaccessible as a result of poor road-network to most of these attractions and facilities.
Ghana has and enjoys a national political stability, safety and security which are additional intangible tourism resources that re-enforced Ghana’s standing as attractive and competitive tourism destination.
However, as a fall-out from poor public funding and low budgetary allocation to tourism for holistic national tourism development – including branding, packaging and promotion, the country is yet to break into the league of prominent international competitive tourism traffic hub.
The sector currently ranked as the fourth largest revenue contributor to national gross domestic product (GDP),upon which tourism researchers, analysts and experts say Ghana is a sleeping tourism giant.
The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), a corporate body created by the Tourism Act 2011, Act 817, is the statutory institution that has the power and mandate to regulate, promote and control the national tourism development vision and its ultimate mainstreaming as an integral part of Ghana’s overall socio-economic identity and outlook.
GTA is the lead and frontline implementing agency of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC).
GTA Headquarters and administrative offices are located at No.2 Halie Selassie Street Ridge, Accra.
Aside from its head office, the authority has regional office and directorates (GTAROs/Ds) that are located in Accra at the Regional Co-ordinating Council, with Mr. Charles Obeng as GTA Accra Regional Director. The Tema Regional Office, on the other hand, is located at May Flower – Community 10, with Mr. Charles Kwaku Buabin as outgoing Regional Director while Mr. George Nkrumah Ansere, Regional Director for Western and Western-North Regions at Secondi, moves to Tema as Regional Director. The Ashanti Regional GTA Directorate is also located at the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council, with Mavis Gaysi as Regional Director.
The Central Regional GTA Directorate at the Central Regional Coordinating Council at Cape Coast is headed by Mr. Kwame Gyasi as Regional Director. Ahafo, Bono and Bono East Directorate at Teckyiman have Mr. Joseph Appiagyei as Regional Director.
There are District and Enclave GTA Offices at Mpraeso headed by Mr. Evans Antwi Bosiako. Others are located at Denu, Bosomtwi and Paga.
Mr. Charles Obeng, GTA Accra Regional Director.
Tourism regions, districts, circuits, enclaves & or zone destinations
Focus on Korle-Klottey Municipal Assembly
The Korle-Klottey Municipal Assembly (KOKMA) is one of the 261 national political administrative assemblies among the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the Greater Accra Region of the Republic of Ghana’s political administrative structures in Ghana’s local governance and decentralisation practice.
It is one of the country’s choicest and vibrant cash-cow central business districts (CBDs).
Osu Traditional Council
Korle-Klottey Municipal Assembly’s traditional authority and indigenous identity is called the Osu Traditional Council (OTC), a prominent player and stakeholder in both national cultural/chieftaincy and political administrative affairs, since time immemorial.
It is also an outstanding tourism colossus, its tourism assets range from attractive beachfronts, the popular Osu Night Market, offices of many foreign embassies and diplomatic missions in Ghana, prominent international multilateral and bilateral institutions, and indigenous, national and international businesses.
Black Star Square & ministerial enclave
KoKMA is host and home of all national ministries and agencies at ministerial enclave, excluding the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration (MOFA&RI). In addition, it is home to diplomatic buildings and historic buildings, landmarks including the Christianborg Castle, the Black Star Square, the Independence Square, the Accra International Conference Centre, among others.
Ministry of Interior
The present offices of the Ministry of Interior (MOI) is an outstanding and important landmark edifice that used to be the Offices of the Colonial Secretary (OCS), the representative of the Queen and/or King of England to the colony during the Gold Coast’s colonial era.
Outstanding and prominent tourism destinations that are found in the Korle Klottey Municipality include the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board & National Museum Office, Christianborg Castle, State House, the Parliament House, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum & Memorial Park, Efua Sutherland Children Park, National Theatre, Accra Sports Stadium, Accra International Conference Centre, and Greater Accra Regional Hospital at Ridge.
Others are Dr. George Padmore Memorial Pan-African Research Library, the Liberation Square, the Independence Avenue & Liberation Road, Cedi House & Accra Financial Centre, the British Council, the AfCFTA offices, the Ghana Stock Exchange, TUC, World Trade Centre, Ecobank Ghana Head office, and Ghana Shippers’ Authority Head office.
The up-coming multi-million dollar and multi-purpose Marine Drive Beachfront tourism project is an outstanding and peerless game-changer which will further reposition and consolidate KOKMA as Ghana’s foremost destination and tourism capital.
It is also host and home to a number choicest first-class hospitality plants and facilities, including Movempick Ambassador Hotel, Kempimski Hotel, Accra City Hotel, Oxford Number One Hotel, Citizen Kofi, Frankkies, Papaye Restaurant, La Villa Boutique, Coconut Groove Regency Hotel. Others are Blue Royal, Roots Apartment, Ubarno, Hotel President, SSNIT Guest House, Central Hotel, among others.
It is a multi-cultural community of people of many and varied cultural, tribal and ethnic backgrounds as an attractive and flourishing CBD.
Kwame Nkrumah Circle – named after Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah – Ghana’s first president, Osu, Ministries, Ridge, Asylum Down, Ringway and Adabraka are prominent suburbs of the young and vibrant assembly.
Osu and Adabraka are indigenes of Ga-Dangme extractions who influence, define and direct the assembly’s cultural outlook and characteristics.
The Korle-Klottey Constituency is also the indigenous constituency of the Municipal Assembly, and has Dr. Zanetor Agyemang Rawlings as its representative/Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency at the legislature.
The Writer is a Tourism, Brands & Branding, Communication & Marketing Consultant, Practitioner, Analyst, Advocate & Activist.
Email: [email protected]