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Garstang Fairtrade Town

Garstang The World's First Fairtrade Town

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About New Koforidua

HISTORY

New Koforidua is a resettlement town. The people who established the town were natives of Juaben who migrated during the Juaben war, to settle at Nsutem (i.e. a town located between 2 rivers) in the Eastern Region.

In 1941 a group of people decided to return home and unite with their families.   They came to settle at Bomfa where the chief was not good to themterms witso they appealed to the paramount chief of Juaben who gave them land to settle on. The original town was quite a distance from the new one not close to the road as it is now.

GEOGRAPHY

New Koforidua is located in the Ashanti region of Ghana in the Ejisu Juaben District whose capital is Ejisu. It a linear settlement that lies 220km from Accra and 40km outside Kumasi with the main Accra to Kumasi highway running through the middle of the town. The town is under the sovereignty of the Ejisu Juaben Paramount Chief who pays allegiance to the Asantehene Otumfour Dr Osei Tutu II, the King of the Asante Kingdom.  

POLITICAL

The political hierarchy is as follows; The Assembly man of the town represents New Koforidua at the Ejisu-Juaben District Assembly which is headed by a District Chief Executive who reports to the Ashanti Regional Minister; the government regional representative.

POPULATION

The town has about 4500 inhabitants and is the fastest growing town in the area.

LANGUAGE

Although English is the national language of Ghana there are many local languages spoken throughout the country and Ashanti Twi is the most widely spoken language in New Koforidua.

OCCUPATION

New Koforidua is a cocoa farming community and many of the farmers are members of the Kuapa Kokoo (Twi for 'good cocoa farmer') cooperative who are part owners of the Divine chocolate company who produce the Fairtrade Marked chocolate range Divine and children's Dubble bars. Some of the cocoa grown in New Koforidua therefore enters the Fairtrade market. They used to produce a lot of plantain some time ago and so the town was once called Plantain Koforidua (Brodie Koforidua)

FOUNDING FATHERS

New Koforidua was founded by, Kwame Sarpong, Kojo Mensah Hackman and Kojo Boah. Kwame Sarpong made the first move and was joined by his elder brother Kojo Mensah and then their two other friends joined them. These 4 key figures are the accredited founders of New Koforidua.

Kwame Sarpong and his brother already had royal lineage in the Juaben stool since their father was one of the war commanders during the Juaben War who led them to flee to the Eastern Region. All the founders of the town are now deceased.

ROYALS HISTORY

For a considerable period of time, there was this issue of the royals rejecting the stool after occupying the stool for some time.

Position
Name
Other details
Reign
1st Chief
Nana Kojo Mensah
Co founder of town
resigned
2nd Chief
Nana Kojo Sarpong
 
resigned
3rd Chief
Nana Boamah
Was very rich
resigned
4th Chief
Nana Kwame Sarpong
1st Linguist to 1st Chief
24 years. Died on stool
5th Chief
Nana Agyekum Sarpong
Son of 4th Chief
Current Chief

During Nana Kojo Mensah’s reign, Kwame Sarpong became his linguist and he was deputised by Kwaku Amoah. After the 3rd Chief resigned, the stool became vacant for a long time. Kwame Sarpong was a staunch Catholic and never contested for the throne. the people out of affection pressurised him to take up the throne. Kwame Sarpong ruled for 24 years.   After his demise, on typical Akan custom (matrilineal inheritance), a nephew of a king had right to the throne. But in this exceptional case the son of the Kwame Sarpong (ie current Chief) was made heir to the throne because Kwame Sarpong founded the town with his wife and children. After this current Chief, his nephew is supposed to be chief as the matrilineal inheritance custom demands.

ROYALS AND ELDERS OF TOWN

Nana Agyekum Sarpong II- Current Chief

Nana Agyeiwaa Marfo- Queen Mother

Ebenezer Osei Asamoah- Assembly Man

Justice Nkansah Boateng

John Kwame Sarpong- Brother of current chief

Sarpong- Teacher, Head of the Royal Family (deputises with Nkansah Boateng in the Chief’s absence.)

Kwasi Ofori- Honorary citizen for dedication, selflessness

SCHOOLS

The town in the early years of its existence had only the Roman Primary school. This offered the first six years of formal education i.e. Primary 1 to 6. After completion, children had to go to Bomfa for the continuation school. This was quite a worry because of the distance and also the historical friction between the settlers of New Koforidua and the Bomfa Chief. So they decided to set up their own continuation school. At that time the Governments policy on opening up new schools in towns was that, there should be at least 25 students. Though they did not have that number they decided to put up the school on their own through communal labour, which they did within a month. When it was due for Education Inspectors to commission the school, some adults, put on school uniforms to satisfy the 25 student conditionality.

Roman Catholic Primary
Roman Catholic   Junior Secondary School
Presbyterian Primary
Presbyterian Junior Secondary School
Private primary School
Local Authority Junior Secondary School

WORSHIP

Presbyterians and Roman Catholics, Traditionalists and Muslims

INFRASTRUCTURE

The town through self help programs and government’s Electrification project has been wired to the national grid for electricity. A section of the town now has electricity. The town folks have a number of wells and boreholes for their water needs. There is no Hospital at the town.

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