July 2011 Newsletter
Akwaaba! Welcome to the Ghana West Coast, the destination for an unforgettable tropical beach holiday off the beaten track
|West Coast – a unique destination
World Environment Day! Forests Nature at your service
Forests perform vital functions and services around the world, they play a key role in our battle against climate change, releasing oxygen into the atmosphere while storing carbon dioxide, they provide the means of support to people´s livelihood and refuge for many species. The defence of the forests is crucial and therefore it is included in the Millennium Development Goals. The MDG 7 aims at ensuring environmental sustainability and it has a special focus on reducing the loss of environmental resources by fighting against deforestation and protecting biodiversity.
On the occasion of the celebration of the World Environment Day, celebrated every 5th of June, which theme this year was “Forest at your service”, Ghana West Coast wants to withdraw the attention to the natural assets existing in the area.
Cape 3 Points Forest Reserve and Ankasa National Park conservation area are two of the main attractions within GWC in terms of forest and nature related assets.
Cape 3 Points Forest Reserve is a unique area, it is the last remaining coastal forest reserve in West Africa and reserve is the second most divers reserve in Ghana according to Forestry Commission. Its location reaching the sea shore makes it even more special. In 1999 was classified as Global Significant Biodiversity Area (GBSA). Although its significance and protection status, still human activities, such as hunting, logging and farming, have been taking place within the Forest.
Governmental agencies and NGOs continue making efforts to preserve the area, helping the surrounding communities to find sustainable alternatives to the exploitation of the forest, establishing Community Resource Management Areas (CREMAs), etc.
Ankasa is a fabulous area for wildlife in general and birdlife in particular with some giant trees and splendid vegetation. It is also a wet evergreen forest. The Park is managed by Ghana Wildlife Division; visitors are received from Monday to Friday. The forest holds a population of large and charismatic mammals, such as the Forest Elephant, Bongo, Leopard, etc. and more than 200 species of birds. Visitor can take any of the planned walks and discover the magnificent beauty of the Bamboo Cathedral, the water Falls, the Big Tree, etc. For those adventurers who would enjoy spending a night at the heart of nature, accommodation is available.
Tourism plays an important role in environmental conservation and management, when proper managed represents a useful tool to create awareness among the population about the need of protecting nature and wildlife. GWC has developed several initiatives to protect sea turtles, mangroves, monkeys...as they are invaluable elements of our environment while also tourism attractions.
|MEET WEST COAST
|Don’t miss in this season
Fort Apollonia not only a Fort:
Fort Apollonia Museum of Nzema Culture and History is housed in the ancient Fort Apollonia, built by the British between 1765 and 1771 located in Beyin in the Jomoro District/ Nzema West traditional area.
After many years of neglect, the fort has been restored and is now the home of an Eco-museum dedicated to Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana.
Experience the historic slave dungeons of the fort including male and female dungeon; European officer’s rooms, store rooms, conference rooms and the four cardinal bastions with the original cannon guns and balls in place. However, these historic places now accommodate the exhibits of Nzema culture. The exhibits include colourful display of pictures of Nzema rulers, kundum placard, emblems and stools of the various clans, traditional treatment of diseases, Amansuri eco-system, etc. host NACA (Nzema Association Art and Craft Association) a collective group of artisans from various towns throughout the Nzema District that produce different typology of traditional crafts.
The museum intends to be interactive and also host any kind of cultural event. The restoration of Fort Apollonia and its museum has been co-funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implemented by the Italian NGO COSPE, in collaboration with La Sapienza University of Rome, GMMB, GWS, Centre for National Culture, GTB, Western and Eastern Nzema Traditional Councils, Jomoro and Ellembele District Assemblies, SNV.
Apart from the Fort there are other many touristic attractions in the area; visitors can also take a boat trip to Nzulezo, Meandah crocodile natural pond, Ebonloa trails, Bakanta estuary among others. Beyin offers a variety of choices in terms of accommodation and catering facilities.
For more info:
Known also by Fante people as Nfuma. This is actually the original name of this colourful fishing village.
Tradition says that first Chief of the Nfuma was looking for the appropriate place to move and settle the community, but find water was a previous condition to establish any settlement, as it is basic for life.
After looking around for a while they found water in Nfum (Fante word for bush), so finally they decided to call the community “Nfuma” that means: the bush gave us water.
The name of Dixcove came around XVII century, when English started to trade within the area.
At that time, the Chief of Nfuma was Nana Deakyei and the English started to refer to Nfuma as the cove of Nana Deakye (Deakyei cove), as Nfuma is situated between two hills, forming kind of a cove. And in the course of time evolved in Deak-cove. As fishing village, is open to the sea as to the visitors. A vibrant community where the continuous comings and goings of the large canoe fleet keeps the town 24 hours awake.
Fort Metal Cross, situated over the hill dominates the landscape, it is an indispensable visit for those that come around and want to know more about the past of the town.
If you have the opportunity of watching a boat arriving, don´t miss the unload of the catch, you will see great pieces of swordfish, tuna fish, barracuda, cassava fish ...etc...Don´t hesitate to buy some!
It is also worth to visit Kuma-Mensah trading house...
For Fort Metal cross see:
Sofia Seamstress Cape 3 Points
Sophia is above all, a hard working woman. After finishing her primary education and not having enough money to afford further studies, she opted to develop her technical skills on sewing and started working.
With her husband´s help she started her own business, sawing and making dresses for her neighbours.
Her studies and years of training have given her a high level of performance.
Located in the small village of Cape 3 Points she spends many hours in front of her sewing machine, just only taking the necessary break to feed her 3 children and attend the house chores , or farming when the time is due..
In 2010 she applied for the microcredit program implemented by Ricerca e Cooperazione (RC) on the framework of the Ghana West Coast project. She was selected for the loan support and with the money provided she has been able to expand her business. She is happy about how things are going and she is already thinking about the future. First to diversify her production by designing bags, wallets for tourists and then start a training school to provide skills to the young ladies in the community.
Report on World Environmental Day Event (4th June) Marathon Akwidaa-Cape 3 Points
This year World Environment Day Celebrations was under the theme “Forests: Nature at your service”. Given this, the Hen Mpoano Initiative decided to have a marathon and other activities around the Cape Three Points Forest Reserve area to draw attention to the importance of the biodiversity-rich reserve.
The 15-km marathon was the main feature of the day; with a total of 239 people participating in the 3 different categories from communities such as Princess Town, Agona, Akwidae, Cape Three Points, Sekondi-Takoradi etc. The route was mapped from Akwidae to Cape Three Points. The marathon commenced at 8.15am and lasted for about an hour and a half. Trophies and books were presented to deserving winners.
Partner organizations such as Forestry Commission, RC, OGSFORD, WAPCA, etc. provided in-kind support.
In the framework of the project “Ghana West Coast Tourism Destination Area” an extensive document on "Investment Opportunities in Sustainable Tourism" within the area has been produced. The document elaborated by Ricerca e Cooperazione together with its partners GTB and SNV, aims at giving essential information for those interested in investing in Ghana West Coast. The publication will be officially launched in August and Tourism authorities and potential investors will be attending.
Ghana – Netherlands – Common Cultural Heritage
Early contacts between Ghanaians and Europeans date back to 1471, when the Portuguese first reached what would be known as the Gold Coast and landed at Elmina. They started trading in the area and in 1482 they started building. Dutch came later; around 1598 they established forts at Komenda and Kormantsi (Central Region) followed by many others. They created a net of trading posts which was operated from 1621 by the West Indian Dutch Company. The Dutch presence was intense in Ghana, the centuries-long link between the two countries generated strong human, economic, cultural links and a mutual heritage that is still extant.
Fort Apollonia in Beyin, built by the British, was held by the Dutch from 1868 to 1872, Fort Sant Antonio (Axim) [built by the Portuguese], was conquered by the Dutch in 1642 and held it until 1872, Fort Dorothea (Akwidaa), Fort Eliza Carthago (Ankobra) are some of the material evidences of Dutch presence in GWC, recalling a long history of trade, exchanges, common life, matrimonial alliances, but also internecine struggles, commercial completion, wars and slave trade involving numbers of African and Dutch actors over the centuries.
Dutch surnames are still common along the coast of Ghana, as en evidence of this history. This Dutch component became to a large extent part and parcel of Ghanaian history and society. At the same time life in Ghana left extant traces in the history and tradition of many Dutch families and lineages involved in trade and administration in Dutch establishments on the Gold Coast. Dutch family history offers existing examples of this phenomenon. Interestingly the well known trickster of Ghanaian tradition, Anansi, carved out a niche for its pranks and adventures in Dutch oral culture. An exhibition on this peculiar character was held in 2007/2008 at the Troppenmuseum (Amsterdam): “The Spider Anansi - a web of tales and images”. Dutch and Ghanaian artists offered their interpretation about the shrewd spider. “Ghana Day” is also held yearly since 2005 in the town of Almere (close to Amsterdam), twin-city of Kumasi.
The commitment of Dutch Government, through the establishment of a Common Cultural Heritage Fund for the preservation and enhancement of common heritage evidences in Ghana is recognition of a deep rooted relation between the two countries.