City of Techiman
Warren Slide and Videotape Collection, University of Iowa
FACTS AND FIGURES
TECHIMAN DISTRICT: Established in 1978 as a distinct district, it covers an
area of approximately 66.9 sq. km. and forms part of the thirteen districts of
the Brong Ahafo Region. It has a population of about 177,324 (2000 Pop.
Census). It comprises about 501 settlements, including Techiman (the district
capital), Tanoso, Tuobodom and New-Techiman among others.
CLIMATE: The district experiences both semi-equatorial and tropical
conventional or savanna climates characterized by moderate to heavy rainfall annually.
The major rains start from April to July, and the minor from September to
October. Then the long dry season, which is highly pronounced in the savanna
zone, starts in November and lasts until March. The highest rainfall of over
1650 mm. is recorded in the South-West and declines northwards to about 1250 mm.
in the North-West Guinea-Savanna zone around Ofuman area. The average monthly
temperature is about 30 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit) and occurs
mostly between March and April, and the lowest of about 260 degrees C (790 F)
occurs in August. The relative humidities are highest (75-80%) during the rainy
season and lowest (70-72%) during the rest of the year. Photo
TOPOGRAPHY: There are two main relief features in the district, namely
highlands and lowlands. The highest point is about 579 m above sea level, which is
found around Buoyem, located in the central part of the district, while the
lowest point of the district is about 305 m above sea level, found around Nsuta
in the South-west of the district. The district is generally gentle,
undulating, and low lying.
VEGETATION: Basically three main vegetation zones, namely, the Guinea-Savanna
woodland located in the North-West, the Semi-Deciduous zone in the South, and
the Transitional Zone which stretches from the South-East and West up to the
North of the district. The district has one forest reserve (teak) called the
Asubinia Reserve in the South-East. It covers about 32.4 sq. m (or 5%) of the
district’s total land area. This resource serves as a protective cover to
some of the major rivers that drain in
the district. Photo
LANGUAGES: The official language of Ghana is English, although
there are many other languages based on ethnic groups. The main vernacular
languages spoken in the district are Bron and Twi.
RELIGION: There are three main religious groups in Ghana. These are
Christians, Muslims and those who follow traditional faiths. Places of worship are
found all over the district. Photo
AIRPORT: There is an airport at Sunyani (Regional Capital) which connects the
region by air to Tamale, Kumasi, Accra (Kotoka International Airport) and
Takoradi but air transportation is irregular and therefore does not play a major
role in the transportation system. There is a road connecting Techiman and
other towns to the Sunyani airport.
TRANSPORTATION: Long distance buses, tro-tros (local mini buses) and taxis
are widely available. Tours could also be arranged to suit one’s convenience.
Hotel shuttle buses, Travel and Tour Agencies are available for transportation.
CURRENCY: The currency of Ghana is the cedi. Rates of exchange are posted
daily by banks and forex bureaux. There are regulations regarding foreign
currency brought into Ghana, but all should be noted on a customs declaration form
on arrival. It is advised that all exchange transaction receipts should be
kept for inspection on departure.
BANKING: The Ghana Commercial Bank, Agricultural Development Bank, Social
Security Bank, Ghana Co-operative operate at Techiman with most of the Rural
Banks operating at Tanoso, Aworowa and Nsuta. The banking hours are generally
from Monday-Thursday: 0830-1400 and 0830 to 1500 on Fridays.
PHOTOGRAPHY: The Techiman District is a photographer’s paradise, with so many
spectacular sights. Photographs of local people should be taken with their
consent. However, in Ghana, photography is not permitted at the airport or at
military and strategic sites.
ELECTRICITY: Electrical supply is normally 220 volts. 120 volt appliances
will require an adaptor. At present, Techiman and all the major towns and
settles are with electricity. The electricity is of 3-pronged and 2-pronged
COMMUNICATION: The IDD code for Ghana is +233. Telephone, tax and telex
services are available at Techiman and other towns. Currently, there are 6,800
telephone lines installed. Mobile Phone operators have moved into the district.
Ghana Telecom with "One Touch" and Spacefon have facilities in Techiman and
Sunyani. There are also private communication centers.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Health services in the district comprise government,
mission and private hospitals, health centers, family planning centers and rural
clinics. The major health services are located in Techiman, the district
capital. These are, namely, the Holy Family Hospital, Ahmadiyya Hospital and the
Opoku Agyeman Specialist Hospital. There is a health center at Tanoso, a
health post at Oforikrom, a rural clinic at Offuman and a Family Planning Center at
Aworowa and Tuododom. The Holy Family Hospital, however, serves as a
referral point for major ailments in the district. Nevertheless, visitors are
recommended to bring with them any drugs they need regularly.
MARKET: The district has one major periodic market, which is the Techiman
market. This market is an important market in West Africa, attracting merchants
from countries such as Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Ghana. Photo
ENTERTAINMENT: Most of the district pulsates with everything from highlife,
gospel and cultural music and dance to nightclubs, cinema houses and theaters.
The Apoo and Yam festivals are also celebrated annually in April and
HOTELS: The Techiman District boasts a number of star-rated hotels. There
are also luxury guest houses, budget hotels, lodges, and inns. These include
Tano Valley, C Guest Home, Sandies, Kodabs, Nyame Nnae, Emmanuel’s Inn, and
Ebenezer Hotel. However, prominent in the district, are the Premier Palace,
Dymns, Dery, Agyeiwaa and Expo hotels.
An ancient town, Techiman is rich in history and culture. It is the
birth place of the Bronkyempim Movement which finally gave rise to the creation of
the Brong Ahafo Region. It was the famous Nana Akumfi Ameyaw II, then
Omanhene of Techiman, who initiated the whole process that finally led to the
separation of the then Western Ashanti to form Brong Ahafo Region in 1959.
Centuries earlier, Techiman, the legendary birthplace of the Akan people,
was the nerve center of the ancient Bono Kingdom which was rich in gold and
had strong trading links with the ancient Kingdoms of the Savanna and Sahel,
notably Timbuktu and Egypt. According to Bono Techiman traditions, the
forebears of the Techiman people were the pioneer Akan people to settle in the area
occupied today by the people of the Brong-Ahafo Region. It is not surprising
that today, Techiman is at the center of major crossroads with an important
marketing center. The most densely populated settlement, Techiman, the district
capital, has a population of about 177,324 (2000 Pop. Census) with a current
land area of about 18 square kilometers.
Techiman is host to a major central market, which is the largest food
market in Ghana and an important market in the whole of West Africa, attracting
merchants from countries such as Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Fasso, Togo and
Cote d’Ivoire. Internally, traders from all over the country, especially
Tamale, Bawku, Kumasi, Bolgatanga, Hamile, Bole, Accra, Winneba, Cape Coast,
Takoradi, Axim and Tema converge on Techiman, especially on main market days. The
central market is a big commercial center especially in agricultural goods.
The market days are from Wednesdays to Fridays. Price haggling and bargaining
is a particularly delightful pastime by many Ghanian merchants or sellers
which you must become accustomed to if you are to "survive," especially when you
are buying in the streets or in the market. Photo
The "Ahenifie," the palace of the Omanhene and the seat of the Techiman
Traditional Council, is located at the center of the town. It is the custodian
of a rich cultural heritage, handed down from generation to generation,
replete with ancient legends of conquests, trade, folklores, proverbs, customs,
traditions and belief systems. The current Omanhene of Techiman, Nana Osabarima
Dotobibi Takyia-Ameyaw II, heads twenty-eight divisional and sub-divisional
chiefs. Together, they make up the Techiman Traditional Council.
The Chieftaincy system has played a pivotal role in enhancing the
socio-economic and political development of the Techiman district. One of the
highlights of this progressive posture was when Nana Owusu Gyare II, the Akwamuhene
of the Techiman Traditional Area, was given the "Tourism Personality of the
Year" award in 2002. This was in recognition of his immense contribution to
tourism promotion in the Techiman district. The same year witnessed the award of
"Best Community-Initiated tourism" to the Tanoboase community led by Nana
Amisare Dwomo, the Tnoboasehene.
THE APOO FESTIVAL
The Apoo Festival, a thirteen day annual celebration, originated from
Bonso-Manso, the ancient capital of the Bono Kingdom. According to tradition and
oral history, the name APOO means "to reject" (deriving from the verb ‘Po’).
Thereby, by implication, Apoo means the rejection of evil, calamities,
abominations, curses, worries and other social menaces. It is celebrated in the
districts of Techiman and Wenchi in April.
The festival is a traditional convention during which every person,
irrespective of his or her class, creed, ethnic group, or race is given thirteen
days of liberty to lampoon, in the form of songs and proverbs, the faults and
malpractices of any other person, including those in authority—especially the
Omahene and his wing chiefs. It is a festival for the purification of the
people to rid them of social evil.
During the celebrations, women, children and chiefs parade the principal
streets of the town to drive away the evil deeds of the past year by shouting
and castigating evil doers in the society. The surrounding villages of
Techiman celebrate their Apoo Festival before attending the grand one at Techiman.
The climax is Friday. In the afternoon, the Amanhene himself comes out to
partake in the Apoo celebration, dressed in his rich colorful Apoo regalia. He
goes to the end of the main street, comes back and then goes to the palace. At
the palace, Nana sits in state in the Apoo dress and individuals are at
liberty to go to the palace to sing, engage in poem recitations, appellations,
stories and generally voice out their feelings. They are then offered drinks.
This continues to the end of the day. On the last day, Monday, the god
Taa-Mensa is carried through the town to thank all the people who have contributed to
the success of the festival.
LOCAL POINTS OF INTEREST
Apenkro Waterfalls: The newly discovered Apenkro Waterfalls cascades gently
through a considerable height into a refreshing pool. It is located on the
Wenchi-Offuman road, at Apenkro and about 24 km from Techiman. Although not
easily accessible, it is ideal for hiking through the virgin forest along shaded
River Tano Sacred Fish: This pool houses sacred fish and is fiercely
protected by the local community who love along on the River Tano near Techiman.
There is also another pool on the Atweredaa Stream, a tributary of the Tano River,
which runs through the Techiman market.
Tanoboase Sacred Grove: The Tanoboase Sacred Grove is indeed the cradle of
Bono civilization. The grove served as a hideout to the Bono during the slave
trade and the 18th century Bono- Ashanti tribal wars many years ago.
It is currently used for hiking and rock climbing. The guided tour in Tanoboase
will take you through the Grove with its fascinating history of the Bono People
and over the amazing intricately shaped sandstone rocks that can be climbed to
provide views of the whole district.
Asuoye Catholic Grotto: This is a Catholic Groto at Asuoye. It is about 8 km
from Techiman. Every year about 30,000 Catholics from all over the world
embark on pilgrimages to the Asuoye Catholic Grotto for prayers ranging from
personal needs to having fellowship with other Catholics. It is normally between
the 15th and 20th of August. The pilgrims are accommodated in open tents in
the calm serene atmosphere of the grotto. Abundant testimonies have been given
to substantiate the potency of prayers.Photo
Fuller Falls: This is some 7 km west of Kintampo. It falls gently over a
series of cascades along the river Oyoko at Yabraso. It provides a scenic beauty
at the site of the falls as it continues its journey towards the Black Volta
The surroundings of the Fuller Falls provides for the visitor a wonderful
peaceful scenery and a refreshing pool to take a dip and a place to just
Ancient Amowi Caves: There are underground caves near Fiema, called the
Pinihini Amowi Caves, and legend has it that the Bono people came out from the
ground through those holes. According to Bono Techiman traditions, their
ancestors crossed the Black Volta River after a fierce battle with the Mossi people in
the north. They then hid in the woods and caves of Amowi. Though the actual
cause for the migration from the Amowi rock-shelter is not clear, the Bono
emerged from the Amowi caves and built their first town called "Yefiri," meaning
"We are coming out."