(OKUAPEM – GHANA) – The paramount chief of the OKUAPEM traditional area Osaedeeyo Kwasi Akuffo III has donated internet routers, face masks, veronica buckets and hand sanitizers to ten (10) sesperate schools in Okuapeman. The donation took place on Thursday Oct 1 2020 during the ‘day of feasting’ of the ODWIRA  festival of the chiefs and peoples of OKUAPEMAN and it forms part of the chief’s effort to enhance E-teaching and E-learning in a time of a coronavirus public health pandemic and its consequent culture of smart working and smart learning.

 The  internet is enabling teachers to teach from home and students to learn at home. And this makes the internet routers  very crucial to avoid interruption in teaching and learning in schools during this public health crisis.

 The ten (10) beneficiary schools including Mange Presby Primary, PCE Demonstration JSS, Akropong Methodist, Akropong Presby JHS, Akropong MA School, Larteh RC School, Larteh Methodist, Larteh Presby JHS, Amanakrom Presby Pri and Amanakrom Presby JHS are all located within the OKUAPEM traditional area. The paramount chief who considers OKUAPEMAN a beacon of education in Ghana, also consider the donation of the internet routers to the ten (10) schools as part of his vision to maintain and enhance higher educational standards in the traditional area.

The ODWIRA festival is an annual traditional festival and this year’s is being organized under the ‘new normal’ conditions of social distancing and much virtual participation.  The theme ” A safe, smart and green OKUAPEM” captures the mood of the times and the people.

 According to the Odwira festival Planning Committee, the festival was planned to uniquely blend traditional activities and festival rituals  with the imperative of new, safe and physically distant events and guidelines.

“All of our events, save those that are sacred and traditional, lend themselves and are available for safe physical as well as virtual participation of audiences and partners on the Ridge, in Ghana and abroad”,  the ODWIRA 2020 planning committee noted in their announcement.

As part of measures to ensure safe celebration without giving room for the spread of coronavirus, the festival committee has invited a network of media including digital platforms to enable virtual realtime safe participation by as many people as possible.

“Our Committee is extremely mindful of the constraints as well as the challenges that Covid-19 has impacted on people, businesses and ambitions.  We intend to be Leaders in the new Normal”, the committee added.

As part of this year’s celebrations, a branded multimedia campaign began in September 2020 and will  be climaxed in February 2021, to  share the 10 reasons, people, events and places to preserve, learn, celebrate and visit OKUAPEMAN.

The ODWIRA festival of the chiefs and people of OKUAPEM is a traditional festival to celebrate the founding traditions and heroic history and culture of OKUAPEMAN, founded 290 years ago.

Since 1730, the  original 17 towns of the Kingdom, comprising of the descendants of the Guans, Okere, Akwamu, Ga, Krobo and Akyem peoples, are located some 25 miles from Accra and a scenic 1,500 feet above sea level.  

In the 1850’s, Okuapeman became the First center for western education and religion established by the Basel Mission Society away from the coastal areas.  For 290 years, the peoples of our Ridge organised in 5 unique Divisions under the Paramountcy, have delivered many Firsts.  The First Botanical Gardens; the First Gold Coast indigenes trained in western education and religion outside the coastal areas including David Asante, the First ordained Minister of what is now the Presbyterian Church; Okyeame Boafo Akuffo, the First State Linguist for Ghana’s First Prime Minister, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.  In addition, Okuapeman is home to the First commercial farm for cocoa and the First Center of Research for Traditional Medicine.