Festivals are an important element for building community in Ghanaian culture while celebrating the country’s rich heritage. Festivals also provide an opportunity for chiefs and elders to settle intra-communal disputes, as well as disputes between families or loved ones.
The biennial Apomasu Yam Festival, celebrated by the people of Ntotroso, is one such festival celebrated by host communities near Newmont Ghana’s Ahafo Mine. The festival commemorates the Apomasu deity who is believed to hold the key to the community’s wellbeing. Some oral accounts attribute the gold deposits discovered in the area to the presence of the deity.
In line with Newmont’s integrity value, which guides employees to respect the customs, culture and laws of our host communities, the Ahafo mine through its development foundation, has supported festivals and other cultural initiatives to help sustain the heritage of the people. In fact, twelve percent of the company’s contribution to Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation is dedicated to a cultural heritage fund for the 10 host communities near Ahafo.
This year, the people of Ntotoroso celebrated the Apomasu Yam Festival under the theme, “Promoting, Empowering and Sustaining the Girl-Child Education, the role of Traditional Authorities.” For decades, the Apomasu Yam festival has been the rallying point for developmental initiatives for the people of Ntotoroso.
The occasion has been known for its rich display of culture, indigenous to the area. It has also been an opportunity for the Chiefs and people to showcase Ghana’s rich and beautifully woven Kente cloth, traditional attires and handmade accessories.
Present at the event was the Vice President of Ghana and other government officials, Ahafo Mine and Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation (NADeF) officials, well-wishers from surrounding towns and villages and tourists from within and outside Ghana. The Ahafo mine donated money and presented Newmont branded school bags and exercise books to support an inter-school quiz competition organized as part of activities to mark the celebration.
The Vice-President of Ghana, Paa Kwasi Amissah-Authur, who was the Guest of Honor, committed to supporting the Ntotroso College of Nursing, a flagship development project funded by NADeF, with the donation of a bus. The College, established in 2014, has a student population of more than 500 and is the first and only nursing training college within the Asutifi North district of the Brong Ahafo Region.