A dawn of the new beginning: Is the Asafo Forum for Change (AFC) The new paradigm shift
Agona Asafo is a beautiful community located at the heart of the Central Region of Ghana. With a rich traditional history and virtues, Asafo is well known for its love for farming especialy vegetable production. It’s arable lands provide the quality for farming and agric development at small and media scale levels.
Asafo has also produced many prominent personalities and young talents both at national and international levels in various categories of social life. Prof Kwesi Botchwey, a proud native of Agona Asafo, served as Ghana’s Finance Minister from 1982-1995. He is probably the longest serving Finance Minister in West Africa.
Prof George KT Oduro, who prefers to be called the _Agona Asafo Boy_, rose from being the Director of the Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (IEPA), to the high position of the Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast. His contributions to community development of Asafo is one that inspires many generations. Eric Kwabena Bekoe became the Goal King of the 2007/2008 Ghana Premier League. His exploits in Ghana, Africa and world football history, provide an impetus for the youth of Agona Asafo. Mrs Menaye Donkoh won the Miss Universe Ghana 2004 and made Asafo and Agonaman proud with her talent. Her school, Menaye School of Hope, located directly opposite the _Dutch Forest_ provides ambiance for basic education. There are many other natives of Agona Asafo who are making huge impacts in all sectors of national development.
Despite the huge human resources and talents available in Asafo, the community still remains one of the most underprivileged in Agona. Whilst teenage pregnancy has remained a crucial issue in children’s development, poor performance in schools, lack of physical infrastructures for social development and negative perceptions about the community, remain key militating factors against development. In recent times, political polarization has rather made it worse.
So the question arises. Is there any hope for a change order?
A new youth frontier group, called the Asafo Forum for Change (AFC) is gradually evolving into the scene with a strong force. The forum, seeks to provide the impetuses that would be critical to consolidating the gains of the community through efficient mobilization of the human capital for development.
The group has emerged to chart a new path for community development through public education and awareness programmes that will cause behavioral and attitudinal changes. That will set a pace of optimism for a new paradigm. The group seems to be ready to pursue the ASAFO DREAM by harnessing opportunities that make it possible to reach The Future We Want project.
AFC may be interested in building the capabilities of young people and traditional authorities to become Community Change Ambassadors who will use the forum to organize community dialogues that will enhance participatory democracy at all levels for mutual change.
As a youth leader and change maker, I strongly believe that the future of Agona Asafo, can best be shaped by all stakeholders especially its indigenous people.
An apolitical pressure group of this caliber with positive minded leadership who are enthusiastic of a positive change, can be the springboard for a new beginning.
ROBERT ABEKU ANSAH,
Republic of Agona Asafo