The France Ambassador to Ghana, Anne Sophie Avé, has called on Ghanaians to value, preserve and protect their rich cultural heritage.
The French Ambassador who was inaugurating the Begho Community Museum at Hani in the Tain District of the Bono region said, “The unique cultural diversity and the numerous wonderful tourist sites were the only legacies Ghanaian communities could leave for generations to come, hence the need to jealously guard against their destruction”.
Anne Sophie Avé stated that the objective of the refurbished museum at Hani was to preserve, promote and project the cultural artefacts and stories that made Begho’s heritage worth celebrating.
The renovation of the Begho Community Museum was funded by the Embassy of France in Ghana through its Sankofa Small Grants Project in partnership with Concerned Citizens of Begho (CONCOBEG), an NGO, the Tain District Assembly and Daniel Kuma, an archaeologist at the University of Ghana (UG).
Begho, which is present-day Hani, is believed to be a former ancient market city at the crossroads of several trade routes occupied between the 11th and 18th centuries.
As such, it has been mentioned and documented in many early writings about West Africa and pre-colonial Ghana.
Due to the prosperity Associated with the trade in gold, kola and ivory, by the 15th to 16th century AD, Begho was said to have been one of the populated places in West Africa.
However several studies by archeologists from the University of Ghana have uncovered artifacts from the second century AD to the mid -18th century AD and are kept in the museum.
Now, the refurbished Begho Community Museum contains recovered remains including artifacts such as ancestral bowls, clay crucibles, smoking pipes, spindle whorls, metallurgical implements and ceramic vessels.
The rest included micro-lithic tools, stones, axes and rasps, all discovered in the area, which dates to 1500 BC at the museum.
The France Ambassador said civil society plays a huge role in ensuring the advancement of their communities and, in this case, through preserving heritage and culture.
“It is the reason why the French Embassy is committed to supporting the involvement of civil society in the management of heritage sites,” she explained during the inaugural ceremony.
For her part, the Bono regional Minister, Justina Owusu Banahene commended France’s remarkable support towards building the country’s rich cultural heritage and enhancing the tourism industry.
She called on traditional authorities to help instill indigenous Ghanaian cultural values in the youth in order to preserve the various traditions.
Tain District Chief Executive, Charity Akua Foriwaa Dwommoh, said the Assembly will upgrade the amenities in the Hani community to be able to support the envisage influx of tourist.
A Lecturer at the Archaeology department of University of Ghana, Daniel Kumah, in an interview said the Bono Bono East and Ahafo regions have several archaeological sites including, Bono Manso and Kunsu slave markets that could be developed for enhance eco- tourism.
The French Ambassador was enstooled as a development queen of Hani with the stool name Nana Benneh III.