- Antoinette Herrmann-Condobrey
The Queen's Initiative Unveiled: Mamaga Dewotornyo Agoe to the World.
A year after taking her oath of office, the paramount queen of Gbi Traditional Area, Mamaga Dewotornyo Agoe, has unveiled her cause in Hohoe, focusing on youths and skills training.
The paramount queen, who doubles as queen of Hohoe, made her project plan public on November 5, 2022, in a ceremony dubbed “Unveiling the Queen’s Initiative.” The Queen’s Initiative, she detailed, is a multi-faceted skills training and rehabilitation project that targets marginalized and vulnerable youths in the Hohoe municipality. The project’s goal is to economically empower members of this group, whose ever-increasing population poses a major security threat to the Hohoe area and beyond.
The highly successful event—the first of the queen’s personal organization—led by a majority-female team, saw close to four hundred people in attendance. Speakers included Rev. Father, Dr. Patrick Allala, a programs director at William Paterson University, New Jersey, USA, and board chair of the Dewotornyo Agoe Foundation; former Hohoe Member of Parliament, Mrs. Bernice Adiku Heloo, agro-economics specialist, Ms. Patience Tetteh, Prof. Theophilus Adiku, musician and keyboardist, Azonko Simpi. Unveiling of the Queen’s Initiative was complete with cultural and musical performances, a poem recital for Mamaga by Courage Mark Anku, and a banquet.
Mamaga underscored the need for essential community resources in the Hohoe area, to which youths can turn for second chances when they find themselves in wrong tracks. “The youth are the building blocks of a healthy society,” she stressed, adding that their problems must be treated as the community’s. The paramount queen got into details of the yet-to-be-established “Agoe Skills Academy,” which she said will make good use of the community’s natural resources and “take full advantage of the digital age” to maximize its potential.
It will “blend new technology and traditional ideas to give a wide range of innovative learning options to underprivileged youths, school dropouts, those who couldn’t further their education, and the many that have taken to substance misuse—including but not limited to alcohol—and facing serious challenges with their futures.”
Rev. Father, Dr. Patrick Allala, who chaired the program, lamented the social degeneration of Gbi Traditional Area, citing risk behaviors including substance abuse and larceny among the youth, due to hardships faced by them. Father Allala reiterated the need for positive youth development programs like The Queen’s Initiative in Gbi to rescue the town from the wrong path. Ms. Patience Tetteh elaborated on the importance of TVet—Technical Vocational Education and Training—for Gbi Traditional Area. The youth, she explained, can take advantage of the many revenue generation avenues TVet offers, including soap making, mushroom and snail farming, for economic emancipation.
Beyond announcing her plans, the paramount queen had quite a few surprises for the audience.
The Agoe Skills Academy “is fully registered by the Ghana government and has obtained its certificate of incorporation.” Even more remarkable is the revelation that a temporary facility has been loaned to the project “to fast track the skills training program.” An aerial view of the facility, designed by Charles Kofinti of Gbi-Bla, was unveiled by the paramount queen with the help of Father Allala. The news was well received by potential investors as well as families across the community. Mamaga called for partnerships “to build and rescue;” a call that produced immediate results, with impressive pledges coming from highly targeted audience members, including Assistant Commissioner of Police (rtd) Augustine Kokukokor of Gbi-Kpeme and Prof. Dzigbodi Adjimah of Gbi-Abansi.
"All over the world, women are rising to the challenge of nation building,” Mamaga stated, urging Gbis to rise to the occasion. She mentioned Esinam Agbley of Gbi-Abansi, a scientist who holds three international patents for inventions, reminded all of the enormous creative ability Gbi has, and called for these to be channeled into building the community.
“My foundation, the Dewortonyo Agoe I Foundation,” Mamaga stated toward the end of her speech, is legally registered and licensed to operate. “My office is ready for your partnership. My majority-female leadership team is poised to make a difference. Take a chance on us and our dream. We will not disappoint you.”