Akwambo Festival is celebrated by the inhabitants of the Agona area in central region of Ghana. The festival is held annually in the month of August and is the biggest annual event in the Gomoa and Agona districts.
The celebration of the festival is to remember and also celebrate the founding fathers and first settlers of the four indigenous Agona towns namely; Otabenadze, Gyinankoma, Atakwaa and Ekrawfo. It is believed that the founders of these four towns were the first inhabitants of the entire Agona lands.
The name of the festival, Akwambo, translates into ‘Path clearing’ in the Akan language hence some people occasionally refer to the festival as Path clearing festival.
Major activities that take place during the Akwambo festival include a grand durbar organized by all the participating towns. The durbars are led by the community chiefs and their council of elders. The durbar is usually marked with activities such as drumming, dancing, and speech presentations by political figures like the District Chief Executive (DCE) of the area as well as notable public figures that are indigenes.
Path clearing is the most important part of the festival. During this ritual, town people are expected to participate in clearing the roadside, cleaning of gutters and even weeding of bushy paths that lead to important places like streams and rivers. This according to the elders of the towns is done to honour the first settlers of the area and show them that they are taking good care of the land they left in their care. This part of the festival is held in high regards by all the participating communities and usually sees massive turnouts, with almost all town folks, whether old or young taking part in it.
Like most festivals in Ghana, during Akwambo, offerings are made to the ancestors and gods of the land whom they believe protect them from harm and evil. These offerings takes place in the form of pouring libation on the ground and praying to the ancestors to continue to offer them protection and good harvest as well as keep them from harm’s way. All these activities are led by the chiefs of the various towns, with help from their council of elders.