Winneba is in the Central Region of Ghana and is 42 miles west of the capital, Accra. Ghana itself is administratively divided into 10 regions and 110 districts. Winneba is the district headquarters to the surrounding townships. It is a coastal town bordered to the east by the Ayensu River and the west by the Manko Mountain range. The population was recorded as 40,017 in a census in 2000. Its inhabitants are known as Simpafo or Effutufo. It is the capital of the Awutu/Effutu/Senya District in Central Region. The main industries of Winneba are fishing and pottery. It is known for the Aboakyer deer-hunting festival of the Effutu people and its New Year fancy dress carnival/masquerading festival. The town has a rich musical tradition and boasts of several renowned musical groups in the country. The University of Education, Winneba is one of the educational institutions in Ghana. Until 1966 it was the Kwame Nkrumah Institute of Ideology.
University of Ghana’s College of Education
The University of Ghana is a union of five different colleges. Each college is located in a different city or town of Ghana. Winneba is the home for the college of Education. This College is responsible for the training of all elementary and high school teachers in Ghana. Also, all grade school Guidance Counselors and Special Education teachers are trained here.
National Academy of Music
This is a three-year academy, which lends its heart and soul to the music of our country and to the classics of yesteryear. Since its founding in the 1970’s, it has birthed many, many international Ghanaian musicians who now play in orchestras throughout Europe. It trains all music teachers for elementary and high school instruction in Ghana. Winneba is privileged to also have the Academy as the home to Ghana’s National Orchestra. They bring added joy and entertainment to Winneba.
The main industry for our people is fishing. There are three traditionally different groups of fisherman. One group specializes in deep-sea fishing and normally spends the night out fishing and comes back in the morning with their catch. A second group uses drag nets to fish the ocean. The last group uses smaller nets to fish the Ayensu River and Lake Monyi.
The making of ceramics is another industry found in Winneba. The Winneba people are very skilled in this art. The Potter’s Wheels in Winneba account for the majority of the beautiful and durable ceramic goods exported from Ghana around the world. Another ceramic specialty of our people is the making of the red roofing tiles found in the majority of homes in our country. These tiles are very popular in Ghana. Winneba also has an abandoned poultry enterprise and Animal Husbandry waiting to be revamped and revitalized.
Like Charlottesville, tourism is a very important industry in Winneba. Our most popular tourist attraction is The Deer Hunting Festival. It is considered to be the festival of all festivals. The Deer Hunting Festival started centuries ago when our area was very tribal. It had a different name back then but basically the same theme. In the olden days, the Chief would send out warriors to capture a member of the royal family and bring them to the festival. Everyone celebrated while they waited for victory. Over time, peace ruled the lands and to maintain the ceremony and the restive spirit it brought to the community, the Chief decided to send out two Asafo warrior groups to capture a tiger and bring it back alive. This seemed like a better idea. As more time passed the women related to the warriors requested that the tradition be changed from capturing a tiger to capturing a deer. This was considered an easier way to maintain the traditions of the warrior population in town. At present, we celebrate The Deer Hunting Festival yearly to honor our forefather’s traditions and to celebrate the athleticism of our people.
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