Out of Tamale Jan 26

We started the day bright and early, meeting up at 5 a.m. and leaving Tamale at 6 a.m. We headed on our way to Kumasi, stopping a few times for fruit and a bathroom break. Although the drive was six hours, it seemed to go by pretty quickly and before we knew it, we had arrived in the second largest city in Ghana.

Our last night in Tamale. At the dinner place.

Arrival at Davellen Hotel in Kumasi.

Our first stop was a big lunch at the Engineering Guest House of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. It is the second largest university in Ghana with over 40,000 students. It was founded by Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah. The university offers both undergrad and graduate programs in science and technology and has recently expanded to include more areas of study.

Checking out the Kwame Nkrumah University of Sceince and Technology after the lecture.

After lunch, we received a lecture on Islam in Ghana by Dr. Yunus Dumbe. He informed us of the religious demographics of Ghana, with Christianity being the predominant religion, however people of different religions coexist without conflict. He continued by explaining the processes of Islamization and Africanization. Africanization is essentially the rooting of faith in African culture. Islamization is the process of introducing Islamic faith into a community. He described two of the different ways of doing this: one being the colonial intervention and the other being migration, most commonly from neighboring countries. Northern Muslims are considered indigenous to Ghana whereas Muslims in the south are mostly migrants.

He then went on to break down the differences of Islamic faith within different regions in Northern Ghana. He began with the Gonja region. The main motivation for spreading the Islamic faith within the region was for spiritual prowess to expand the kingdom. Because of this, it was deeply intertwined with the class system of the Gonja people. This involved three divisions: The Gbanya (rulers), The Nyamase (pagan commoners), The Karama (local Muslims).

Next he explained the Dagbon region and the Ashanti region. Islam in Dagbon has its foundation in the institutionalization of Muslim leadership. Essentially, the intertwining of the political and religious spheres. Islam in the Ashanti region started in the late 16-17th century and was concentrated in specific communities. It has since expanded throughout the region. Muslim merchant clerics first came for trade but continued the Asante conquest in the north, fighting to expand the Muslim empire. They recruited Muslims for administrative work in the royal palace. Before ending his lecture, he briefly touched on the Revivalist Movement.

We left the university and went to the Davellen hotel. We had a few hours to relax before getting pizza in town.