The Akan Traditional Leadership Formation: Some Lessons for Christian Leadership Formation

Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong  ORCID iD

Issue: Vol.2  No.7  July 2021  Article 2 pp. 75-91
DOI :  |   Published online 23rd July 2021.
© 2021 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (


Traditional and Christian leaders in Akan communities in Ghana provide leadership services for the same Akan people. For proper internal harmony and identity devoid of identity crises, the two leadership systems should not only understand each other but must be willing to learn relevant values and lessons from each other. The integration which has already taken place among Akan traditional leaders as they have over the years learnt Christian leadership values and lessons from churches and mission schools is yet to take place properly in Christian leadership formation. This article seeks to analyse the values and lessons in Akan traditional leadership formation and its significance for Christian leadership formation. Observation and interviews of the Akan traditional leadership institution at Akuapim, Akyem and Asante and examination of secondary materials on early interpreters of the interaction between the Akan traditional leadership institution with the Christian faith are used to gather qualitative data. Akan traditional leadership formation pays much attention to matters of royal consciousness, leadership as service, mentoring, the celebration of the Adae festival and oath swearing. Christian leadership formation that seeks to avoid the church being alien on Akan cultural soil will need to pay attention to the indigenous leadership formation when addressing issues on institutional memory, stewardship, women in leadership, leadership as service and accountability in Christian leadership.

Keywords: Akan, Christian, Traditional Leadership, Leadership Formation.

Busia, Kofi A. The Position of the Chief in the Modern Political System of Ashanti: A Study of the Influence of Contemporary Social Changes on Ashanti Political Institutions, Oxford University Press, 1951.

______.The African world view in S.G. Williamson (ed.) Christianity and Africa Culture. Accra: Christian Council, 1955.

Odotei, Irene and Hagan, G. The King Returns: Enstoolment of Asantehene Osei Tutu II, Accra: Institute of African Studies 2002.

Gyekye, Kwame. African Cultural Values: An Introduction. Accra: Sankofa Publishing Company 1996.

Nana Addo Dankwa III, The Institution of Chieftaincy in Ghana – The Future. Accra: Konrad Adenauer Foundation 2004.

Rattray, Robert S. Ashanti. London: Oxford University Press 1955.

Interview with Addo Fenning. June 6, 2004 University of Ghana Legon.
Interview with Emily Akuffo. May 14, 2004 Akropong Akuapim.
Interview with Okyeame Ampratwum June 1, 2004 Asante Mampong.
Interview with Kwabena Safo. June 3, 2004 Asante Mampong.
Interview with Nana Addo Dankwa III Nov 22, 2004 Akropong Akuapim.
Interview with Nana Owusu Afriyie June 2,2004 Asante Mampong.

Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong (PhD), Lecturer in African Christianity, Department of Religious Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi – Ghana.

Opuni-Frimpong, K. “The Akan Traditional Leadership Formation: Some Lessons for Christian Leadership Formation” E-Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences 2, no.7 (2021): 75-91

© 2021 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (