This article discusses the supporting roles of Traditional Authorities (TAs) towards state-led formal education in Ghana through the Otumfuo Education Fund (OEF) from 2000 to 2012. The OEF is an educational fund initiated by the current Ashanti king, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, in the early 2000s to address falling educational standards not only within his kingdom but also other parts of Ghana in line with the state’s educational vision. As one of the foremost educational partnership by a traditional leader in support of state-driven formal education at a massive scale in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), we examine how such state-chieftaincy hybrid governance approaches can promote educational delivery. Through in-depth interviews with 15 multiple stakeholders including officials at the OEF secretariat, traditional leaders, headteachers, government officials and project consultants involved with the OEF, we investigated the effectiveness and limitations of the OEF’s partnership with state educational agencies in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. By using Helmke and Levitsky’s typology of formal-informal interactions, we find that hybrid arrangements between traditional leaders (through the OEF) and the Ghanaian state aligns to an ‘accommodating-complementary’ type of partnership. Under this, the OEF supported the state in four main areas namely providing scholarships (to brilliant but needy students), expanding and renovating educational infrastructure in deprived areas, providing educational materials and organising career development workshops for students. We conclude that greater attention should be given to partnerships between state educational agencies and TAs, particularly in deprived areas where access to education remains a challenge.
Bibliographical noteSpecial thanks to the late Prof Raufu Mustapha and Dr Olly Owen for their constructive comments and supervision towards this study as part of the first author’s MPhil in Development Studies program at the Oxford Department of International Development (ODID), UK.
This work was supported by the St Antony’s College (Oxford) Travel and Research Fund (STAR Grant TT16); The Royal Air Maroc Travel Award 2016.
- Asantehene (Otumfuo Osei Tutu II)
- Educational Provision
- Hybrid Governance
- Otumfuo Education Fund
- Traditional Authorities