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Nature’s African map in Bunkpurugu

BY: Mohammed Fugu
 The rock shaped like the Africa map
The rock shaped like the Africa map

It is a stone that has existed for ages, and it is naturally shaped in the form of an African map.

For the people of Bunkpurugu in the North East Region where the unique landmark is located, it is a source of pride and a sacred gift bestowed on them by God.

Popularly called the “Africa map”, it is a rock formation of the African map located near the Ghana/Togo border, a few kilometres from the Bunkpurugu township.

The unique landmark also has beside it a small piece of rock which looks like the map of Madagascar.

The triangular-shaped effigy which looks like the African map is about five metres long with a texture like a sedimentary rock, but hard to break.

With a cursory look at it, one can see small features dotted on the surface like the various countries that make up the actual Africa map.

According to folklore, the landmark was discovered by anthropologists in the early 18th century when the Bimoba ethnic group migrated from the Songhai Empire to settle in the area.

Undeveloped

Though the natural feature is not well known by many, residents of the area see it as a source of pride and continue to protect it.

The site of nature’s wonder could, however, be developed to attract tourists.

A geographer, Labik Thompson, who is also a resident of the town told the Daily Graphic that a careful examination of the stone showed that it had most of the features of the African map.

He said although it had the potential to attract people and generate revenue for the district, much had not been done to explore its potential.

“Apart from the indigenes, people don’t know much about it. We hope that investors will one-day show interest to develop the site so that it can help open up the area,” he said.

Assembly's plans

When contacted, the District Chief Executive for Bunkpurugu/Nakpanduri, Joseph Louknaan, said plans were far advanced by the assembly to develop the place into a very viable tourist centre.

He said the assembly had included it in its medium-term development plan and was raising funds for its upgrade.

“It is part of our plans but we lack funds so when funds are available, we will award it on contract.”

“We are planning to erect a fence around it and also get a tour guard to be stationed there so that when tourists visit, they will be charged a token which will go into the assembly's coffers," he stated.

Mr Louknaan, however, called on investors to consider investing in the tourist sites in the district to help create jobs for the teeming youth and open up the area.

In a recent interview, the Paramount Chief of the Bunkpurugu Traditional Area, Naba Abuba Nansimong, also appealed to the government and investors to consider developing the tourist sites in the district to help create jobs for the youth.

Tourism potential

Aside from the “African map”, the Bunkpurugu/Nakpanduri District is endowed with a number of tourist sites.

Notable among them are; the Nakpanduri Water-falls, the Nakpanduri scarp which portrays the beauty and wonder of nature as well as the Kwame Nkrumah Guest House in Nakpanduri.