General News of Monday, 26 January 2015
Interior Minister Mark Woyongo has suggested that nomadic Fulani herdsmen be taxed per the number of cattle they own as a way of discouraging them from operating in the country.
The nomads, who are sprawled all over Africa are one of the largest ethnic groups on the Continent, numbering approximately 40 million people in total.
They are also one of the most widely dispersed and culturally diverse ethnolinguistic groups in Africa.
They are bound together by the common language of Fulfulde. A significant proportion of them – an estimated 13 million – are nomadic, making them the largest pastoral nomadic group in the world. Spread over many countries, they are found mainly in West Africa and northern parts of Central Africa, but also in Sudan and Egypt.
There have been recurrent skirmishes between the Fulani in Ghana’s Ashanti region – particularly in Agogo, as well as other areas in the Eastern region – which have resulted in shootings, killings, decimation of farms and rapes.
Host communities in Ghana have normally accused Fulani men of raping their women, a charge which the National President of Fulanis in Ghana, Prof Osman Barry has denied.
The Government of Ghana has come up with various policies and programmes aimed at discouraging the activities of Fulani herdsmen as well as ensuring peaceful coexistence between them and their host communities but to no avail.
Mr Woyongo told Joy FM in an interview aired Monday that levying their herdsmen could be a deterrent and disincentive.