• Mrs Gizella Tetteh-Agbotui
Represented by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP), Mrs Gizella Tetteh-Agbotui, the Awutu-Senya West Constituency is located in the Central Region of Ghana.
It was carved out of the then Awutu-Senya Constituency in 2012 ahead of the 2012 elections.
As a semi-rural constituency, Awutu-Senya West has three urban centres—Bawjiase, Senya Beraku and Awutu, the district capital.
Awutu-Senya West used to be part of Awutu-Efutu-Senya when Awutu, Kasoa and Winneba were all part of one district.
However, the district was separated into Effutu (Winneba) and Awutu-Senya (Awutu, Kasoa, Senya Berekum, Bawjiase). Awutu-Senya was further divided into Awutu-Senya East and Awutu-Senya West, a constituency with diverse political history.
This is a constituency where the NDC has won the seat six times and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has won twice.
In the 2016 parliamentary election, the immediate former NPP MP for the area, Mr George Andah, polled 28,867 votes, representing 52.72 per cent of the valid votes cast, to beat his main contender, the incumbent MP, Mrs Hannah Tetteh, who had 25,664, representing 46.87 per cent.
However, in the 2020 election, Mrs Gizella Tetteh-Agbotui, the younger sister of Mrs Hannah Tetteh, won the seat when she garnered 32,708 votes, which represents 51.58 per cent of the total votes cast, to beat Mr Andah who had 29,832 votes.
Largely agrarian, most of the 86,884 people in the constituency are engaged in both subsistence and commercial farming, growing pineapple, coconuts and cocoa.
The constituency is one that is endowed with beautiful landscapes and eye-catching tourist sites such as large tracts of coastal rainforest reserves that have remained untapped over the years in spite of the constituency’s strategic location as the gateway to the Central Region.
The area boasts of seven beautiful sandy beaches, a tranquil environment that allows visitors to connect with nature and Fort Good Hope which was built in 1667 by the Dutch and once served as conduit for the transatlantic slave trade. The area also has a large forest reserve suitable for hiking, camping and retreat.
Gateway to tourism
When the Daily Graphic caught up with the MP for Awutu-Senya West, Mrs Tetteh-Agbotui, she said with most of the towns having their market days on Tuesdays and Fridays, there was the need to promote the constituency as a one-stop tourist destination to boost the local economy and create jobs for the people, especially taxi drivers, female fishmongers, food and beverage vendors, tour guides and private security officers.
“When you have a fort along the coast, there is a history to it and you package our history and write it for tourists to come and find out what it is about.
“I, therefore, intend to market Awutu-Senya West as the gateway to tourism in the Central Region because geographically, we are a gateway. If we are able to market Fort Good Hope before tourists get to the Elmina Castle and Kakum National Park, they can pass by this fort and get a feel of it,” she said.
Believing that there are many cities that thrive on tourism, Mrs Tetteh-Agbotui said she was optimistic that her ability to implement the vision of exploring the tourism potential of the area would create employment for the youth.
“For tourism to thrive in my place and for the money to stay in the local economy, instead of tourists coming to Accra Arts Centre to buy their arts and crafts, we can create an arts and crafts market,” she said.
To ensure the success of the vision, she expressed her commitment to involve the communities in the area so that they could own the tourist attractions.
“The natural resources are already there and it is all about marketing as the Forestry Commission, which already has a visitor centre in the forest, is already there to ensure proper management of the reserves,” she said.
“I will work with Central Regional Development Commission (CEDECOM) which is responsible for tourism development in the Central Region, including the Kakum National Park and those who understand the business to accomplish my vision.
She also pledged to work with renowned filmmaker, Mr Kwaw Ansah, a native of Senya Beraku who had put up a museum, Bisa Aberwa Museum at Nkotompo, Sekondi, about the possibility to establish a museum at Fort Good Hope.