Guiding in Ghana was introduced as early as 1921 by Mrs. Elsie Aba Okaikor Ofuatey-Kodjoe. She had the opportunity of studying Art and Music at the Warfield School in Tauntor, Sumerset, in England. She was a Guide at school and became the founder in Ghana.
Guiding encountered different problems when it was introduced in the country and did not last. However, the founder did not relent her efforts and started it all over in Accra. Guiding therefore became known officially in 1925 and had ever since remained in Ghana.
The ‘Guide Hut’, which is currently the headquarters building, was constructed. In 1930 a branch of the British Guide Association emerged with a simple constitution for the Gold Coast which was then under colonial rule. A white Lady was appointed as the Colony Commissioner for Guides in Ghana.
In 1935 a two week camp was held at Labadi Beach in a palm branch shelter for Guides and in 1941 some Guiders were trained for emergency work.
Mrs. Ofuatey-Kodjoe acquired a park for Guides for their various activities and it became known as ‘Guide Park’. This park was originally the pig farm for Achimota College and was given to the Ghana Girl Guides Association through sympathy by the then Principal Rev. R. W. Stopford. Throughout her hard work, Mrs. Ofuatey-Kodjoe was made the Acting Colony Commissioner and life President of the Association in 1949 and she used the Guide Law as her working document. This made her persevere though her patience was stretched beyond its limits. Yet she survived it all with distinction. She had 76 girls she met at her father’s residence in Accra.
The First Chief Commissioner, Lady Baden Powell visited the Gold Coast for the first time. In 1951 the Guides Constitution was put in place.
Mrs. Ofuatey had a lot of vision for the Association, one of which was to get a home for all Guides to learn, experiment, a place to meet and make their problems known, share experiences, talk about failures and successes made, a place where issues concerning Guiding could be discussed and a place for a family reunion.
Thus, in 1952 a land was acquired to build a Guides Training Centre and the problem of funding arose. She sought financial assistance from the then Colonial Government but she was turned down with the excuse the other Organisations would also approach them for financial assistance if they did assist them. She was not deterred but was encouraged by law 7 which says "A Guide has courage and is cheerful in all difficulties" and she single handedly continued organizing the Association.
A scheme was designed for the raising of funds for the Training Centre. The Bee badge was suggested by Mrs. Wilkinson under the slogan "Bees make honey Guides make money". Various contributions were made by Brownies, Guides, Cadets, Guiders, Commissioners and local Associations. And an amount of £2,600 was raised. The Commonwealth Trust contributed £1,500 to the fund.
The first Guide Camp was held under canvas in Accra. In 1956 the first Ghana Trainer in Guiding in the person of Mrs. Hilda Sawyer was awarded a diploma.
On March 21, 1957, that is 15 days after Ghana’s Independence, Lady Arden Clarke, wife of the Governor before Independence and Patron of the Association, planted a tree to mark the beginning of the project on the building of the Ghana Girl Guides Training Centre.
In the same year 1957 the First African International Guide Camp was held at Christiansburg in Accra.
In 1961 the Ghana Girl Guides Association became an associate member of WAGGGS.
On Sunday, January 13, 1962, Mrs. Fathia Nkrumah, wife of the first President of Ghana and Chief Patron of the Association cut a sod to officially open the Ghana Girl Guides Training Centre, the first in Africa. The ceremony was witnessed by friends and the rank and file of the Association among who was Dame Leslie Whitely, Director of World Bureau.
In the same year, 1962, the Phelp Stokes Mission donated an amount of £100 for the building of the Camp Shelter situated at the Training Centre.
In 1965 a West African International Leadership Camp was held at Achimota to mark the United International Co-operation year.
And in 1969, Ghana became a full member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).
Guiding was 50 years old in Ghana and the Golden Jubilee Anniversary was celebrated.
In 1981, Ghana Girl Guides had an out of door fun to mark its 60th Anniversary and ten years later, in 1991, a joint agreement for Assistance in Training of Leaders was signed with Danish Scouts and Guides.
In 1996, the Ghana Girl Guides Association celebrated its 75th Anniversary and in the same year Scottish Rangers had a work camp at Toase in the Ashanti Region to build a classroom block for a school in the town.
In 1999 Scottish Rangers had a work camp at Senya Braku in Ghana to build a school for deprived girls.
The old Camp shelter was refurbished in 2000 with financial support from Guides and Scouts of Denmark. In that year, an HIV/AIDS project started and the Guide House was completed.
In 2001, the 80th Anniversary was celebrated and the Poverty Alleviation Programme started.
In 2004, the 7th African Regional Conference was held in Accra and the South South Partnership was formed. In the same year the first South South Trainers Camp was held in Accra and in August 2005, a South South Partnership Camp was held in Accra. Presently, Guiding is taking place in seven Regions out of ten Regions in the country.
Currently Ghana is the Chairperson of the South South Partnership. Comprising of Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria.
World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts