Tafo, situated in the Kumasi Metropolitan District within the Ashanti Region of Ghana, is a vibrant and rapidly growing settlement. With a population of 60,919 people, it ranks as the thirtieth most populous community in Ghana. Over the years, Tafo has witnessed substantial housing development and population growth, prompting debates about whether it should still be considered a separate town or regarded as a suburb of Kumasi, the regional capital.
Tafo is strategically located, being just 3.3 kilometres from the centre of New Tafo, another village with a similar name. It is crucial to distinguish between the two, as New Tafo is a distinct entity despite its close proximity. Interestingly, both Tafo and New Tafo are under the leadership of a single Chief, Nana Tafohene, who presides over the left wing of the Kumasi Traditional Council. While they share the same traditional authority, they maintain separate political administrations.
Additionally, Tafo is in close proximity to Tarkwa, which lies just 4.6 kilometres away, and the city centre of Kumasi, which is approximately 9.8 kilometres distant. Tafo serves as one of the urban constituencies within the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, ensuring that its parliamentary candidate holds a direct seat in the Parliament of Ghana. This highlights Tafo’s significance not only as a growing population centre but also as a vital political and administrative hub within the Ashanti Region.
Tafo, a historical town in Ghana, holds significance as a regional headquarters of the Ashanti-King, with its leader known as the Tafohene. Additionally, Tafo boasts an essential Cocoa Research Institute, established in June 1938. At its zenith, this institute employed 1,000 individuals, but today, its workforce has been reduced to around 200 dedicated to research and monitoring in cocoa cultivation.
One of the primary functions of the institute involves testing and developing specific pathogens for the biological control of African locusts, a crucial task in ensuring successful cocoa cultivation. Tafo’s population has witnessed fluctuations over the years. In the 1983 census, there were 25,688 residents, while a population estimate for January 2007 reported a substantial increase to 53,165 inhabitants.
Tafo’s rich history as a regional centre and its role in cocoa research make it an important place in the Ashanti region of Ghana. The town’s growth over the years underscores its significance in both historical and agricultural contexts.