Kingdom of Denkyira

Kingdom of Denkyira
was an Akan kingdom, considered the first Akan state to become an empire and the largest state around 1695. The capital was Abankeseso. Between 1660 and 1690, Denkyira was the dominant power in the southwestern Guinea coast of modern day Ghana.

Pre-Asante Empire 

The Asante Kingdom was a vassal of Denkyira. In 1699, Denkyirahene Ntim Gyakari requested hire taxes from Asantehene Osei Tutu. This action caused war to break out. Initially, the war went the way of Denkyirahene Gyakari, but the tides turned. In 1701, Denkyirahene Ntim Gyakari was defeated by the Asante Kingdom at Feyiase. The Asante Kingdom proceeded to aquire remaining Denkyira territories.


Denkyira was broken into to two regions, metropolitan and provincial. Abankeseso represented the metropolitan area, where the king or denkyirahene resided. Under the king were different officers; Batahene (Minister of Trade),  the Sanaahene(Finance), the Gyaasehene(Home Afrairs), the Akyeamehene (Foreign Affairs and Head Linguist) and the Sumankwaahene(Religious Affairs).

The provincial regions represented conquered territories. Kings of conquered territories still remained in authority and served in a council that advised the denkyirahene. They were to pay tax and provide soldiers for the army during wartime.

Denkyira's two broad regions fell into three political/military division: Akumatire(Advance Guard), Kyeremfem (Leftwing) and Agona Adontendom(Advance Guard). 


The kingdom traded with the Europeans at the coast. Gold and slaves were major items in exchanged for guns and manufactured goods at Elmina. Gold and slaves were heavily taxed by the kingdom. Guns were the most sought after product. It was used to build up the military and support the empire's expansionist thrust. Denkyira held the Note to Elmina Castle of the Dutch, before it was taken by the Asante Empire in 1701. The Note represented overlordship and control of all trading activities.

List of Kings (denkyirahene) of Denkyira

  1. Mumunumfi,(1620-1624)                      
  2. Werempe Ampem, (1624-1637)
  3. Boa Amponsem I,(1637-1695)
  4. Ntim Gyakari,(1695-1701)
  5. Boado Ahafo Berempon,(1701-1702)
  6. Kyei Akobeng,(1702-1712)
  7. Amoako Atta Panyin,(1712-1720)
  8. Gyan Badu,(1720-1725)
  9. Amoako Atta Kuma,(1725-1770)
  10. Amoako Atta Yiadom (f),(1770-1793)
  11. Owusu Bori I,(793-1813)
  12. Kwadwo Tibu I,(1813-1851)
  13. Kwakye Fram, (1851-1859)
  14. Kwesi Kyei I, (1859-1869)
  15. Boa Amponsem II, (1870-1875)
  16. Nkwantabisa I, (1875-1910)
  17. Kwesi Kyei II, (1910-1912)
  18. Nkwantabisa II, (1912-1918)
  19. Kwadwo Tibu II, (1919-1930)
  20. Nkwantabisa III, (1931-1941)
  21. Owusu Bori II, (1942-1953)
  22. Nana Kojo Odei (regent), May 1954
  23. Odeefuo Boa Amponsem III, (1955 - )

Related Article:  Timeline of African History

Works Cited

Davidson, Basil, Buah, F. K. ,and Ajayi, J.F. Ade(1966). A History of West Africa. Doubleday:New York, pp. 247-248. Library of Congress Card #66-24317

Ogot, Bethwell A. Unesco. International Scientific Committee for the Drafting of a General History of Africa(1992). Africa from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. Unesco. University of California Press. p. 417 ISBN 0435948113, 9780435948115.

tags: ghana