The Reverend Dr Enock Aryee-Atta, General-Secretary of the BSG said in line with their mandate, they had translated the bible into nine local Ghanaian languages and currently working on the Bono and Dagbani Bible translations.
He disclosed that it cost USD20 dollars to translate one verse of scripture from the Hebrew to a local language bringing the entire translation cost of the over 31,000 verses in the bible to GHS 4.3 million, besides printing costs.
The Okere people are a significant set of people and according to the socio-linguistic studies, had a population of over 160,000 people therefore important that they got a Bible in their language.
According to the General Secretary, it took an average of 12-15 years to finish the translation of the Bible into a local language and added that shortlisting had been done to recruit three translators from Okere to commence the project.
He was grateful to the Okere District Assembly and Mr Dan Kwaku Botwe, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Okere for providing the BSG secretariat with a furnished office at the District Assembly complex to commence the project
As part of the project, there would be a roll-out of literacy education for people to learn how to read the Okere language by the time the Bible would be ready.
Mr Dan Kwaku Botwe, MP for the area and Local Government Minister said with the logistical support and commitment from Okere people, it should not take the usual 12-15 years to get the Okere Bible.
“With the advancement of technology, logistics and the unflinching support and commitment of the people of Okere will have a Bible in their language and it should be possible for the translation to be done within five years”.
He, therefore, called on Okere people who are enthused about having a Bible in their language to donate towards it saying “if about the half of the 160,000 people are children and half are aged or retirees, the rest of the 40,000 people with a contribution of GHS 100 can raise the amount for this historic project”.
Mr Daniel Kenneth, Okere District Chief Executive (DCE), said the entire Okere state was behind the project and the provision of an office facility to be used by the BSG throughout the entire project period was a testimony of the people of Okere.
He said the Assembly had taken a step to incorporate the Okere Bible translation project into the annual action plan until the official completion of the project adding “with these commitments, we declare the assembly as an official partner of the project”
The Okere State is made up of seven out of the 17 major towns on the Akuapem ridge with over 120 farming communities and hamlets scattered the downhill of the ridge.
There were several donations of money towards the project and notably among them was the Okere traditional council donated GH5,000, Master Dako Foundation in memory of the late father of Mr Dan Botwe gave GH10,000 as well as donations from Okere indigenes, and the various churches.
The Rt Rev Twum Baah, former Bishop of the Koforidua Diocese of the Methodist Church dedicated the secretariat located at the Assembly’s complex at Adukrom.