Medical Services, Colonial State, and the Assemblies of God Mission among the Konkomba of Northern Ghana, 1931–1960s

Joseph Udimal Kachim


Existing scholarship on missionary activities in northern Ghana tends to focus on the conflict and hostilities that emerged between the Christian missionaries and the colonial administration in the early period of colonial rule in the region. This article argues that by the 1940s the interest of both the colonial state and the missions had converged to bring development to the colonised. Using archival data, missionary records and oral interviews, the article reveals how the AG mission through medical services with a modicum of support from the colonial administration penetrated and influenced social development among the Konkomba. It highlights the effects of missionary medicine on both the dynamics of evangelism and the well-being of the local people, revealing the tensions, conflicts and power struggle that underlie state/mission collaboration. It further argues that although the Assemblies of God’s medical work did not adequately address the Konkomba socio-economic neglect, the collaborative efforts in the provision of health services illustrate how the themes of Christian evangelism and colonial development converged after the Second World War. The article contributes to debates on medical missions and the ambivalent colonial government’s support that shaped social change in Africa.

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