The Ashanti Regional Council of Ulamau and Zongo chiefs have announced increases in the bride price of marriages.
A groom will now have to pay a minimum of GHS 600.00 instead of the GHS 200.00 which was paid previously.
The decision, according to the Council, was taken after a wide consultation with the Council of Zongo Chiefs in the Ashanti region.
A bride price is the money or something of value, from a groom, or groom’s family to the bride’s family, while a dowry is the money or property brought by a bride to her husband when the marriage occurs.
Marriage (Nikah) is a contract between two people, the groom and the bride who have both consented to the marriage at their own free will.
Alhaji Umar Farouk Saeed, Sarkin Zongo of Ashanti, told the Ghana News Agency, after the announcement that, the Council took into consideration the present economic situation in the country and virtues of Islamic principles on marriages, before coming out with the new price on demand to GHS 600.00 and above.
Citing references in the Quran, he said Prophet Mohammed used to weigh the bride price or dowry in a particular situation, but the groom could decide to give more than the stated amount or even give a house, car, gold or any other valuable property as the price.
Alhaji Umar Farouk said marriage was an act of worship and that it was important to package it in such a way that would give respect and prestige to women in the Islamic community.
He said for a long-time bride price in Zongo communities had been seen as a mere token given to a lady’s family to demand her hand in marriage.
However, the expenditure during the wedding party (Walema) had been so alarming, hence the need for a review.
Alhaji Umar Farouk, however, said the money given to Imams and chiefs during marriage ceremonies as a token, remained GHS 200.00.