Yet, the rise of cash cropping alone is not responsible for the transformation of the livelihoods and landscape of Dominase and Ponkrum at the turn of the 20th century. Cash crops require markets and means to get them to market. Thus, the development of transportation infrastructure around these villages is a central part of their story. In the 1890s there were only 32 miles of motorable road in all the Gold Coast Colony. Farmers engaged in the growth of cash crops in the earliest part of the 20th century therefore had to employ people to carry their crops to the nearest market, an expensive proposition that made cocoa production economically infeasible in many parts of the colony. However, by 1919 the colony had 1,200 miles of road, which four years later increased to between 3,200 and 3,400 miles. The mid-1920s introduction of tarmac and the growth of private transport in the 1930s eventually lowered the price of motorized transport far beyond that of human carriage, at least for cocoa. Seeing the cost benefits of motorized conveyances, farmers in rural areas constructed their own roads, thus adding to the total mileage.
The extension of roads into the rural Gold Coast Colony had another effect, that of opening the Upper Guinea Forest's valuable hardwoods, including mahogany and teak, to profitable commercial logging. This reserve of resources comprised a significant segment of the colony's economy, accounting for between 5 percent and 6 percent of the total GDP and 11 percent of total commodity export earnings across the colonial period. Most of these earnings were the products of the sale of unprocessed logs. The rapid expansion of roads meant, however, that forests were opened to commercial logging before the colonial government could police them. In many places the forest became a reserve of resources exploited with little governmental control aside from taxation.
As this broad transformation of the economy and environment took place in the Gold Coast Colony generally, and in the area around Dominase and Ponkrum specifically, the voices of those living in these villages at this time can be heard in a letter to the colonial government. The letter, from representatives of those living in the Eguafo Traditional Area—to which Dominase and Ponkrum belong—and the Abrem Agona Traditional Area, requested funds for the improvement of existing feeder roads. This request, submitted by the Eguafo-Abrem Management Committee, was justified in part by referencing the affected villages as "a thick cocoa centre" as well as a center of palm oil production.
This letter illustrates how closely Dominase and Ponkrum were tied to the broader processes of increased cash cropping and transportation development taking place in the larger Gold Coast Colony. It also shows how clearly the residents of these villages understood their position in this world and how to use that position to maximum advantage. They needed a road through the area to improve their connectivity to local markets, which would have enabled more efficient transport and therefore greater profits from their farm products. Yet, they also knew the British colonial government did not care much about a few dozen farmers living in villages that would have likely been deemed within walking distance of regional markets. So, the farmers attempted to play on the economic sensibilities of the British, referencing their growth of key cash crops in an effort to get the attention of relevant officials who might grant their request. This was not the communication of backward, isolated farmers. This was an effort by some savvy people to manipulate the colonial government into giving them a road that, in the colonial scheme of things, their importance probably did not warrant. Clever as it was, this gambit failed. The British never built a road through this area, and the remnants of Asante Road #7 remained a footpath until the 1940s.