Today marks the 70th birthday of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene. Otumfuo is the 16th occupant of the Golden Stool of Asanteman. The king of Asante has exemplified leadership in reign since 1999 which is worth celebrating. Notable among these endeavors are his exploits in leadership and sustainable development.
Known in private life as Barima Kwaku Duah, Asantehene was born into the Oyoko royal family in the year 1950. He schooled in Osei Tweretwie Senior High School, Institute of Professional Studies, and at London Metropolitan University. Barima is an Accountant by profession and an entrepreneur as well. Barima Kwaku Duah became the occupant of the ‘Golden Stool,’ on April 26, 1999. Since his enstoolment, Otumfuo Osei Tutu has marshaled forces to war against poverty, social unrest and conflict, in order to promote an atmosphere of tranquility for development.
A key achievement of Asantehene has been his sterling leadership. Upon assumption of office, Asantehene decided to settle chieftaincy and land disputes, using the rule of law and authority. His ability to use traditional diplomacy in resolving and brokering peace in many instances across the country has earned him the accolade ‘King Solomon’. It is to the credit of Otumfuo that within the first couple of years after his enstoolment, many cases had been settled to the satisfaction of all parties. This paved the way for new chiefs to be installed in communities that were plagued with chieftaincy disputes. There were chieftaincy disputes that had been pending for several decades from Bekwai, Kokofu, Akwaboa, etc. For example, there was a stool dispute at Effiduase that had dragged for 23 years before the enthronement of Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. Within 1 year, 9 months, the King had resolved the issue, restoring traditional stability at Effiduase. The Asantehene’s Lands Office has been instrumental in regularizing land acquisition in the Ashanti region. The King intervened to address the long formalities of acquiring land documents from the Lands Commission through the Land Documentation Project.
His leadership prowess has also earned him rare networks with world leaders to the benefit of the entire nation. For example, in February 2020, Asantehene successfully facilitated the provision of a USD 174 million financial package to Ghana by the World Bank under the Ghana Accountability for Learning Outcomes Project (GALOP). The package is being used to improve and strengthen teaching and learning through support and resources for teachers, and strengthening school support, management, and resourcing.
The Kumasi Declaration was a step initiated by Asantehene on taking a stand against electoral violence, impunity, and injustice in Ghana. Even when Ghana was touted as a democratic hub in the sub-region, general elections in the year 2012 was characterized by high tension and fear of violence. In order to engender a serene and peaceful atmosphere, the Asantehene created a platform for all the political parties to commit to peace and accept the results from the Electoral Commission, irrespective of the outcome.
Asantehene has been a champion of Sustainable Development Goal 4 on Education. The Otumfuo Charity Foundation was set up to provide educational opportunities for Ghanaians through the Otumfuo Education Fund. The activities of the Foundation have primarily benefited rural communities in Ashanti and beyond. The fund became an enviable institutional pool to which individuals and institutions contributed funds to support the endeavor. The fund focuses on rural infrastructure (libraries, teachers’ bungalows, classrooms, etc.), award schemes, and scholarship opportunities to individuals, among others. The fund has benefited communities in Greater Kumasi and other regions in Ghana. The Otumfuo Teachers Award has been an annual platform providing recognition to teachers who devote to teaching and imparting knowledge in rural communities.
Asante Development Plan
In March 2019, Asantehene unveiled the preparation of a 10-year development plan to transform the city of Kumasi and Asanteman in general. The plan includes initiatives to industrialize the local economy to scale up employment and create wealth within the city. In line with the Manhyia Declaration, the overall goal of this development plan is to ensure Asanteman meets the SDG targets by 2030. The plan will be implemented by a USD 100 million Asanteman Development Fund. Initiated by Asante Professionals Club (APC), the plan seeks to invest growth capital in growing businesses that improve agricultural productivity, nutrition, health, sustainability, and supply chain efficiency in Asanteman. The plan, which was launched by Asantehene at the Asanteman Development Summit hosted by the APC, has 5 thematic development areas in Education, Water, Sanitation & Health, Agro-industry & Rural Development, Finance & Infrastructure, and Leadership & Governance. It will serve as a development blueprint for a coordinated transformation agenda of Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly and other districts in the region under the leadership of Asantehene.
On the occasion of the 70th birthday of our visionary King, Asante Professionals Club celebrate the impact leadership of Opemsuo. The Club assures Asantehene of its enormous support in implementing his desired development plans for Asanteman.
Asante Professionals Club (APC)