The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has called on the country’s political leadership to unite toward building a vibrant economy in an atmosphere of peace and harmony.
He said the time has come for the country to embrace a new era of peace, and advised political parties to eschew bitterness and violence in the expression of their political opinions.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II was addressing a massive gathering of high-profile dignitaries at an event in the Ashanti regional capital Kumasi, to climax celebrations for the 20th anniversary of his ascension to the Golden Stool.
High-profile dignitaries present included President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, former Presidents, the leadership of Parliament, the diplomatic corps and traditional authorities among others.
He noted that the 20 years of his reign as King of Asante has not come without challenges despite the successes.
He therefore paid tribute to all those who have contributed in diverse ways to support and sustain efforts made over the years.
He said the 20th Anniversary Celebration theme, ‘Deepening Our Cultural Heritage Through Socio-Economic Development’, was chosen upon extensive consultations.
In reference to this, he said: “The ultimate goal of governance is to provide for the wellbeing of the people; and for years, responsibilities for the economic development which will provide for the people’s wellbeing has been deemed to belong almost exclusively to government.
“But traditional leaders, who are the custodians of an undying heritage, have had no space in development of the process,” he noted.
However, he acknowledged that as the frontline leaders of the people, particularly in rural communities, traditional leaders should be the ones who inspire and encourage effective development.
It is against this backdrop, he said, that he began to pursue his vision – upon ascension to the throne – to complement the efforts of government.
The Asantehene said he is encouraged by the number of projects that have taken place in the region through those efforts, and the number of major corporate bodies who have had recourse to the office of the Manhyia Palace in resolving issues and enhancing their operations in Ghana.
He committed to work in tandem with government and with eligible and willing institutions and partners to accelerate the pace of economic development throughout Asanteman and Ghana.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, while congratulating the Asantehene also recognised his immense contributions – particularly toward education and peace in the country.
He said the Asantehene’s efforts toward development of the country cannot go unnoticed.
The Vice-President of Suriname, Michael Ashwin Satyandre Adhin – who led a 15-member delegation to the Akwasidae Kese, which marked the climax of the year-long celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II – said his experience affirms the bond that exists between the people of Suriname and Asanteman.
He said the development-oriented leadership exhibited by the Asantehene is a testimony of his conviction in enhancing the wellbeing of the people through the pursuit of several initiatives which address issues relating to the achievement of sustainable development.
“Most praiseworthy is the prestigious Otumfuo Education Fund providing education for the talented and less privileged.” This, he noted, is an investment in the future of the people.
He said the Asantehene’s visit to Suriname last year, on the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of the Republic of Suriname’s independence, has left a deep impression on the Suriname people.
He said following the visit and discussions which have gone on, the country decided to establish its presence in the country with the opening of an Embassy in Accra.