In a remarkable tribute to a truly extraordinary leader, Exeter College embraced the spirit of appreciation and admiration as they unveiled two exquisite portraits of President Agyekum Kufuor on Tuesday, May 9th, 2023. The occasion, filled with elegance and significance, marked a celebration of a man whose impact on Ghana and the world at large is immeasurable.
Amidst the historic walls of Cohen Quad and the iconic Exeter Hall, two distinct artistic renderings now grace these revered spaces. A photographic masterpiece, capturing the essence of President Kufuor’s persona, stands as a testament to the power of the lens in preserving the cherished memories of his tenure. The complementary oil painting, now adorning Exeter Hall, serves as a timeless representation of a man whose legacy will endure for generations to come.
The day’s events bore witness to the immense respect and deep admiration that President Kufuor commands. As distinguished guests gathered for lunch at Exeter Hall, the presence of the Asantehene and Lady Julia, alongside the esteemed rector of Exeter College, elevated the occasion to one of profound significance. Among the notable figures in attendance were Baron Boateng of Wembley, His Excellency Paapa Owusu Ankoma, Ghana’s High Commissioner to the UK, and Ambassador Svanikier, an esteemed alumnus of Oxford University hailing from the same department of Politics and International Relations where President Kufuor completed his PPE degree. These esteemed individuals paid homage to a man whose influence transcends boundaries. Notably present were also Christopher Kirwan, the president’s esteemed Philosophy tutor from his days at Exeter College, whose guidance played an invaluable role in shaping his leadership, and David Gibson-Moore, a globally renowned banker and President Kufuor’s contemporary at Exeter College.
The apex of the day’s celebrations unfolded with a magnificent dinner held at the prestigious Randolph Hotel, orchestrated by the distinguished Thomas Svanikier, Co-founder of Fidelity Bank and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Oxford University Africa Centre, alongside Edward Effah, a co-founder and former chairman of Fidelity Bank who now serves as Chairman of Unilever Ghana Ltd. The gathering welcomed luminaries from the realms of academia, arts, politics, and business, providing a platform to reflect upon President Kufuor’s remarkable achievements and his lasting impact.
During the memorable toast, Mr. Svanikier eloquently reminded everyone present of the transformative era known as the Golden Age of Business, which defined President Kufuor’s presidency. Through his visionary leadership, President Kufuor not only fostered an environment conducive to economic growth and expanded the nation’s economy, but he also created a legacy of individuals who embody the principles of this Golden Age. Mr. Svanikier aptly described them as “disciples of the Golden Age of Business,” inspired by President Kufuor’s unwavering dedication to empowering the business community and catalyzing Ghana’s prosperity.
The heartfelt words of the Asantehene, affectionately referring to President Kufuor as “Wofa Kofi,” encapsulated the profound impact of his character. The Asantehene paid tribute to the president’s humility, resilience, and unwavering love for the nation. Furthermore, he commended President Kufuor’s remarkable ability to listen to diverse perspectives, which has not only propelled him to national greatness but also earned him international recognition. President Kufuor’s unwavering commitment to inclusivity and his ability to forge connections have undoubtedly left an indelible mark on Ghana’s history.
This beautiful event in honor of President Agyekum Kufuor was a testament to the profound admiration and respect he has garnered throughout his lifetime of service. His legacy as a statesman, visionary, and advocate for economic prosperity will continue to inspire future generations. The portraits unveiled at Exeter College shall serve as a constant reminder of his remarkable leadership and the enduring impact he has made on Ghana and the world.
As the portraits of President Kufuor find their place among the halls of Exeter College, it is essential that we recognize the significance of his character and leadership, particularly in inspiring the Ghanaian youth. President Kufuor’s journey stands as a shining example of what can be achieved through unwavering dedication.