In recognition of his imperative contribution to the world, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, in August 2005 conferred on him the title Busumuru.

Maybe it has never occurred to us to sit and ponder over the meaning of ‘Busumuru’. Let’s attempt to give a brief history behind Busumuru and it’s existence.

The history behind the Busumuru Sword clearly depicts the exemplary life and career of His Excellency Busumuru Kofi Annan.

Busumuru being one of the regalia of Opemsuo Osei Tutu, founder of the Asante Empire, captured from Onoo Adu Gyamfi who until his defeat ruled over a wide territory from present day Kumasi to as far as Mampong and settled in Jamasi. Onoo is a town in the Kwabre District in the Ashanti Region.

After the capture of the Busumuru Sword, Komfo Anokye consecrated it for Asanteman and added it to the regalia of the Asantehene.

Apart from the Asantehene, no one is allowed to swear the Oath of Office with the Busumuru sword. It is only when after swearing the Great Oath of Asanteman with the Busumuru Sword, as part of the Pampaso rituals, that a newly enstooled King is recognised as Asantehene.

Custodians of the Busumuru Sword sit at the immediate left of Asantehene whenever they sit in state or during state ceremonies. The Busumuru sword is considered ‘holy’ and unlike the Mponponsuo sword, it is customarily not used for war (Emp3 basabasa). ‘Though captured in war, it was never used in wars.’ Busumuru is ‘holy’ and ‘peaceful.’

This signifies the persona of Busumuru Kofi Annan as a man of peace. Busumuru though having worked in the United Nations (UN) system for quiet sometime, emerged as Secretary-General when the world was facing imminent crisis. His era was characterised by events that threatened the existence and survival of the world. Terrorism had reached a crescendo but in all these, Busumuru steered through and made the world peaceful with his mediation skills.

As said by the Canadian author, politician and academic Michael Ignatieff in a review of Mr. Annan’s 2012 memoir, “Interventions: A life in War and Peace,” (with Nader Mousavizadeh), in the New York Review of Books, “personal charisma is only part of the story, in addition to his charm, of which there is plenty, there is the authority that comes from experience. Few people have spent so much time around negotiating tables with thugs, warlords and dictators. He has made himself the world’s emissary to the dark side.” This is the Busumuru role he played in world affairs.

He was an international civil servant, a ready-source of inspiration, a dogged advocate and unwavering champion of peace and security, development, human rights and rule of law. Busumuru was a consummate mediator. The world has lost such a gem very hard to replace.

May he be granted an eternal repose in our Maker.

Damirifa due Busumuru!!!!

Prof. Kwasi Ampene and Nana Kwadwo Nyantakyi III 2014.