KNUST: Chancellor’s Week Launched In Honour Of Otumfuo

The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has launched what it calls the ‘Chancellor’s Week’ in honour of the Monarch of the Asante Kingdom who doubles as the Chancellor of the university, His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

The four-day event was launched on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, as part of Otumfuo’s Silver Jubilee on the Golden Stool under the theme, “The Asantehene and Chancellor of KNUST: 25 Years of Exemplary Leadership”.

Present at the event were the Asantehene, the Chairman of the Silver Jubilee Planning Committee, Nana Otuo Sereboe II, traditional authorities in Asanteman, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Rita Akosua Dickson, the Chairman of the University Governing Council, Justice Anin Yeboah and other management members of the University.

As part of the event, His Majesty was ushered, on his arrival, with a guard of honour parade by the KNUST General Cadet made up of the Airforce Contingent and the Army Contingent with a navy colour on parade as well as the KNUST Regimental Band.

From there, he was guided to the foyer of the Great Hall where he inspected and got briefed about the Kumasi Trees Project, a project to promote sustainable urban forestry practices and increase the resilience of the city’s vegetation to climate change.

In the welcome address, Justice Anin Yeboah, the Chairman of the Governing Council said Otumfuo has been a Pillar of strength, wisdom and unity guiding the university through triumphs and challenges with unwavering resolve and unparalleled dedication.

“Under his leadership, the university has witnessed the construction of state-of-the-art facilities, massive investment in technology-oriented facilities and the improvement of academic and research facilities, from cutting-edge laboratories and research centres for modernised classrooms and students’ amenities, the Chancellor’s commitment to improving the physical environment of our university has enriched the educational experience of generations of students and faculty. The University is being ranked number one globally in terms of the provision of quality education according to the Times Higher Education in 2023 report due to the distinguished leadership of the Chancellor.”

Otumfuo was appointed the Chancellor of the KNUST in December 2006 when Nana Otuo Sereboe II, Juabenehene was the Chairman of the Governing Council, making him the first person to occupy the position of Chancellor of the KNUST which was previously a sole preserve of heads of state of the country.

“Due to his impeccable commitment to providing solid leadership, the Council of the University of the University in 2016 conferred on His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II an unlimited term in his reign as Chancellor for KNUST,” Justice Anin Yeboah added.

Shedding more light on the precedence of his appointment, Nana Otuo Serebuo, the Juabenhene and former Chairman of the Governing Council said the idea of a technological university was conceived by Otumfuo Sir Agyemang Prempeh.

He as well bequeathed the vast land on which the school now sits.

“When the colonial government insisted that they wanted land, it was he who gave a huge piece of land to the colonial government. He knew at that time, the essence of technology so he said he wanted the technology university in Kumasi and that is why from the beginning, it was called Kumasi College of Technology under the abled leadership of W.A. Duncanson. It happened that the surveyor who came to survey the land that was given to KNUST was no other person than J Matthew Opoku who later became Opoku Ware II. Giving this huge of land, people thought it was outrageous but he had the future in his sight.”

He said his appointment as the Governing Council Chair allowed him to solidify the traditional relationship between the KNUST and the Manhyia Palace.

“At the time, by happy coincidence, that structure, that legal restriction which barred any person except the head state to be Chancellor of the University had been removed by the operation of the 1992 Constitution of which I was a member of the consultative assembly.”

He stated that the appointment of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II as the Chancellor has had a significant impact on the advancement of the University as he stated, that “without him as Chancellor, KNUST would not have been where it is today”.

Also speaking at the event, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Rita Akosua Dickson credited His Majesty for peace and tranquillity prevailing on the campus, numerous infrastructure projects dotted all over the campus, chalked successes on the global stage, the enhanced reputation of KNUST brand both globally and locally and many others.

Despite respecting the duty bounds, she stated that the King leverages on his influence to the benefit of the school.

“I know many people will think of how Otumfuo do all these while he resides at Manhyia. I am able to confirm to all of us that he has not at any point in time interfered with the day-to-day management of this university but his influence has been phenomenal. He has provided deep leadership as the Chancellor endowed with grace, elegance, style and wisdom. We rode on his networks both locally and internationally to secure the much-needed resources for the smooth running of this great university.”

Otumfuo Speeches
The occasion was also used to launch a book on speeches delivered by Otumfuo since his induction in 2006, copies of which were given to Otumfuo and Nana Otuo Sereboe.

Called “Otumfuo’s Speeches”, Justice Anin Yeboah said it covers speeches he has delivered at convocations, investiture of Vice Chancellors and others.

The book, Justice Yeboah stated passes as an invaluable asset for the next generations.

Photo Exhibition
His Majesty also commissioned a Photo Exhibition at the Opoku Ware II Museum telling the stories of the Chancellor, the various past Vice Chancellors, past Asante Kings and warrior Asante Queens.

Otumfuo inspected Gallery 1 and 2 of the Museum which recounted tales of the school including pictures of prominent alumni, Asante brass works, items of foreign origin, busts of the past 15 Monarchs of the Asante Kingdom and outstanding Queens and pictures of all past VCs.

There was footage of the era of Prempeh II with a VC as well as Opoku Ware II.

Pictures of Otumfuo receiving courtesy calls and embarking on various projects were also displayed.

The university has slated numerous programmes for the week in honour of the King including a debate on the theme “Chieftaincy as a Sine Qua Non for Ghana’s Development”, on Wednesday morning, a musical concert on Wednesday night, a football gala dubbed the ‘Chancellor’s Cup’ on Thursday and the Chancellor’s Day on Friday.


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