PROFILE OF OTUMFUO OSEI TUTU II ASANTEHENE
PROFILE OF OTUMFUO OSEI TUTU II ASANTEHENE
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is the 16th Asantehene, (King of the Asante). He ascended the Golden Stool on 26th April 1999. He is a direct descendant of the founder of the Asante Kingdom, Osei Tutu l.
Born on 6th May 1950 and named Barima Kwaku Dua, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is the youngest of the five children of Nana Afua Kobi Serwaa Ampem II, Asantehemaa (Queenmother of Asante). From early childhood, Barima Kwaku Dua came under the tutelage of his Uncle, Oheneba Mensah Bonsu who had been enstooled as Hiahene in 1952.
Oheneba Mensah Bonsu, therefore, ensured that Barima Kwaku Dua benefited from a childhood of careful grooming in Asante traditions and statecraft.
The young Royal was given his Secondary Education at Sefwi Wiawso Secondary School in the Western Region of Ghana where his guardian was Nana Kwadwo Aduhene II, Omanhene (Paramount Chief) of Sefwi Wiawso Traditional Area. Barima Kwaku Dua returned to Kumasi in 1969 and enrolled at the Osei Kyeretwie Secondary School. He then moved to Accra in 1971 and was admitted at the Institute of Professional Studies, Legon for a course in Accountancy.
Two years later, he travelled to the United Kingdom and continued his
Accountancy Studies at the Kilburn Polytechnic. He later attended the University of North London where he read Human Resource Development and Public Administration.
By the time he returned to Ghana in 1989 to establish his own business, Transpomech International (Ghana) Ltd., he had behind him a wealth of experience which he had gathered working as Senior Consultant with Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company of Toronto; Finance Officer at the British firm Oxon, in London; and as Personnel Administrator at the Manpower Services Commission attached to Brent Council in London.
Barima Kwaku Dua’s nomination to succeed his late brother Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, as Asantehene, was received with universal acclaim in the Asante Kingdom and Ghana in general. He ascended the Golden Stool with a natural gift of calm and radiance, which instantly inspires loyalty and motivates people round him. He learnt values of courtesy and tact in dealing with both his peers and subjects; he had grown up with a conviction that traditional leadership rests on a capacity to reconcile, mend, heal wounds and motivate people.
Vision And Traditional Accomplishments
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has won great admiration for the unique brand of leadership he has provided the people of Asante, in particular, and Ghana in general, since he assumed the high office of Asantehene and the enormous responsibilities that go with the position. Ever mindful of the importance of peace and stability to good governance, one of his first tasks was to encourage his people to seek the path of arbitration instead of litigation in numerous land and succession disputes that had plagued Asanteman for decades.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has brought peace and reconciliation to his Kingdom ever since he has been in power. So far he has been able to settle over five hundred land and Chieftaincy disputes which could have sparked of agitations and conflicts in his Kingdom and elsewhere. He has established a solid foundation for co-operation between tradition and modernism, by emphasizing the need for tradition to redefine itself in a rapidly changing world without losing its essence.
In recognition of this unique leadership role, the Government of Ghana appointed him Chairman of a Committee of Eminent Chiefs to resolve the Yendi Skin Affairs which had already resulted in the murder of the King of Dagbon and other sub-chiefs and whose effect was the looming conflict which could have destabilized Ghana as a whole. A lot of work has been done in this sphere and the intervention has stemmed the tide favorably.
He has been able to perform these tasks with great wisdom and tenacity of purpose, earning for himself remarkable respect among the people. The vision of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II encompasses education, health and economic development.
He set up the Otumfuo Education Fund to generate resources, as an effort to provide opportunities for quality Primary, Secondary, Tertiary and Vocational Education not only in his Kingdom, but also in Ghana generally. In 2000, he embarked upon a vigorous campaign to draw attention to the benefits of individual / group sponsorship of the education of orphaned children. Since its inception the Otumfuo Education Fund has benefited over 5,000 students at various levels of education.
He has also set up the Serwaa Ampem Aids Foundation for children under the leadership of his wife, Lady Julia Osei Tutu to help children who have become victims of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
These two bodies now operate under the umbrella of the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation whose mandate appears unrestricted and which is doing remarkably well in the area of supporting people in different spheres of endeavor.
It was his keen determination to enhance the quality of education of Ghanaians that he received the commendation of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, conferring on him the Symons Award in April, 2000.
Besides this, the underlisted Universities have given him Honorary Doctorate Degrees.
Essex County College Newark, U.S.A
22nd May 2001
University of Maryland, Eastern Shore U.S.A
25th May 2001
Savannah State University U.S.A
6th June 2001
University of Glasgow, Scotland
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology
15th Dec. 2001
University of Ghana Legon, Ghana
12th Mar. 2004
Igbinedeon University, Okada, Nigeria
25th Nov. 2007
Metropolitan University, London
3rd Dec. 2007
To crown it, he has been appointed Chancellor of one of the most prestigious universities in Africa, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi.
Another initiative of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, is the Health Fund he has established to pursue a basic health care plan whose laudable objectives include financial and material support for the reduction of maternal and infant mortality, glaucoma and other eye diseases, Buruli Ulcer (which has become the bane of many rural dwellers in the country), as well as the eradication of Guinea worm disease.
In this direction, Otumfuo is supporting Rotary Club’s campaign to promote inoculation of children against the six killer diseases including polio.
World Bank Support
In his own initiative, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II secured a World Bank grant with the approval of the Government of Ghana for a pilot project entiltled; “Promoting Partnerships with Traditional Authorities Project” (PPTAP). This initiative has thrown a challenge to our Traditional Leaders to demonstrate their capacity to use their own resources in response to financial support made available by the Government or the World Bank to help develop their communities.
Under the Project, new school buildings have been built, old ones have been rehabilitated, and teachers residential quarters have been erected with facilities for potable water and electricity supply: HIV/AIDS and general health campaign in co-operation with the state agencies has be stepped up in the rural areas.
The Project has put our traditional leaders into a new learning process to lead their people in community development programmes, and has created awareness of the value of our cultural heritage, including art and artifacts, as well as our traditional court systems in conflict resolution.
Otumfuo’s vision includes the setting up of an Asanteman Economic Revitalisation Plan to promote private and corporate investment in Local Industries, re-afforestation, and irrigation programmes. He has already extended invitation to all prospective investors to Ashanti, with a firm promise of easy access to land.
Interactions With World Leaders And Dignitaries
Since ascending the throne Otumfuo has been the official guest of many world dignitaries including, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, Queen Beatrix of Holland, Mr. James D. Wolfensohn, former President of the World Bank, His Excellency Busumuru. Kofi Annan, U. N. Secretary General, President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, President Nelson Mandela, Mr. Don McKinnon, Commonwealth Secretary-General, the President of Ethiopia, The Holy Father Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rt. Rev. Justin Welby, President Alhaji Tejan Kabbah of Sierra Leone, President Muammar Ai Qathafi of Libya, King Mohammed VI of Morocco, and President Horst Kholer of Germany and President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania, King Mswati III of Swaziland.
Otumfuo meets Queen Elizabeth
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II visits Buckingham Palace where he was hosted by the Queen and her husband.
Otumfuo in Glasgow, Scotland
Prince Charles welcomes Otumfuo to the University of Glasgow, in Scotland
Otumfuo visits Queen Beatrix
Otumfuo Osei Tutu, King of the Ashanti in Ghana visits Queen Beatrix in the Huis ten Bosch palace, the residence of the Dutch queen, Hague
Dutch Crown Prince and Princess visits Asantehene
Dutch Crown Prince Willem Alexander (C) and Princess Maxima (L) meet with the Asantehene, the King of Asante in Kumasi
President Campoare and Otumfuo
President Campoare of Burkina Faso pays a courtesy call on Otumfuo at manhyia
Asantehene at world Bank Headquarters
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II with World Bank President James Wolfensohn
Asantehene meets UN Secretary General Kofi Annan
Asantehene meets UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at UN Headqarters in New York
President Muamar Gaddafi visits Otumfuo
Libya by President Muamar Gaddafi visits His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at Manhyia Palace
Otumfuo visits Bafokeng in South Africa
Otumfuo osei Tutu II in a tete a tete with Leruo Tshekedi Molotlegi, king of the Royal Bafokeng in South Africa
President Obasanjo visits Otumfuo
President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo pays homage to Otumfuo Osei Tutu II
Governor General of Canada pays Homage to Otumfuo
The Governor General of Canada, Mr David Lloyd Johnston pays Homage to Otumfuo during durbar at manhyia
He has also played host to heads of state including President Alhaji Ahmed Tejan Kabbah of Sierra Leone Col. Muammar Al Qathafi of Libya, Alpha Konare of Mali, Blaise Campoare of Burkina Faso, Laurent Gbagbo of Cote d’Ivoire, President Horst Kholer of Germany, Messrs David Wolfowitz and James Wolfensohn both former Presidents of the World Bank, H. E. Busumuru Kofi Annan, Don McKinnon, Prince Al-Aweed Bin Talal Bin
Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, His Royal Highness Prince William Alexander of Netherlands, Head of World-Wide Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission, Archbishop of Canterbury, King of Bafokeng of South Africa, President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa of Zambia, Ssabasajj Roland Muwenda Mutebi II, the Kabaka of Buganda in Uganda, Mr. Mkapa former President of Tanzania and Princess Maha Chakari Sirindhorn, Crown Princess of Thailand. Others include Statesmen, International Business Executives and high profile religious leaders and celebrities.
Asantehene visits Archbishop of Canterbury
Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II paid a courtesy call on the Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace Rowan Williams at the Lambeth Palace in London.
Asantehene pays Courtesy Call on the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth
Asantehene in discussion with the Secretary General Rt. Hon. Don McKinnon at the commonwealth secretariat
Former Presdent of Ghana, J.J. Rawlings pays homage
Former Presdent of Ghana, J.J. Rawlings paying homage to Otumfuo during an Akwasidae celebration.
Former Prime Minister of Jamaica visits Asantehene
Former Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson present a book to His Majesty during his visit to manhyia.
Otumfuo meets Pope Francis
Pope Francis hosts Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at the Vatican city. Asantehene and Pope engaged in a discussion of a series of key international issues relation to world peace, religion and tradition.
Asantehene visits Ugandan President
Otumfuo Osei Tutu pays courtesy call on the President of Uganda, Yoweri K. Museveni as part of his trip to the 25 anniversary of Kabaka of Buganda.
CAF Presidents visits Asantehene
PRESIDENT of Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), Mr. Ahmad Ahmad paying homage to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at Manhyia Palace.
Otumfuo honours Mandela
Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was awarded the royal traditional title of "Okofo" (Warrior) in recognition of his lifelong struggle for freedom, justice and peace by Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at a ceremony at the Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg
He has addressed the International Cocoa Organization, London, the Plenary session of the Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa, and many business fora in South Africa, Europe, and the United States, including the Distinguished Africa Address at Harvard University, and as Royal Guest of Honour to the 7th Session of the Anyiam-Osigwe Lecture in Lagos.
He has also addressed staff and students of China Foreign Affairs University in China at the invitation of the Chinese Peoples Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, and the African Forum for Heads of State hosted by the President of Germany. The King visited the International Tribunal for Rwanda where he had discussions with members of the tribunal and exchanged ideas on alternative conflict resolution in Africa.
Vision For Peace
His penchant for peace and democracy moved him to assemble and convince leaders of the various political parties in Ghana to sign a pledge to ensure peace before, during and after Ghana’s Presidential and Parliamentary elections in 2012.
Conversely, he has also made a historic visit to Seychelles Islands where one of his predecessors, King Prempeh I, was exiled to by the British for resisting their imperialism during his reign. He did not return to his Kingdom until after 27 years.
The King has also addressed the Chatham House in the United Kingdom on the need for a forum for dialogue among the various religions. He proposed the creation of a forum akin to the World Economic Forum for the pursuit of such a dialogue.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II stands tall as a visionary, a Great Leader of Asanteman, leading in the preservation of cultural heritage as well as combining modernism and tradition to promote peace and stability, education, health, and economic development of his people.