Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, on Monday organised a durbar at the Manhyia palace in Kumasi in honour of the the Crown Princess of Thailand, Her Royal Highness, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
Princess Sirindhorn, who is in Ghana to participate in the 12th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), went to Kumasi on Monday to pay homage to the Asantehene.
She was greeted with churns of tunes from the fontomfrom drum at the palace where the Asantehene sat in state and received homage.
Speaking on behalf of the Princess, the Thailand Ambassador to Ghana Mr Witthaya Bhoosuwan noted that the Princess was in country to share with UNCTAD participants the experiences of Thailand in using Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as a tool in enhancing education.
Thailand is noted for excelling in the usage of ICTs as a tool in enhancing education.
The Princess said it was the hope of Thailand that its experiences in ICTs could be adopted and used in Africa to enhance education adding that there was the need for countries to meet and discuss how development could be extended to other countries.
She said it was her first time of visiting Ghana and was appreciative of the warm welcome and hospitality extended to her and her entourage and prayed for an improved relation between Ghana and Thailand.
Princess Sirindhorn said she decided to visit the Asantehene upon her arrival in Ghana since she had heard about the King.
The Princess said she was happy to learn about the efforts the Asantehene was making towards education with the setting up of the Otumfuo Education Fund and presented an envelope, containing an undisclosed amount in support of the education fund.
She also said she was happy to learn that Asante’s were very proud of their culture.
Speaking on behalf of the Asantehene, Nana Gyamfi Ababio, Asanteman Adontehene said the reputation of the Crown Princess had reached very far areas and that the Asantehene was aware of the efforts of the Princess in promoting education in Thailand.
He said Asanteman constituted a cradle of culture in Ghana and that there was the need to reckon that culture was an indispensible part of development.
The Asantehene said it was his wish that culture would be brought into meaning with modernity and called for the need for the relationship between Thailand and Ghana to be strengthened to bring about economic and cultural development.
Otumfuo presented the visiting President with an expensive non-washable kente cloth (Akyempim Sika Foturo), whereas the Crown Princess also presented a gift to the Asantehene.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
A colourful durbar of chiefs in Asanteman was yesterday held at the Manhyia Palace in honour of the visiting Malian President, Mr Amadou Toumani Toure who is in the country on a three day state visit.
Otumfuo presented the visiting President with an expensive non-washable kente cloth (Akyempim Sika Foturo), to signify the bond of friendship existing between Ghanaians and their Malian counterparts.
Traditionally, the Asantehene sat in state and received greetings from his paramount chiefs before later extending a special invitation to the Malian President through the Mponponsuo sword bearer for him to shake hands with him.
President Toure, who led by President J. A. Kufuor was driven through the principal streets of Kumasi amidst cheers from school children and residents before arriving at the durbar grounds at Manhyia.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster a sister city relationship between Kumasi and the city of Mopti in Mali, where the Malian President hails from was signed to help foster cooperation, exchange of ideas and cultural exchange between the two cities.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Emmanuel Owusu Ansah and the Malian Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Mahamadou Bellebart appended their signatures to the MoU on behalf of the Mayors of the two cities.
President Toure, who spoke French through an English interpreter, explained that he was highly elated about the reception accorded him in Kumasi and Ghana in general.
The Malian President said he was highly honoured to be in Kumasi to pay homage to the Asantehene, whom he had heard lots about saying his late father once lived in Kumasi.
“I am particularly impressed that I am able to pay respects to the Royal Family of Asanteman and to convey fraternal greetings of the people of Mali to you”, he said.
He said Mali and Ghana have trade links dating back so many years in history as well as in modern history through the Ghana-Guinea-Mali union.
He said there were lots of Ghanaians in Mali who live at Mopti, Gao and Bamako doing business over there just as there were some Malians also in Ghana doing business.
He prayed that the fraternal relationship existing between the two countries would continue to exist.
As custom demands, the Malian President presented drinks (whisky, schnapp and brandy) to the Asantehene.
Responding, the Akyimpimhene Oheneba Adusei Poku who spoke on behalf of the Asantehene called for the need for the Malian President to make arrangements so as to enable Mali benefit from Ghana’s Inland Port, which was under construction at Boankra in the Ashanti region.
He said for instance that Malians could acquire lands at Boankra and build warehouses, where they could keep their imports before onward transportation to Mali.
He said Ghanaians and Malians had a lot in common and called for continued cooperation between the two countries saying the visit of the President was going a long way to foster the bond of friendship existing between the two countries.
Posted by Enoch Darfah Frimpong at 8:31 am