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Asantehene to officially inaugurate Asanteman Europe in Amsterdam

BY: Joseph Kyei-Boateng, Oslo, Norway
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, will inaugurate Asanteman Europe in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, next week to promote Asante culture for the new generation born on the continent.

The July 2 event will happen two decades after the Asantehene last visited the Netherlands. His last visit to the European country was in June 2002.

Dignitaries expected to be at the inaugural ceremony include Kumawumanhene, Barima Safo Tweneboa Kodua; Tepamanhene, Nana Adusei Atwerewa Apem; Agonamanhemaa, Nana Akyampomaa Ntansa Yiadom II; Konahene, Nana Konadu Yiadom Kumanin IV, and Fawomanhemaa, Nana Serwaa Ampafo.

Others expected at the inaugural ceremony are the Ghana Ambassador to the Netherlands, Francis Danti Kotia; the Chief Executive Officer of Despite Group of Companies, Dr Osei Kwame Despite, and the Chief Executive Officer of Angel Group of Companies, Dr. Kwaku Oteng.

Asanteman Europe, a group of Asantes based in Europe, is made up of 15 member associations (unions) in 11 European countries, namely Asanteman Kroyɛ Kuo (Austria), Asanteman Association Brussels (Belgium), Asanteman Association Antwerp (Belgium), Asanteman Denmark (Denmark), Asanteman Finland Ry (Finland), Asanteman Kuo Hamburg (Germany), Asanteman Dusseldorf (Germany), Asanteman Royals Association Dusseldorf (Germany), Asanteman Kuo Berlin (Germany).

The rest are Asanteman Italy (Italy), Asanteman Traditional Council of the Netherlands (the Netherlands), Asanteman Norway (Norway), Asantemankuo Sweden (Sweden), Asanteman Union Switzerland (Switzerland) and Asanteman Nkabomukuo (UK).

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Activities
Chairman of the Planning Committee, Nana Kwabena Opoku, in an interview said the inauguration will be on the theme: “Empowering the Ghanaian Child through Education - the role of Asanteman Europe” and part of the funds to be raised at the ceremony would go to support needy but brilliant students in Ghana for quality education.

Nana Opoku who doubles as Adontenhene of the Asanteman Traditional Council of the Netherlands said some of the funds would go to support some Health Institutions in the Ashanti Region.

He added that there would be cultural display in kete, adowa, fɔntɔmfrɔm, etc which will also give attendants the opportunity to learn Asante culture.

Brief History
The Board Chairman of Asanteman Europe who is also the Asantemanhene of Finland, Nana Ekuoba Gyasi Sempremo Gyima who gave a brief history of the group, recalled that Asanteman Europe was formed in February 2018 in Zurich, Switzerland when he and some Asantes living in Europe realised the need to promote Asante culture, especially for the younger generation in the diaspora.

The founders, he said, were living in Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Denmark and Belgium and they selected 11 members to be interim executives who were subsequently elected as substantive Executives to run the group.

He further recalled that the group then agreed to have Congress as its highest decision making body, followed by the Board and then the Executive Council with the backing of the House of Chiefs which later decided the official inauguration of Asanteman Europe.

Networking
The President of the Executive Council, Papa Yaw Agyei emphasised that the formation of Asanteman Europe was not only to reunite Asantes on the European continent, but also to create networking among themselves.

He said through networking, the few who came together before the inauguration had been able to make COVID-19 relief donations which were presented to support health facilities back home in Ghana.

He reminded all members that Asanteman Europe was not formed to threaten other tribes of Ghana, but to lead a good example of “respecting and remembering our cultural identities as Ghanaians irrespective of which generation and where we live”.

Papa Agyei however, urged Asantes living in Asia, Oceania (Australia), South America, to also learn from this good example of Europe to be able to reconnect to one another culturally.