Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is the reigning king of the Ashanti Kingdom in Ghana. He was born on May 6, 1950, in Kumasi, Ghana, and was enstooled as the 16th Asantehene (King of the Ashanti Kingdom) in April 1999. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential traditional rulers in Ghana and has played a key role in promoting and preserving the culture and traditions of the Ashanti people.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II was born as Nana Barima Kwaku Duah, and he was the youngest of five children of his parents. His father, Nana Agyeman Prempeh I, was also a former Asantehene, who was exiled by the British in the 1930s. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II had his early education at the Government Boys School in Kumasi and later proceeded to Adisadel College in Cape Coast, Ghana.
After completing his education, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II worked in various fields, including banking, advertising, and diplomacy. He also played a key role in the development of the Ashanti region, particularly in the areas of education and healthcare.
In 1995, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II was appointed as the Chairman of the Committee of Eminent Chiefs, which was set up to resolve the protracted chieftaincy disputes in Dagbon, in the Northern region of Ghana. His role in the resolution of the conflict earned him national recognition and cemented his reputation as a respected and impartial traditional ruler.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II’s enstoolment as the Asantehene in 1999 was marked by a series of colorful and traditional ceremonies, which were attended by thousands of people from all over Ghana and the world. His coronation marked a new era in the history of the Ashanti Kingdom, and he quickly set about modernizing and developing the traditional institutions of the Ashanti people.
Under Otumfuo Osei Tutu II’s leadership, the Ashanti Kingdom has undergone a significant transformation, particularly in the areas of education, healthcare, and agriculture. He has also played a key role in promoting and preserving the cultural heritage of the Ashanti people, particularly through the establishment of the Ashanti Cultural Centre in Kumasi.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is also widely respected for his philanthropic activities, particularly in the areas of education and healthcare. He has established several educational and healthcare institutions, including the Otumfuo Education Fund, which provides scholarships to needy and brilliant students in the Ashanti region, and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, which is one of the leading healthcare institutions in Ghana.
In addition to his role as the King of the Ashanti Kingdom, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II also serves as the Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi. He is also a member of several international organizations, including the United Nations Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation and the Board of Directors of the UN Global Compact.