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13.12.2006 General News

Otumfuo receives Honorary Doctorate Degree Award in London

Otumfuo receives Honorary Doctorate Degree Award in London
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The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has received his seventh Honorary Doctorate Degree Award in London.

The award, a Doctorate Degree in Philosophy, was conferred on the 16th occupant of the Golden Stool by the London Metropolitan University in the UK.

The award ceremony, which took place at the prestigious Barbican Centre in central London, formed part of the annual graduation ceremony of one of the largest universities in the United Kingdom.

The London Metropolitan University was born out of the coming together of a cluster of higher educational institutions within the Central Business District of London to form a one-unit university.

The board of governors of this steadfastly growing university decided to confer the honorary doctorate degree on one of its illustrious alumni and now the King of the Ashanti Kingdom, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

The London Metropolitan University has a student population of over 37,000 from over 150 countries.

Currently, there are 70 Ghanaian students and also 230 students with Ghanaian background studying at the university.

Fifteen of the academic staff are Ghanaians.

Two hundred and thirteen out of the 4,000 non-academic staff are also Ghanaians.

The award brings to seven, such honorary awards from internationally-acclaimed universities, since his ascension to the Golden Stool some seven years ago.

Renowned institutions that have honoured the Asantehene include the University of Maryland in Eastern Shore, Savana State University at Atlanta Georgia, University of Glasgow in UK and the Simmons's Award from the Commonwealth Universities.

The other two are from the two largest universities in Ghana- the University of Ghana and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

Nearly 2,000 people witnessed and applauded the King as the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Brain Roper, presented him with the award.

Robed in the university's traditional colours of mauve, the King beamed with smiles from the large podium.

Present at the ceremony were Ghana's High Commissioner to the UK, Mr. Annan Cato, and a large number of Ghanaians who had travelled from across the UK to witness the event.

A high-powered delegation from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, led by the Chairman of the University Council, Nana Otuo Serebour, were also in attendance.

The KNUST delegation, which included the Vice Chancellor, Professor A.A. Adarkwah and the Registrar, Kobby Yebo-Okrah, provided support from the podium.

Also to grace the occasion was the Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Sir Sam Jonah.

In an accompanying citation, Otumfuo Osei Tutu was hailed by the university as a unique student who has not only brought glory and honour to the institution, but more importantly, created the avenue for the improvement of the lives of many people.

The citation, read by Professor Roper, recognised the immense contribution the King has made in the areas of education, health, rural development and the chieftaincy institution.

He evoked, particularly, Otumfuo's vibrant efforts in solving over 400 chieftaincy and land disputes within his jurisdiction and noted that such a situation provides a good atmosphere for development.

He said the educational trust fund, set up by the King, under which more than 4,000 students have benefited, was laudable.

“It is indeed a high privilege for us to have you here today. Not all our students can achieve what you have achieved through hard work and dedication.

We are proud of you,” Professor Roper acknowledged.

In response, Otumfuo Osei Tutu expressed his gratitude to the university for the recognition and honour done him, adding that “it is perhaps the honour I will cherish most”.

According to him, the award “is from an institution that has contributed to planting and nurturing the seed in my youth that has yielded good results”.

He said the honour is shared with the good people of Ghana “and indeed, the academic institutions in the country”.The King noted that kingship is not about privilege, “it is rather about leadership and how to make an impact on the people you lead”.

“I have taken the opportunity as the King of Ashanti, to demonstrate that there is a lot of our heritage that points to the revival of our fortunes as a people,” Otumfuo remarked.

He stressed the need to inculcate in traditional leaders, the values of the continent of Africa, which eventually would provide the foundation for the prosperous future of the continent.

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