President John Agyekum Kufuor and former President Rawlings on Sunday joined the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to celebrate the Akwasidae festival at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.
The Akwasidae celebration also coincided with the 57th birthday of the Asantehene and eight years of his enstoolment on the Golden Stool.
Hundreds of dignitaries and guests including Members of Council
of State, Ministers of State, Members of Parliament, Chief Executives of Universities, Government Boards, Agencies and Corporations, the Clergy, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, some chiefs from Cote d'Ivoire and others paid homage to the Asantehene.
Also at the Manhyia Palace were Mr Frank Ohene Agyekum, former Ashanti Regional Minister, as well as other members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Otumfuo Osei Tutu, who was clad in a rich gold Kente cloth and rode in a palanquin danced to the tunes of the Fontomfrom and Atunpan drums amidst cheers and admiration of the guests.
The guests could not hide their joy and happiness and responded by dancing and waved their hands to wish the Asantehene well and God's blessing.
The display of the Asantes' rich cultural heritage and traditions was at its best as the large retinue of paramount chiefs, guests and other sympathizers turned out, clad in their rich Kente clothes and traditional sandals to match.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu, who is the 16th occupant of the Golden Stool and 19th Asantehene was enstooled on Monday April 26, 1999. He succeeded Otumfuo Opoku Ware II.
The Asantehene, since his enstoolment has established the Otumfuo Education Fund, which is providing scholarships to needy but brilliant pupils and students in the country.
He has also through a World Bank grant, constructed classrooms and provided infrastructure in deprived communities.