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05.11.2008 Regional News

Trinidad & Tobago President Visits Manhyia

By Daily Guide

HIS MAJESTY Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene has called for collaboration between Ghana, and Trinidad and Tobago as the former nears its preparation towards oil exploration.

Considering Trinidad and Tobago's rich experience in oil exploration which dates back to many decades, he stressed that it would do Ghana better if it teams up with the Caribbean nation.

Ghana he opined if it taps Trinidad and Tobago's know-how in oil exploration would soon become a major force to reckon with in the oil industry in the world which would automatically impact positively towards Ghana's proper advancement.

Otumfuo made the call in a speech read on his behalf by the Juaben Paramount Chief, Nana Otuo Serebuo at a durbar of Chiefs and people of Asanteman at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi on Tuesday.

The occasion was when the visiting Trinidad and Tobago President, H.E. Prof. George Maxwell Richards, accompanied by his wife Mrs. Richards paid a courtesy call on the Asantehene.

Continuing, the Asante King suggested also that Ghana should work closely with Trinidad and Tobago in the area of tourism which the latter is noted to be a major player in the world.

He stated that the country stands the better of chances of deriving huge returns from the tourism industry if it takes the appropriate steps, reiterating the need for the two countries to work together.

President Maxwell Richards was at the palace primarily to pay homage to the Asantehene and also experience the rich culture and history of the Asantes which dates back to over 300 years.

Otumfuo demanded that the two countries should deepen its relations to better the lives of its people, stressing that the current relationship existing between the two was encouraging but needed to be improved to an appreciable level.

He especially decried the non existence of Ghana's embassy in Trinidad and Tobago, bewailing that the development was serving as a hindrance for the people of the two nations to visit each other to trade and engage in other meaningful activities.

The Asantehene therefore stated that it was high time that Ghana established its own embassy in Trinidad and Tobago to speed up relations between the two countries.

The visiting Trinidad and Tobago president was accompanied to the palace by top government officials including the Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon. E.A. Owusu Ansah, Madam Oboshie Sae Coffie, Minister for Tourism and Madam Patricia Appiagyei the KMA boss.

In his succinct remarks, President Maxwell Richards corroborated Otumfuo's call about the need for the two countries to deepen its relations to ensure their socio, economic and political advancement.

He indicated that relations between the two countries date back to the colonial days, adding that it would be a good omen for the two countries if they sustain and improve their relationships.

The occasion was characterized by the drumming and dancing of 'Kete' and 'Adowa' tunes amidst the firing of musketry by the royal guards.

Looking delighted after witnessing the rich Asante culture, he observed that people of the two countries share some things in common, insisting that people of the two countries stand the best of chances to accrue numerous benefits if they work closely.

President Maxwell Richards paid glowing tribute to the Asantes for their bravery in fighting to redeem their territory from the British in the colonial days, noting that the heroics of the Asantes are well known in the Caribbean. “Asantes are revered in the Caribbean,” he noted.

“Every citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, including children of school going age knows the braveness and the rich history of Asantes, especially the Asantehene,” he added, noting that he was extremely happy to meet the Asante King personally.

He showered praises on Otumfuo for his exemplary leadership skills which have impacted positively in the health, economic and educational development in the country, urging him to keep his good works up.

President Maxwell Richards later presented a plaque to the Asantehene to show his appreciation for the warm welcome accorded him.

On his part, Otumfuo presented 'kente' cloth to President Maxwell Richards and his wife.

From Fred J.A. Ibrahim Jnr., Kumasi