08.05.2004 General News

President Kufuor holds talks with Asantehene at Manhyia

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Kumasi, May 8, GNA- President John Agyekum Kufuor on Saturday held closed door meeting with the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.

Details of the meeting were not disclosed but observers believed it centred on socio-economic development of the country.

President Kufuor arrived in Kumasi on Friday to participate in the Asanteman Adae Kese Festival scheduled for Sunday, May 9, at the Kumasi Sports Stadium.

Before the meeting President Kufuor who was cheered by a teeming crowd went to Apagyafiem at Ashanti New Town to pay homage to his relatives.

President Kufuor also was at the Kumasi airport to welcome some dignitaries invited to the Festival.

They included President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah of Sierra Leone and Mr Don McKinnon, Secretary General of the Commonwealth both of whom arrived on the same plane from Accra. President Kufuor held closed-door meetings with them at the VIP Lounge at the airport, before he accompanied the dignitaries to pay a courtesy call on the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at the Manhyia Palace.

Mr Somda Jean De Dieu, Burkina Faso Minister for Regional Co-operation has also arrived in Kumasi for the Festival. Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo is expected later during the day to participate in the Festival.

The AdaeKese festival provides an occasion for communion with the ancestors as well as the re-union of families. It also gives an opportunity for all chiefs in the domain of the Golden Stool of Asante to renew their allegiance to Asanthene, occupant of the Golden Stool.

The last Asanteman Adae Kese was held in 1991 under the late Otumfuo Opoku Ware II. This year's festival has the theme "Asanteman Adae Kese: Promoting Traditional Leadership For Accelerated Development".

It coincides with the fifth anniversary celebration of the enstoolment of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II as Asantehene and the 16th King of the Asante Kingdom.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, 54, was enstooled as Asantehene on Monday, April 26, 1999 to succeed Otumfuo Opoku Ware II.

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