FLASHBACK: How Asantehene’s phone call saved Ghana after failed attempts by Kufuor, others
Even though Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II, the Asantehene, is not a politician, there is no debate about the crucial role he has played in the framework of Ghana’s political system.
This article, which GhanaWeb published for the first time on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, but which was sourced from mynewsgh.com, gives a reasonable notion of one of these situations in which the Asantehene’s influence was brought to bear.
According to the findings of the investigation, Otumfuo’s influence was responsible for the World Bank deciding not to classify Ghana as a Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) during the presidency of John Agyekum Kufuor.
According to reports, the information was divulged by Nana Agyenim Boateng, a member of the communications staff of Manhyia Palace who is also known as the Amoamanhene.
You can read his complete retelling of the event down below:
After President John Agyekum Kufuor and his entire government machinery had exhausted all avenues available to them at the time, His Royal Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, King of the Asante Kingdom, heavily influenced the decision of the World Bank to allow Ghana to gain Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) status with just a phone call.
Nana Agyenim Boateng, a member of the communications team at the Manhyia Palace and sub-chief Amoamanhene, made the surprising disclosure concerning the influence exercised by the revered King to the benefit of the country.
In 2001, when John Agyekum Kufuor was still serving as President of the Republic of Ghana, he and his government became members of the HIPC.
According to Mr. Kufuor, the move was not intended to be merely a “political gimmick or trick,” but rather, it was intended to provide an opportunity to take a breather in order to pursue medium to long-term goals.
At the time, a large number of Ghanaians, particularly members of the opposition, voiced their vehement opposition to the decision made by the Kufuor administration to opt for HIPC. Despite this, the government insisted that the decision was necessary taking into consideration the state of the economy at the time.
Nevertheless, Nana Agyenim Boateng made it very clear that Otumfuo’s phone call was necessary in order to close the deal with the World Bank. This revelation exposed the mastermind who was responsible for the success of the transaction.
“This is a record that is available and was not created by me. Following the analysis conducted by the World Bank, it became clear that our economy had a few flaws. At that time, Asantehene did not travel to Washington; instead, he just called the president on the phone. He spoke with James D. Wolfensohn, the head of the World Bank at the time, and explained the situation to him. As a result, the World Bank forgave Ghana’s debt, and the country was designated a HIPC. It’s been documented,” This information was disclosed by Nana Amoamanhene Nana Agyenim Boateng in an interview with Hello FM in Kumasi, which was listened to by MyNewsGh.com.
He continued by saying that “the social intervention that Asantehene conducted was not for Kumasi only but for the whole country.”