Photos Asantehene arrives in Seychelles for historic visit

The Ghanaian king of the Ashanti people or Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, arrived in the Seychelles on Wednesday evening as the guest of honour for the upcoming fifth annual Carnaval International de Victoria.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and his high-level delegation arrived in Seychelles on board a private jet minutes after 7 o’clock on Wednesday evening.

Present at the Seychelles International Airport to meet the Ashanti King were the Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St. Ange, principal for tourism Anne Lafortune and secretary culture Benjamine Rose and the chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board Sherin Naiken.

The king was then presented with a bouquet of colourful Seychelles flowers.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II was given his traditional welcome under the sounds of horns by his entourage, while the ministerial delegation led him to the VIP lounge.

Also present at the airport was the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts of Ghana Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare and the High Commissioner of South Africa to Seychelles Dr Nomvuyo N Nokwe.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II expressed great joy of being in Seychelles adding that it will be a chance for him to learn more about his great-uncle who stayed in Seychelles when he was was exiled there in September 1901.

The Ashanti King also wishes to see cooperation between Ghana and Seychelles being developed in many areas.

The Ashanti King paid a courtesy call to the Head of State, President James Michel at the State House.

He will also be attending the official opening ceremony of the fifth Carnaval International de Victoria on Friday.

His Royal Majesty Otumfuo will also be among the VIPs seated at the La Place de La Republique to enjoy the colourful carnival float on Saturday afternoon.

The international carnival, which begins on Friday April 24, has this year attracted the participation of 29 countries, one of which is Ghana.

Unique historical ties
According to a press statement issued by State House on Thursday afternoon, the Ashanti King is keen to develop further cooperation between Ghana and Seychelles.

He presented President Michel with a traditional royal robe, which the Seychellois head of state put on in honour of his visitor.

The Asantehene’s visit is to commemorate the exile of his family 120 years ago.

In the year 1896, at the height of British colonialism in Africa, the British government discontinued the office of Asantehene – the absolute ruler of the Ashanti people – and exiled the then-King, Nana Agyeman Prempeh I, the current Asantehene’s great uncle.

27 years later, the British allowed Prempeh I to return home in 1926 but initially only permitted him to adopt a lesser title, eventually restoring Ashanti self-rule and the title of Asantehene in 1935.

Two months ago, Prempeh I’s great-granddaughter, Princess Molly Germaine Prempeh, who was born in Seychelles, returned in an emotional visit to the Indian Ocean archipelago of 115 islands after a 60-year absence, telling SNA of her wish to enjoy her sunset years in the land of her birth.

During his visit to State House, the current Asantehene “commended the beauty of the country and its people”, adding that his visit was an opportunity to learn more about the exile of King Prempeh I, his great-uncle.

In his statement, President Michel expressed Seychelles’ commitment to preserve the unique historical links and heritage between the two countries.

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