Ghana’s history is replete with people who, in diverse ways, have played various roles in advancing the cause of the nation, with some appropriately honoured, while others are yet to be recognised.
We are often reminded of this wise saying: A nation that does not honour its heroes is not worth dying for.
It is in the context of recognising the contributions made by distinguished personalities in key areas of national development that the Otumfuo Commemorative Gold Coin was launched at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi on December 12, last year.
The E ON 3 Group, an Accra-based business solutions provider, initiated the process to mint commemorative gold coins to celebrate the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, for his outstanding contribution to the peace, stability and development of the country since his enstoolment some 23 years ago.
Consequently, the Bank of Ghana gave authorisation to the Gold Coast Refinery, which is a partner in the Otumfuo Commemorative Gold Coin project, to mint the coin.
Commemorative coins are produced with the main objective to celebrate and honour people, places, events and institutions, and for us in Ghana, it is the first time that a non-circulating commemorative coin has been issued in the country.
Quite importantly, the minting of the commemorative gold coin is a further testament to Otumfuo’s significant contribution to expanding the frontiers of traditional leadership beyond Ghana and Africa, a development that has elevated the chieftaincy institution to a much higher pedestal and ushered it into modernity
Receiving a delegation from the organisers of the project at the Jubilee House in Accra last Thursday, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo underscored the relevance of the gold coin project.
Beyond that, he said the Asantehene’s contribution to the advancement of the peace and development of the country was well known and, therefore, honouring him with the commemorative gold coin was appropriate.
To his credit, Otumfuo has settled many major land and chieftaincy disputes across the country and extended his mediation efforts to the resolution of the Dagbon chieftaincy dispute, where he led the Committee of Eminent Chiefs to settle the age-old conflict that consequently led to the enskinment of a new Ya-Na.
Besides, it is well-documented the yeoman’s role Otumfuo Osei Tutu played in getting the presidential candidates in the 2012 general election to commit to a peace declaration, which contributed immeasurably to maintaining peace before, during and after the elections.
While extolling the Asantehene’s achievements, the primary objective behind the commemorative gold coin should not be lost on us.
We are aware that apart from honouring the Asantehene with the gold coin, proceeds from the 24 carat (99.99 per cent) fine gold coin will be appropriated to set up a cultural resource centre in Kumasi, with the latest information technology platforms, to promote activities related to traditional and customary conflict resolution in Ghana, as well as other peace initiatives.
Given the credibility of the institutions behind the gold coin project, there is no doubt that this initiative will achieve results.
The decision to establish a modern cultural resource centre is laudable. Ghanaian culture has come under the influence of Western culture, with its attendant negative impact, especially on moral values of our youth.
We also believe that the siting of the centre in Kumasi is not misplaced, since the city is seen as the cradle of the culture and traditions of the country. After all, the headquarters of the National House of Chiefs is located in the city.
The Daily Graphic holds the view that the cultural importance of Kumasi must have a positive bearing on this centre when it is established.
One critical success factor as far as this project is concerned is generating a groundswell of support among Ghanaians to ensure that patronage of the coin is high to generate enough proceeds to finance the cultural resource centre. The organisers must work hard to leverage Otumfuo’s goodwill to ensure its success.