His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II arrived in Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday for a week-long official visit as the guest of honour for the Emancipation Day celebrations. The visit is on the invitation of the government of the Caribbean nation.
The King who left Kumasi aboard a private flight arrived at the Piarco International Airport in Port of Spain in drizzling weather in the evening. He was welcomed by the Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs, Dr. Amery Browne; the Minister of Trade and Industry, Paula Gopee-Scoon; the Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, Randall Mitchell, and the Minister of National Security, Fitzgerald Hinds.
Earlier on Saturday, an advance delegation traveling with the King including chiefs, courtiers and administrative staff departed from Kumasi, also with a chartered flight. A guard of honour was mounted by the Quarter Guard at the Piarco International Airport.
Otumfuo’s visit followed a special invitation extended to him by the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Togabo, Dr Keith Christopher Rowley when he visited Ghana in March 2020 for the country’s 63rd independence anniversary celebration.
With the slogan, “A King is Coming!” the government of Trinidad and Tobago has widely advertised the Asantehene’s visit, which involves a packed itenirary.
During the slave trade, many enslaved West Africans were brought to the Caribbean. Following the abolition of slavery in 1834, the African Diaspora established themselves and their cultures, leaving a unique mark on the tapestry of the history of Trinidad and Tobago. In 1985, the historic decision was made to memorialise the liberation of enslaved Africans with a public holiday.
Among other activities, the Asantehene will pay courtesy calls on the President, and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, attend a Trade and Investment Symposium to bolster trade and investment between Africa and the Caribbean, and speak at the Asantehene Distinguished Lecture at the University of the West Indies and University of Trinidad and Tobago, and also meet the Ashanti Diaspora.
Asante, Trindad and Tobago ties dates back to 1881 with the arrival of Prince Kofi Nti, son of Asantehene Kofi Karikari, in the Caribbean nation. In 1883, Prince Kofi Nti designed a Signal Station which was built at Fort St. George, Port of Spain.