Kofi Annan earned “Busumuru” for his selflessness

By Gifty Amofa, GNA   

Accra, Sept. 13, GNA – In 2002, the
Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II, conferred the title Busumuru, the highest
traditional honour of Asanteman, on Kofi Annan in recognition of his service to

“I and the entire Asanteman have decided to
add the Busumuru title to your name because of your selflessness contributions
to humanity and promotion of peace throughout the world,” the Asantehene said
when he placed a symbolic gold necklace around Kofi Annan’s neck amidst
traditional drumming.

Busumuru is the name of the Golden sword used
by the Asantehene to swear allegiance to the Asante Kingdom at Kofi Annan’s

Nana Baffour Domfe Gyeabour III, Asantehene’s
Nsumankwaahene (sub-chief in charge of gods) briefing the Ghana News Agency,
said Busumuru was the name of one of the swords used to swear, it was a symbol
of war and used at the war front in the olden days.

“Busumuru is the highest of all the swords
held only by the Otumfour, the King of the Asante, to perform certain
traditional rites.

“So in that sense, it is the highest title of
nobility conferred on an individual by his royal highness, the Asantehene,” Nana
Gyeabour said.

He said other titles such as Krakwesi was
conferred on Brigadier Lieutenant-General Akwasi Amankwaa Afrifa, former Head
of State.

Kofi Annan, as he is fondly called by all, was
born on April 8, 1938, at Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional Capital.

He started working for the United Nations in
1962 as a budget officer for the World Health Organisation (WHO), a UN Agency.

He worked with the UN until a break from 1974
to 1976, when he worked as the Director of Tourism in Ghana.

For a nine-year period from 1987 to 1996, Kofi
Annan was appointed to serve as an Assistant Secretary-General for three
positions: Human Resources, Management and Security Coordinator; Programme
Planning, Budget and Finance, and Controller; and Peacekeeping Operations.

The UN Security Council recommended him to
take the mantle after Dr Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt, in 1996 and the
General Assembly approved him, through voting, and he began his first term as
Secretary-General of the UN from January 1, 1997.  

Some of the major achievements were his
issuance of a five-point Call to Action in April 2001 to address the HIV/AIDS
pandemic and his proposal to create a Global AIDS and Health Fund.

He and the UN were jointly awarded the Nobel
Peace Prize in December of 2001 “for their work for a better organised and
more peaceful world.”


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