Okyenhene 1999 to Date
Okyenhene (King of Akyem Abuakwa): Osagyefuo Nana Amoatia Ofori Panin is the 35th King to have ascended the throne referred to as the Ofori Panin Stool on October 4th 1999, on the passing on of his predecessor and brother, Nana Kuntunkununku II.
On ascending the throne, Nana Amoatia Ofori Panin pledged to introduce real economic development, commercial growth and the general progress and welfare of the people. In making this pledge, Osagyefuo referred in particular to the development of the child, health, education and environment noting that “the success of my reign is dependent totally on my ability as your leader to ensure that our future – our children – is really secure.”
In pursuance of his conviction he took a 12-week tour of Okyeman from which exposed him to the vastness of his kingdom and the extreme levels of deprivation: poor education and health and related facilities, and the lack of basic infrastructure such as potable water and electricity. Osagyefuo also saw the potential for investments and wealth creation in various sectors of economy.
Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin has developed and began the implementation of some policies for the advancement and growth of his people as a means to achieve the objectives of his tenure. These, naturally, have a bearing and effect on the rest of the nation.
Chairman, Board of Directors:
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – 2002-2008
The agency is dedicated to continuously improving and conserving the country’s natural and human resources, and the environment, in particular. His vision is to promote popular co-management and protection to enhance the country’s environment as well as seek common local and international partnerships in achieving the set goals of the agency.
Chairman, Forest Plantation Development Fund Board – 2004-2008
Under his chairmanship, the board which started with an initial capital of C70 billion in 2002 increased resources to C104 billion of which 43 billion cedis have been disbursed to the Forestry Commission to support the National Forest Plantation Development Programme.
Chairman and Patron, Ghana Society for the Blind
Okyenhene is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of GSB which on his initiative, launched the Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin Fund for the Blind to be managed by the society for the Blind. The fund is managed under the theme “Get the Blind off the Street.”
SELECTED DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES
Osagyefuo has been very active in the campaign to save, maintain and develop to environment. He has established the Okyeman Environment Foundation (OEF) to manage environment concerns in Akyem Abuakwa.
The OEF has initiated a billboard awareness campaign involves the posting of billboards in some 140 towns in Okyeman. The long-term objective is to post and maintain awareness billboards in all the settlements in the Kingdom.
Okyeman Environment Week
Okyenhene instituted the Okyeman Environment Week in 2000 to create awareness, educate and maintain the agenda for the conservation and maintenance of the environment within Okyeman. The event is held every year to coincide with World Environment Day on June 5. He tours an average of eight towns during the week to campaign on the chosen theme and the issues. As part of the Week’s commemoration, the Okyenhene introduced an awards scheme in 2001 for the following:
- Environment Town of the Year
- Environment Town’s Chief
- Environment School of the Year
An additional award for “Brigade of the Year” has been added to the scheme.
Community Environment Protection Brigade
The OEF has also established the Community Environment Protection Brigade, (CEPB). This concept encourages the protection of the environment through the direct participation of communities.
By December 2001, 140 communities had registered and established brigades which employ a minimum of 20 men and women from age 18 to provide an avenue for the potential development of more environment-conscious people through the facilitation of training and the provision of jobs that are environment-friendly and commercially viable.
The OEF won the Green Apple Awards presented at a prestigious ceremony hosted by the British Trade Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, at the House of Commons in 2003.
Chancellor, University College of Agriculture and Environmental Science
In 2002, the Okyenhene proposed to establish an educational institution dedicated solely to the development of environmental science, the first of its kind in Ghana and Africa dedicated to developing skills in the environment, agricultural, eco-management and eco-tourism.
EDUCATION & CHILD WELFARE
Okyenhene is a strong advocate for child welfare and development. His Majesty has been out-spoken about child abuse and parental irresponsibility in the nation. He is also out-spoken about the poor state of facilities for child development.
His Majesty established the Okyenhene’s Annual Children’s Christmas Party to motivate children in Okyeman by awarding the top three primary students in each class. This project was launched in Kyebi in December 1999 and has since spread across the Okyeman annually with the help of philanthropists/sponsors/benefactors.
He also established the Mama Akoto Memorial Trust (so named after his late mother), incorporated in 2009 and managed by a ten-member Board of Trustees, with focus on helping needy women and children in areas of education, health and other social needs.
Okyenhene is a strong advocate for education for the youth. In the period of his reign, he has, on many occasions, expressed concern about the low level of educational standards in Ghana.
His policy is to create a support mechanism for the development of education in Okyeman. His first step toward this was his organization and hosting of the first-ever Congress of Old Abucodians that brought together old students of Abuakwa State College to support its development. The objective was to establish the need for alumni to support their alma mater.
HIV/Aids Education Week
As part of his policy interests, Osagyefuo has instituted the Okyeman HIV/AIDS Education Week, first held in November 2001 to highlight the need to protect society and children, the need to maintain moral responsibility to family as a way of protection and need to be compassionate to infected and affected persons.
His Majesty tested for HIV publicly to encourage people to undergo voluntary testing. As part of his health policy concerns, the Okyenhene has established the Okyeman AIDS Foundation to manage the education against the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Advocacy for the Physically Handicapped
His Majesty is a passionate supporter of Free Wheelchair Mission, a nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Santa Ana, CA, United States of America. Through his advocacy, 40 organizations throughout the world help Free Wheelchair Mission find potential recipients.