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Akufo-Addo celebrates inauguration of Prempeh I International Airport, pledges growth for Ghana’s aviation sector

The president reaffirmed that his decision to rename the Kumasi International Airport after the 14th Asantehene was unequivocal

President Akufo-Addo and the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II have officially commissioned the Prempeh I International Airport in Kumasi.

Prominent figures, including traditional and political leaders graced the occasion held on Friday (10 May).

Addressing the occasion, President Akufo-Addo said the timing of the commissioning, coinciding with the 25th-anniversary celebration of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II’s enstoolment, is not a mere coincidence but a fitting homage to the rich cultural heritage and historical legacy of the Ashanti kingdom.

He further stressed that renaming the Kumasi International Airport to honour Otumfuo Agyemang Prempeh I and commissioning it alongside the Asantehene’s anniversary milestone, reflects the profound respect and reverence his government accords to traditional institutions.

“The transformation of Kumasi Airport into Prempeh I International Airport, Kumasi represents more than just bricks and mortar. It embodies the spirit of renovation, excellence and collaboration that defines the Ghanaian people.

“Through meticulous planning, hard work and dedication, we have turned the vision into reality and today we reap the fruits of our neighbour,” he said.

The president reiterated his government’s commitment to nurturing Ghana’s aviation sector aiming to enhance its competiveness within West Africa and globally.

“I am particularly exited that this airport will relieve travelers and businesses in the Ashanti Region and beyond, who must travel to Accra to board international flights. In the last few years, the aviation sector has seen significant development in infrastructure and service expansion, coupled with the implementation of thenopen skies policy”, he remarked.

The president reaffirmed that his decision to rename the Kumasi International Airport after the 14th Asantehene was unequivocal.

He emphasised that all admirers and historians concur that Otumfuo Agyemang Prempeh I played a pivotal role in consolidating the Ashanti kingdom during his reign in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

“During his reign, he faced significant challenges including colonial encroachment and internal strife but his leadership and vision were instrumental in shaping the destiny of the Ashanti people.”

He recounted that during the heightened tensions between the Ashantis and the British, culminating in the Sagrenti War, won by the British, and leading to Otumfuo Agyemang Prempeh’s arrest and subsequent exile to Sierra Leone and the Seychelles, his final steps on Ghanaian soil were taken on the very grounds on which the airport now stands.

This, he urged the Ghana Airport Company Limited, to ensure the preservation of the premises as a historic site.

President Akufo-Addo emphasised that Prempeh I is revered as a symbol of Ashanti pride, independence, and sovereignty, emphasising that the airport’s commissioning serves as a tribute to his enduring legacy.

He expressed optimism that the airport would alleviate the travails of numerous travellers and businesses in the Ashanti region and beyond.

“The airport will now serve as an important gateway, forging stronger economic ties, supporting international trades and tourism and promoting cultural exchanges,” he said.

He urged Ghanaians, particularly residents of Kumasi, to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the airport for growth and development.

The president said that with the commissioning of the Prempeh I International Airport, Kumasi, the nation embarks on a new chapter towards progress and prosperity.

“Let us work hand-in-hand to build a future that is bright, prosperous and full of promise for generations to come,” President Akufo-Addo said.

Reporting By Jonathan Ofori, Ashanti Region

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