Osei Tutu II (born Nana Barima Kwaku Duah; 6 May 1950) is the 16th Asantehene, enstooled on 26 April 1999. By name, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is in direct succession to the 17th century founder of the Ashanti Empire, Otumfuo Osei Tutu I. He is also the Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is the Grand Patron of the Grand Lodge of Ghana and the Sword Bearer of the United Grand Lodge of England.
He was born on 6 May 1950 and named Nana Barima Kwaku Duah, the third son and youngest of the five children (three sons and two daughters) of Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II, Asantehemaa (Queen-mother of the Ashanti). His father Nana Kwame Boakye-Dankwa was from Kantinkyere in Ashanti and was also the Brehyia Duke of Asante. Nana Kwame Boakye-Dankwa died on 1 January 2002, in Kumasi, Ashanti.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu was named after his paternal grandfather, Ohenenana Kwaku Duah (Nana Agari), Brahyiahene, of Kantinkyiren in the Atwima district. His siblings include Nana Ama Konadu, the 14th Asanteheemaa as well as the late Nana Konadu Yiadom III Barima Kwabena Poku, Barima Akwasi Prempeh.
When he was about five years old, Otumfuo moved into the royal household of his uncle, Oheneba Mensah Bonsu, the Hiahene, enstooled in 1952, as early preparation for his future role.
Osei Tutu has six children. His father had other offspring from other marriages, including Yaw Boateng, Kwaku Duah, Kwabena Agyei-Bohyen, Afua Sarpong and Ama Agyemang (Kumasi, Ashanti), Fredua Agyeman Prempeh, Nana Kwasi Agyemang Prempeh and Nana Kwasi Boachie Gyambibi (Kumasi, Ashanti).
The Asantehene Osei Tutu II’s name at birth, Nana Barima Kwaku Duah, is the name of the Asante monarch paternal grandfather.
He had his elementary education in Kumasi and in 1964, went on to the Sefwi Wiaso Secondary School where he obtained his ‘O’ Level was taught by the late Omanhene of Sefwi Wiawso, Nana Kwadwo Aduhene II who was a cousin of Otumfuo’s guardian uncle, Oheneba Mensah Bonsu, Hiahene. He also attended the Osei Kyeretwie Secondary School (OKESS). He studied accountancy studies at the erstwhile Institute of Professional Studies, which is today known as University of Professional Studies in Accra. He then enrolled at the London Meteropolitan University where he earned a degree in Human Resources Management and Public Administration. He was awarded an honorary doctorate, at a ceremony at the Barbican Centre on 11 January 2006.
Between 1981 and 1985, he was a senior consultant at the Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company in Toronto, Canada.
He returned to London in 1985 and became the Personnel Manager at the Manpower Services Commission of the Brent Council. He then founded his own mortgage finance firm, Primoda Financial Services Limited, located on Kilburn High Road, North West London. He returned to his native Ghana in 1989 to start a transport business, the Transpomech International (Ghana) Limited.
The Asantehene is highly revered in the Asante territories (Ashanti Region and other parts of Ghana), and is often regarded as the first among equals of traditional rulers in Ghana. Osei Tutu has frequently commented on the work of Ghanaian politicians.
He received international media attention after some of the Ashanti crown jewels were allegedly stolen from an Oslo hotel in October 2012 when he was attending a conference in the Norwegian capital.
In August 2019, he celebrated the Akwasidae with the Ghanaian community in the United Kingdom whilst on a short visit there. Dignitaries at the function included Paapa Owusu Ankomah, the Ghana High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
In February 2020, he became the first person to receive the ‘Pillar of Peace Award’. This was in recognition of the effort that he put into restoring peace to the kingdom of Dagbon which spanned nearly two decades.
Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II of the Empire of Asante resides at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi, the capital city of Ashanti region and the Empire of Asante