The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, is to visit the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean, a statement from the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi said on Wednesday.

The statement signed by the Chief of Staff, Mr Kofi Badu, said the week-long visit is at the invitation of the government of Seychelles through its Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The Asantehene would be a special guest of honour at the Carnival International De Victoria, the biggest Creole festival, which is attended by nationals of countries around the world.

The Seychelles Islands is where 120 years ago, the Asantehene’s great uncle, Nana Agyeman Prempeh I, was exiled together with his parents and 50 other chiefs, queen-mothers and servants by the British colonial authorities for 27 years.

The Asantehene who will be accompanied by a 52-member delegation will meet with the President of Seychelles.

There will be cultural protocol agreements between Kumasi and Victoria and final status discussion started by UNESCO and the Government of Seychelles on the plantation villa house that Prempeh I (whose exile story of 27 years is equivalent to Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment) lived in.

The Asantehene and the delegation will also attend a memorial service at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church and meet with descendants of Prempeh I still living on the island.

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Creative Arts, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will mount a strong promotional stand and advocacy platform to promote Ghana’s heritage.

They will also have consultations with Seychelles’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The statement said contemporary interest in Asante-Seychellois relations was rekindled when after his enthronement as Asantehene, Osei Tutu II and the Manhyia Palace commissioned the writer and documentary film-maker, Mr. Ivor Agyeman-Duah, to produce Yaa Asantewaa : The Heroism of an African Queen with the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) .

The late Professor Emeritus Albert Adu Boahen served as the production adviser and it was premiered at the US Embassy in Accra, the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), London and adopted by the PANAFEST Foundation under the auspices of the African Union, and also by the government of the Netherlands to commemorate the centenary diplomatic relations- The Link: Ghana and the Black Soul of the Netherlands.

A sequel by the same writer and producer and the SBC, The Return of the King to Seychelles will be done after the visit.

The statement said the delegation is symbolic of the number exiled by the British including senior chiefs, successors of some of the exiled chiefs, palace poets, royal drummers, horn blowers, historians and few business executives which will at a state durbar, also show-case the best of Asante cultural heritage, a journey full of emotions and the most sensitive memorial in nineteenth century Asante history, it saw four years after the king’s exile (from 1896), the out-break of the last Anglo-Asante war also known as the Yaa Asantewaa War of 1900.

The visit will attract over a dozen international broadcasting organizations.

Ghana News Agency