Former President Jerry John Rawlings has described the death of veteran diplomat K.B. Asante as the loss of a true statesman.
“Ghana has lost a true statesman,” Mr Rawlings tweeted after Mr Asante’s death was announced on Monday, 22 January.
Mr Rawlings said the 93-year-old “was a gentleman, historian, public-spirited person, a patriot and a genuine Nkrumaist,” adding: “My sincere condolences to his family. Rest in peace Mr K. B. Asante.”
Ghana has lost a true statesman. K. B. Asante was a gentleman, historian, public-spirited person, a patriot and a genuine Nkrumaist. My sincere condolences to his family. Rest in peace Mr K. B. Asante.
— Office of JJRawlings (@officeofJJR) January 22, 2018
Mr Asante was born Kwame Baprui Asante on 1 March 1924 in the Greater Accra Region as the second of seven children.
He attended O’Reilly Educational Institute, Tudu; Government Junior Boys’ School, Adabraka; and Government Senior Boys’ School, Kinbu; from 1927 to 1937.
He also attended Achimota College Upper Primary and Secondary School from 1938 – 1942 and later obtained a degree in Mathematics at the University College, Durham University.
He was once a senior mathematics teacher at the Achimota College where he taught for three years after changing an initial plan of pursuing engineering.
Mr Asante worked as a secretary to Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah at the Flagstaff House for six years where he doubled as Principal Secretary at African Affairs Secretariat from 1960 to 1966. And he was the only member of Nkrumah’s government still living.
He served as Ghana’s Ambassador to Switzerland with concurrent accreditation as Ambassador to Australia from 1967 – 72.
He also served as Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Economic Community from 1976-1978.
Mr Asante retired from the Civil Service in 1978 to form the Social Democratic Front to contest the 1979 elections. His party won three parliamentary seats.
He was the Secretary for Trade and Tourism in the PNDC administration in 1982 and later Secretary for Education and Culture from 1986 – 1990.
Despite his mathematics background, he is a very good writer. He has had a long association with the Daily Graphic as one of its most prominent columnists.
He left behind a wife, Matilda, and four children: two men and two women.