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Ghana: The process of selection of a new Asante [Ashanti] chief in Kumasi area

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 29 June 2001
Citation / Document Symbol GHA37245.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ghana: The process of selection of a new Asante [Ashanti] chief in Kumasi area, 29 June 2001, GHA37245.E, available at: [accessed 23 May 2023]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

For information on the selection of a new Asante [Ashanti] chief in Kumasi please see the attached document. The following information relates to the selection of a new king [Asantehene] and is taken from the New African issue of May 1999.

By Asante tradition, it is the exclusive preserve of the Asantehemaa (the Queen mother) to nominate a successor to a deceased Asantehene. Her nomination then has to receive the approval of the kingmakers of the Kumasi Traditional Council (KTC), made up of 11 of the 30 paramount chieftaincy divisions of the Asante Kingdom.

Though the Queen mother nominates, the kingmakers reserve the right to accept or reject the nomination, especially when in their wisdom the candidate is not qualified.

By tradition, the Queen mother has three chances of nominating a candidate, but throughout the annals of the Asante Monarchy, no nominee of the Asantehemaa had been rejected by the kingmakers because a lot of groundwork is done by her before nominating a candidate ...

The customary oath of allegiance is the king's public declaration that, like his predecessors, he would uphold the truth, be committed to the cause of his people, and that transparency and honesty would be the hallmark of his reign.

Having sworn the oath, the new Asantehene is then confined at "Apatam" (a customary process of confinement which spans between 21 to 40 days depending on the exigences of the situation.

During this period, the new Asantehene is taken through some elaborate customary and traditional rites to acquaint himself with all the rituals and intricacies of his new position. He also imbibes the Palace structures and organisation and the history of the kingdom, including court etiquette, royal manner of speech and majestic walking.

After his confinement, the new king is then taken to the Stool House to perform additional rites. Only after this, is he made to physically sit on the legendary Golden Stool as the substantive King of the Asante nation ...

The Stool, which is never seen in public, is said to embody the "soul and spirit" of the Asante nation (1999, 42).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


New African [London]. May 1994. Cameroun Duodu. "King of 'Gold Returns to His Village'."


Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) [Ottawa]. 26 June 2001. Response to Information Request GHA37397.E of 26 June 2001.

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential [London].

Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series [Oxford].

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000. United States Department of State. Washington, DC.

Keesing's Record of World Events [Cambridge].

New African [London].

Resource Centre. Country File. Ghana.

West Africa [London].

Four oral sources contacted did not provide the requested information.

Search engines including:




Internet sites including:

All Africa

Ghana Website

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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