Tribute to Elder Statesman K. B. Asante from the Convention Peoples Party
The old man has gone back to the village and we shall no longer be regaled with deep insights of a man who lived a full and fruitful life and who selflessly shared his wealth of knowledge with all. KB Asante, a man of many parts has passed on to the ancestors and the people of Ghana and the wider African family in the diaspora will forever miss him. We in the Convention Peoples Party will miss his unbiased views about events in the country and his words of wisdom and knowledge of government, acquired through his many years of service to the country working in different capacities at different levels and with different shades of governments.
KB was a teacher; he taught at Achimota School his alma mater before and after he graduated with a Mathematics Degree. His teaching skills never left him since he continued to give lectures in his later years at home and abroad.
He was a civil servant; he worked in several departments including Trade and Industry, Finance and Economic Planning. As a diplomat, he helped set up several embassies and missions during the fledgeling years after our independence. His work in the Bureau of African Affairs at the Foreign Ministry provided him with insights about issues relating to the implementation of the pan African mission. His work as the executive secretary to Dr Kwame Nkrumah brought him into close contact with politics at the highest level observing the intersectionality of the variety of demands on a newly independent country.
Though he retired from the Civil Service, KB never retired from public service. There were too many things for him to do in politics, as a community activist and as a dedicated old student of his alma mater.
As a politician, he fronted the Social Democratic Party, a coalition of trade unionists and other centrists who stood to empower the larger labour movement but that was fiercely Pan African in its principles. Though the party did not flourish as much as he would have liked, Comrade KB never compromised his principles for fairness and social justice.
He went back into public service as one of the older statesmen ushered in to provide credibility to a struggling military regime propounding ambiguous socialist principles. As an experienced administrator and diplomat with a deep knowledge of the history of the country and where it should be, he served with honour. The older mature KB saw it as a duty and service to his country and he served very well in ambassadorial roles as well as in running some of the vital departments of government.
In later years he came into his role as a senior citizen and elder statesman with ease, he continued to be an ambassador for the country though he no longer had a role in government, delivering lectures during his many travels abroad.
He was an excellent and engaging raconteur. His knowledge of the finer details of how governments function was unsurpassable, and he became a much sought-after speaker and lecturer on the foreign circuit; there are many in London and elsewhere who flocked to listen to him, many ardent pan Africanists went to hear him speak on wide-ranging issues that almost always ended on the topic of African unity.
Ever the community activist, he held many meaningful positions in the community. He was dedicated to serving Achimota School on several levels and the visible face of The Gadangme Council, championing the cause of the pre-eminent civil society organisation that campaigns for redress of the many social and developmental arising out of Accra becoming an overpopulated highly urbanised place with its attendant issues.
Elder KB continued to be involved in public and social life and he is best known as the incisive critic and social commentator in his column ‘Message from afar’ in the Peoples Daily Graphic where he was at his best doing was elder statesmen should do! – sharing their rich experience with all in an unbiased way with the government and the people.
As a fearless advocate of fairness, as a champion of social justice and self-determination and as a passionate proponent of pan Africanism, we in the CPP have no doubt that he was comfortable in our midst, providing much-needed advice from afar and cheering us on as we seek to reconnect with the masses to provide them with a government based on Nkrumaist principles of self-determination, social justice, and Pan Africanism
Comrade KB, we wish you safe crossing on the journey back to the village where your ancestors await you. Please let them know how difficult times are and how we are struggling to slowly but surely put the country and continent on the right path. Please ask them to send us advocates who will direct us and show us where we should be going.
We know that it will be difficult to walk in your shoes, but we trust that having listened to and read your wise words over the years, that transformation will yet come and Ghana will slowly and gradually become a better place.
Rest in perfect peace in the Lord and to borrow from your Ga, Tsulɔ kpakpa, oba tsu ohawɔ, agbenɛ yaawɔ ojogbaŋŋ yɛ oNuntsɔ minshi!
Prof. Edmund N. Dell
National Chairman & Leader
Convention People’s Party