The United Nations Honourary Lifetime Achievement of Distinguished Service to Humanity award has been conferred on the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi Boasiako, affectionately called Chairman Wontumi. He is one of he 15 recipients of the award through out the world.
According to Dr. Kwame Fordjour, the CEO of Global Public Response, the award which is in the category of the Companion of the the Seventh UN Secretary General Honours is in recognition of Chairman Wontumi’s contribution to human development which is a priority area of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
With the award, Chairman Wontumi becomes an Ambassador of the UN and his first major activity will be to chair the the SDG’s reality show later in the year.
According to Dr. Fordjour, who conferred the award on behalf of the UN, the idea was conceived about three years ago and it is solely reserved for those who bring about human development specific to improving the conditions of livelihood in the rural areas.
He said the selection is a long process based on the recommendations by the sections of society
“This year, 20 persons were shortlisted in Ghana but eventually, three were selected which included chairman Wontumi. The other two are the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ebenezer Addow-Owusu and former Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr. S. K. Boafo.”
He said those whose activities have promoted good governance also stand a good chance of winning the award “and this is an area where Chairman Wontumi has made a significant impact especially in mobilizing people for development capitalizing on his incredible popularity.” Dr. Fordjour said.
In his acceptance speech Chairman Wontumi said he is humbled by the honour done him.
He said his interest in the affairs of the United Nations started when Busumuru Kofi Annan was appointed the Secretary General.
“I was very young then but because Kofi Annan was a Ghanaian, I had a spontaneous interest in the affairs of the world body and had the opportunity to meet the Secretary General personally, a number of times.”
According to Chairman Wontumi, Kofi Annan’s title, “Busummuru,” which means a war hero meant so much to him.
“He became my reference anytime I tried to sensitize the youth about the virtues that can propel them to the top as leaders.”He said.
“Kofi Annan taught me that if you want to help yourself and your family you think of becoming prosperous but if you want to change the world, you seek education.” He explained further.
Chairman Wontumi who was elated by the award dedicated it to the youth of Ghana, the President of the Republic and the ruling NPP.