A Chinese man, Sun Qiang, has been enstooled as a development chief (Nkosuohene) of Kwahu-Abetifi, a town in the Eastern Region of Ghana. The title Nkosuohene is often given to non-royals, who could be politicians or tourists engaged in development. In Kwahu-Abetifi, this title was conferred on a Chinese man, and some Ghanaians are not so enthused over the development.
Per custom, Sun Qiang, following his enstoolment, was given a traditional stool name — Barima Kofi Ayeboafo. The name Ayeboafo in Ghana literally means “one who has done something to benefit others”.
A grand durbar was held at the Kwawu-Abetifi Palace on Saturday to officially unveil Sun Qiang as the newly enstooled Nkosuohene of the traditional area.
Photos sighted on social media show Sun Qian being carried shoulder-high by some young men of Abetifi.
The Nkosuohene title was created in 1985 by the late Asantehene, Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, “as a catalyst for development in Kumase [capital of Ghana’s Ashanti Region] and beyond,” according to George M. Bob-Milliar in the academic paper, Chieftaincy, Diaspora, and Development: The Institution of Nkosuohene in Ghana.
Bob-Milliar adds that “since the 1990s, hundreds of African Americans and some white Westerners have been honoured with various royal titles.”
Basically, this is not the first time a foreigner has been given such a title, however, the selection of a Chinese man still comes with mixed feelings for several people as the Chinese have been accused of slowly taking over the continent.
China describes itself as a friend of Africa as it strategically offers a helping hand in the infrastructural development of the continent while it positions itself as a global superpower.
The Asian country has won the hearts of many African leaders and continental bodies with its several generous projects that have raised eyebrows among the international community and cynics who claim China’s interest in the continent is to overburden countries with debts to enable neo-colonization.
Among others, China built the $200 million African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2012 at no cost to the continental body.
China recently offered $6 million to Ethiopia to launch its first satellite into space in September 2019. It will also provide training before the launch of the satellite which will be done from China.
Senegal opened the world’s largest museum of black civilization on December 6 in the capital, Dakar, after 52 years of waiting due to lack of funding. China donated $34.6 million for the dream of the country’s first president, Leopold Sedar Senghor, to come into fruition.
In recent years, China has made huge investments in Kenya, such as the new railway linking Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, to the coast.