About 6,000 dignitaries, including heads of states from the West African sub region will converge in Accra on July 11 for what is expected to be the biggest ever awards event in Ghana’s recent history, the Millennium Excellence Awards. The revered king of Asante, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II will lead a retinue chiefs and queens from the Asante Kingdom to Accra to attend this year’s awards ceremony which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. It will be a rich display of Asante culture in Accra as the Asantehene who celebrates his 70th birthday this year, will also celebrate the ‘Awukudae’, an important Asante traditional festival in the capital city as part of activities heralding the awards which is known for its integrity and reputation for excellence. “This award ceremony is a very historical one,” chairperson of the Millennium Excellence Foundation, Mrs Grace Amey-Obeng, said at the launch of the 20th anniversary and awards of the Millennium Excellence Foundation at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra Thursday. This year’s Millennium Excellence Awards, she stated, will be the most colourful awards and cultural event ever to be hosted in recent time in the country. “His Royal Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II will arrive in Accra with hundreds of his chiefs and queens,” she announced, noting the king will be joined by some presidents of the ECOWAS community and other international guests. Thursday’s launch performed by the Paramount Chief of Asante Asokore, S. K. B. Asante saw some of the heavyweights in the business community, including the board of governors of the Millennium Excellence Foundation. They included second deputy speaker of parliament, Alban Bagbin, CEO of MTN Selorm Adadevoh, US Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie Sullivan, Board chair of the GhanaGas, Madam Christine Churcher and Hussein Fakhry, CEO of Interplast Ghana. Nominations More than 1,600 Ghanaians and corporate institutions have been nominated in the 35 competitive categories of the awards held every five years. Thirty-five of them who will stand out will be celebrated and given awards for their outstanding contribution to national development. The Millennium Excellence Awards has since the year 2000 been recognising Ghanaians in all sectors of the economy for their selflessness, dedication, effort, knowledge and contribution to Ghana’s socio-economic and political development. “The journey towards our landmark celebration has been exhilarating as we’ve read through hundreds and thousands of documents, highlighting leadership,” President of the Millennium Excellence Foundation, Ambassador Ashim Morton said in a statement issued at the launch.