A kind and gentle Heart at rest ...
Mr Winfred ‘Kwasi’ Asare-Brown, fondly known as ‘Kwasi Asare’ was born in Amanokrom, Akuapem in the Eastern region of Ghana in West Africa on 23rd February, 1934 to Atua Yaw of Amanokrom, and Emma Afua Kobe Bekoe of Amanokrom, both deceased. He was the fifth born of six children and the youngest son, so he relished the attention and care of his older siblings and parents that were afforded to such a position in Akan families. His father died when the children were quite young, hence his mother, a baker, took care of Kwasi Asare and his siblings throughout their formal years and their education. He was baptised as a child, and later confirmed at Amanokrom Presbyterian church. Kwasi Asare’s excellent academic career started with primary school education in Amanokrom and later on at Gorle Gonno Roman Primary School in Accra. It was not unkown for the young Kwasi Asare to bunk off school whenever the opportunity presented itself and yet he would always hold the top position on any exam result list. He attended Odorgonno Secondary School in Accra, and taught briefly at New Era school in Accra, prior to attending University.
In 1960, Mr Asare-Brown, a resident of the university’s Commonwealth Hall graduated with a BSc(Hons) in Philosophy from the University of Ghana, (formerly known as the University of Gold Coast). He then completed a six-month course in International Relations and Public Administration at the Foreign Service Cadet at the Ghana Administrative Academy (Now GIMPA). This course combined with Mr Asare-Brown’s passion for representing his country abroad served as a springboard for his extraordinary diplomatic career over the next few decades.
Mr Asare-Brown’s first employment was Assistant Secretary (Grade IV) at the Political and Economic Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Accra. In 1961, he was posted to Ghana Embassy, Prague, Czechoslovakia, which he opened and ran as the Charge d’Affaires until the appointment of a substantive Ambassador. In 1962, he was appointed First Secretary to the Ghana Embassy, Moscow, USSR, where he was in charge of Consular and Economic schedules and was soon promoted to Assistant Secretary Grade III. Although their paths had crossed previously on several occasions, it was during this time that Mr Asare-Brown courted a beautiful young lady from Akropong, Akuapem, in Ghana named Miss Dora Ottabea Asante, a medical student in Moscow, who would soon become his wife and lifelong companion, playing an essential and complementary role by his side. A commendable marriage that would outlive all of life’s challenges and stand the test of ‘in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, until death us do part’.
Mr Asare-Brown was then appointed Assistant Secretary at the Middle East and Asia Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Accra. After which he took up the position of Desk Officer for Political and Economic Relations with India, Ceylon and Pakistan. In 1966, he became the 1st Secretary at the Ghana Embassy, Rome, Italy, where he was in charge of Economic/Commercial Information schedules. He was later promoted to Senior Assistant Secretary. In 1969, he became Counsellor to the Ghana High Commission, New Delhi, India, in charge of Political and Economic Relations. In 1971, he was appointed Senior Assistant Secretary and Director to the Protocol Division in charge of Foreign Ministers official and ceremonial engagements, where he led the Government Hospitality for visiting delegations, presentation of Ambassadorial credentials and Administration of Immunities and Privileges for foreign diplomats accredited to Ghana. In 1972, he headed the OAU Desk at the Foreign Ministry, Accra and was soon promoted to Principal Assistant Secretary. In 1977, his final posting was to London, UK. This period was spent on secondment to the Scholarships Secretariat, a Civil Service Department responsible for planning and implementing Government policy on educational financing in all State Educational Institutions from Secondary Schools up to post—graduate level in Ghana and abroad, The Secretariat also collated and co-ordinated the optimum utilisation of all foreign aid to Ghana in all educational fields and operated in close collaboration with the Ghana Ministry of Education, the National Council for Higher Education and Ghana Mon-Power Development Board. Externally, the Secretariat maintained close contact with major donors of educational grants, such as USAI D, AFGRAD(US), CIDA(Canada), Commonwealth Post-Graduate & Fellowship Programme(UK), NORAD (Scandinavian Countries), DAAD & CARL DRUISBERG (West Germany), Eastern European Governments, the EEC(Brussels) and the British Council. His principal duty at the Secretariat was to manage these external relations so as to maximise external assistance. After this time, Mr Asare-Brown was appointed Minister Counsellor to the Ghana High Commission, London. Initially, he was the Head of the Education and training unit of the Mission where his duties included placement of Ghanaian students in appropriate institutions in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, monitoring their progress and repatriating them on completion of their studies and training. He was promoted to Principal Secretary in April, 1978 and from 1980 to 1983, he was appointed Deputy High Commissioner for Ghana where he assisted the High Commissioner in maintaining Ghana’s bilateral relations with United Kingdom and Ghana’s relations with International Organisations such as the Commonwealth Institute & Secretaria1 IMO, the International Cocoa Alliance etc. As the most senior career diplomat and civil servant at post, he co-ordinated the activities of all Ghanaian establishments including Ghana Commercial Bank, Ghana Airways, Ghana Cocoa Marketing Board, Ghana Timber Board, State Gold Mines, Ghana Supply Commission and Ghana National Trading Company. In 1983, on return home from London, Mr Asare-Brown was appointed Director, Europe Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Accra, where he became the Principal Official responsible for political relations with Europe. Later that year, Winfred applied for voluntary retirement from the Foreign Service on 19th April, and was relieved of his position, soon after.
Mr Asare-Brown was called home by his Creator in 2007. We give thanks to The Lord for his life, for everything he achieved and for the many people from all walks of life, whose hearts were touched by his compassion and generosity.