Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Dr. E.J.A. Asomaning - Bio

by Dave Asomaning, Ph.D.

Brief History

Dad, who was affectionately referred to as Kwasi Anafi, in family circles, was born on the 21st of September, 1930 at Sra in Somanya in the Yilo Krobo Traditional Area of the Eastern Region of Ghana, West Africa. His father was Charles Kwadwo Asomaning, later to become Nana Frempong Manso II, Omanhene of the  Akim Kotoku Traditional Area, with "headquarters" in Akim Oda, in the Eastern Region. His mother was  Matilda Owiredua of Sra, Somanya.     

Father - Charles Kwadwo Asomaning

Father - Charles Kwadwo Asomaning, Nana Frempong Manso II, Paramount Chief, Akim Kotoku, 1941-1949, Ghana, West Africa.

Dad started his primary school education at Sra Presbyterian Junior School and later moved to Akyem  Awisa Presbyteraian Junior School. From 1942 to 1945 he attended Oda Government School where he passed the Middle School Leaving Examination with Distinction. From 1946 to 1950 Dad attended secondary school at Accra Academy in Accra, Ghana. Afterwards, he went to work at the Audit Department and the Department of Education. During this time, he applied to continue his studies in the United States, and had the good fortune to be granted a scholarship to attend Iowa State University in Ames in 1953, where he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in biology. After this he was admitted to Yale University where he completed a Masters and Ph.D. in plant physiology.

Dad was still completing his studies when he was offered an appointment at the then West African Cocoa Research Institute (WACRI), now known as the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), which is located in Akim Tafo in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Before returning home to Ghana with Mom and me, to assume his position at WACRI, Dad completed post-doctoral work at Long Ashton Research Station in Bristol (UK). When he completed this work and arrived in Takoradi, Ghana, he was driven straight to WACRI in Tafo to start work.

Dr. E. J. A. Asomaning, Former Director, Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, 1966-79,
meeting Emperor Haile Selassie I, scientific conference in Ethiopia, ~early 1970s.

In 1980 he retired early from CRIG at the age of 50 for political reasons, and to allow others the opportunity to assume the leadership of the institute, which he felt he had been the head of for too long. Upon leaving CRIG, he was offered  an appointment at Cocoa House in Accra as a Special Advisor. Even though he confessed that the pay was good, he eventually decided to withdraw in 1981 from this position when he realized he was, in fact, doing very little advising. He retired to what he fondly referred to as his acestral village, Afosu, in the Eastern Region of Ghana.

During his retirement, he served on several boards and commitees including the Cocoa Board, Chairmanship of the Board of the Oil Palm Research Institute of Kusi, the Asua Pra Rural Bank of Afosu (only the 3rd rural bank in Ghana at the time), and the National Economic Commitee. He also served as the Ombudsman  for the Ghana Oil Palm Development Corporation ( GOPDC) outgrowers at Kwae in the Eastern Region.

He thoroughly enjoyed the quiet and serenity of retirement in Afosu, and was reluctant to spend more than three days away at a time whenever he was in Accra or elsewhere on business. Also, like his father, who was originally a Forest Ranger with the Forestry Department, Dad enjoyed the ample forests surrounding his home, and was also able to continue with his major hobbies of fishing and hunting, and also grew cocoa, oil palm, cola and enaged in bee-keeping as well.

On April 26th, 2001, Dad was suddenly taken ill and died on Sunday, May 13, 2001. It is no wonder he requested to be buried on this idyllic property of his, which he had affectionately dubbed "Farm HAven, no doubt, as a sort of tribute to his years in New Haven, Connecticut.