Akufu leads Union of Small Scale Miners
The nine-member National Executives of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM), headed by Mr. Philip Akufu as President, has been elected and sworn into office by a Supervising High Judge, Justice Kofi Akrowiah in Kumasi.
Mr. Akufu polled 160 votes to beat Emmanuel Yirenkyi Antwi, who managed to get 57 votes, in a hot contest conducted in the 10 mining districts of GNASSM.
Sampson Kofi Wiredu went unopposed as Vice President, whilst Godwin Armah beat Stephen Baidoo massively to maintain the General Secretary position.
Alhaji Baba Ahmed was re-elected National Organiser by defeating Philip Kwabena Bawa with a wide margin, while Razak Abdul Alhassan went unopposed to become Director of Communication.
The former Communication Director, Francis Opoku is the new Financial Director following massive endorsement by delegates, when he locked horns with Nana Meisu Adu.
The rest of the elected executives are Joseph Blankson Aidoo (National Technical Director), Janet Esi Kusi (National Treasurer), and Victoria Adobea Guerrieri (National Women Coordinator).
Two hundred and twenty six delegates participated in the election, which was supervised by the Electoral Commission.
The election, originally scheduled for March 24, 2020, was delayed following the emergence of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), was planned to take place at the district level amidst the adherence of the COVID-19 protocols, and culminated in the swearing in ceremony of the executives and all ten district chairmen of the association in Kumasi last week Thursday.
Mr. Richard Kofi Afenu, a former Director of the Minerals Commission, in his key note address, stressed the importance of the GNASSM in the mining industry, described as a key sector of the economy.
He reminded the association of the provisions of Act 933, which regulated the industry, and urged it to monitor activities of its members, so that they do not operate outside the law in order to sustain the industry.
Mr. Afenu also urged the members to ensure good mining practices, as well as maintain peaceful co-existence with communities in which they operate.
The newly-elected President of Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM) hinted that he would vigorously rebrand the association to re-position it to promote and regulate small scale mining, as well as seek the welfare of its members.
He gave the assuranced that the new executives would work assiduously to avoid illegal mining, and thus sustain the mining industry.
The National President pledged that he would promote women in mining, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, to ensure gender balance as part of transformational measures to develop the fortunes of the GNASSM.
He hinted that his administration will work to promote a responsible and sustainable small scale mining sector, and promised an all-inclusive, transparent administration that will respect existing structures.
Mr. Akufu, therefore, called for the support of all members to enable the executives turn round the fortunes of the association.
The Chairman of GNASSM Election Transition Management Team (ETMT), Frank Osei, commended all the members and urged them to support the national executives, as they chart a new direction for the association for the needed change.