An colourful induction ceremony on Saturday (January 18, 2019) was organised for the newly elected seven-member executive of the Ghana National Association of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Practitioners (GNAAP), with a charge on them to serve with good conscience and selflessness.
Her Worship (Rtd), Johannah, Abena Yankson, swore in the team—Mr Daniel Owusu-Koranteng – President, Mr Wogbe Atta Dogbe – Vice, Mr Mark Anderson – General Secretary, Madam Anastasia Asamoah-Gyimah – Deputy General Secretary, and Mr Efui Tamakloe Appeakorang – Project Officer.
The rest were Nana Adu Yeboah – Treasurer, Hon Nii Armah Ashitey – Organiser, Mr Isaac Asare – Administrator/Public Relations Officer and Mr Alex Nartey – Patron.
The ceremony, held at the conference hall of the Legon Co-operative Credit Union at the University of Ghana, Legon, was witnessed by scores of ADR practitioners.
It was the first time GNAAP was having an elected executive who have a three-year term to further the growth of association.
In a special address, the Patron of GNAAP, Alex Nartey, recounted the reason GNAAP was formed.
According to him, conflict is synonymous with every human endeavour. A development, he went on to add, has seen main homes broken and dreams scuttled.
He noted that many businesses have crumbled because they could not offer the right and lasting solutions to their internal squabbles.
To this end, he entreated members of GNAAP to make their presence felt in the country. Similarly, he encouraged the new executive to work diligently to raise the flag of GNAAP high.
Mr Owusu-Koranteng on behalf of his compatriots thanked GNAAP for entrusting the responsibility of leading GNAAP.
He also seized the opportunity to equally commend the immediate past GNAAP president and his team.
According to him, his team has inherited a GNAAP with great potential of over 1,000 trained ADR professionals and potential members of GNAAP who have diverse expertise and competencies.
“We will not have any excuses to take off because the past leaders have given us wings to fly,” the elected president of GNAAP added.
On the task ahead, Mr Owusu-Koranteng indicated that ADR was the key to improve access to justice for most Ghanaians and promotion of peace building.
Surveys, he said, indicate that only 22% of disputes in Ghana end up in our courts.
“Some of the social and cultural barriers that prevent access to justice include poverty, low level of education and some institutional barriers. Some of our people find the court system too intimidating and citizens sometimes resort to deities and spiritualism to seek justice,” he said.
Against this backdrop, the president of GNAAP gave the assurance that his team will harness the human and material resources of GNAAP to build a strong ADR professional body.
That, he asserted, would help advance the objectives of GNAAP in promoting ADR as a dispute resolution tool.
Ghana, he pointed out, has the potential to be the ADR hub for the West African sub-region and Africa, adding that “Ghana has been recognised as a key actor in peace building initiatives, conflict resolution and conflict management efforts in Africa and globally.”
He admitted that the task ahead was a daunting one, urging his team strive to build a strong GNAAP with active members to promote the objectives of making ADR very relevant in our justice system.
Story &Picture: Ato KEELSON, University of Ghana, LEGON