Hi-life musician, Rex Omar (Real name: Rex Omar Owusu Marfo) who is one of the active and outspoken members of the fourteen member interim board of Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO) has voluntarily resigned his position with immediate effect.
Rex seems frustrated after spending 20 years out of his 30 years in the music industry to fight and make sure the right things are done as far as music copyright and intellectual property issues are concern and has finally given up because according him there has not been any progress after all these years of struggling for better systems and structures.
Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO) was set up to replace the existing Copyright Society of Ghana (COSGA) which was set up by the government under the supervision of the Attorney General.
Thankfully, their sweat and toil was finally over when COSGA was liquidated to be replaced by the newly established Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO).
After a long wait GHAMROís certificate to operate as a collective society for musicians in the country was approved by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice on December 23, 2011 and was officially presented to its board members chaired by Carlos Sekyi at a short ceremony in Accra on Wednesday, January 18th, 2012.
Things still remain the same after over one year of the existence and operation of GHAMRO which forced Hi-Life living legend Rex Omar to give up the struggle.
In a letter indicating his decision to quit his post, the popular musician accused management and the Board, of lack of transparency and professionalism in the running of affairs at GHAMRO.
Below is a full unedited Rex Omarís resignation letter:
The Board of Directors
Interim Ghamro Board
28th January 2013
Resignation from the Interim Board as a member
Dear Mr. Chairman and fellow board members,
With a very heavy heart I am writing this letter to you. For many years of struggling to better the music industry of our dear nation Ghana, I always have been with you through thick and thin. l have spent more than 20 years out my 30 year career working, investing and advocating for a positive change with some of you.
I have perhaps had insults, public hatred and have created unnecessary enemies for myself more than any artiste at the peak of his carrier in Ghana. Whilst others were protecting their brands and images making money, I thought of sacrificing mine for the betterment of all.
My dear colleagues, I did all these bearing in mind the negative impact it will have on me and my career, today as I am writing to you, there are so many Ghanaians whose impression of me as person is very negative and completely opposite from my real nature because of my stands regarding our music and copyright industry which I have to live with.
But what I could not believe will ever happen during all these years of our struggle and advocacy after we are given the license to form our own CMO is exactly what's going on now with our Ghamro.
As I have always emphasized these concerns during board meetings,
1. The direction we are going and our corporate governance principles are not compatible with the best practices around the globe.
2. We are not transparent enough to our members.
3. We as composers and musicians are not supposed to be running this organization for this is not an association but an international financial institution that deals with the royalties of both local and foreign right owners.
4. The composition of our board does not reflect the formation of a normal CMO hence prepare for an immediate transparent election to elect your executives to enable them employ professionals to run Ghamro as it's done in civilized world having the interest of Ghana as paramount.
5. Ghamro must be run as a hardnosed business entity.
After several meetings of our interim board which I am a member as Iím writing this letter, it has become clear to me that, Ghamro is not looked at as one of the most important arm of our industry that must be run professionally to the benefit of all Ghanaian right owners alive and yet unborn but rather a property of some selected few who mantra has been IF YOU DONíT LIKE WHAT WE DO GO FORM YOUR OWN.
With the way things are going, I feel very unhappy and itís against my principles and understanding of how this business is done, hence my resignation.
Thank you and good luck.
Rex Omar Owusu Marfo
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