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IPSLA 2017 15


  • Born on March 19, 1939, at Old Tafo, Kumasi, the fourth of eight children and third son of Maame Akosua Yeboaah, (aka Abrewa Kokoo-Trader in Kumasi Market, a daughter of the Tafohene, Nana Yaw Dabanka. Father was Kojo Poku, a lorry driver/transport operator, also hailed from Old Tafo.

    Methodist Primary School, Old Tafo, Kumasi, 1947-1952

    Local Authority Middle School, Bantama, Kumasi, 1953-1955

    Achimota Secondary School “O” and “A” Levels 1956-1962

    University of Ghana, Legon (BA Hons-Sociology) 1962-1965

    Appointed Assistant Planning Officer, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning 1965 on study leave in the Planning Department, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

    Abandoned the course (MA Planning) to work in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning 1966-1967

    Awarded Commonwealth Scholarship to the School of Planning, University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada-MA (Planning) 1967-1969. On my way to Vancouver through London, visited Ottawa and Expo ’67 in Montreal.
    On a study tour while studying in UBC, visited Eugene Oregon, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hollywood, Sacramento, and Mexico City.

    Returning from Vancouver in 1969, visited Toronto, Hamilton, Chicago and New York. On Euro Pass, toured European cities-West Berlin, East Berlin, Bremen, Geneva, Vienna, Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Zurich, Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, London, Edinburgh, and Glasgow.

    Worked with the Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning 1969-1976 as Planning Officer

    Attended Management Training Program at the University of Bradford, England, July-Sept 1971, on British Council scholarship.

    Attended Project Planning and Infrastructure Services course at the US Dept. of Agriculture, Wash DC, July 1974-Sept 1975 on USAID Technical Assistance Program.
    Study tour to Mexico, visited Eugene (Portland), San Francisco, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Hollywood, and attended seminars across the USA.

    Worked at the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare as Rural Planning Officer-1975-76

    Joined the Ghana Chamber of Mines as its Asst Exec Secretary, 1976-1980, and CEO, 1980-1996.
    Created a new logo for the Chamber of Mines, highlighting both surface and underground mining.
    Played a significant role during the Economic Recovery (ERP) in getting benefits for the mining industry. Obtained a selective exchange rate for the Mines, overseas retention of foreign exchange to support imports. Did advocacy for the mining industry through direct contact with Parliament.
    Ensured peace and stability on the mines by forging cordial relations between the companies and the Ghana Mineworkers Union (GMU). Earned a nickname U Thant (Third Secretary-General of the United Nations 1961-1971) for excelling at conditions of service negotiations.
    Established committees within the Chamber to find solutions to industrial and employment issues.
    In order to grow the Chamber, created avenues for mining-related companies/organizations to join the Chamber as exploration or affiliate members, like suppliers, contractors, auditing firms, etc. From the original membership of purely five mining companies, comprising Ashanti Goldfields (AGC), Ghana Bauxite Company (GBC), Ghana Consolidated Diamonds (GCD), Ghana National Manganese Corporation (GNMC), and State Gold Mining Corporation (SGMC consisting of Tarkwa, Prestea, Konongo and Dunkwa Mines) and only two Associate members, membership increased to about 60.
    Represented the Chamber in forums, both local and international. International Labour Organization (ILO), for example. Attended mining seminars in Zimbabwe (1982) and South Africa (1995)
    Attended mining conference/exhibition in Las Vegas 1995 and Salt Lake City 1996.

    • Honoured by the Ghana Mineworkers Union (GMU) in the 1980s
    • Made Fellow of Commonwealth Hall, Univ of Ghana, Legon, 1990
    • Member, Council of the Ghana Employers’ Association 1978-1996.
    • Member, Advisory Board of the School of Administration 1980-1996
    • Member, University of Ghana Finance Committee 1994-1996.
    • Member, Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGh) 1999 to-date
    • Honoured by the Institute of Statistics, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), Legon, for regular participation in their programs and events.
    • Board Chairman, EQUITY assurance ltd 2008-2013
    • Chairman of IMANI Board of Trustees since 2009.
    • Honoured by the Ghana Chamber of Mines for “inestimable contribution to the mining industry” at the Ghana Mining Industry Maiden Awards Night 2015
    • Honoured by The Ghana Mineworkers’ Union of TUCG for his critical role in removing the hitherto adversarial Union/Management relationship within the mining industry.

    Toured USA on a training program with Center for International Private Enterprise of the US Chamber of Commerce (CIPE) through the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in 1996.

    After retirement in 1996, consulted for the UNDP. In Jan 2002, covered visit to Ghana by Dr Hernando de Soto, the world-acclaimed Peruvian Economist. In Sept 2002, covered visit to Ghana by President Bill Clinton and Dr Hernando de Soto. Worked for Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) of the US Chamber of Commerce as Training Instructor, among others, 1997-2002. Trained business associations in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Malawi, Cameroon, Ethiopia under CIPE programs

    In June 2002, at the invitation of the West Africa Business Association (WABA UK) head office in London, established WABA (Ghana).

    In Sept 2002, appointed CEO, WABA (GH). Due to its expansion into East, Central, and Southern Africa, the parent association WABA (UK) changed its name to Business Council for Africa-BCA.
    Therefore, WABA (GH) in August 2010 became BCA (GH). At the time of my retirement in April 2017, membership had increased from six to about 100. (The pioneering member companies were Taysec, Coca-Cola, Calbank, Stanchart, Oceanic Shipping Company and Golden Tulip Hotel which hosted the launch of the association in June 2002.

    Religion: Christian and worship at the Accra Ridge Church

    Married to Mary Yvonne Poku, an entrepreneur and President of the AGLOW International, Korle-Bu Chapter, with six adult children and 13 grandchildren.


    Sept 22, 2019

    Cell: 233 24 432 9622 Email: pokusamuel@gmail.com. P.O.Box CT.2873, Cantonments, Accra, Ghana