We, the professionals involved in polling, fundraising, campaign management, media and all other activities relating to the management of the democratic process in Africa, having met in Cape Town, South Africa on January 9, 2016 under the auspices of the Africa Political Summit organized by Buzzmaker company, United States of America with the support of international sponsors, resolved to form a continental association of political consultants for the growth of the profession in Africa and the enhancement of the democratic aspirations of our citizenry.
ARTICLE I: NAME
The association shall be known and addressed as the Association of Political Consultants Africa. It shall bear the acronym, APCAfrica.
ARTICLE II: OBJECTIVES
The objectives of the APCAfrica are:
- To promote, sustain and foster the democratic process as a matter of principle and practice.
- To provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and views on principles and techniques of politics, political campaigning and Government Relations.
- To establish and maintain relations between APCAfrica members and political and public institutions to promote understanding and co-operation in matters pertaining to political activities and public affairs.
- To promote a strong sense of responsibility as well as the proficiency of APCAfrica members through conferences, publications and studies.
- To hold the Africa Political Summit & Diamond Awards yearly to provide opportunities to enlighten members on latest developments in the discipline and give befitting awards to deserving individual and corporate persons.
ARTICLE III: PRINCIPAL OFFICES
The principal office of the Association shall be located as the seat of the acting President of APCAfrica. The association may have such other offices as the Board of Directors may determine or as its affairs may require at any time.
ARTICLE IV: MEMBERSHIP
- A member shall be a professional political consultant who counsels, runs campaigns or provide specialized services such as polling, lobbying, fundraising, message development and communications for candidates, political parties, public institutions and actors in the democratic process.
- Application for Membership
(i) Persons seeking membership shall apply to the Board of Directors which shall have the authority to admit, suspend or remove a member.
(ii) The requirement of an applicant and the form in which applications may be made, and the manner, in which they shall be considered, shall be upon recommendation of the Board of Directors.
- Categories of Membership
(v) notwithstanding the provisions of Article III (3) (ii) and (Iii) above, student and affiliate members shall not cast votes, stand for election or be voted for at the General Assembly of the association.
(vi) A student seeking membership shall provide evidence of enrollment in an institution of learning where he/ she is pursuing a degree, diploma or certificate in a discipline related to political management.
- Membership Emeritus may be granted upon recommendation of the Board of Directors, to recognize members of at least 10 years continuous membership who have played a distinguished role in the affairs of APCAfrica. The award will entitle the recipient to free lifetime membership and full entitlement to all facilities.
- Any individual who is denied membership may appeal to the General Assembly.
- The decision to accept or reject an application shall be final, provided that a candidate, whose application is rejected, shall be entitled to re-apply for membership at the next General Assembly.
- Affiliate Membership shall be open to companies and former members.
In the case of former members, they may apply on grounds of retirement from business, change of responsibilities or inability to participate in the functions of APCAfrica. Such former members must have been in membership for a minimum of five years.
- Affiliate Members will be required to pay an annual fee and will receive full membership services and may attend the Annual General Assembly.
- Affiliate Members who have transferred from full membership may transfer back to active membership without the need for re-application or payment of another entrance fee.
- All categories of membership may be withdrawn by resolution of the Board, or for non-payment of dues, on policies established by the Board of Directors and approved by the General Assembly.
- Dismissal for non-payment of dues shall include a single 12-month grace period. After this grace period, membership will be withdrawn and the member will no longer be considered in good standing or included in the directory.
- Membership will not be final until the applicant has attended a conference.
ARTICLE V: ORGANISATION
- The executive organ of the association shall be a Board of Directors elected and answerable to the General Assembly of members.
- The Board of Directors shall comprise the following officers:
(ii) Vice President
(III) General Secretary
(Iv) 5 Regional secretaries each representing North Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa.
- The chairmen shall be elected by members of the country chapters. All other officers will be nominated and elected by the General Assembly. The General Assembly shall in selecting nominees for the Board of Directors, take into consideration the geographical and cultural composition of the current General Assembly.
- There shall be standing and ad-hoc committees to enhance the operations of the association.
ARTICLE VI: BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- The Board of Directors shall represent the General Assembly between the annual meetings of the General Assembly. All actions of the Board of Directors, taken in exercise of this delegated power, shall be reported to the General Assembly at its next regular meeting. Decisions may be made by a majority at a Board meeting or by mail at the request of the President. In case of a tied vote the President shall cast the deciding vote.
- The terms of office of Directors shall be two (2) years, beginning 1 January. A Director may stand for re-election. A Director who has completed four (4) years on the Board may be re-nominated and re-elected by the General Assembly after an interval of at least two (2) years.
- The Board of Directors shall meet at least once yearly, preferably immediately before the annual meeting of the General Assembly.
- Special meetings of the Board of Directors may be called by the President or must be called at the written request of at least three (3) members of the Board. No business shall be transacted at any special meeting except that specified in the notice. Notice of any special meeting of the Board shall be given to each Director at least 30 days prior to the meeting.
- The Board of directors may authorize the President to appoint an Executive Assistant to work at the direction of the President and Officers and assist in the day-to-day operation of the Association. The scope of duties and compensation of an Executive Assistant shall be approved by the Board.
- The Board of Directors may appoint members of the Association to fill vacancies that occur on the Officers or the Board between elections. Any such appointment shall be ratified at the next meeting of the General Assembly.
- The Board of Directors may establish standing and ad-hoc committees of the Association with such jurisdiction and functions as it may determine. Members of such committees shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the Board of Directors.
- The Board of Directors shall have the duty and authority to determine the theme and agenda of the Conferences organized by the Association.
ARTICLE VII: COUNTRY CHAPTERS
- There shall be country chapters of the association comprising members of the association in a particular country.
- The Board of Directors shall have the sole authority to establish or close a chapter of the association in any country on the continent.
- Members of the association seeking to create a chapter in their country must apply to the General Assembly through the Board of Directors.
- The Board of Directors, upon receipt of the application and fully satisfied with the rationale shall recommend to the General Assembly the establishment of the chapter in a country.
- At no time shall there be more than one chapter of the association in a country.
- The officers of the Board of Directors of each chapter must be sworn in by the President of the APCAfrica.
- All the provisions of the Constitution of country chapter shall not conflict with the Constitution of the APCAfrica and shall be deemed to be invalid to the extent of its inconsistency.
- The Officers of the country chapters shall be elected with consideration of the geographical structure of the Country. Under no circumstances may a majority of the Directors be from the same part of the country.
ARTICLE VIII: GENERAL ASSEMBLY
- There shall be a General Assembly of all members of the association.
- The President of the Association, or in his absence, one of the other Officers, shall preside at all sessions of the General Assembly.
- The control of the Association shall be vested in the General Assembly.
- General Assembly meetings are to be held at the times and places of Conferences organized by the Association when the Board of Directors so orders.
- Each member of the Association has a right to one vote at the General Assembly and no member shall be allowed to carry more than five proxies.
- Decisions of the General Assembly shall be made by majority vote of the members present or represented.
- The General Assembly shall elect the Officers of the Association.
- The General Assembly shall elect the Vice President, General Secretary, five regional Secretaries, and the Treasurer for a two (2) year term of office and further terms.
- All members shall be entitled to attend the General Assembly.
- Date and place of the next General Assembly shall be decided by the current General Assembly at its annual meeting. The place shall be chosen from the list of locations presented in the report of the Site Selection Committee. At the same time, the organizers, the Conference Chairman or/and a Conference Committee shall be elected by simple majority at the General Assembly.
- The Conference Chairman shall present a proposed conference budget for approval by the Board of Directors and shall provide the Board with a full and final accounting for all income and expenses upon completion of the conference. The Association shall not be responsible for expenses or obligations not included in the approved budget unless prior consent is obtained from the Board. Conference fees and other revenue shall be held in the accounts of the Association.
ARTICLE IX: OFFICES AND ELIGIBILITY
- The President of the Association shall
(i) be elected by the General Assembly for a two (2) year term of office and shall be eligible for further terms.
(ii) only be eligible to contest if he has been an officer of the association,
(ii) preside at all meetings of the Annual General Assembly of members of the Association.
(iv) generally supervise the administration of the Association, carrying out the General Assembly’s decisions and directions.
(v) have custody of the Association’s records and supervision of all administrative activities of the Association.
- The General Secretary shall be responsible for recording the General Assembly’s decisions and the minutes of the Board meetings.
- The Treasurer shall have custody of the funds of the Association, maintain books of accounts and collect dues, fees and donations as directed by the Board of Directors.
- The term of office of Officers of the Association shall begin when practicable, on 1 January following election. Officers must be paid up members of the Association.
- The Treasurer shall supervise the collection and disbursement of all funds of the Association. He/She shall have the right to manage a bank account in the name of the Association and to draw from such funds. He/She shall present a financial report to the General Assembly annually, and interim reports to the Board at each Board meeting.
- The Vice President shall, among other functions be in charge of Membership of the association and may appoint a committee to assist with membership recruitment.
- The Director of Communications shall be responsible for managing the image of the association
- The Deputy General Secretary shall assist the General Secretary and act in the capacity whenever the General Secretary is unable to perform his or her functions.
- The Vice President, in addition to handling membership issues, shall assist the President in carrying out his duties and act on his behalf if unable to perform his or her functions.
ARTICLE X: FINANCE
- Application fees and annual subscription shall be fixed by the Board.
- An application fee is refundable to an applicant whose application is refused.
- Any member whose annual subscription becomes 12 months in arrears of the due date of payment shall cease to be a member of the Association provided that he shall have first been served with a final reminder notice after a 12 month grace period – and made no response within sixty days after this notice was dispatched.
- A person whose membership has been cancelled for non-payment of dues may be re-elected to membership without paying an entrance fee but may be charged a readmission fee.
- The annual subscription is payable in advance and becomes due on January 1 each year. The subscription is valid for a calendar year and shall entitle members to a reduced registration fee at the annual conference. Members who pay their annual subscription in November or December after the annual conference shall be deemed to be members in good standing for the following year.
- Under special circumstances, the Board of Directors shall have the power to waive or reduce application fees.
ARTICLE XI: STANDING AND AD-HOC COMMITTEES
- The General Assembly and/or Board of Directors may appoint standing and ad-hoc committees as the members and Board may deem necessary for the conduct of the affairs of the Association. The duties of any such committee, its size and tenure, shall be determined by the Board of Directors and approved by the Assembly. All such committees and task forces shall be subject to the direction of the Board of Directors with the approval of the General Assembly.
- The President shall appoint chairmen of committees with the approval of the Board. A Director may serve as chairman of a committee, appointed committee or task force. No member shall serve on any committee or task force for more than four (4) years, including time spent as chairman of that committee or task force. The Officers will serve as ex-officio members of all committees and task forces.
- All committee reports shall be submitted, at least 45 days prior to the annual meeting of the General Assembly, to the President for distribution to the Board of Directors and members of the Association.
- Committees shall be appointed to perform duties perceived by the Board of Directors and the General Assembly as on-going Association projects without specific tenure, while task forces shall be appointed to perform duties designed to achieve specific objectives (tasks) perceived by the Board and Assembly as singular or on-time projects or problems to be solved by the appointed task force. Upon completion or solution the ad-hoc committee may be dissolved.
- The Committee to select the site of the conference will be composed of Past Presidents of the Association and three members of the Board of Directors. It will select its own chair. The Committee shall review proposals for conference locations, and shall present the proposals to the General Assembly with a recommendation for the site of the next annual conference.
- There shall be a Finance Committee composed of the Treasurer and two other members in good standing elected by the General Assembly for three-year terms, except the first term, which shall be a four-year term. The Committee shall supervise, audit and exercise ultimate control over the management of all Association’s funds, investments and bank accounts. The Committee shall have the authority to authorize expenditures against an annual organization budget and budgets for individual annual conferences. The President and Conference Chair shall present such budgets to the Committee for approval and authorization to expend such funds.
- The Committee shall review and approve annual reports made to the membership by the Treasurer. Such reports shall be in a form consistent with Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP). The reports shall be on an accrual accounting system with a July-June fiscal year. The books should at a minimum, include a Balance Sheet, a P&L Statement, Cash-Flow Statement, bank reconciliations, an aging of receivables and a summary of investments or accounts in which any IAPC cash surplus is held. A detailed report including this information with appropriate backup will be provided to the Officers and the Board of Directors at each annual conference. A more simplified report with a Balance Sheet and a P&L shall be made available to all members attending conferences.
- Prior to each General Assembly the Board of Directors shall appoint a Nomination Committee. The Committee shall receive nominations for Officer and Board positions to be elected by the General Assembly and shall endeavor to ensure at least one candidate is available for each position. The Committee shall make its report to the General Assembly, at which time additional nominations may be made.
ARTICLE XII: OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
- The official language of the Association is English. For practical considerations, all minutes and other documents issued to the members of the Association will be published in English.
ARTICLE XIII: APCAfrica Award
- The President shall annually, after a ballot conducted among the members of the Association, present the APCAfrica Diamond Award to an organization or individual “courageously fostering, promoting and sustaining the democratic process anywhere in the world”.
ARTICLE XIII: AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
- Changes to the laws may be made by a simple majority of the members present at a meeting of the General Assembly.
- When changes in the By-Laws have been approved, the Board of Directors shall be empowered to take such steps as may be necessary during the transitory period.