Constitution and Bylaws

Constitution and bylaws

BYLAWS OF THE AFRICAN BIOLOGICAL SAFETY ASSOCIATION (AfBSA)

 

1.0. PART I: NAME

 

ARTICLE 1: NAME

The name of the Association shall be the AFRICAN BIOLOGICAL SAFETY ASSOCIATION (AfBSA), hereafter referred to as The Association.

2.0 PART II: OBJECTIVES

 

2:1 ARTICLE II: MAIN OBJECTIVES

The main purpose of AfBSA as a professional association is to congregate practitioners of biological safety for the promotion of biosafety and biosecurity and to facilitate the sharing of biosafety and biosecurity information in the African region.

2:2 ARTICLE III: SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

Within the framework of the foregoing, the Association shall have the following principal objects:

  1. To advance biosafety and biosecurity as a scientific discipline through education and research in Africa.
  1. To enhance collaboration and networking in areas of biosafety and biosecurity, including risk assessment on implementation of these principles in Africa.
  2. To identify the training needs of African Biosafety Professionals for the purpose of ensuring their proper qualifications for enforcing biosafety and biosecurity principles.
  3. To design and implement training programmes that increase knowledge and skills in biosafety and biosecurity in Africa.
  4. To utilize knowledge and skills in biosafety and biosecurity to design and implement- surveillance and molecular diagnostic systems and laboratory practices that strengthens infectious disease detection and responses in Africa.
  5. To seek International cooperation towards reducing the risk of biological threats by collaborating with other professionals and governments to develop biosafety and biosecurity standards that are consistent with national and international guidelines, norms and requirements.
  6. To provide members continuous opportunities for biosafety and biosecurity communication, education and participation in the development of standards, guidelines and regulations for these disciplines.
  7. To expand biosafety and biosecurity awareness and promote the development of work practices, equipment and facilities to reduce the potential for occupational illness and adverse environmental impact from infectious agents or biologically-derived materials. 
  8. To promote responsible conduct of life sciences or dual use research

3.0 PART III: MEMBERSHIP AND GOVERNANCE
3:1 ARTICLE IV: MEMBERSHIP

Membership of this Association shall be individuals, associations or organizations who meet the criteria established by the Board and these By Laws. The membership shall not be less than 9.

Membership shall cease if:

  1. The member provides one month notice in writing to the Board of their resignation from membership. Upon the resignation, membership shall cease but his responsibility to contribute to the funds of the Association in the event of its closure or dissolution shall continue for one year from the date of resignation.
  2. If removed from membership by the vote of not less than two-thirds of the members of the Association present at a General or Extraordinary General Meeting of the Association specially convened and at which he has been given a reasonable opportunity to attend- and be- heard.

 

Five categories of membership of the Association are as follows:

 

3.1.1. Individual Members: Any person with an interest in Biological Safety, Biosecurity, Medical Engineering, and/or any other disciplines in biological sciences, shall be eligible for Individual Membership. Individual Members shall be eligible to vote, to hold office, to serve on committees, and to enjoy other rights of the Association. An individual may become a member by submitting a completed Association membership application and payment of the current annual dues to the Association.

3.1.2. Corporate Members: Any company or organization with an interest in biological safety and security shall be eligible for Corporate Membership. Each Corporate Member may designate up to three persons as Individual Members. Each of these three individuals shall be eligible to vote, to hold office, to serve on committees, and to enjoy other rights of the Association.

3.1.3. Student Members: A student eligible for college or university education with an interest in Biosafety and Biosecurity shall be eligible for Student Membership. Individuals already graduated from college or universities are not eligible for registration as students. Student Members shall not have the right to vote or the right to hold elective office.

3.1.4. Emeritus Members: A person who has been an Individual Member for 10 years, who has retired and who is no longer gainfully employed shall be eligible to apply for Emeritus Membership. Emeritus Members shall have all the rights of Individual Members. They shall not pay dues.

3.1.5. Honorary Members: A person who has made outstanding contributions to biological safety or who has served the Association with distinction shall be eligible for Honorary Membership. Individuals who were members of the Association prior to becoming Honorary Members shall be eligible to vote, to hold office, to serve on committees, and to enjoy other rights of the Association.

3.1.6. Dues: The membership fees of the Association shall be determined by two-thirds majority vote of the Board.

 

3.2. ARTICLE V: BOARD OF DIRECTORS

3.2.1. The Board shall consist of a Past President, President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer and up to five (5) Councilors representing the northern, central, eastern, southern and western parts of Africa. The Board shall be the governing body of the Association. Initially the Board shall consist of a President, Secretary and Treasurer, appointed for one (1) year. Should an Executive Director be appointed, he may serve as Secretary during the first year and thereafter be an ex officio Board Member.

3.2.2. The Board shall be responsible to conduct the business of the Association, appoint

standing and ad hoc committees, set policy and adhere to the By Laws of the Association. The Board shall serve without compensation but may be reimbursed for expenses. The Officers and Board shall be indemnified by the Association when acting responsibly and in good favor for the Association.

3.3.    ARTICLE VI: ELECTIONS

3.3.1   The Nominating Committee shall make at least two nominations each for the offices of Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, five Councilors.

3.3.2   The nominees for each position shall appear alphabetically on either the paper or the electronic ballot.

3.3.3   A ballot bearing all valid nominations for office shall be presented to all eligible voting members prior to the Annual General Meeting.

3.3.4   Election results shall be announced at the Annual General Meeting.

3.4.      TERM LENGTHS FOR OFFICERS AND BOARD MEMBERS

3.4.1   The term for the President and Vice President shall be one year, beginning at the close of the Annual Biological Safety Conference.

3.4.2   The term of the Secretary and the Treasurer shall be two years, beginning at the close of the Annual Biological Safety Conference and their terms shall start in alternate years.

3.4.3   The terms of Councilors shall be three years, beginning at the close of the Annual Biological Safety Conference and their terms shall start in alternate years.

3.5       DUTIES OF OFFICERS AND BOARD MEMBERS

3.5.1   The President shall provide primary leadership, preside at meetings of the Council, the Annual Biological Safety Conference, the Annual General Meeting, and execute duties that usually pertain to the President.

3.5.2   The President provides primary leadership and is the official spokesperson for the Association.

3.5.3   The President appoints committee chairs and creates ad hoc committees as necessary with advice and consent of the Board.

3.5.4   The Vice President automatically shall succeed the President upon completion of the President’s term of office or in case of vacancy in the President’s office.

3.5.5   The Secretary shall execute duties that usually pertain to the office held.

3.5.6   The Treasurer shall execute duties that usually pertain to the office held and serve as President of the Finance Committee.

3.5.8   The Board Members shall assume any duties assigned by the President and the Board.

3.6       VACANCIES ON THE BOARD

3.6.1   Vacancy is defined as an inability to perform the assigned duties. If there is a vacancy in the office of the President, the Vice President shall serve for the unexpired term of the President, in addition to the term to which he or she was elected. The office of the Vice President shall remain vacant until the next election.

3.6.2   For other vacancies, the Board shall select a Secretary pro tem, Treasurer pro tem, Board Member pro tem, who shall perform the duties of the office until the next election.

3.7       BOARD MEETINGS

3.7.1   The Board shall hold at least one annual meeting to hear reports and to transact business.

3.7.2   Special meetings of the Board may be called at the request of any two Board members or the President.

3.7.3   Quorum. The presence of a simple majority of the Board members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of the Board.

3.8       AFFILIATES AND CHAPTERS

3.8.1   Affiliates and Chapters of the Association may be formed by approval of the Board.

3.8.2   A petition to form an affiliate or chapter, signed by ten individuals, must be submitted to the Board for consideration.

3.8.3   Activities and business operations of affiliates and chapters shall be consistent with the Bylaws of the Association and are subject to review by the Board.

3.8.4   Officers and members of Affiliates shall be members of the Association.

3.8.5   All officers and members of Chapters shall be members of the Association.

3.9       EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

 

3.9.1   The Association may employ An Executive Director to implement the policy and decisions reached by the Board. He shall be the Chief Administrator and perform the necessary functions to properly maintain the Association and implement the policies and procedures approved by the Board.

3.10    EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

3.10.1. The Executive Committee would consist of the President, Vice President, Past President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Each member of the Executive Committee shall be members of the Board. The Executive Committee would meet more frequently to decide on time sensitive matters of the association. The President would be the Chair of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee would set strategic and policy agenda’s for the Board.

3.11. BYLAWS COMMITTEE

3.11.1 The Bylaws Committee shall consist of five appointed members of the Association and shall review the Bylaws, propose amendments to the bylaws, policies and procedures of the Association, bylaws of affiliates, bylaws of chapters, and other matters related to the Bylaws. This committee shall be appointed by the Board.

3.12    FINANCE COMMITTEE

3.12.1 The Finance Committee shall make recommendations to the Board concerning financial policy, fiscal performance, financial statements, investment of funds, and other financial matters of the Association. This committee shall be appointed by the Board.

3.13    NOMINATING COMMITTEE

3.13.1 The Nominating Committee shall nominate candidates for election of Officers, and Councilors. This Committee shall be appointed by the Board.

3.13.2 In making nominations, the Nominating Committee shall give consideration to a balance of the employer types, geographic areas, and interests that comprise the Association.

3.14    ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING

3.14.1 To provide for proper organizational activities and continuity of program, the Association’s Annual General Meeting shall be held at the Annual Conference.

3.14.2 A quorum for the conduct of business at the Annual General Meeting shall be 25% of those members present at the Annual Biological Safety Conference.

3.15    ANNUAL BIOLOGICAL SAFETY CONFERENCE

3.15.1 The Annual Biological Safety Conference is an official function of the Association. Directives of the Board are binding on conference planning Chair.

3.16    AMENDMENTS AND INTERPRETATION

3.16.1 An amendment to the Bylaws may be proposed in writing by a majority vote of the Board, or the Bylaws Committee, or five members of the Association.

3.16.2 If the Board approves the proposed amendment or a modification of the proposed amendment, it shall be published and submitted to the membership for a vote.

3.16.3 A two thirds majority of members voting shall be required to adopt amendments.

3.17    PARLIAMENTARY PRACTICES

3.17.1 Robert's Rules of Order (Revised), except when inconsistent with the Bylaws, shall govern parliamentary practice in the meetings of the Board, Annual General Meeting, committees, and other meetings.

3.18    DISPOSITION OF ASSETS

3.18.1 Upon dissolution of the Association and payment of all the liabilities of the Association, the assets of the Association shall be distributed, as directed by the Board, exclusively to charitable, scientific, literary, or educational organizations which would then qualify under the provisions of corresponding provision of any future law and Regulations of the appropriate governing laws, applicable to such action as they now exist or as they may hereafter be amended.

3.18.2 No part of the earnings of the Association shall inure to the benefit of or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the Association shall be authorized and empowered to make reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth herein. Notwithstanding any other provision of these Bylaws, the Association shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on by a corporation exempt from Income Tax.

Primary Contacts

To send feedback, suggestions or register as a member please contact:

African Biological Safety Association

Fairlane House off Mbagathi Road

P.O Box 35749-00200, Nairobi, Kenya

Tel: +254-714283195, +254-020-5256052 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.