AfTA logo    AFRICAN THEATRE ASSOCIATION

Constitution


The African Theatre Association serves as a bridge between African theatre practices and scholarship in Africa and the African Diaspora, by bringing academics and theatre-makers together.

Adopted 24 June 2006
  • Article One - Name, Objectives, Governance
  • Article Two – Membership, Affiliation and Entitlement
  • Article Three - The Executive Board
  • Article Four - Officers
  • Article Five - Standing Committees
  • By-Laws

Article One


Name, Objectives, Governance

Section 1. Name

The name of this organization shall be the African Theatre Association. Its acronym shall be AfTA.

Section 2. Objectives

The objectives of this organization shall be:

1. To encourage the highest levels of scholarship in the study and practice of African performance and theatre through:

i. providing a regular forum for scholars and practitioners to meet and exchange ideas, knowledge and information.

ii. publishing, disseminating and encouraging research and information on African performance and theatre.

2.   To provide information on African performance and theatre to the wider public.

Section 3. Governance

A. The African Theatre Association (AfTA) shall be governed by its Constitution and By-Laws, and such other actions as the association and its members may establish.

B. The organisation shall be constituted as follows:

1.The Executive Board

2.The Conference/Convention Committee

3.The Publications Committee

4.The Prize/Awards Committee

5. The Nominations, Elections, and Amendments Committee

6.The Ad Hoc Committee(s) 

Article Two


Membership: Affiliation and Entitlements

Section 1: Definition

Membership of AfTA is open to academics, researchers, practitioners and students with an interest in the study, practice and promotion of African performance and theatre.

Membership shall be by subscription and the payment of approved annual dues except where concession is granted. There are various categories of membership and corresponding levels of dues. All levels of dues will be set by the Executive Board and ratified by the membership.

Membership entitlements include: a) voting rights, b) a copy of African Performance Review, c) subsidised attendance and participation at AfTA conferences/symposia.

Section 2: Categories of Membership

The available categories of membership are:

i)          Full Academic Membership: A full academic member of AfTA is any person employed in academia for a given membership year.

ii)         Practitioner Membership: This is open to performance practitioners who may not belong to either the first and third categories.

iii)         Student Membership: A student member of AfTA is any college/university student

iv)        Institutional Membership: This membership is open to collective or corporate entities, such as university/college departments, units/institutes or centres, theatre companies and community groups.

v)         General Membership: This membership is open to any person who does not belong to any of the above four categories.

vi)        Lifetime Membership: This is open to individuals (not institutions) with an interest in supporting and promoting the activities of the association and the study and practice of African performance, theatre and cultures world-wide.

vii)        Retirement Membership: Any AfTA member who has retired from full-time employment.

viii)       Renewal of Membership: Membership is renewed through paying dues, and all members must renew their membership annually (except Lifetime Members) in order to be in good standing. The membership/fiscal year coincides with the financial year. In an election year, members must renew by April 1 in order to vote or stand for election.

ix)        Qualification of Membership: All rights and privileges outlined in this document are applicable only to members in good standing; that is, those who have annually renewed their membership (except for Lifetime Members). 

Article Three


The Executive Board

Section 1.

Board Members. The Executive Board shall consist of no more than seven (7) persons, including; a President, General Secretary, and Treasurer.

The President, General Secretary, and Treasurer shall serve for one a term of two (2) years.

Members of the Executive Board shall serve for three (3) years. All members of the Board shall wait for two years before standing for re-election to the Executive Board.

In the event that an Executive Board member is unable to serve out the remainder of her/his term, the Executive Board will appoint a replacement to serve out the remainder of the term until regularly scheduled elections are held.

In the event that an Executive Board member is found to be derelict of his/her duties, incompetent, or guilty of malfeasance or misconduct, the Executive Board shall remove and replace that Executive Board member by simple majority vote.

Section 2. Duties

i)           The Executive Board shall be responsible for the overall governance of AfTA, and shall act for the body when it is not in session. 

ii)           The Executive Board shall appoint officers and committees as it deems necessary to carry out the objectives of AfTA.

iii)          The Executive Board shall be responsible for upholding the rights, objectives and wishes of the membership.

Article Four


Officers

Section 1. Executive Officers

The Executive Officers of AfTA shall consist of a President, General Secretary, Treasurer, and Membership Secretary

Section 2. Qualifications, Elections, Terms, and Duties

2. 1. The President shall:

2.1.i. Be a member of AfTA for at least two (2) years prior to election

2.1. ii. Be the chief administrative officer of AfTA, with responsibilities that include:

a.      providing administrative direction for the association programmes,  policies, and procedures recommended by the Executive Board and approved by AfTA

b.      presiding at meetings of the Executive Board and general meetings of AfTA.

c.      serving as an ex-officio member of all Standing Committees

d.      calling meetings of the Executive Board, including special or emergency meetings when necessary

e.      representing AfTA in its interactions with other organizations and groups

f.       authorizing and approving disbursement of monies in the name of AfTA

g.      co-signing all financial vouchers with the Treasurer and General Secretary

h.      performing other duties as directed by the Executive Board and the membership of AfTA

2.2.  The General Secretary shall: 

2.2.i     Be a member of AfTA for at least two (2) years prior to election

2.2. ii.   Assume responsibilities that include:

a.      recording, keeping, and documenting all records, minutes, and correspondence of AfTA as appropriate.

b.      notifying Executive Board/Membership-at-large of any and all meetings of AfTA 

c.      keeping an archival record of all AfTA publications

d.      submitting annually and in writing to the members, the membership enrollment of AfTA

e.      confirm with the president and circulate the minutes of meetings to members

2.3.  The Treasurer shall:

2.3.i.    Be a member of AfTA for at least two (2) years prior to election 

2.3.ii.    Assume responsibilities that include:

a.      serving as the officer in charge of the collection and disbursement of funds for AfTA

b.      maintaining full and accurate accounts of all financial receipts/ disbursements by AfTA

c.      depositing all monies in bank accounts/depositories selected by the Executive Board

d.      withdrawing funds through the preparation of financial vouchers for the countersignature of the President or the General Secretary.

e.      keeping a permanent record of all financial vouchers, the contents of which show: name of creditor or person to whom funds are paid, date, reason or purpose of payment, balance, if any

f.       making all financial contracts for AfTA with the approval of the Executive Board, including hotel and convention sites for AfTA

g.      serving as an ex-officio member of all Standing Committees whose functions involve the collection and disbursement of funds designated by the Executive Board or membership.

2.4.  The Membership Secretary shall:

2.4.i.    Be a member of AfTA for at least two (2) years prior to election 

2.4. ii.   Assume responsibilities that include:

 a.      collecting and maintaining a record of all members of AfTA, submitting the same in writing every year to the President and the General Secretary.

b.      bringing AfTA to the attention of potential members and maintaining an up-to-date list and addresses of members.

Section 3. Procedures of Accountability

3.1. The authorised signatories consist of the President, General Secretary and Treasurer, any two of who may sign cheques and relevant documents for AfTA. 

3.2. The Treasurer shall submit an annual report to the Executive Board that specifies all deposits and expenditures. With respect to the latter, the annual report must include:

3.2.i.                name of creditors/persons to whom funds were paid, 

3.2. ii.              reason/purpose of payments,

3.2. iii.              dates of payments,

3.2.iv.               balances, if any.

3.3. All financial accounts must be audited on an annual basis by an independent body selected by the Executive Board and presented at the Annual General meeting (AGM) for approval.

Article Five


 Standing Committees

All committees shall be appointed by the Executive Board of AfTA.

The Conference/Convention Committee shall prepare the programme for the Annual General Meeting and Conference/ Symposium, in consultation with the convener(s) and the General Secretary.

The Elections and Amendments Committee shall present the names of candidates for various offices to the Executive Board, to be elected by the membership-at-large. This committee shall also be responsible for preparing items for veto, amendment, and rescission, as outlined in the By-Laws.

The Publications Committee shall be responsible for the publication of African Performance Review, AfTA’s annual journal.

The Prize Committee shall determine those publications and productions deserving of honours and awards every two years.

By-Laws


Section 1. Meetings

i.          The Executive Board shall meet at least once a year.

ii.          The Executive Board shall also convene at other times as the need arises.

iii.         The quorum for Executive Board meeting shall be 4 members.

iv.         Voting members shall be the entire elected membership of the Executive Board.

v.         The general business meeting shall take place at the general annual convention/conference, and shall be restricted to members, at which time policies shall be set for the next year.

vi.         Items to be voted on at the general business meeting must appear on an agenda approved by the Elections and Amendments Committee and prepared by the General Secretary and circulated, with due notice and in advance, to all members. Notification via the internet to members is an acceptable means of communication.

vii.        A simple majority vote shall be necessary to carry all voting measures.

viii.       Proxies shall not be valid at general business meetings. Absentee ballots, however, shall be available for members who cannot attend election meetings.

ix.         Any decision or resolution adopted at the general business meeting of AfTA may be vetoed, amended, or rescinded by a simple majority vote of the membership at subsequent business meetings or at the annual general conference.

Section 2. Dues

Dues are to be paid in full for a member to be in good standing.

Dues for Full Academic and General Membership shall be £30 per year for those based in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand; £10 for those based elsewhere.

Dues for Student Membership shall be £10 per year for those based in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand, and free for those based elsewhere.

Dues for Retiree Membership shall be £10 per year for those based in United Kingdom, Europe, North America, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand, £5 for those based elsewhere, and free for those based in Africa, the Caribbean and elsewhere.

Dues for Institutional Membership shall be £60 per year for those based in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand; £30 for those, and £10 for those based in Africa and the Caribbean.

Dues for Lifetime Membership shall be £500 for those based in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, and £50 for those based elsewhere.

Free membership does not include a hard copy of the journal, African Performance Reviewor voting rights.

Section 3. Elections

Nominations for elected officials should be sent in writing to the Elections and Amendments Committee two (2) months prior to elections.

Nominations of candidates for elections shall be proposed to voting members by;  a) individuals and b) by the Elections and Amendments Committee. 

After determining the eligibility of the candidates, the Elections and Amendments Committee shall submit the candidates' names to the Executive Board.

All candidates should provide a brief biography and a statement explaining their interest in holding office, to be distributed to the membership.

Election ballots shall be emailed and must be returned one month prior to elections.

Votes will be tallied by an ad hoc committee, selected by the Executive Board, and the results announced at the business meeting of the general annual convention/conference.

Newly-elected officers will assume office within one month after the end of the general annual convention/conference.

These By-Laws may be amended by a simple majority vote of members at any business meeting during the annual general convention/conference.

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