CONSTITUTION OF THE ASSOCIATION OF WEST AFRICA UNIVERSITIES (AWAU)
By Article III (3) of the Constitution of the Association of Africa Universities (AAU) the operations and functions of the Association may be decentralized to regional and sub-regional structures of members for efficient promotion of the objects of the Association, the Association of West Africa Universities is hereby formed under this Constitution.
AND in furtherance of the above objectives, we the members of Association of West Africa Universities (AWAU) do hereby make and give to ourselves this Constitution.
The name of the organization shall be the Association of West Africa Universities herein referred to as the “Association”
OBJECT OF THE ASSOCIATION
The Association shall serve as:
Object of the Association
The object of the Association of West Africa Universities as contained in the ‘Ilorin Declaration’ on the formation of AWAU is to:
- promote interchange, contact and cooperation among universities and other institutions of higher education in West Africa;
- collect, classify and disseminate information on higher education and research, particularly in West Africa;
- promote cooperation among West African higher education institutions in curriculum development, post graduate training, research, quality assurance, recognition of qualifications, the determination of equivalence of degrees, and other matters of special policy or practical interest to African higher education;
- encourage and empower members of the Association to address developmental challenges and become an effective voice in national, regional and global institutions;
- study and make known the educational and related needs of West African Universities and other institutions of higher education and, as far as practicable, co-ordinate the means whereby those needs may be met;
- contribute to the improvement of leadership, institutional management and the policy environment of West African higher education;
- organise, encourage and support public fora for information dissemination and exchange and policy dialogue on issues of higher education;
- promote gender and social equity in policies on higher education and in the delivery of higher education services West Africa.
1. Membership of the Association is open to:
- Universities in West Africa;
- institutions of higher education in West Africa which have university status in their respective countries; and
- any other institution admitted as an associate member as defined under Article XIII
RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF MEMBERS
All members of the Association shall enjoy equal rights and privileges provided that an associate member shall not have the voting right or occupy any position in the Association.
The rights accorded to a member of the Association may be suspended by the Executive Committee where the member fails to pay subscription for a period of two consecutive years.
Only representatives of member institutions in good financial standing are eligible to occupy any office in the Association.
The annual subscription payable by each member shall be determined by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Executive Committee.
Subventions and donations shall be accepted and sourced from individuals, corporate bodies, multinationals, parastatals, private companies, agencies, national and international financial institutions and governments that share common ideals with the Association.
ORGANS AND INSTITUTIONS
The Association shall have the following organs:
- The General Assembly
- The Executive Committee
- The Secretariat
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The General Assembly shall comprise all members of the Association and shall be the supreme authority of the Association under this Constitution.
The General Assembly shall:
- determine the general policies of the Association;
- approve the programme and budget of the Association;
- elect the Chairman of the Association and members of the Executive Committee;
- appoint the Secretary General;
- undertake or direct the Executive Committee to undertake such other tasks in furtherance of the objects of the Association;
- make rules of procedure, including bye-laws and
- admit new members.
Meetings of the General Assembly may be open to observers who shall not have voting rights. Each member shall be entitled to one vote.
GENERAL, SPECIAL AND EXTRA ORDINARY MEETINGS
- The General Assembly shall meet twice a year at a time and place which shall be decided upon during its preceding meeting provided that where there is an emergency, the time and place of the meeting may be changed by the Chairman of the Association after consultation with the Executive Committee.
- Special or extra-ordinary meeting of the Association may be convened either by the resolution of the Executive Committee or by one-third of the membership upon written request addressed to the Secretary-General.
- The Secretary General, in consultation with the Chairman of the Executive Committee shall, not later than eight weeks from the date of receipt of resolution, in (b) above convene a special or extra-ordinary meeting of the Association.
QUORUM AND PROCEDURE AT MEETINGS
- the quorum at the meetings of the Association shall be one-third of the total membership.
- all motions of the Association shall be determined by simple majority of members present and voting.
- the General Assembly shall determine its own rules of procedure on the recommendation by the Executive Committee. Where provision is not made in the rules of procedure on any matter, the Chairman or other person presiding at the time shall decide on the procedure to be adopted.
THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The Executive Committee shall comprise:
- The Chairperson
- Two Vice-Chairpersons (one each from Anglo-phone and Franco-phone areas)
- The Secretary General who shall not vote.
SELECTION OF CHAIRPERSON
The Chairperson of the Association shall be selected at the Annual Conference of the Association through the drawing of lots from among the Chairpersons of National Associations that are yet to have their turns as Chairpersons
- The Chairperson shall hold office for a non renewable term of one year.
- Subject to paragraph 1 of this article no country shall produce more than one executive member of the Association.
FUNCTIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMMITTEE
The Executive Committee shall:
- implement decisions of the General Assembly;
- also be charged with the control and superintendence of policies, finances and property of the Association;
- consider and make recommendations to the General Assembly on budgets;
- ensure that proper accounts of the Association are kept and audited annually by an independent firm of auditors approved by the General Assembly and that annual report is published by the Association together with certified copies of the said accounts as audited;
- consider and make recommendations to the General Assembly on terms and conditions of service of the association’s administrative staff;
- act on behalf of the General Assembly on all maters;
- be responsible to the General Assembly to which it shall submit regular reports on all its activities; and
- perform such other duties as may from time to time be assigned to it by the General Assembly.
There shall be a Secretariat which shall be the permanent organ of the Association and which in that capacity shall perform all the functions assigned to it by the Executive Committee of the association.
- The Secretariat shall operate under the general direction of the Secretary General, who in turn shall report directly to the Chairman of the Association.
- The Secretary General shall be appointed by the Executive Committee on behalf of the General Assembly and the conditions of appointment shall be as determined by the General Assembly.
- The appointment of the Secretary General shall be for a term of three years in the first instance and upon satisfactory performance, renewable for another term of three years only (and no more).
- The position of Secretary-General shall be full-time and shall normally be incompatible with the performance of any other duties. The Executive Committee shall determine matters of compatibility.
The Secretary-General shall:
- represent the Association under the authority of the Executive Committee in all matters;
- make proposals to the Executive Committee for the appointment of senior staff of the secretariat;
- exercise disciplinary powers over the staff of the secretariat in accordance with such regulations as may be stipulated by the Executive Committee;
- accept with the consent of the Executive Committee, such subventions and donations which conform with the objects of the Association;
- present every year to the Executive Committee a working programme and a report on the activities of the preceding year; and
- submit every year a detailed draft budget to the Executive Committee and provide it with duly certified accounts of the preceding year.
A person who:
- holds or has held the position of executive head of a member institution other than an Associate Member; and
- has proven leadership, managerial and fundraising capabilities is eligible for appointment as Secretary General.
VACANCIES, RESIGNATIONS AND REMOVALS
Paragraph 1: Vacancies
At the meeting following a vacancy of an office, the position is to be filled in the same manner described in the Nomination and Election Procedure.
Paragraph 2: Resignations
- Any elected officer under this Constitution may resign his position in a letter addressed to the Secretary- General.
- The Secretary General may resign his appointment by giving three months notice in a letter addressed to the Chairman of the Executive Committee.
Paragraph 3: Removals
Any elected officer may be removed where a vote of no confidence is passed by two-third of membership present and voting in a meeting.
The Secretary General may be removed where he is guilty of gross misconduct as defined under Article XII.
AMENDMENTS, REVISION AND REGULATIONS
This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members of the Association present and voting at any regular meeting of General Assembly provided that the total number of votes cast in favour of the amendment is not less than a simple majority of the entire membership of the Association.
Proposals for the amendments or revision of this Constitution shall be submitted in writing to the Secretary General, not later than four months before the commencement of the General Assembly at which they are to be considered and copies of which shall be sent by the Secretariat to all members by registered mail or courier not later than three months before the meeting.
Any amendment or revision of this Constitution shall state the effective date of amendment or revision.
Regulations which are supplementary or incidental to this Constitution may be adopted by the Executive Committee and such come into force immediately.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
(i) “Associate member” is a member who has not satisfied the provision of Article IV (a) and (b) but has been admitted by the General Assembly under Article IV (c)
- “Gross misconduct” includes;
- dereliction of duty;
- conflict of interests; and
- any other act which may prejudice the interest of the Association.