Please note, the Constitution is currently being amended and an updated version will be available soon.
Article I – Mission statement
As the cradle of humankind, Africa has the broadest spectrum of human genetic variation. The African Society of Human Genetics (AfSHG) was formed in 2003 to foster genetics research in Africa to generate knowledge for the prevention of disease and the promotion of health. To meet this mission the society’s goals are to:
- Expand genetic and genomic research in Africa, to include all regions of the continent;
- Integrate the work of the African Society of Human Genetics with the activities of other related societies;
- Increase avenues of inter- and intra-continental collaboration in human genetics research;
- Increase awareness of human genetics and genomic research and promote the development of effective public policy regarding this research in Africa,
- Promote the translation of genetic knowledge into clinical practice throughout Africa
Article II – Membership and dues
II. A. Types of memberships
Any person who is interested in research in human genetics or in issues pertaining to human genetics is eligible for membership in the Society upon approval by the AfSHG Committee.
REGULAR membership shall be open to all eligible persons.
TRAINEE membership shall be open to postdoctoral fellows, residents and students participating in degree-granting programs. No individual shall remain a Trainee member for longer than five years without documentation of student, resident or postdoctoral fellow status.
INSTITUTIONAL membership shall be open to any institutions and organizations that support the objectives and activities of the Society upon approval of the Committee.
AFFLIATE memberships shall be open to human genetics and related societies in Africa. These societies shall also encourage their members to become regular members of the African Society of Human Genetics. Each constituent society shall nominate a member to the Committee of the African Society of Human Genetics.
EMERITUS membership shall be open to all persons who shall have retired from their position or practice and shall have been a Regular member of the Society for at least five years. Emeritus members shall be entitled to all membership rights and benefits, but shall not be required to pay dues.
HONORARY membership shall be extended to individuals who have contributed to the research and training in human genetics, particularly in Africa, upon approval of the Committee.
Dues shall be assessed on a regular basis and each member will be contacted on a calendar year basis for amounts set for each category of membership by the Committee. Upon payment of the dues assessed, an individual shall be a member in good standing entitled to all membership rights and benefits.
Article III – Committee
The Society shall be managed by a Committee which will be composed of the President, President-elect (who will become the next president), Past-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Communications and IT Member and nine other members of the Society. The named officers shall serve during their incumbency in office. Each of the other Committee members shall be elected for a three-year term with three positions designated for election each year.
The Committee shall formulate policies of the Society; elect the Secretary and Treasurer;, Membership Secretary, and Communications and IT Member ; fill such vacancies among the officers and directors as may occur between elections; have charge of funds and endowments of the Society; authorize expenditures; and conduct such other business as may be desirable. Any vacancy occurring on the Committee or any officer position, other than President, or any membership to be filled by reason of an increase in the number of members, may be filled by the affirmative vote of a majority of the remaining members, though less than a quorum of the members. An individual elected to fill a vacancy shall be elected for the unexpired term of the predecessor in office. In the event of a vacancy in the office of President, the President elect shall assume the office for the duration of the term. In this event a new President elect will be elected by the committee for the remainder of the term. Any committeemember can be removed for cause by a majority vote of the committee after an opportunity to be heard.
The Committee shall meet at the time of the AfSHG Meeting of the Society. The Committee may decide by resolution the time and place for holding additional regular meetings of the Committee without other notice than such resolution. Special meetings may be called by the President or by the written petition of ten members of the Committee. Ten members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum. Each member of the Committee shall have one vote. The Committee may also meet via the internet including the use of e-mail. However, any decision taken during such e-meetings must be ratified at subsequent non-electronic meetings of the Committee.
At the AFSHG Meeting of the Society, the Committee shall set the dates of the AfSHG Meetings of the Society for several succeeding years. Five percent of the members in good standing shall constitute a quorum of the Society.
Article IV – Election of members and officers
The membership shall elect three Committee members annually by ballot. The President shall serve a three year term, therefore the President elect shall only be chosen by the membership once every three years. The Secretary shall send by mail or electronic form, not less than eight weeks before the AfSHG Meeting, a ballot listing all nominees to each member in good standing as of ten weeks before the AfSHGl Meeting. To be counted, the ballots must be returned to the Secretary or designee of the Secretary at a date indicated on the ballot, which shall be at least two weeks before the AfSHG Meeting. The member receiving the highest number of votes for President-elect and the members receiving the three highest numbers of votes for director shall be elected. No incumbent member of the Committee who was elected by the membership shall be eligible for re-election at the expiration of the term. The results of the election shall be announced at the AfSHG Meeting. The officers shall take office on conclusion of the Meeting.
The President-elect shall succeed to the position of President on the expiry of the three year term of the President. The Secretary, Communications and IT Member and Treasurer shall be elected for terms of three years by the Committee at the AfSGH Meeting. All terms shall be renewable.
Prior to the end of each calendar year, the President shall appoint a Nominating Committee composed of three members in good standing who are not, at the time of their appointment, members of the Committee. One member shall have been a member of the immediately preceding Nominating Committee. One member shall have served previously on the Committee. The President shall designate one member of the committee to be Chairperson. The committee shall take office on conclusion of the AfSHG Meeting. At least 12 weeks prior to the AfSHG Meeting, the Nominating Committee shall submit a slate consisting of at least one candidate for President-elect and at least six candidates for committee members whose names shall appear on the ballot. Members of the Nominating Committee shall not be eligible for nomination. In addition to those persons nominated by the Nominating Committee, additional nominees for director may be added to the ballot by petition of 50 or more members in good standing received by the Secretary not less than 10 weeks before the AfSHG Meeting. The ballot shall also make provision for voting for persons whose names do not appear on the ballot.
Nominations for the office of President elect will also be made by this committee, but will only be done in the year prior to the expiration of the current President elect’s term. All society officers will serve a three year term.
Article V – Duties of officers
The PRESIDENT shall preside at all meetings of the Society and of the Committee. The President shall appoint such committees and representatives as directed by the Committee or prescribed by these Bylaws. Other committees and representatives may be appointed at the discretion of the President. The President shall be responsible for representing the Society on a day-to-day basis, for guiding and implementing the broad agenda of the Society in consultation with the Members, for identifying issues that require the attention of the Committee, for responding to both professional and media inquiries regarding human genetics and Society activities, and for inter-acting on an ongoing basis with Society committees.
The PRESIDENT ELECT shall preside in the absence of the President.
If the President is incapacitated, the President elect shall act in the stead of the President. In the event of incapacity of the President elect to act as President, the duties of the President shall be assumed by the Past President, Secretary, Treasurer or IT Member, in that order. Incapacity shall be determined by the Committee.
The SECRETARY shall keep the records of the Society, submit the names of candidates for membership to the Committee and conduct all necessary correspondence with the members.
The TREASURER shall be responsible for the funds of the Society and for management of revenues and payment of obligations of the Society. At the Annual Meeting, the Treasurer shall present a statement of the receipts and expenditures of the funds of the Society. The Treasurer shall make only such expenditures as are authorized by the Committee.
The COMMUNICATIONS AND IT MEMBER shall be responsible for the contents of the Web site of the Society, will solicit material for the site and will guide the development of the site.
Article VI – Publications
The Society shall publish a program of its scientific meetings, including abstracts of the papers to be presented. A copy of the program will be sent to each member in good standing without additional charge.
The Society shall maintain a Web site presence that promotes the purposes of the Society.
Other publications may be issued as the Committee shall authorize.
Article VII – Affiliations
The Society may affiliate with such professional and scientific organizations as the Committee may from time to time determine. All necessary expenditures for purposes of such affiliation shall be approved by the Committee. The Committee may name regular members of the Society as representatives to other organizations whenever it deems such action desirable.
Article VIII – Committees
Committee members, except those serving by virtue of holding other office, shall be appointed by the President, in consultation with members of the Committees, and may be removed by a majority vote of the Committee. The President shall designate the chairperson of each committee from among its members. No chairperson may serve in that capacity for more than three years. Initial appointments to committees shall be of varying terms so as to allow staggering of appointments.
The EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE shall consist of the President, President elect, Immediate Past President, Secretary, Communications and IT Member and Treasurer. The Executive Committee shall be authorized, subject to review by the Committee, to act on behalf of the Committee between meetings.
The FINANCE COMMITTEE shall consist of the Treasurer, who will chair the committee, the President, Secretary, and a nominee of the Committee. The Finance Committee will advise the Committee and the Treasurer on the allocation of funds, within the limits set by the Committee.
The TASK FORCE COMMITTEE shall consist of six members appointed for three-year terms, two to be appointed each year. The President shall be the seventh member of this committee. The committee shall undertake specific projects assigned to it by the Committee Members.
The President shall designate the chairperson for the following year. The Program Committee is responsible for the scientific content of the AfSHG Meeting. No member of the committee may serve more than two consecutive terms.
The INFORMATION AND EDUCATION COMMITTEE shall consist of nine members appointed for three-year terms, up to three to be appointed each year. No member of the committee may serve more than two consecutive terms. The committee shall recommend, and upon Committee approval carry out, activities concerned with information relevant to human genetics as it relates to the education of students in general, the training of professionals in human genetics, and the awareness of human genetics by the general public.
OTHER COMMITTEES: The Committee may appoint such special and other standing committees as it deems necessary or that are voted by the Society.
Article IX – Withdrawal from membership and termination
Any member or member society may withdraw from the Society one year following notification of the President of the African Society of Human Genetics in person or by mail of his/her/its intention.
A member or member society’s status may be terminated by the Committee of the African Society of Human Genetics with one year’s notice. This action will require the consent of three fourths of the members of the Committee of the Society.
Article X – Amendments
These Bylaws may be amended by the Committee, or by a majority vote of those members attending the annual membership meeting. In either event, however, such action shall be ratified by a majority vote of the members attending the next membership meeting of the Society, provided that notice of the substance of the amendment is given to all members no less than eight weeks before the meeting, or by a majority vote of members responding to a ballot sent to members by mail or electronic form no less than eight weeks before the date set for receipt of the ballots.