Election Procedures

In line with the SAA constitution, the Governing Board will consist of ten elected members from the 5th zones of Africa. Per article 10.1 of the SAA constitution, the following members will be elected through an electronic ballot process:

  • The membership of SAA at large would elect ten members.
  • The UN agencies would nominate two members.

Three members will be elected from each of the three regions: Three members will be elected, consisting the representative from each of the three regions: Eastern Africa, Western Africa, and Southern Africa, and Two members will be elected to represent the Central and Northern regions (SAA constitution article 10.1), Or two representatives, each will be elected from each of the five regions of Africa. The election will be conducted in the five constituencies simultaneously.

Global representation and participation

As a true representative of a Pan-African organization and a custodian of the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA), The Society for AIDS in Africa needs energetic, committed, and able people from a variety of cultural and linguistic contexts to serve on the Governing Board. Business is conducted generally in English and French, so competence in English or French is necessary to enable participation.

Being a Governing Board member can be time-consuming and challenging as the Board strives to promote HIV/AIDS research and advocacy to respond to the pandemic in Africa. It is also rewarding because of the exciting opportunity to work with colleagues from different regions and cultures.

Governing Board

The SAA Governing Board is responsible for the strategic and programmatic direction of the SAA, within guidelines approved by the General Assembly (SAA constitution Articles 10.2). It establishes priorities, has oversight of SAA activities, and approves budgets and the annual financial accounts. It is focused on strategic issues and guides the President, Secretary-General, Treasurer, and Coordinator.

The elected members of the Governing Board serve for a term of four years and may stand for a further consecutive of four years only.

The Board elects six members of the Governing Board to be the SAA Executive: The President, Vice President, Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary-General, Treasurer, and Deputy Treasurer. The President may ask a Governing Board member to represent SAA at key conferences or other meetings to ensure that the SAA’s voice is heard. Funding assistance from SAA is available under such circumstances.

Members of the Governing Board are expected to make themselves available, usually at no cost to the Society, to fulfill Board responsibilities which include the requirement to meet on one occasion each year. At the ICASA Conference, there are two meetings: one on the day before the ICASA starts and one on the day after the conference ends. SAA covers the hotel costs for these meetings. Some additional limited travel assistance may be available under exceptional circumstances. The business of SAA may be conducted in between meetings by email and teleconference.

A Candidate of the ten elected places on the Governing Board must be SAA’s paid member for the three consecutive years (2018-2019-2020). Each candidate must have a valid nomination by SAA members.

The current President-elect, who will complete his tenure of office in December, will not seek another mandate. Governing Board members currently in their 2nd term are not eligible for nomination. The successful candidates for these positions on the Governing Board will serve four years, commencing next January after the election until December the end of their elected year. Those elected for the first time will then be eligible for re-election for a final, second term of four years (2026-2029).

The President and Executive Council

The President-elect and the Executive Council serve in this role for four years.

The President leads the Society and its board. The President represents SAA and the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) at government and allied industries, international and national organizations, and bodies. The President chairs the Governing Board and presides over General Assembly meetings held at the biannual ICASA Conference. The President of SAA involves a significant amount of travelling (some 50 days a year) for meetings, making keynote speeches, and generally representing SAA and the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA). As the SAA budget is limited, SAA funding is available to assist in some of these travels; the President must have a solid ability to mobilize funds and other support. The President works closely with the Secretary-General, the Treasurer, and the Coordinator. He is a full member of the governing board.

The four-year term of office, as Executive members-elect, provides an opportunity to identify priorities to be pursued on assuming the presidency. The Executive members work closely with the SAA Permanent Secretariat and deputize for the President as required, for example, to represent the SAA or chair meetings. The Executive members serve in that role for four years. The Executive Members works closely with the President, Secretary-General, the Treasurer, and SAA Coordinator. The Governing board elects the Six Executive Members.

Consequently, the position of Executive Members also involves a significant amount of travelling, speaking commitments, and representation and, therefore, demands a solid ability to mobilize funds and other support. The Executive Members are full members of the Governing Board.

All the present Governing Board members are eligible for re-election, except the current President-elect and the Treasurer.

Who may be nominated?

  • The candidate must be educated at least to second-degree level in Human/Medical/Behavioural, Social sciences, Management (in a relevant field of study).
  • The candidate must have a minimum of 5 years of work experience in the field of HIV/AIDS, STIs, Sexual & Reproductive Health, or other related issues.
  • The candidate must have a minimum of 5 publications in a relevant field of work.
  • The candidate should be able to make available the names and contacts of 3 referees who have had a working relationship with the candidate at some point.
  • The candidate should have attended a minimum of 3 ICASA’s, justified by an ICASA certificate of participation.
  • The candidate should have paid his SAA membership fees for at least three consecutive years.

How do I nominate a Candidate?

To nominate a candidate for election to the Governing Board:

  • The authorized signatory of an Association Member or an Institutional Member of SAA may nominate candidates and vote in the elections. The authorized signatory is the individual listed in SAA’s records as the organization’s highest official and whose name appears on the SAA membership master list.
  • Honorary Fellows may nominate candidates and vote in the elections; or
  • Institutional Affiliates may also nominate candidates for these positions but may not vote in the elections.
  • Send the letter of nomination attached with the resume of the candidate to boardnomination@saafrica.org

Please note:

  • There is no restriction on the number of candidates you may nominate for these positions.
  • Nominations should be done according to your zone (Eastern Africa, Central Africa, Western Africa, Southern Africa, and Northern Africa zone)

You should ensure that your nominee is willing to stand. A formal confirmation from each candidate will be sought, together with a statement once the nomination for that candidate is received.

The following table sets out who may nominate and who may vote in the ensuing election.

May nominate May vote in the election
Authorised signatories of association members* Yes Yes
Authorised signatories of institutional members* Yes Yes
Honorary fellows Yes Yes
Individual Affiliates (personal) Yes Yes
Individual Affiliates (Students)* Yes No
Institutional Affiliates Yes No

* Only if they have paid their membership fees in full for the said year of election and are not in arrears.

Nomination deadline

Nominations must reach SAA Headquarters ON or BEFORE Saturday May. No late nominations will be accepted.

Election dates and period

  • Per the constitution of SAA, the elections will be conducted by electronic ballot. As set out in the above table, only those eligible Voting Members will be entitled to vote. Institutional & Individual Affiliates (Student) are not permitted to vote in these elections.
  • It is expected that the ballot will take place from May to June, which means five weeks between the open of the voting portal and the closing date of the voting portal.
  • The results will be announced on SAA’s Website in July.
  • The elected Governing Board members will be invited to attended ICASA to elect their executive board.

These elections are extremely important for the governance and accountability of SAA.

Please consider whether you wish to nominate candidates for the Governing Board.