Proposed Bylaws for the African Seismological Commission (AfSC)
Article I. Purpose of the commission
The AfSC mission is to promote the Seismology within the scientific community of the African countries, by promoting research studies, to extend and enhance scientific co-operation and to train young scientists.
The following objectives are of particular interest:
- Facilitate exchange of ideas and personal meetings between scientists by means of the General Assembly of the AfSC, workshops and seminars on special topics, and discussion forums on emerging issues.
- Encourage co-operation between individuals and organisations by establishing Working Groups (WGs) on seismological problems of common international interest, with emphasis on new research topics.
- Promote inter-disciplinary studies involving Seismology.
- Encourage co-operation with other African and non-African scientific and engineering communities.
- Organise, and encourage others to organise training courses in Earthquake and Engineering Seismology, especially for young scientists.
- Operate within the bylaws, regulations and recommendations of the International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth´s Interior (IASPEI).
Article II. Membership
Membership in AfSC is by country and organization. Each country that adheres to IUGG and is situated within the region defined in Article I is a Titular Member. Countries which are involved in seismology or geosciences within the region defined in Article I, but not yet IUGG members, may apply to be Affiliate Members of AfSC to be approved by the executive committee. African geoscientific organizations can also apply for Affiliate membership. Titular Members and Affiliate Members form part of the AfSC Council (see Article IV). A Titular Member should be nominated by the country’s national committee of IUGG. An Affiliate country Member should be nominated by an Institution or Research organisation of his/her country.
Each scientist from Africa participating in AfSC activities and in the Scientific Assemblies is an “Individual AfSC member”. Any member attending the General Assemblies or participating in other AfSC activities in the past ten years is considered to be an active individual member.
Titular and Affiliate Members can vote on behalf of their country or organization on any matter. Individual members can vote only on scientific matters, such as the place and time of a General Assembly or a workshop, but not on administrative matters such as financial issues, changes to the statutes, or voting for the president. All individual members present in any AfSC General Assembly can vote for the members of the Executive Committee.
All Members are responsible for the dissemination of AfSC information and announcements on a national basis. In the case of absence from a General Assembly, a Titular or Affiliate Member may delegate his/her duties to a compatriot present at the General Assembly or to a member of the Executive Committee (a proxy).
Article III. The General Assembly
A General Assembly is the time period from the Opening Plenary meeting through the Closing Plenary meeting. Scientific sessions and administrative meetings are scheduled during the General Assembly. Anyone interested is invited to take part in the General Assembly.
The AfSC Council decides upon the location of the next General Assembly. If no decision is reached by the Council, the choice of a place and date is left to the Executive Committee. The letters of convocation for a General Assembly shall be sent to all members of the Council at least three months before the date chosen. An extraordinary General Assembly must be called by the Executive Committee if requested by the President or by at least one third of all Council Members.
Article IV. The Council
The ruling body of the AfSC is the Council, consisting of the Members, and the Executive Committee.
The Council meets at least once during every General Assembly for elections. Before the Closing Plenary meeting, the Council shall decide on: 1. Date and place for the next General Assembly, based on invitations received; 2. Other matters referred to the Council. All decisions are announced at the Closing Plenary.
Article V. The Executive Committee
The administrative body of the AfSC is the Executive Committee, consisting of:
- a) Members elected by the Council at each General Assembly: the President, the first and second Vice-Presidents, the Secretary General, and one additional Executive Committee member.
- b) Members by right: the immediate Past-President, and a representative of the International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth's Interior (IASPEI), delegated by IASPEI.
The President, the Vice-Presidents the immediate Past-President, and the Secretary General shall preferably all be from different country affiliations.
The President is eligible only for one administrative period (normally two years). The President shall chair the Executive Committee and the Council, and act on behalf of the AfSC in accordance with policies and procedures adopted by the General Assembly and the Executive Committee.
The Vice-Presidents are eligible only for one administrative period. The Vice-Presidents shall assure the smooth progress of the activities related to the organization of the next General Assembly, and shall assume the duties of the President when the President is unavailable.
The Secretary General shall conduct the correspondence, preserve the administrative archives, assist the President and the Vice-Presidents on matters related to the AfSC, and implement or monitor the implementation of the decisions of the Executive Committee.
No person may hold the Secretary General office for more than four consecutive administrative periods.
The immediate Past-President is a member by right of the Executive Committee for one administrative period. The immediate Past-President shall be responsible for the improvement and expansion of the international activities and the impact of the AfSC, including the collaboration with other scientific organizations.
The Executive Committee functions include:
- To realise the goals and objectives of the AfSC as specified in Article I, and act according to the AfSC Bylaws,
- To implement the decisions and policies established by the Council,
- To nominate the AfSC representatives in other scientific organizations when needed,
- To enhance the transparency of all AfSC activities including, not yet limited to, reporting of its activities,
- To prepare the administrative agenda of the next General Assembly, and coordinate the scientific programme,
- To prepare new proposals for modification of the Bylaws or internal regulations to be submitted to the Council for approval.
The Executive Committee meets at least once every two years and during the General Assembly. The Executive Committee meeting requires at least 1/2 of the voting members to be present. The decisions shall be taken by a majority vote. In case of a tied vote, the President's vote is decisive.
Article VI. Administrative Period
The administrative period is normally two years, and comprises the time interval between the Closing Plenary meetings of two consecutive General Assemblies.
Article VII. Elections
The Council elects the Executive Committee and confirms the Members.
The President appoints a chairperson and two tellers to carry out the elections.
A person cannot have more than one vote by reason of his different offices. Vote by proxy is allowed. The election of the President, the Vice-Presidents, and the other member of the Executive Committee is carried out successively. In general, voting is by secret ballot. In cases of a foreseen unanimity, voting may be executed by show of hands.
All decisions by the Council will be made by a simple majority of the eligible votes cast. In case of a tied vote, the President's vote is decisive. For cases other than election of the Executive Committee, voting by secret ballot is performed only if requested by at least one member.
The members of the Council may cast their vote in writing by mail or e-mail.
During the interval between the General Assemblies, with the decision of the Executive Committee, when necessary, mail balloting may be conducted to obtain a Council decision. In such cases, the approval requires 2/3 of all eligible votes.
Article VIII. Amendment of Bylaws
Drafts of proposed amendments must be made available to all Titular and Affiliate members of the Council prior to the General Assembly. They must be approved by two thirds of the Titular and Affiliate members of the Council with voting power. If a quorum of two thirds of the Titular and Affiliate members of the Council is not obtained, the same amendments may be approved by two thirds of the eligible votes held by the members present during the next General Assembly.
Article IX. Interpretation of the Bylaws
The Bylaws may be translated into any language. The English text is the guide for the interpretation of the Bylaws. In case of any ambiguity, the statutes of IASPEI will serve as a reference.
Article X. Approval of the Bylaws
The Bylaws were approved by the IASPEI Council at its General Assembly in Prague Montreal in July 2019.