Constitution Friends of the North

Introduction

The objective of our association is to initiate self-help action for achievement and furtherance of economic development in Northern Ghana (NR, UW,UE) in the context of decentralization and democracy. We realize that foreign donor programs cannot have the desired effects if local groups and communities do not take over to assure sustained development of the North. Many programs have come and gone without long-lasting effects on the ground. A greater share for Northern Ghana is needed and our association will strive at more local participation in the planning and execution of development activities.

Art.1 Name : Friends of the North (FRONT)

Art.2 Registered Office: Tamale, Box 28, tel.fax. 071 23293

Art.3 Objectives

Our association is geared to provision of support to local initiatives promoting self-reliance and to assistance to improvements in resource management - development of reliable water resources for drinking or irrigation, conservation of soils and land, the preservation of wildlife or forests, transformation of local produce for export and better use of human resources through cultural programs, arts and crafts or tourism.

Desired Results

Through joint efforts we would like to achieve community or group activities resulting in larger numbers of local initiatives completed and resulting in more income and greater welfare. We strive that communities and groups will seek membership and participate actively in the organization, and request support and advice from our association in planning, feasibility studies and implementation.

Art.4 Activities

Without prejudice to the provisions of Art.3 the association may in furtherance of the above objectives engage in the following activities: it will publicize its sup-port program to communities,sollicit and study requests by communities for group assistance.

It will assist in the study of project ideas to assess their cost and their viability; it will advise on planning, programming and budgeting of activities with sound technical counsel and a minimum of cost involved;

It will train groups, communities and individuals on how to achieve greater cost-effectiveness and viability of their projects;

it will seek funding for viable project alternatives and provide evaluative supervision, and monitor outcome and revenue generation.

Staff Training of communities and associations on management and accounting, but also in technical matters will be the key to improvements in resource management; therefore the association will place a large emphasis on training.

Art.5 Membership

May become members: Associations, cooperatives, village development committees, constituencies, individuals with viable project concepts. Full membership will be acquired through payment of an annual membership fee of C 20.000. Multiple membership fees will give rise to a shares in the fixed capital of the association corresponding to the number of multiples.

Art.6 Organization of the Association

General Assembly

All members having paid their annual membership dues will constitute the general assembly; they have the right to vote and stand for office in the general assembly to be held once yearly in December. Board of Trustees

A board of trustees consisting of five members will be elected annually by the general assembly. This board will appoint a management committee of at least 3 at maximum 8 members for management of current affairs during the year.

Managing Directors

Management of current affairs will be done by the managing directors, either appointed by the board - consisting of qualified and trusted members - or hired personnel. Membership in the managing directors are those members who have contributed a substantial share to the organization’s fund or deposited a guarantee of an equivalent of C 1.000.000

Secretariat

The board of trustees will appoint a secretary on an annual basis who responsible for public relations, correspondance, and communication of activity reports among members, board and management committee, and whose duty is the preparation of the general assembly.

Art.7 Finance

Initially, the organization should have sufficient seed capital to undertake activities and ventures to initiate activities by which to approach donors.

Therefore, founding members are required to make a significant contribution to the common fund and are on this basis entrusted with the management of current affairs.

Finances may come from

Membership dues; members and donor contributions; funds raised from training courses; fees for project support from the organization; exchange programs with groups and communities from other countries; services; revolving capital from the decentralized financial sector - credit and savings associations, rural banks -; foreign donor financing for major investment e.g. transport improvements, building construction. But primary emphasis will be on generating own operating funds our of project activities; initial costs should be borne from revolving funds.

Art.8 Accounts and Audit

The board of directors will appoint an auditor to control the accounts and make recommendations as to improvements in management and financing, and whose duty is to prepare an audit report for the general assembly

Art.9 Dissolution and Winding Up

The following may be causes for dissolution of the association: lack of active membership; financial insolvency. A request for dissolution can be entered on the agenda of general assembly by a group representing at least one third of active membership. The general assembly must vote dissolution with a two thirds majority. In case of a decisive vote on dissolution, the board of trustees will propose three auditing firms for liquidation of the association’s assets. The general assembly will choose the auditing firm with absolute majority vote.

Art.10 Discipinary Matters

The following can be cause for disciplinary action:

- failure of board of trustees to supervise properly management committee and secretariat

- mismanagement by management committee

- violation of code of good conduct by either members of board, management committee or secretariat;

A proposal for disciplinary action must be made before the board of trustees by a minimum of three members with proper written justification; or by a quarter of the general assembly in case of action against board of trustees or any of its members. Such a proposal will be accepted by vote of a two thirds majority of board of trustees, or by general assembly, in the case of action proposed against board or any of its members.

Art.11 Amendments to Constitution

Amendments to this constitution can be proposed by any active member during the course of a general assembly; they must be accepted by a two third majority vote. Amendments of the bye-laws can be proposed by either management comittee, board of trustees, or secretariat and must be adopted by single majority vote of the general assembly.

Art.12 Supremacy of the Constitution

The present constitution will be the guiding body of rules for the aforesaid association; its clauses cannot be overridden by bye-laws but can only be altered by a formal amendment to the said constitution.

Registration 1998

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