Article I - Establishment
Article II - Purposes
Article III - Principles
Article IV - Membership
Article V - Rights and Responsibilities
Article VI - Institutions
Article VII - Duties of Officers
Article VIII - The Bank Account
Article IX - The Budget
Article X - Cessation/Dismissal of Member(s)
Article XI - Ratification of the Constitution
Article XII - Miscellaneous
Article XIII - Definitions
Article XIV - Revision/Amendments
WE, Ghanaian residents and persons associated with Ghana, and our families living in and around the Municipality of Stockholm, Sweden;
INSPIRED by a common determination to strengthen positive cooperation and understanding amongst ourselves and peoples of our adopted country, Sweden;
CONVINCED that, in order to translate this determination into a dynamic force in the cause of progress, conditions for fostering dignity, peace and security must be established and maintained;
HAVE agreed to this constitution this day ……..
Article I. NAME AND ESTABLISHMENT
Ghanaians and persons associated with Ghana and friends of Ghana resident in and around the municipality of Stockholm do by this constitution establish a non-political, non-religious and non-profit educational, cultural and social organisation to be known as GHANA UNION, GREATER STOCKHOLM – GUSS, hereinafter referred to as the UNION.
Article II AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The union shall be a non-political organisation and will have the following aims and objectives:
to promote the good image of Ghana in the Nordic countries and elsewhere
to foster good and cordial relations among all Ghanaians and other Africans
to provide assistance to Ghanaian citizens where possible and necessary
to contribute to the promotion of Ghanaian culture and tradition,
to promote friendship, peace, and understanding between Ghanaians and Swedes
to contribute to the general development of our living environment in Sweden and in Ghana.
Article III PRINCIPLES
The members of the Union, in earnest pursuit of the purposes stated in Article 2, declare their unflinching adherence to the following principles:
respect of the rights and equality of all members of the Union in all undertakings of the Union,
resist discrimination in all its forms that may be directed towards or against members of of thy union or the general community
engage in the peaceful settlement and arbitration of disputes between members by negotiations, mediation and reconciliation
as a union, affirm to the policy of non-alignment with regard to party politics in Sweden, Ghana or elsewhere.
Article IV MEMBERSHIP
Membership of the union shall be open to the following:
Ghanaians residing in Sweden,
Non-Ghanaian members of Ghanaian families resident in Sweden
Non-Ghanaians who have the interest of Ghana at heart
Persons who have show proven interest in Ghana and have been given honorary status
A member of the union will be considered to mean any of the above who has paid his or her annual membership fee.
members shall pay annual dues determined at a general meeting of the Union
to qualify for privileges of membership, a member should have paid his/her membership dues by the 30th of June every year
new members should have paid their membership dues not later than the third month of their joining the union or within three months of attending their first meeting.
Article V RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
all members of the UNION shall enjoy equal rights before this before this constitution,
members shall pledge themselves to observe scrupulously the principles stated in ARTICLE III of the present constitution
any member of the UNION has the right to resign from the UNION without hindrance or coercion. Such resignation though shall be tended in writing to the executive council
only paid-up members shall be entitled to vote at the Annual General Meeting.
The union shall accomplish its goals and objectives through the following institutions:
the general assembly or meeting of union members
the executive council or committee
The Specialized Organs as under this article
a. The General Assembly or meeting of union members
The supreme decision making body of the union shall be the General Assembly or the General meeting of union members
ARTICLE VI INSTITUTIONS
The UNION shall accomplish its goals and objectives through the following institutions: 1. The General Assembly or meeting of Union members 2. The Executive Council or Committee, 3. The Specialized Organs as under this article
1 a. The General Assembly or meeting of Union members The supreme decision making body of the Union shall be the General Assembly or the General meeting of Union members
2 a. THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL The UNION shall be governed or run by the Executive Committee which shall comprise the following elected officers of the UNION
Vice Organising Secretary
b. In addition so the above portfolios, the following NON-EXECUTIVE officers shall also be elected to the Executive committee or council i. TWO AUDITORS ii. PATRONS iii. LEADER OF THE CULTURAL TROUPE c. On the advice of the Executive Council additional officers may be appointed by the General Assembly to the Executive council/committee.
d. i. The Executive shall be elected for a two year term. ii. The Executive Council shall have as a rule not less than four sittings within a 12-months’ period iii. Members of the Executive Council shall have equal voting rights at all its meetings iv. An individual member of the Executive may, in writing, resign from his/her post for assigned reasons in the course of the term of office v. The entire Executive may resign their posts in the course of their term of office vi. A member of the Executive may be removed from office on a vote of no confidence in the course of his/her term of office by a two third majority of paid up members voting at a General meeting.
ARTICLE VI (1.e.) ELECTION OF OFFICERS
i. All the officers of the UNION shall be elected by a simple majority except unopposed candidates who shall need at least 51% of the votes cast ii. Only paid-up members shall have the right to contest elections and /or vote iii. Members shall nominate themselves but such nomination shall be seconded by at least another member of the UNION. In cases where members nominate others, the consent of such members must be sought first iv. Voting may be by proxy. A member’s vote shall, if necessary, be cast on his/her behalf by another member provided an authority note is issued to that effect or the Electoral Commission is informed prior to voting day. Spouses shall, however, exercise this privilege without limitation. v. Where there is no winner in the first round of balloting, a second round shall be conducted involving only the two contestants receiving the most votes from the first ballot.
ARTICLE VI (1.f. ) VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE
i. A properly constituted general meeting may, upon proof of misconduct, incompetence or both, or for any conduct which is deemed to be detrimental to the interests of the association, pass a vote of no confidence in such officer or officers; this applies also to the Specialised Organs, ii. A vote of no-confidence is considered properly carried if it receives at least two-thirds of the votes of the duly registered members, provided the meeting at which such a vote is passed has a quorum iii. An officer who has been given a vote of no confidence shall be notified of his/her dismissal in writing within seven (7) days thereof and the appropriate authorities also duly notified.
a THE SPECIALIZED ORGANS 2.1 - The Executive Council, shall in accordance with ARTICLE VI (1.) of this Constitution, cause to establish some specialized organs as may be deemed necessary including the following: i. The Cultural Group, otherwise known as The Agoromma Cultural Troupe ii. The Ghana Union Youth Wing iii. The Editorial Board of the Linguist iv. The Education Committee v. The Electoral Commission vi. The Project Team vii. The Women’s Wing
2.2 - The Officers of each of the Specialized Organs referred to in Article VI (2.1. a, b, and c ) shall be elected from within members of that Organ and its officer-composition shall also be determined from within the group as deemed necessary for maximum efficiency
2.3 - The functions of the Specialized Organs shall be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the present Constitution. They shall operate as semi-autonomous bodies but within the tenets of the UNION
2.4. - THE CULTURAL TROUPE ( AGOROMMA ) a. i. This is the cultural wing of the UNION and will operate in a semi-autonomous manner ii The Cultural Troupe will be under the leadership of the Cultural Troupe leader who will be elected by members of the Cultural Troupe iii The Cultural Troupe will operate a separate account to be kept by the Treasurer iv The leader of the Cultural Troupe shall 1. be elected by members of the cultural troupe, 2. be responsible for the day to day running of the cultural troupe 3. be responsible for the training of the members of the Cultural Troupe, 4. arrange cultural performances in collaboration with the Organising Secretary
5. responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of materials and equipment of the cultural troupe
b. THE UNION’S NEWSLETTER (THE LINQUIST) i. This will serve as the mouthpiece of the UNION and will operate in a semi- autonomous manner ii. The Linguist will be run by an Editor and / with an Editorial Board appointed by the Executive of the UNION iii. The Linguist will operate a separate account to be kept by the Treasurer and will be self-financing as much as possible
c. THE GHANA UNION YOUTH WING i. Shall form a vital and integral part of the UNION ii. The Youth Wing shall through its activities serve as the pivot to bring the Ghanaian youth together to learn their culture, tradition and language iii Its activities shall be transparent and non-discriminatory iv. The Youth Wing shall have an Executive Board of five persons, comprising: 1. Youth Chairperson 2. Youth Secretary / Organiser 3. Youth Treasurer 4. Two Executive Members v. The Youth Wing shall plan and execute projects in consultation with the UNION Executive d. THE EDUCATION COMMITTEE i. Shall be instituted to promote the Educational and Training objectives of the UNION ii. Shall be responsible for the planning and implementation of projects aimed towards a positive integration of the Ghanaian Immigrant Community in / into the Swedish Society iii. The numerical size of membership to this committee shall be determined by the UNION Executive Board as may be deemed necessary for efficiency in the general performance of the committee’s functions iv. The Education Committee shall open up, revise and review its activities at least twice within a 12 months’ period before the UNION Executive Board and at the invitation of the Board v. The Education Committee shall in the performance of its duties listen to and collect views of and from a broad spectrum of the Immigrant Community vi. Membership to this Committee shall be for a period of three (3) years however not restrictive
e. THE PROJECT OFFICE i. For the purposes of continuity, articulation and good performance, the President of the Executive Board of the UNION shall upon the advice and consent of the Executive Council appoint a loyal, dedicated, impartial and respected member of the UNION to act as the UNION Project Officer ii. The Project Officer shall have the sole responsibility of coordinating all PROJECTS undertaken by the UNION inclusive those of the Specialised Organs iii. The Project Officer shall not only seek sources for project funding but shall also collate and forward all project particulars and / or papers to, from and of the UNION iv. The Project Officer, who shall pursue his/her functions under and in close collaboration with the appointing officer, herein the UNION President, shall on appointment, be presented to and accepted by members of the UNION at a properly constituted meeting v. Such an Officer shall hold office for three (3) alternative five (5) years renewable if and when necessary vi. The Project Officer shall owe allegiance, in the pursuance of his/her duties, ONLY to the UNION and not to the appointing officer or the Executive Council. vii. The Project Officer shall be liable to checks by the elected Auditors of the UNION
f. THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION i. The Electoral Commission shall take responsibilities for all due electoral processes of and within the UNION ii. The Electoral Commission shall submit a duly signed report and results of all elections undertaken by and through the Commission.
ARTICLE VI (3. 1) GENERAL MEETING
i. There shall be a general meeting of the UNION on the last Sunday of every month
QUORUM ii. A general meeting shall be considered properly constituted if it is attended by at least one-third of the registered members. A registered member in this context means a current paid up member and any member who has paid his or her dues during the previous year.
ARTICLE VI ( 3. 2 ) PROCEDURE AT MEETING
i. The meeting shall be opened and closed by the President of the UNION ii. The Secretary shall read the minutes of the previous meeting after the President’s opening address and shall record the minutes of the meeting iii. A proposal for the amendment, acceptance, or rejection of some part or whole of the minutes shall be by a motion raised by a member and seconded by at least one other member iv. There shall be an agenda submitted by the President to members at least three (3) working days before a general meeting. This can either be read by the President presiding at a meeting or by the Union Secretary v. A member wishing to make a contribution to a debate in the course of a meeting shall do so on a point of order or of interest, and shall raise his/her hand until he/she is invited to make his/her contribution vi. A decision requiring a vote shall be taken on a motion seconded by at least one member vii. Meetings shall be held in English or any other language agreed upon by members at any particular meeting.
ARTICLE VI (3.3 ) EMERGENCY MEETING
a. Any three (3) registered members of the UNION may call for an emergency meeting by submitting a request to the Secretary or, in his/her absence, any Officer who shall take necessary action at least two (2) days after receiving the request.
ARTICLE VII DUTIES OF OFFICERS
i a. The PRESIDENT shall as the chief officer and head of the Executive organ preside over all meetings of the UNION and oversee its day-to-day administration b. The VICE-PRESIDENT shall act as the president in the absence of the President and shall carry out duties assigned to him/her from time to time by the President ii. The SECRETARY shall perform the following duties: a. Act for the President in the absence of both the President and his/her vice b. Record minutes at all meetings of the UNION c. Carry out correspondence for and on behalf of the UNION d. Keep an attendance book, a file for the Union’s correspondence, and shall make same available to the general meeting upon request iii. The VICE- SECRETARY shall act as secretary in the absence of the Secretary or when the Secretary is deputising for the President iv. The ORGANISING SECRETARY shall a. be responsible for all matters regarding the organisation of functions, that is, arranging venues for all meetings, or cultural activities, parties, symposia or exhibitions, etc b. collaborate with the Cultural Secretary and arrange for cultural performances v. The VICE ORGANISING SECRETARY shall assist the Organising Secretary in the performance of his/her duties and act for him/her in his/her absence vi. The TREASURER shall a. keep an account of the Association’s funds b. present a statement of the Union’s finances every six (6) months on request. The said account shall be presented for auditing before the presentation of the next account vii. THE VICE TREASURER shall assist the Treasurer in the discharge of his/her duties and even act for him/her in his/her absence viii The CULTURAL SECRETARY shall a. be responsible for the cultural activities of the UNION b. take inventory and account for all materials and equipment relating to culture and the cultural activities of the UNION ix. The TWO AUDITORS shall a. be empowered to supervise the actions of officers of the UNION to prevent any abuse of office whatsoever b. audit the accounts of the UNION and present an audited account to the general meeting every six months c. produce and present a duly signed audit report to the Annual general meeting
PATRONS may not necessarily be members of the UNION. They may be required to play an advisory role and shall also be invited to witness the election of new executives, etc.
ARTICLE VIII THE BANK ACCOUNT
i. The Executive shall open a savings account in a savings bank in the Union’s name in which the Union’s funds shall be deposited ii. There shall be three (3) signatories to the Union’s savings account, preferably the President, the Treasurer, plus one other member nominated by the general meeting of the UNION.
ARTICLE IX THE BUDGET
i. An Annual Budget Estimate must be prepared by the Executive and shall be presented and approved by the Annual General Meeting of the UNION ii. The Executive shall at the end of each budget year prepare an Activity Report of the past year iii. The Activity Report shall be presented at the Annual General Meeting of the UNION for ratification.
ARTICLE X CESSATION/DISMISSAL OF MEMBER( S )
Any member who desires to renounce his/her membership shall do so in writing to the Union Secretary who shall in turn inform Executive Committee at a General Meeting
At the end of a three (3) months period from the date of such notification in Article X, (i), and if not withdrawn, the Constitution shall cease to apply with respect to the renouncing member who then shall cease to belong to the UNION
Any member of the UNION whose behaviour is deemed to be in conflict with Article 111 of this Constitution shall be denied his/her membership by a majority vote of the Executive Committee and confirmed by a simple majority of members voting at a General meeting
Before a decision is taken to dismiss a member from the UNION, the Executive shall in writing serve the individual(s) warning letter(s) in the first instance(s) of misconduct.
In the event of a dismissal, the Executive shall in writing communicate the grounds for such dismissal to the affected individual(s)
Members shall duly be informed of the dismissal of any person from the UNION
ARTICLE XI RATIFICATION OF THE CONSTITUTION
This Constitution shall be ratified by two-thirds (2/3) of the members present at a General Meeting
ii. The Original instrument shall be deposited with the appropriate Authority within the Greater Stockholm Administrative Municipality.
ARTICLE XII MISCELLANEOUS
i a. DUES: i. Every member shall be expected to pay a given sum of money as dues/registration fees. The general meeting of the UNION shall decide upon this amount from time to time. ii BENEFITS/PRIVILEGES a. A newly born child by a member of the UNION shall be presented with a cash gift of five hundred Swedish crowns (500 SEK) or any amount the UNION may deem necessary from time to time b. Upon the death of a mother or father of a member, an amount of one thousand Swedish crowns (1000 SEK) shall be donated to the bereaved family by the UNION. Apart from the UNION’s donation, any member wishing tyo contribute voluntarily can do so on his/her own c. Upon the death of a family member of a UNION member e.g. husband, wife, son, or daughter, an amount of two thousand Swedish crowns (2000 SEK) shall be donated to the bereaved family by the UNION. Thereafter, any member wishing to contribute voluntarily may do so on his/her own.
iii. DISSOLUTION a. In the event of dissolution a general meeting must be called to discuss the disposal of the assets of the UNION. When this happens, the sole agenda shall be dissolution. The money in the UNION’s coffers after the dissolution shall be given to a charitable organisation.
ARTICLE XIII DEFINITIONS
Where the term UNION is used in this document, it shall be construed to mean the Ghana Union - Greater Stockholm
Any question(s) or misgivings concerning the interpretation of this constitution shall be decided by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) majority of the house.
ARTICLE XIV REVISION/AMENDMENTS
Revision or amendment of parts or all of this constitution shall be done by the General Meeting of the UNION. This Constitution is therefore subject to changes and amendments.
WE, Ghanaians and our associates and friends, living in and around the Greater Stockholm Metropolis, have agreed on the principles and provisions of the revised version of this constitution.