Soroptimist International of Africa
SI President Sharon Fisher announces: “It is with great pleasure I report the results of the Soroptimist International Future Africa Federation (SIFAF) ballot.
The official result of the ballot closed 19 March and has now been reviewed and verified as follows:
Clubs in Africa eligible to vote – 106 clubs
Affirmative votes required – 71 clubs
Affirmative votes received – 95 clubs
The African clubs will now proceed with the election of officers and form a Federation.
With the postponement of the Abidjan conference to November 2020, all the required steps will be completed by this date making way for a wonderful celebration to welcome the new Federation as a Member of Soroptimist International. Many have worked tirelessly since 2012 to make this dream of a fifth Soroptimist International Federation a reality and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all involved”.
The lights turned green for Soroptimist International Africa Federation (SIAF), the fifth Soroptimist International Federation, at the Soroptimist International (SI) Board meeting in July 2019, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The SIFAF Taskforce had delivered formidable results, with 1,890 members counted by July 2019, from 106 clubs, and in 26 countries. The goal posts were set for 2020; membership would need to reach 2,000 and affirmative votes would need to be received by two-thirds of the 106 clubs.
Mary Muia, SIFAF Task Force Chair says: “It is jubilation and joy for Soroptimist International Future Africa Federation (SIFAF) members. We Did It! It Is a ‘Yes’ for Soroptimist International Africa Federation (SIAF). As Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer once said: “a journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step”. Saturday 21 March, 2020 will forever remain a bright morning as this is when the SIFAF Task Force awoke to the wonderful news from SI President Sharon Fisher”.
Mariet Verhoef-Cohen, SI Immediate Past President says: “I could not be more proud of all those who have worked together so determinedly in true Soroptimist spirit to make this dream of an SI Africa Federation come to life. It is an emotional time, I am really overwhelmed – it is such an astonishing achievement and it needs time to sink in! Together with the SIFAF Committee, the SI Federations of Europe and Great Britain and Ireland, and the different Task Forces, and the encouragement and support shown by Soroptimists around the world, I would like to thank and celebrate each and everyone of you – your dedication and commitment, and I look forward to watching the Federation develop from strength to strength – Truly a Global Voice for Women”.
Mary continues: “According to the African Union (AU), almost 60% of Africa’s population in 2019 was aged less than 25 years, making Africa the world’s youngest continent; Africa’s growing youth population offers us enormous potential. The actualisation of an Africa Federation does not only bring hope and joy towards the empowerment of women and girls, but also opens new opportunities for the growth of Soroptimism in Africa. This new Federation will open new ground for innovation, creativity and engagement of young professionals in Africa. Additionally it will allow for closer ties amongst African sisters and increase Soroptimist International membership globally. It will deliver a new sense of belonging and independence to propel us forward and breed further creativity, whilst expanding SI’s vision to be the global voice for women and girls.
Congratulations to us all in Africa once more, for living up to our dream! All dreams are valid and we look forward to celebrating the Charter of our Federation during the scheduled SIAF conference Abidjan on 12 to 15 November, 2020”.