30 June 2020
Soroptimist International is delighted to announce the inauguration of the Soroptimist International Africa Federation.
Nominations for candidates to serve as officers on the first Soroptimist International Africa Federation (SIAF) Board, took place during April-May 2020, and the Soroptimist International Future Africa Federation (SIFAF) Task Force received an overwhelming response. Of the 107 SIFAF clubs eligible to vote for 2020-2022 Board mandate, 97 cast their votes.
Soroptimist International President, Sharon Fisher welcomes the incoming SIAF President Connie Mutuhnu of SI Vabatsiri (Zimbabwe), and the new SIAF Board, saying: “I am thrilled to announce a true milestone in the history and future of our global organisation. As we approach our 100th year – our ‘bright past and brilliant future’ will take the spotlight – a time for all to recognise and reflect on our journey, and to celebrate the days to come. The Soroptimist International Africa Federation speaks and advocates for women and girls in Africa; committed to closing the gender gap, and accelerating opportunity and change for women and girls in health, education, and empowerment. I would like to take this opportunity to thank and applaud all those who have worked so tirelessly, with passion and astonishing commitment, paving the way to this glorious achievement; we support you, we are with you, and we join you in your celebrations today”.
Election results as follows:
- President: CONNIE MUTUHNU of SI VABATSIRI (ZIMBABWE))
- Vice-President East Region: KAYIRANGWA MARIE GRACE of SI KIGALI (RWANDA)
- Vice-President Southern Region: SAIJAL BANDULAL of SI DURBAN (SOUTH AFRICA)
- Vice-President Northern Region: EL HAJJAJI SOUAD of SI RABAT (MOROCCO)
- Vice-President West and Central Region: ALIMATA KONE of SI ABIDJAN FLAMBOYANT (IVORY COAST)
- Program Director: Hanitra RAMANANDRAIBE of SI TANAMASOANDRO (MADAGASCAR)
- Director of Extension and Membership: MOUFQIA JALILA of SI AGADIR (MOROCCO)
- Finance Director: Christine HOUSSSOU EYEBIYI of SI COTONOU DEAN (BENIN)
Introducing the President of Soroptimist International of Africa Federation
Connie Mutunhu is elected the first President of Soroptimist International Africa Federation (SIAF), taking on the position for the 2020-2022 Biennium. With a solid professional background in Business in Zimbabwe & Australia, and a Masters degree in Change Management & Leadership Skills (Leeds, UK), Connie has broad practical expertise in entrepreneurship and small-scale business models.
With a passion for the economic empowerment of women and girls in Africa’s low-income environments, Connie is a founding Committee Member of ChildLine, Zimbabwe, a charity established by Soroptimists, and has served as Chair for the Southern Africa Aids Trust (SAT), a Regional Board in South Africa, with operations in seven countries.
Connie says: “We have come a long way in chartering an African Federation: I became a Soroptimist 22 years ago and have always been an active and engaged member. I have happily contributed my knowledge and skills towards the growth of my club, National Association, SIFAF, and as Director of Finance for the SIGBI Federation, and have been instrumental and active in many other executive positions. As our population continues to grow, a third of Africa’s people continue to live below the poverty line, with the majority being women.
COVID-19 threatens to dilute the efforts and gains of recent years, with increased cases of gender-based violence; a loss of economic opportunities; disruptions to learning, and access to education, particularly for vulnerable groups, and there is an immediate need to focus on these issues.
My vision and commitment will be to steer the SIAF leadership to fulfil our global mission of ‘transforming the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities’. As the captain of the SIAF board, I commit to the following areas of performance: Good Corporate Governance: Finances and Financial Management; Investment in Growth and Strengthening of Clubs; Strategic Alliances and partnership Building.
Ever the optimist, I believe that the best times are ahead of us and it is our time to shape them. Let’s create our SIAF! Let’s create our future! Together we can”.