SIFAF Update – African Federation is getting ready to go!

You may have heard little news about the Soroptimist International Future African Federation (SIFAF) following the report on the 4th biennial SIFAF conference which was held from 20-22 April 2018 in Marrakech. But make no mistake, many Soroptimists have been working very hard during the past year towards the moment of chartership so that SIFAF may become SIAF, the Soroptimist International African Federation in 2020.

A major milestone in this process was the 1st issue of the SIFAF electronic newsletter: Voice of SIFAF, which came out in March and which we encourage you to read. You can download it here. It is full of exciting news and developments. Our sisters need our full support and encouragement at this stage.

SIFAF Task Force 4

SIFAF President Mary Muia leads Task Force 4, which consists of 10 members, herself included, from all over the African Continent. The future federation is divided into 4 regions, and Mary expresses the amazing thing about working with these dedicated women: “Collaboration multiplies forces. It enables individuals to achieve goals and develop solutions that would otherwise be much more difficult, if not impossible, to reach.”

The Task Force 4 members are:

  • Fatima El Baz – Vice President Northern Region,
  • Oludewa Thorpe – Vice President Western and Central Region,
  • Judith Apondo – Vice President Eastern Africa Region
  • Lisette Genseberger – Vice President-Southern Region
  • Vivian Stanley – Programme Director
  • Constance Mutunhu – Extension & Membership Director
  • Olufumulayo Saheloa – Director of Finance
  • Nivo Rakotoarisoa – Communications Director
  • Nneka Chris-Asoluka – Immediate Past Task Force President


Extension and Membership

Constance Mutunhu, Extension & Membership Director, communicates with the country ambassadors in the four regions to gather data on the membership so that the database will complete and encourages clubs to each recruit 3 new members in order to have the required 2000 members. There are 1880 members at present. Constance also works together with the regional Vice Presidents (VPs) in the hope of chartering at least one new club in each region.


The theme of the 2018-2020 SIFAF biennium is “Inspire, lead, and transform” and as Nivo Rakotoarisoa, SIFAF Communications Director 2018-2020, rightly says, their magazine, Voice of SIFAF, is an excellent channel through which to put the theme into practice. It includes inspiring stories about each region’s projects for empowering women and girls and a platform for blogs and articles about female leadership.

Nivo is also rightly proud of the new SIFAF website When opened, president Mary Muia starts a welcoming speech to the visitor explaining what our organisation is about and inviting all professional women to join Soroptimist International. You can easily find out which clubs there are in each African country, no less than 112 clubs in Africa! The site is geared towards attracting new members; it even has a menu item “Steps to become a Soroptimist”. There is a members’ area that will be used for spreading information to the membership, showcasing projects, and billing clubs based on number of members.

Nivo realises the crucial role communications play in making the African Federation a success. Another development is the extra emphasis given to the role of country ambassador. Country ambassadors report to the regional VP and vice versa, the regional VP can reach the entire membership through the ambassadors. This ensures coherence in the widespread organisation.

Skype and WhatsApp groups are also used by the African Soroptimists to keep in touch and work towards chartership.

Timeline to Chartership

Apart from having enough members and getting communications sorted out, there are many other goals that must be reached before the new federation can be chartered. SI President Mariet Verhoef-Cohen has made supporting and guiding the creation of  the SI African Federation one of her focal points from the start of her term in July 2017.

SI President Mariet says “SI Head Quarters is regularly in touch with Task Force 4. Under the guidance of chair Mary Muia, they have been working terribly hard. They are almost there, but there is still a lot to do, apart from getting to the magic number of 2,000 members. In 2017, we created a timeline including complicated matters such as putting in place policies and protocols as other Federations have done in relation to ballots, financial transparency, actions before and during general board meetings, and code of conduct for all members, as well as drafting proposed Federation constitution and/or Articles of Association and Bye‑Laws, and more.

I am so proud of the SIFAF task force for all the hard work they have done to keep up with our timeline.  The timeline states when to submit all the necessary application papers for the SI Board Meeting in Kuala Lumpur in July 2019.

I would especially like to thank SIGBI member Margaret Oldroyd, who has supported the SIFAF Task Forces with her thorough knowledge, constant follow-up and advice for many years and of course the SI Directors from SIGBI and SIE, Ann Hodgson and Anna Wszelaczyńska.

Next SI(F)AF conference – April 2020 in Ivory Coast

In conclusion, all hands are joined for African Soroptimists to achieve their dream and celebrate the birthing of  the SI Africa Federation-SIAF at their next biennial conference 16-19 April 2020 in Ivory Coast. Welcome all Soroptimists!





  1. IRAMBONA LIBERATA 1 year ago 17th April 2019

    Waooo sisters . Proud of my African Women. Together we can. A big hug from Kigali Rwanda

    • Mary Muia 1 year ago 18th April 2019

      Very inspiring!

  2. Bastin Evelyne 1 year ago 18th April 2019

    Congratulations for the efforts you are making for an African federation!

  3. evelyne bastin 1 year ago 18th April 2019


  4. Miriam 1 year ago 19th April 2019

    Comments* Excellent work dear, we will soon be there. Live long SIFAF!

  5. Florence Brennan 1 year ago 23rd April 2019

    This is wonderful news.
    Florence Brennan
    Coordinator friendship link for SISWP

  6. Aliya Kedem 1 year ago 26th April 2019

    Well done,
    I hope that I can come to the chartering .Seee the sisters that i know and meet all the others. good Luck
    SI/Rehovot, Israel

  7. Angela Amadi 1 year ago 26th May 2019

    Congratulations to all BSs. We are counting down.

    • Kayitesire Marie Laetitia club SI Kigali 12 months ago 13th July 2019

      Congratulation. Thank you for your effort .I support you

  8. Zarreen Babu 12 months ago 15th July 2019

    How exciting as you come closer n closer to your goal. Woshing you all the best from India.

  9. Walter Mukhwana 12 months ago 18th July 2019

    Congratulations for the good work you are conducting ladies. The SIAF dream is now light at the end of the tunnel. Kudos!

  10. Omoha Conswella C 12 months ago 19th July 2019

    Great, congratulations and thank you for all the effort you are making for Africa federation

  11. Marie-Josée KA 9 months ago 13th October 2019

    Bravo mes soeurs africaines nous détenons le passé le présent et l avenir C EST NOTRE HÉRITAGE NOTRE FORCE NOTRE IDENTITÉ !
    Ensemble nous irons loin!
    Je suis citoyenne du monde mais avant tout africaine ?
    Keep going!

  12. Houria club soroptimist d'Agadir. 7 months ago 29th November 2019

    Merci pour le partage, et impatiente de voir le SIAF, immerger da sa terre natale “Africa”. Bon courage aux seours ivoirienne pour les preparatifs, et on reste toujours , toutes soroptimist citoyennes du monde.
    Je vous embrasse toutes du club d’Agadir maroc.


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