Update and Announcement on AfHEA Transition Process

August 26, 2020

Dear AfHEA Members,


We trust you are keeping well and safe in these difficult times of Covid-19.

At the Rabat Conference in September 2016, the AfHEA executive was mandated by members to start a process of leadership and governance transition, including the appointment of three deputy executive directors as part of grooming of potential future leadership, renewing most of the membership of the Board of Trustees, and updating other organs and processes of the association. Key aspects of that transition have since been carried out, including the renewal of the Board and some executive positions, and the setting up of a Transition Committee by the Board to oversee the transition sand make detailed proposals for carrying the process out. Three Deputy Executive Directors were appointed by the board (before it was itself renewed), for Capacity Building, Institutional Development and Business Development.

The Transition Committee made some recommendations at the 10th anniversary conference in 2019, taking note of the progress made and suggesting further changes, including the inauguration/induction of the new Board of Trustees, developing a new strategic and business plan, streamlining the executive positions, and culminating (by the next conference) in the appointment of a new Executive Director through a process of both consultation and talent hunting.

We are pleased to state that all these changes are either under way or, in the case of the induction of the new Board of Trustees, completed. The newly re-constituted Board has representation from West, East, Southern and Central Africa (with an observer for now from North Africa) as well as representation from a range of strategic partners. You may visit the AfHEA website for the updated list of Board Members @ www.afhea.org .

The association is also developing a new strategic and business plan for the 2021-25 period, as well as an Operational Effectiveness and Sustainability analysis. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is supporting the Operational Effectiveness and Sustainability analysis.

As part of this Operational Effectiveness and Sustainability analysis, we will be coming to you soon (hopefully in September) to obtain your feedback on your experience of AfHEA and what AfHEA can do to better serve you and effectively achieve our common objectives. This may come in the form of a survey and we encourage all of you to assist by filling out the survey when launched.

The streamlining and reform of executive positions are ongoing as well. Two new positions of Director of Operations and Memberships’ Secretary have been created and approved by the Board. While the position of Director of Operations is being advertised, the new Memberships’ Secretary has already been appointed, in the person of Pascal Birindabagabo of Rwanda. Please join us to welcome Pascal to his new position, and do expect to hear directly from him in due course.

Finally, you no doubt want to hear about preparations for the next AfHEA Scientific Conference. Like all other aspects of life and work in 2020, Covid-19 has thrown a spanner into our conference preparations. It is now unlikely that we can hold the next conference before September 2021 at the earliest. The AfHEA office is currently studying the modalities and implications of different options for holding the conference, with suggestions for a hybrid (limited venue presence plus online or virtual meeting) conference seeming to be the most realistic or optimal. More details will be shared after the next Board meeting has decided definitively on the options being considered.

We hope to keep you informed as the transition proceeds as well as on other AfHEA matters such as preparations for our next conference.

Yours Sincerely,
Naomi Setshegetso (PhD)
Acting Secretary -AfHEA


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