Members of the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR) gathered on 31 October 2013 from 9:30am to 4:30pm at the Easy Hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa (a day after the African Investigative Journalism Conference/ Power Reporting hosted at Wits University) for the Annual General Meeting which was open to all persons with an interest in investigative journalism.
FAIR professional members were required to submit an online registration form by 25 October 2013. For those who were unable to attend, FAIR provided the option of giving another the right to raise concerns at the AGM. All professional members of the FAIR network were entitled to submit a proxy form in their absence.
AGM Agenda 2013
 WELCOME AND ATTENDANCE (9:30)
 DECLARATION OF INTERESTS (9:45)
 MINUTES OF LAST AGM (10:00)
 CHAIRMAN’S REPORT (11:00)
 SG REPORT (11:30)
 FINANCIAL REPORT (12:00)
 DIRECTOR’S REPORT (12:30)
 Q&A + RESOLUTIONS (14:00)
 NOMINATION OF BOARD (15:00)
 VOTING AND BOARD SELECTION (16:00)
 CLOSING DECLARATIONS (17:00)
AGM Resolutions 2013
The following resolutions were unanimously adopted after being circulated on email to FAIR professional members, with a final deadline for voting by 22 November 2013. Many responses were received electronically, from those who were present and from others abroad. The email voting process was an attempt to present FAIR as a truly democratic pan-African media organisation.
[A] SIDA recommendations (following a pre-audit on Sep 25)
1. Update FAIR Constitution by removing words “Management Committee” and use only the phrase ‘Executive Committee’ which refers to the same set of persons.
2. Update FAIR Constitution to specify actual number of Board members elected annually.
3. Secretariat to submit monthly Cash Flow Analysis to FAIR Board after accountant review.
4. Open a separate bank account for SIDA funds only, to enable better financial reporting.
5. Amend financial management policy on procurement, to reflect that 3 bids/tenders are required for external services exceeding US$10,000.
[B] Resolutions formally tabled
1. The term of office for Board members should remain 1 year.
2. Board members who miss more than 3 meetings without reason may face replacement.
3. To establish a disciplinary committee for members who violate the Code of Conduct.
4. To expand the Secretariat by hiring more staff for administration and financial tasks.
5. Financial Year End to be moved closer to AGM date, proposal noted for 30 June.
6. Seek to host FAIR regional networking conferences every year.
7. To host the FAIR Awards ceremony in different African countries each year.
8. To reach out and support more female investigative journalists in Africa.
9. To immediately contact donors and partners to rectify the current slander.
10. To consider a restructure of the organization that includes hiring more admin staff and ensuring both Executive Director and Commissioning Editor report directly to the Board.
[C] Other suggestions from delegates
1. Benjamin Tetteh, Ghana: Suggestion for increasing term of Board as 2 years.
2. Richard Mgamba, Tanzania: The AGM must reach a collective decision to remove troublemakers.
3. Theresa Mallinson, SA: Hacks Hackers can help African IJ’s , start new chapters.
4. Benjamin Tetteh, Ghana: Board members who are absent from meetings without genuine explanation will be referred to the Disciplinary Committee.
5. Gerard Guedegbe, Benin: FAIR Board should write formally to donors to avoid them being misled by others members.
6. Theophilus Abbah, Nigeria: We cannot allow slander to continue, by any member who is here or not.
7. John Grobler, Namibia: Members in good standing to renew membership no later than one month prior to the AGM and new applicants should submit two months before AGM.
8. Clement Lochio, South Sudan: To seek sponsorship for ‘secret recording gadgets both video and audio to enable investigative journalists to improve the profession of reporting and finding evidence.
9. John Grobler, Namibia: To consider reducing the amount of membership fees.
10. Benjamin Thompson, Tanzania: To recruit more female investigative journalists.
11. Christophe Assogba, Benin: Seek ways to use Paypal for receiving membership fees.
12. Misbahu Bashir, Nigeria: FAIR to publish names of successful grantees.
13. Ohemeng Tawiah, Ghana: AGM and Board should find a solution to the concerns raised by Bisong and Mojeed on the mailing list.
14. Gerard Guedegbe, Benin: FAIR to improve the database by circulating a notice for updates on subscriber emails.
15. Khadija Sharife, SA: Establish a ‘FAIR Fellows’ for specialists to assist investigations including geologists, accountants etc.
16. Misbahu Bashir, Nigeria/Khadija Sharife, SA: To disclose grant funds allocated and name of journalist, but exclude subject matter for sensitivity, to enable transparency in grant making process.
17. Khadija Sharife, SA: To waiver the membership fee for journalists in poor countries, or under banking sanctions.
18. Gemma Parrellada, SA: Find ways to have safe, private communications between journalists working on the same themes, investigations and regions.
19. Idris Akinbajo, Nigeria: Tenure of two years for Board members should be supported.
20. Idris Akinbajo, Nigeria: Conflict resolution process must entertain criticism.
21. Daniel Nzohabonimana, Rwanda: Circulate more opportunities for writers, film-makers, radio persons, such as ICIJ lists.
22. Charles Mwanguhya, Uganda: Host FAIR regional conferences every year.
23. Theophilus Abbah, Nigeria: Publish the 2013 grantee stories and TI’s, in book format (pdf and print) to showcase the work of FAIR.
24. Gerard Guedegbe, Benin: To continue developing academic products for IJ.
25. Gerard Guedegbe, Benin: To include North Africa journalists and media organizations when planning our regional and training events.
26. Theophilus Abbah, Nigeria: board members should NOT be excluded from FAIR grants because they are among the best IJs on the continent.