We members of the Network for Natural Gums and Resins in Africa (NGARA), being driven by the desire to protect the interest of members involved in production, processing, marketing and research of Gums and Resins: Recognizing the need for regional and international co-operation in international trade: Acknowledging the relatively less competitive position of the developing countries vis a vis the developed countries in relation to the production, processing, research and marketing of their natural resources among which are Gums and Resins: We the undersigned, having full powers of our various countries have agreed to give ourselves the following constitution:
Article (1) : Establishment of the Network
1.1. The countries, institutions and bodies to which this constitution applies constitute the Network for the protection of their rights and interests in relation to the production, processing, marketing and research of Gums and Resins.
1.2. The name of the regional organization shall be "Network for Natural Gums and Resins in Africa (NGARA), hereinafter referred to as "the Network".
1.3. The Network shall be a legal person with full rights relevant to legal persons as a scientific and business oriented organization.
Article (2): Definitions
For the purpose of this constitution, unless the contest otherwise require:
2.1 Constitution: Means the constitution whereby this Network is established
2.2 Gum: Means Natural Gums as recognized by the Network
2.3 Resins: Means Myrrh, Myrrh like Resins and Frankincense
2.4 Network: Means the Network for Natural Gums and Resins in Africa (NGARA)
2.5 Member: Means member of the Network as defined in this constitution
2.6 Board: Means the Executive Board of the Network.
Article (3): Objectives of the network
3.1 To generate information and develop databases on production, processing and marketing of gums and resins in order to enhance the participation of member countries in international trade.
3.2 To promote exchange of information on research findings, production, processing, quality control and marketing of natural gums and resins among producing countries and partners.
3.3 To facilitate access to technological development and training in all areas of gum/resin business.
3.4 To support relevant research in key areas of the sector.
3.5 To promote strong links among primary producers, processors and end users.
3.6 To establish appropriate systems for ongoing gum/resin resource assessment and control at national levels of member countries.
Article (4): Membership of the Network
4.1 Any African country producing commercial Gums or Resins and willing to abide by the constitution of the Network is eligible for membership.
4.2 Any other local or international company or organization working in the areas of gums and resins is eligible for membership as an honorary member.
4.3 Membership shall be by formal application to the General Assembly through the Secretariat.
4.4 A member shall cease membership of the network subject to a resolution by two thirds of the members of the General Assembly upon failure by such member to remit the annual subscription for three consecutive fiscal years or failure to take part in three consecutive general meetings without an acceptable reason.
4.5 A member may withdraw her membership of the network by giving at least six months notice.
4.6 Each member shall designate a competent authority or agency as its focal point.
Article (5) : Institutions of the Network
5.1 The Executive Board.
5.2 The General Assembly made up of National Focal Points from all member countries and honorary members of the Network.
5.3 The Technical Advisory Board made up of technical experts drawn from relevant local and international Organizations. This is an ad-hoc committee to advice the Executive Board as the need arises.
5.4 The Regional Secretariat.
Article (6) :Composition and Functions of the Executive Board
6.1 The Executive Board shall be composed of six members made up as follows:
6.1.1. One member representing each of the four regions within the Gum/ Resin producing belt of Africa namely:
(a) West Africa
(b) Central Africa
(c) Eastern Africa and
(d) Southern Africa.
6.1.2 Two African experts with wide experience in (a) Production and Marketing and (b) Quality control of Gums and Resins.
6.2. The Executive Board is the highest decision making organ of the Network.
6.3 The Board will make policies for the day to day running of the Network and will approve programmes, projects, staffing and activities to be undertaken by the Network.
6.4 The Board shall meet at least twice a year in any country authorized by the Board.
6.5 The Board shall elect a President (Chairman) and Treasurer from among its six members.
6.6 The Executive Board shall be dissolved after every five years.
6.7 The Executive Board shall propose annual budgets for approval by the General Assembly.
Article (7): The General Assembly
7.1 The Assembly shall elect members of the Executive Board including Executive Secretary
7.2 The Assembly shall decide on the admission of new members who have since applied in writing.
7.3 The Assembly shall receive and approve reports from different organs of the Assembly.
7.4 The Assembly shall approve policies, fiscal rules and regulations presented to it by the Executive Board
7.5 The network will hold the general Assembly once per year, notice of which shall be given to the members at least four weeks in advance with the agenda.
7.6 Each member country is entitled to one vote. Decisions need two-thirds majority.
7.7 A special General Assembly will be held if requested by at least two thirds of the ordinary members and require a notice of at least two weeks.
Article (8): The Regional Secretariat
8.1 The Regional Secretariat shall be provided by the host country approved by the Network. The provision and furnishing of the Regional Secretariat and the staff by the host country shall be at no cost to the Network.
8.2 The Regional Secretariat shall be headed by an Executive Secretary seconded by any of the member countries and approved by the Board.
8.3 The member country hosting the Regional Secretariat shall provide suitable residential accommodation for the Executive Secretary of the Network at no cost to the Network.
8.4 The Executive Secretary will be responsible for the day to day running of the Secretariat under the supervision and policy guidance of the Board.
8.5 The Executive Secretary shall serve as the Secretary to the Board.
8.6 The tenure of the Executive Secretary shall be for five years.
Article (9): Finance and Funding of the Network
9.1 Annual subscription by member countries and organizations as determined by the Board.
9.2 Income from sales of services and technology.
9.3 Sourcing of funds from international organizations, donor agencies, NGOs, Governments, private sector, etc.
9.4 Other legal income approved by the Board.
9.5 NGARA shall maintain an account in the host country.
9.6 The signatories to NGARAs account shall be the Chairman of the Executive Board signing with the Treasurer or the Executive Secretary after Boards approval of such expenditure.
Article (10): Fiscal Rules and Regulations
10.1 The Board shall have powers to draft NGARA's Policies, fiscal rules and regulations for approval by the General Assembly.
10.2 The official languages of the Network shall be English and French.
10.3 The constitution shall come into force as from the date it is signed by member countries.
10.4 The relevant United Nations Conventions governing such Networks/Unions shall govern the constitution.
10.5 Flags of all member countries and the flag of the Network shall be hoisted at the registered office of the Network.
10.6 An emblem (Logo) shall be approved for the Network at a general meeting of the Network.
Article (11): Status, Privileges and Immunity
11.1 The Network shall have international legal status.
11.2 The Board, Staff, Offices, Assets and Funds shall be accorded the immunity due to international legal persons.
Article (12): Amendments
12.1 Amendments to this constitution shall be through a written proposal to the General Assembly and have the support of at least two thirds of the members present.
Article (13): Residence of the Network
13.1 The Network shall reside in the Republic of Kenya with focal points in all member countries.
Article (14): Custody of the Constitution
14.1 The Republic of Kenya shall be the custodian of this Constitution.
Article (15): Dissolution of the Network
The network shall be dissolved by resolution made in a special General Assembly, with a two third majority of the members present. The liquidation of the Network shall be handled either by the Executive Board or an independent liquidator appointed by the Board.