ZANZIBAR INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH AND PUBLIC POLICY
Record of Discussion during the Second Ordinary Meeting of the Institute that took place on Saturday 2 May 2009 at the ATC Office Building
Ms. Maryam Hamdani Chairperson of the Meeting and of the Board of Trustees
Ms. Fatma Gharib Bilal Member of the Board of Trustees
Ms. Asha Abdulla Member
Mr. Jumbe Said Ibrahim Founding Member
Mr. Mbarouk Shaaban Founding Member and Member of the Board of Trustees
Mr. Nassor Mugheiry Founding Member and Member of the Board of Trustees
Mr. Abdulla Ghassani Member of the Board of Trustees
Dr. Mayassa Salum Ali Member
Ms. Khadija Adnan Founding Member
Mr. Muhammad Yussuf Founding Member and Secretary of the Meeting
1. Election of the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Board of Trustees
Before the meeting was called to order, the five members of the Board of Trustees had convened the First Meeting of the Board and unanimously elected, amongst themselves, Ms. Mariam Hamdani as Chairperson of the Board of Trustees and Mr. Abdulla Ghassani as Vice-Chairperson of the Board of Trustees with immediate effect.
2. Resource Mobilization Strategy
Following the convening of the Second Ordinary Meeting of the Institute, the members present unanimously elected Ms. Mariam Hamdani as Chairperson of the session. She opened up the meeting at precisely 10.00AM by requesting members to begin deliberations on the first item of the Agenda; i.e. Resource Mobilization Strategy. She asked members to come up with some meaningful and constructive ideas, suggestions and/or possible ways and means that would help to generate funds for the Institute.
After very constructive and exhaustive exchange of views from all the members present, the meeting decided to impose a minimum fee of Ths.1,000/- for membership form to be prepared by the Secretariat specifically for that purpose; Tshs. 5,000/- for Registration of membership and Tshs. 12,000/- as annual membership contribution fee for each prospective member residing in Zanzibar and Tanzania Mainland.
With regard to prospective members residing outside Tanzania, a minimum fee of USD $5.00 should be imposed to each member for the purpose of acquiring membership form; USD $20.00 for Registration and USD $120.00 as annual membership contribution fee.
For the purpose of upholding the integrity and the good image of the Institute and the need to protect and maintaining the best reputation of its members, the meeting decided that prospective candidates for membership should be required to submit their C.Vs or resumes when applying for membership to the Institute.
More importantly, in recognition of the positive role played by the founder members of the Institute throughout the duration of its inception process, it was agreed, without any prejudice, that special measures should be undertaken to provide such members with the kind of opportunity that would allow them to get involved in the activities of the Institute in whatever capacities falling within their respective competencies as well as taking due consideration of their qualifications and necessary expertise.
On donor funding, the members present, after lengthy and meaningful deliberations had collectively decided that the Institute should undertake specific and deliberate measures aimed at seeking funds from donor countries and agencies without compromising and/or undermining the aims and objectives of the Institute. Importantly, the members present expressed the view that a two-year strategic plan should be urgently drawn with the view to appraising the respective donors on the Institute’s program of work as well as outlining the specific areas of research to be conducted and the cost implications associated with such an undertaking. It was also agreed that the strategic plan document should be used as an important tool and a necessary framework for raising the needed funds for the Institute.
The meeting, after further deliberations, decided that the Institute should also seek funds through the convention of donor conferences as well as through fund-raising activities, such as the sale of art-facts, ornaments, and any other feasible ways and means that are routinely and traditionally applicable in Zanzibar in particular and in Tanzania Mainland in general, including seeking voluntary financial contributions from major local businesses and individuals as well as from the willing members of the Institute.
Furthermore, in the efforts to raise more funds for the Institute, the members present undertook serious consideration in terms of examining other traditional methods of raising funds, such as consultancies as well as establishing research links and cooperation with other like-minded Institutes, universities and other institutions of higher learning both inside and outside Zanzibar through exchange programs. After exhaustive deliberations, the meeting decided that the Institute should undertake specific measures aimed at acquiring possible consultancies from the government and from local businesses, companies and some major economic establishments within the country.
More importantly, it was also decided that the Institute should undertake some concerted measures towards establishing research links and cooperation with other Institutes, universities and other institutions of higher learning both within and from outside Zanzibar through the exchange of specific programs for mutual benefit.
3. Financial Rules and Regulations
After exhaustive deliberations on the issue of resource mobilization strategy, the Chairperson introduced the item on the Financial Rules and Regulations. The members expressed the view that in order for the Institute to undertake its activities in an efficient and effective manner, it was increasingly necessary that some specific Financial Rules and Regulations should be enacted with the view to avoid any possible fraud, embezzlement, misuse and/or misallocation of the Institute’s financial resources. Indeed, the members present expressed the view that an effective evaluation and monitoring system (EMS) should be put in place for such purpose.
After lengthy and constructive discussion that ensued, the members present decided that the Institute should seek, as soon as possible, the expert opinion of a financial expert on matters of accounting and financial management with the view to enacting specific administrative and financial rules and regulations for the Institute. In enacting such rules and regulations, the prospective expert should take due consideration on the following important areas:
i) Accounting Procedures and Policies
ii) The need for Cash and Receipt Books
iii) Specific Rules and Procedures for Authorizing Officers
iv) Internal Control Mechanisms
v) Need for an Internal Auditor
vi) Need for a Qualified Accountant
vii) Specific Policy on Revenues and Expenditures
viii) Well defined Action Plan Policy
ix) Priority Activity Areas
x) Administrative and Budgetary Policy
xi) Well defined Procurement Regulations and Practices
xii) Evaluation and Monitoring System (EMS)
4. Program of Work for 2009
The Chairperson informed the meeting that it was now the time to discuss seriously the issue of the Institute’s program of work for 2009; the core item of the Institute’s main activities. She requested members present to make some concrete proposals on specific topics to be included in the Institute’s program of work for this year for consideration and subsequent approval by the Governing Council. She cautioned that due to the fact that the Institute had only seven months left before the end of the year, it was imperative to take cognizant of the fact that not more than three topics should be approved for inclusion in this year’s program of work. However, the Chairperson was of the view that the meeting may propose more than three topics in order to allow the Governing Council to select the three topics from a multitude of possible studies for research.
After serious consideration of a wide variety of interesting topics that had been floated on the table by various members present, the meeting decided to propose the inclusion of the following topics for research in the Institute’s program of work for the year 2009:
i) Review of the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Land Use, Housing and Urban Development and Environmental Policies;
ii) Review of the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Public Health System in Combating HIV/AIDS Pandemic and Other Infectious Diseases and the Role of the Unprecedentedly Mushrooming HIV/AIDS-Oriented NGOs;
iii) The Adverse Effects of Youth Unemployment in the Context of the Emerging Crime Proliferation and Drug Abuse;
iv) Modern Agricultural Technology and Food Security Policy, and Its Sustainability;
v) Endangered and Extinct Species: Their Implications on the Country’s Future Natural Resources and Heritage;
vi) Review of the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Existing Poverty Alleviation Policies and Strategies;
vii) Review of the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Procurement Practices within the Zanzibar Government Agencies and Related Institutions.
In the efforts to help the Governing Council to make an informed decision, the meeting finally decided to establish a Working Group or Team with the specific mandate of examining the above-mentioned proposed topics for research with the view to determining the priority areas for inclusion in the Institute’s program of work for 2009. The names and the exact number of the members that would form part of the envisaged Working Group would be determined at a later date through consultations between the Interim Executive Director and the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees and shall be submitted for approval at the forthcoming Third Ordinary Meeting of the Institute.
5. Any Other Business
At this juncture, the Chairperson invited members present to propose any topics for discussion in accordance with their preferences. One member pointed out that apart from transmitting copies of the records of meeting through the internet to all members, he humbly requested the Secretariat to also consider the possibility of distributing some hard copies to interested members. After some thoughtful consideration, the meeting quickly decided to approve such request.
Another member informed the meeting that since the acquisition of the office building for the Institute would take quite some time, she wanted to know whether the Institute had a temporary office space in which it can use for the purpose of conducting its day to day activities. After being duly informed that currently the Institute had a one-room temporary office at Kajificheni, the member concerned offered to provide a boardroom table with eight chairs. The members expressed their appreciation to the member concerned for such an exemplary gesture of tremendous good-will and called upon each individual member of the Institute wherever he or she is to emulate such an extraordinary example.
The same member proposed that a small working budget for some administrative support activities, such as the provision of snakes, tea, coffee and soft drinks during the meetings, as well as the possible provision for transport to and from the meeting place for the needy members, should be prepared so that members could make some modest voluntary contributions towards such expenditures instead of allowing one or two members to shoulder such expenses alone as is presently the case. After careful and very sympathetic deliberation, the meeting decided to authorize the interim Executive Director to prepare a proposal for such a budget and submit it for consideration at the next session of the Third Ordinary meeting.
One last but one member brought to the meeting’s attention that in order for the Institute to open up a bank account with the People’s Bank of Zanzibar (PBZ), the names of three officials of the Institute had to be clearly identified. In consequence, the meeting was called upon to make a decision in terms of clearly identifying the three officials who would act as the signatories on behalf of the Institute. The meeting, therefore, decided to name the three officials that included Mr. Muhammad Yussuf, Mr. Nassor Mugheiry and Mr. Jumbe Said Ibrahim with immediate effect.
A founding member from Paris, France commended the tremendous efforts of the executive team that have continued to be deployed in order to kick-start the work of the Institute. Firstly, he proposed that the concept of City Chapters should be applied only in those countries that have a larger number of Zanzibaris; i.e. UK, Canada, USA and Denmark, whereas in other Continental European countries where there were not many Zanzibaris residing there, the Institute should think in terms of the possible application of a country or even regional chapters. He proposed to take care of France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and all the Benelux countries.
Secondly, the concerned founding member urged the meeting to consider and make a decision in terms of the kind of role that those members outside Zanzibar should be required to play for the Institute; i.e. should they be considered as coordinators or representatives? He proposed that Zanzibari members in the Diaspora should also be given the mandate or a role of spokesperson on behalf of the Institute and if possible should be allowed to print business cards with the ZIRPP logo.
Thirdly, the Paris-based member recommended that Dr. Muhammed Mwinyi Khamis of Sweden should be elected ZIRPP’s Representative to all the Scandinavian countries.
With regard to the Institute’s program of work for 2009, the founder member had finally recommended that the Institute’s priorities should be mainly focused on education, health, and ways and means of creating awareness among the Zanzibari people on the crucial issue of the right to life. He elaborated that the right to life was very precious to each and everyone and, therefore, never again should any Zanzibari be killed simply because of his/her political beliefs.
The meeting decided to examine seriously the above-mentioned proposals at the forthcoming Ordinary Meeting along with a multitude of recommendations and suggestions from the other founding members living outside Zanzibar that, unfortunately, had not been received in due time.
In her concluding remarks, the Chairperson expressed her sincere thanks and gratitude to the members present for their invaluable contributions and hard work. She said that she was very much impressed by the kind of efficiency and effectiveness that had been generated and characterized by the increasing sense of commitment and steadfast resolve on the part of the members present in their collective efforts and purpose in ensuring the success of this young Institute.
Finally, the meeting unanimously decided that the next Ordinary meeting of the Institute shall be held on Saturday 23 May 2009 at 9.30 AM at the same venue.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at precisely 1.30PM.
Ms. Mariam Hamdani Muhammad Yussuf