General Assembly Minutes 2021



The Meeting of the General Assembly of the Association of Women in Boldness was held on January 30, 2021, starting at 9:00am at the ARC located in Sileshi Sihin Building, Megenagna, Addis Ababa.  The meeting was chaired by Ms. Fitsum K/Mariam.

The Meeting’s Agenda as proposed included the following:

  • Introduction and opening remarks by the Chair
  • Adoption of the proposed agenda
  • Finance Report of 2020 by external auditors
  • Report on AWiB 2020 board experience by AWiB 2020 President Felekech (Fei) Zewde
  • AWiB in 2020 PowerPoint photo slideshow reflecting back on the year’s work
  • Office Report by Yodit Gidey, AWiB Senior Project Manager
  • Q and A
  • Brainstorming ideas & election of members for the committee on the newly formed group “FUNDS 4 AWiB”
  • Celebrating our 6th president, Felekech (Fei) Zewde for her excellent leadership in a time of Covid
  • Forecast of budget 2021
  • AOB
Agenda itemsKey issuesAction takenConclusionsAction by
1.      Introductions and Opening remarks  Opening Remarks   The Chair of the assembly, Ms Fitsum started the meeting by welcoming participants, old and new, acknowledges the sacrifice that women have made to be present and thanked them for honouring the meeting.The meeting started at 9:16 a.m.    N/AN/A
2.      Adoption of the AgendaProposed agenda items  The assembly discussed the agenda items and amended as follow:     Q & A to be a part of the discussion and not a separate agenda item.    Amended the agenda as proposed     
3.      Presentation of Audit Report by External AuditorsThe Chair requested for participants to review the financial statement distributed earlier in the meeting.   She then gave the floor to the external auditor. The external auditor, from Ama Hai Chartered Accountants audit firm, started by discussing the opinion on the audit, as fairly presented in the AFS.  He commented that the deliberation on page 4 was done by following IPSAS, by which the norm is for 70% of the budget to be used for the organisational expenses and the remaining 30% to be used for operational expenses.Questions raised by the participants:   1.      What is the consequence for this percentage in operational costs? 2.      On page 5.2.1 – why didn’t they include membership fees as part of the income generating tool in the summary?  1.      The external auditor remarked the reason that 30% is utilised for operational expenses is because it is the standard rule that is recommended in IPSAS for an organisation registered as an NGO, even though AWiB isn’t an NGO.   2.      The summary is made up of what the external auditor was presented with by the management team. Final remarks were made by the Chair, and requested that the external auditor be excused, for he had other engagements. 
4.                  Report on AWiB 2020 board experience by the President   a)      Achievements b)     ChallengesThe Chair requested for the President of the board to take the floor to present the work in progress of the association, the achievements in the year 2020 and the challenges faced due to the pandemic.   Ms. Felekech started by deliberating her annual report on the work in progress of AWiB. 1.      She recognised that most of the planned objectives and projects were successfully completed. 2.      Due to the pandemic, the board had to introduce the use of information technology to reach out to their members through timely FB live webinars. 3.      Monthly programs were delivered successfully, as planned. 4.      A survey, created by Board Member Ms Abigeya Getachew, was also conducted in written format and online. 5.      A strategy document was also developed. 6.      The first challenge is retaining members. Expired members do not renew. 7.      Low rate in Partner’s funding and sponsorship to host the monthly event at Hilton hotel. 8.      Survey: Members are not engaged.    1.       Details below   2.      The AWiB team swiftly adapted to the social media platform trend by creating accounts on Telegram, Instagram and Facebook and going online periodically, which has also helped them reach out to the diaspora community and build a strong base relationship with webinar presenters, bloggers… 3.      In August, they started to break through, normalising the new situation created by Covid, by having gatherings of less than fifty persons, with dual respect to parameters to prevent the spread of Covid-19. 4.      Feedback on the survey was collected but with a very low rate of engagement on the part of members. Initially, 800 recipients were contacted—out of which less than 10% responded to the online questionnaire. 5.      The strategy document of the association reflecting on itself aims to institutionalise the work of AWiB for future generations.                                  Recommendations:   1.      Close in on the age gap 2.      Expand out of Addis /be in other regions; reach out to the diaspora community 3.      Enhance social media usage for income generation and members’ only access on our website 4.      Partner with institutions so that AWiB can build a “best practices” platform to gain financial resources 5.      Create an advisory board that will engage in building strategies for improvement 6.      Requested that each member keep in mind that AWiB needs their support in bringing members to the association 7.      Reminded members to support the goals and purposes of AWiB by introducing AWiB to potential partners and sponsors 8.      The Chair added that details of the survey will be made available on the website and asked all attendees to find time to respond to the questionnaire/survey.Board members and sub-committee on PR and membership should work closely to gather more feedback.   Members should send feedbacks regularly to help collect information and develop suitable work programs.
5.     Office report    Power point presentation was done by Ms. Kerry on the 2020 executed yearly activities.   Ms. Yodit, project manager at AWiB, made some remarks on the overall office activities. 1.      New members registration: 42 members, in which 22 were registered during Covid-19; the association has a total of 165 members 2.      Description of the type of members—the “layers” that exist in AWiB: Individual and Executive members; interns; a FOCUS writer and bloggers; the Strategic Leadership Team; Female CEO Breakfast Club and the related membership fees 3.      Description of some activities that took place in AWiB as follows: (1)   AWiB Effect, newsletter distributed via email twice monthly (2)   Open house happy hour (3)   Town Hall meetings (4)   Oktoberfest (5)   Negotiate & Succeed – special weekend activity/paid training to members and non-members (6)   Partnership dinner once a year (7)   May Forum (8)   Women of Excellence (9)   June and November Business Seminar (10)   Campaigning for 50% Women On Boards of State-Owned EnterprisesThe Chair explained the content in the presentation and remarked that even though it is very hard to execute the listed programs, AWiB staff and board members are dedicated and effective in delivering on their plans for AWiB. She then humbly invited Ms. Nahu, founder of AWiB to take a seat at the stand and explain the aspirations of AWiB in her own words.         Questions raised by attendees: 1.      How many partnership requests have you done so far, how much amount in birr is required for partnership request and what is the reason behind the rejection? 2.      Requested for a membership identification card or for a notification email to be sent to the individual enrolled through corporate agreement for recognition purposes 3.      Is there a formal way to approach partners and sponsors? How can AWiB guide the members to execute the task efficiently and formally?Ms. Nahu made her remarks on the matter by identifying the core values of AWiB and the responsibility of each individual to partake in the sustainability of the association.  We expect all members to creatively expose the association to potential partners.   In response to the 3rd question raised by attendees, Ms. Nahu explained AWiB has made available brochures and booklets to be used, and that the website is also a rich resource of information about AWiB, pieces deeply researched and on various topics, and community members’ achievements—particularly Ethiopian women.  For corporate interventions, AWiB has a formal presentation and a cover letter ready to be presented at any time. But most of all, attendees were advised that the most effective way to expose AWiB is by inviting individuals to the monthly or any activity run by AWiB to give newcomers an eye-opening experience and to gain members by reputation and word-of-mouth.  She added as an incentive, AWiB gives out one coupon for a monthly event to members who bring one new member.   The Chair commended the work done by the office staff.  She also informed the attendees that the Strategic Leadership Team has been dissolved for the time being, SLT 5, and will no longer serve its full purpose but (mentorship to the board).  N/A
6.                    Brainstorming ideas & election of members for the committee on the newly formed group “FUNDS 4 AWiB”Based on the recommendations, Ms. Nahu made the following remark: with the goal of reaching 500 membership, AWiB can be a sustainable association   The idea is to create a group of 12 persons who would volunteer to work together with AWiB management teamIdeas were discussed roughly as follows: Art raffle ticket sales, sponsorship; other fundraising activities…     Some attendees raised their hands to volunteer in the “FUNDS 4 AWiB” taskforce   Questions were raised by attendees: 1.      What does “FUNDS 4 AWiB” aim to achieve?   2.      How long is the period for the “FUNDS 4 AWiB” group to remain functional?  Names and email addresses of 8 volunteers were registered at the meeting.     Responses were given as follows: 1. “FUNDS 4 AWiB aims to raise funds until the association gets back the partners that it has lost due to the current situation (Covid-19) or until it  achieves in gaining a steady 500 membership fee collection per year.   2. The suggested period is 5 years but it will depend on AWiB’s financial status in 2021.Further correspondence to be made between office team and attendees to brainstorm and develop a strategy to build a resource to fund AWiB.
7.                  Celebrating our 6th president, Felekech (Fei) Zewde for her excellent leadership in this time of Covid  Ms. Felekech is the out-going president, replaced by Ms. Kemer Temam, AWiB president for 2021With a heart-warming speech, Ms. Nahu presented a framed photo of Ms. Felekech on behalf of the AWiB Board Members.  She commended Ms. Felekech for her outstanding work in leading the board through these difficult times and wished her all the best in her future endeavours.Ms. Felekech gracefully accepted the present.   Group pictures of the board were taken. Close members signed the photo frame in appreciation for her dedication and work done over the year.N/A
8.                  AOB    Forecast of budget 2021   The goals of AWiB were presented by distributing a printout sheet detailing a forecast of the budget that AWiB required to stay strong in the coming year.Attendees read and accepted the figures in ETB listed in the forecast.       *** Meeting ended around 11:30 a.m. ***Attendees signed confirming their attendance and agreed to accomplish their part of bringing at least TWO members to the association for the year 2021.All attendees

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