ANNOUCEMENTS

  • Constitution

    EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION INCORPORATED (EACO)

    1. MISSION STATEMENT

    The East African Community Organization is organized exclusively for charitable, humanitarian and educational purposes within the meaning of section 501c (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended from time to time or the corresponding provision of any future United States revenue law, and intended to qualify as an organization described in the section 501c (3) of the code. Specifically the organization’s objectives are to engage in charitable, humanitarian and educational activities.

    1. ORGANIZATION NAME AND LOCATION

      1. Name

    The name of the Organization shall be: EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION, INC. (EACO INC.) East African Community Organization shall be a Not-For-Profit organization.

      1. Principal Office of the Organization:

    The Headquarter of the Organization shall be based in ALBANY, NEW YORK, USA.

      1. Other Offices:

    1. The Organization may also have Offices at such other places within or without its State of incorporation, where it is qualified to do business, as its business and activities may require and the Organization may, from time to time designate.

    1. NON-PROFIT PURPOSES

      1. Purpose:

    1. The Organization is organized exclusively for one or more purposes as specified in section 501c (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and the Not for Profit Corporation Law of New York State, including, for such purposes, the making of distribution to Organizations that qualify as exempt Organizations under section 501c (3) of Internal Revenue Code.

      1. Specific Objectives:

    1. The specific objective of this Organization shall be:
    1. To establish a cultural society open to people of East African descent and general public, to foster an appreciation of African Culture in the United States.
    2. To promote general welfare and unity of East Africans in the United States.
    3. To promote better understanding and cooperation between East African Community Organization and other Organizations.
    4. To educate the American community especially the youth about East African heritage.
    1. OFFICERS

      1. Composition

        1. The Officers of the Corporation shall be:

              1. President
              2. Vice President
              3. Secretary
              4. Treasurer
    2. CODE OF ETHICS

      1. Code of ethics

    1. The following code of ethics shall govern the conduct of Officers and the violation of any part thereof shall be grounds for suspension or denial of membership.
    2. Moral turpitude
    1. An officer of this organization shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or illegal conduct involving moral turpitude
    2. Conflict of interest – An officer, while acting as an agent of this organization, shall as a duty exercise the highest degree of care in all of his/her communications and dealings, to separate the organization’s business from other business. An officer shall not use his/her position to obtain a special advantage for themselves or for someone else under circumstances where he/she knows or it is obvious, that such action is not in the best interest of the Organization. When there is doubt, an appearance of impropriety of an act shall be deemed as violation of this code of ethics.
    1. OFFICERS QUALIFICATION, ELECTIONS, TERM OF OFFICE, POWER, AND LIABILITY

      1. Qualifications

    1. To be eligible to run and serve as an officer in the organization a member must;
    1. Be at least 18 years of age
    2. Have paid EACO dues at least 30 days prior to the date of the election
    3. Have attended at least 2 general EACO meetings within 12 months of elections
      Elections
        1. Officers shall be elected at the Annual meeting of the Organization held during the month of December. The date of the election will be set by the Election Committee. Those elected shall replace those whose terms have expired or to fill existing vacant seats.

        2. Officers may be elected at meetings other than the Annual meeting and shall serve until the next succeeding Annual Meeting

        3. Officers may be elected to fill vacancies following resignation or removal, upon nomination by the Executive Board and election by the Board, to serve until the next Annual Meeting.

      1. Term of Office

        1. The normal full term of each office shall be two (2) years

        2. Officers may only be elected to a second term with the exception of the President who may serve a third term to fulfill the duties of the Office.

        3. The Officers elected to fill vacancies that occur after the annual elections will be eligible to serve two full terms of office.

        4. An Officer may be considered for reelection to the Board after having been off the Executive Board for one calendar year.

        5. Each Officer shall hold office until they resign, removed or otherwise disqualified to serve, or until their successors have been elected or appointed

      1. Power

    1. The activities and affairs of this Organization shall be conducted and all organizational powers shall be exercised by or under direction of the Executive Board.

      1. Non-Liability of Officers

    1. The Officers shall not be personally liable for the debts, liabilities or other obligations incurred while conducting the Organization’s business.
    1. Resignation, Removal, and Compensatio

      1. Resignation of Officers

        1. An Officer may resign at any time by giving written notice to the President of the Board or to the Vice President

        2. Any such resignation shall take effect at the time specified in the notice in the notice, or, if no time is specified, then upon delivery.

      1. Removal of Officers

        1. Any Officer may be removed for cause by vote of the majority vote of the Executive Committee at a meeting convened for this Purpose at which time review of the written complaint from any Officer or General Membership, of misconduct, incapacity, or neglect of duty.

        2. The Officer in question and all Officers shall be given seven (7) day prior written notice of the proposed action

      1. Compensation

        1. Officers shall receive no compensation for their services but may be reimbursed by the Organization for expenses reasonably incurred in performance of their duties as Officers.

    1. DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS OF EXECUTIVE BOARD

      1. Executive Board

    1. Power of the Executive Board
    1. All Power and Authority of the Organization shall be vested in the Executive Board.
    2. Composition of the Executive Board
          1. President

          2. Vice President

          3. Secretary

          4. Treasurer

      1. President

    1. Shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation
    2. Serve as the Chair of the Executive Board, and the Chief Spokesperson
    3. Preside over all meetings of the Board at which he or she is present.
    4. Submit annual report on the State of the Organization to the Organization and Executive Board at the annual meeting.
    5. Be empowered to sign and make contracts and agreements in the name of the Corporation, jointly or severally with the Treasurer and subject to such reasonable limitations as the Executive Board, by resolution, shall, from time to time determine.
    6. Perform any other duties incident to the position and office as required by these Bylaws and other applicable law.
    7. Appoint additional Committees for approval by the Executive Board.

    8. Ensure that the Executive Board performs its functions to the satisfaction of the Organization.
      1. Vice President

    1. In the absence of the President perform duties of the President
    2. In conjunction with the President and Treasurer, negotiate all business transactions on behalf of the Organization.
    3. Carryout any other assignments given by the President

      1. Secretary

    1. Shall be the recording Secretary to the Organization. In such capacity, he/she shall record all minutes of the meetings of the Organization.
    2. Ensure that recorded minutes of all meetings are made available at all monthly meetings.
    3. In conjunction with the President, shall issue notices of all meetings.
    4. Coordinate with the President to ensure optimum attendance at all monthly meetings.
    5. Be responsible for all official correspondence.
    6. Be responsible for arranging venues for all meetings and other events as may be required by the Organization.
    7. In conjunction with the Finance and Audit Committee and the Executive Board, submit to the Organization latest by the 30th of June of every year proposals in the form of a budget on the direction and activities envisioned for the year.
    8. Shall perform all other duties incident to the office and other and such as other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the President of the Board
      1. Treasurer

    1. The Treasurer shall be the custodian of all assets and shall be responsible for the following:
    1. Collect all monies on behalf of the Organization and shall deposit such monies in a financial institute approved by the Executive Committee.
    2. Shall keep proper audit trail of all financial transactions. In such capacity, he/she shall ensure that pre-numbered East African Community Organization Official’s receipts cover all moneys collected for deposits.
    3. Provide proper accounting of the Organization fund balances at all meetings and upon demand by the President, the Finance and Audit Committee or Executive Committee.
    4. Keep records for all cash receipts and disbursements.
    5. Shall ensure that all payments covered by vendor invoices and East African Community Organization check requisition are approved by the Finance aand Audit Committee.
    6. Shall ensure that all checks over five (5) hundred dollars ($500.00), are co-signed with the President.
    7. Perform all other duties customarily incident to the office of the Treasurer.
    8. Perform such other duties as, from to time, may be assigned to him/her by the President.
    1. Committees of the Corporation

      1. Executive Committee

        1. Composition

      1. The Executive Committee shall consist of:
        1. President
        2. Vice President
        3. Secretary
        4. Treasurer
        5. The Chairs of the Standing Committees
        6. Two at large member elected by majority vote at the meeting following elections.
    1. Authority
    1. The Executive Committee shall have the power to act on behalf of the East African Community Organization.
    2. The Executive Committee shall:
    1. In consultation with the President of the Organization, select a place for, and call meetings of the Organization. Notices of such meetings shall be issued and received at least one week before the date of the meeting.

    2. Subject to the resolutions of the Organization, initiate and supervise activities consistently.
    3. Submit annual budget to the Organization
    4. Submit an annual written report of the activities of East African Community Organization, to the meeting of the Organization at the end of the fiscal year.
    5. Appoint committee members as the need arises.
    6. Have authority to:
      1. Amend or repeal resolutions by the Standing Committees
    1. Manner of Acting
      1. The vote of the majority of the committee members present shall constitute an act of the committee.
      1. Standing Committees

    1. There shall be the following Standing Committees:
            1. Finance and Audit Committee.
            2. Planning Committee.
            3. Education and Community Development Committee.
            4. Election Committee.
        1. General Principles

            1. All members of the Standing Committees shall be duly elected
            2. All members and chair of each committee shall be nominated by the President and elected by the Executive Board.
            3. Such election shall take place at the first meeting of the Executive Board after the Annual (General election) Meeting.
            4. The term of committee assignments shall be one year.
            5. The president shall be ex officio member of all standing committees;
        1. Meetings

            1. Meeting of the Committees shall be held at time and place as shall be fixed by the Chair of the Committee or by vote of the majority of all members of the Committee.
        1. Quorum

    1. Unless otherwise provided by resolution of the Executive Committee, a quorum for the transaction of business in a committee shall be defined as follows:
      1. For the Executive Committee, a quorum is the majority of all members of the Committee.
      2. For all other Standing Committees, a quorum shall consist of three members of the Committee.
        1. Finance and Audit Committee

            1. Composition

      1. The Finance and Audit Committee shall consist of the President and 4 members nominated by the Executive Board.
      2. The Treasurer may not serve on the Finance Committee but may attend meetings, as requested, for informational purposes.
            1. Duties

    The Finance and Audit Committee shall:

              1. Provide oversight and direction in the development of the Annual Budget.

              2. Monitor Financial Performance throughout the year.

              3. Provide advice and recommendations regarding fiscal matters and implementation.
              4. Prepare semi-annual and annual financial statement, and shall be the keeper of all financial records of the organization.
              5. Submit to the President and the Executive Board for review annual and Ad-Hoc budgets.
              6. Render advice to the Organization on the most equitable use and investment of the Organization’s funds.
              7. Prepare and file all financial reports as may be required by law. Audit the books of the Treasurer to ensure compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
              8. Ensure that the President approves all invoices for payment.
              9. Preapprove all audits and permitted non-audit services performed under contract by a certified public accountant(s) hired by EACO Inc. and performed for the purpose of preparing an audit report or other related work.
        1. Planning Committee

            1. Composition

    1. The Planning Committee shall consist of the President and 4 members nominated by Executive Board

            1. Duties

    The Planning Committee shall:

    1. Be responsible for organizing and coordination of all functions sponsored or involving the Organization.
    2. Establish mechanisms to initiate and perpetuate annual financial support for the organization.
    3. Conduct fundraising activities.
    4. Ensure all necessary approvals by respective jurisdictions are obtained in advance of any event being held.
    5. Coordinate with other committees and the Executive Committee to ensure the success of all events being organized by the Organization.
    6. Undertake any other projects or assignments assigned by the Executive Board
    1. Education and Community Development Committee
            1. Composition

      1. The Education and Community Development Committee shall consist of the President and 4 members nominated by Executive Board.

            1. Duties

    The Education Committee and Planning Committee shall:

                1. Be responsible for all Social and Cultural activities of East African Community Organization.
                2. Provide oversight and guidance in the implementation of the educational mission.
                3. Undertake other matters as assigned by the Executive Board.
    1. Election Committee
            1. Composition
              1. The Election Committee shall consist of five (5) members nominated by the Executive Board. No Officers actively seeking elected Office shall serve on the Election Committee.
            2. Duties
                1. The Election Committee shall seek, investigate, and propose nominations for election or reelection of Officers.
                2. The Election Committee shall present a slate of nominations for officer positions at the annual meeting when elections are to be held.
                3. The Election Committee will provide biographical information on candidates for Officer Positions at least 14 days in advance of the Annual Meeting when elections are to be held.
                4. In the event of a vacancy on the Executive Committee, the Election Committee may present a candidate to the Executive Committee to fulfill the vacancy.
                5. The Election Committee shall provide a transparent mechanism for conducting elections and announcing election results.
      1. Additional Committees

        1. Authority

      1. The President, with approval of the Executive Committee, may establish such additional committees as he/she sees fit, from time to time, as necessary for the governance of the Organization.
      2. Any such committee which is established in the interim between regularly scheduled meetings of the Executive Committee shall be ratified by the Executive Committee at its next meeting.
    1. Composition
      1. Shall consist of at least 3 members and a chair or co-chair who will be appointed by the President and approved by the Executive committee.
      2. The President is ex officio member of all such committees.
    2. Terms of Authority
      1. The terms of all such committees shall be one (1) year.
      2. The term of any such committee may be extended, on a year-to-year basis by the Executive Board.
    3. Duties
      1. The duties of such committees shall be restricted to those delegated to it by the President or Executive Committee.
    4. Meetings and Quorums
      1. All meeting and quorum requirements are the same as noted in Section 8.02.
    1. MEMBERSHIP

      1. Eligibility

    1. Membership shall be open to all people with interest in matters affecting East Africa.
      1. Admission to General membership

    1. Membership
      1. Applicants shall be admitted to membership upon submitting an application in writing and upon approval by the Executive Committee and upon payment of membership dues.
    2. Membership Process:

      1. The application shall be submitted to the organization.

      2. The President and Executive Committee shall review the credentials of the applicant for membership and make recommendations. The recommendations shall be discussed, in the Executive Committee and by majority vote the recommendation shall be accepted or denied. The Executive Committee decision is final and cannot be appealed in any forum.

      3. The membership rights may be revoked for non-payment of dues within 30 days of admission.

    3. Membership Dues
      1. The annual dues will be set by the Finance and Audit Committee.
      1. Honorary Life Membership

    1. Upon a motion duly made and seconded, and by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Executive Committee at the Annual Meeting, Honorary Life membership may be conferred upon a person who shall have rendered notable service to the Organization.
    2. An Honorary Life Member shall have none of the obligations of membership but shall be entitled to privileges and benefits of membership.
    3. Honorary Life memberships shall not:
      1. Have voting rights.
      2. Be required to pay dues.
      3. Be awarded to individuals who would otherwise qualify for general membership.
      1. Termination of Membership

    1. Membership may be terminated for conduct deemed inappropriate while representing EACO or while attending EACO events. Such termination is final and may not be appealed.
      1. Transfer of Membership

    1. No member may transfer a membership or any rights arising there from, all rights of membership cease upon the member leaving the organization.
    1. Meetings

      1. Place of Meetings

    1. Meetings of members shall be held at places designated by the Secretary or at such other place or places as the Executive Committee may, from time to time determine.
      1. Frequency of Meetings

    1. Annual Meeting

      1. The meeting of Officers and all members of the organization held the third Saturday of December shall be designated the Annual Meeting. Annual meetings occurring in the odd calendar year are designated Annual meetings for purposes of electing Officers and Committee members.

      2. If the day fixed for an annual meeting falls on a legal holiday, such meeting shall be held at the same hour, day and place on the following week.

      3. If the meeting is designated the Annual meeting for Purposes of electing Officials and Committee members, the Election Committee shall present the slate of candidates on the ballot

      4. At this meeting, the Treasurer shall present a report certified by a certified firm, selected by the Executive Committee/Finance Committee, showing the financial status of the Organization for the fiscal year immediately preceding the report, in appropriate detail, in the following categories.

        1. Assets and liabilities

        2. The principle changes in assets and liabilities

        3. Revenue and /or receipts

        4. The expenses and/or disbursements

      5. The above report shall be filed with Minutes of the Annual Meeting

    2. Regular meetings

      1. Regular meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held on the third (3rd) Saturday of every month. If the meeting cannot be held on a regularly scheduled date, such meeting shall be held on an alternate date determined by the Executive Committee.

    3. Special/Emergency Meetings

      1. Special meetings of the organization shall be called by the President, Vice President, or Secretary. Such meetings shall be held at the place designated by the person or persons calling the meeting.

      2. Special meetings of the Executive Board may be called upon request of two Board members.

      3. Emergency meeting notifications will be communicated via telephone if occurring within 24 hours of notice.

      1. Notice of Meetings

    1. Notice of all regular meetings of the Board shall be given by US mail or, facsimile, or electronic mail to all members and the Board not less than 7 days before the meeting unless otherwise provided by law.

    2. Notice of all meetings of the Board and its Committees, except Executive sessions, shall be communicated to the members by electronic mail not less than 7 days before the meeting unless otherwise provided by law.

    3. The notice of any meeting or notice of the Annual meeting at which elections are to be held shall also state the names of all nominees and candidates for officer and committee positions.

      1. Quorum

    1. A majority of the Executive Board members shall constitute a quorum for transaction of business.
      1. Special Voting requirements

    1. A majority vote is needed for:
      1. To adjourn the meeting to another time and place
        1. A quorum need not be present.
      2. Removal of an Officer for cause.
      3. A two/third (2/3) majority vote is needed for any amendment of these by-laws.
      1. Methods of Voting

    1. Actions of the Executive Board, or any of the Committees thereof, may be taken without a meeting and when all members of the Board or Committee consent in writing, or electronically to the adoption of a resolution authorizing such action.
      1. Voting Rights

    1. Each member is entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to a vote by the President (or Chair) of that committee. Voting at duly held meetings would be by voice vote.
      1. Action by Written Ballot

    1. Except as otherwise provided under the Articles of incorporation, these Bylaws or provisions of law, any action which may be taken at any regular or emergency meetings may be taken without a meeting if the committee distributes a written ballot to each member entitled to vote on the matter. The ballot shall:
    1. Set forth the proposed action;
    2. Provide an opportunity to specify approval or disapproval of each proposal;
    3. Indicate the number of responses needed to meet the quorum requirement and, except for ballots soliciting votes for the election of officers, state the percentage of approvals necessary to pass the measure submitted; and
    4. Shall specify the date by which the ballot must be received by the committee in order to be counted. The date set shall afford members a reasonable time within which to return the ballots to the organization.
    5. Ballots shall be mailed or delivered in the manner required for giving notice of membership meetings as specified in these bylaws.
    6. Approval of action by written ballot shall be valid only when the number of votes cast by ballot within the time period specified equals or exceeds the quorum required to be present at a meeting authorizing the action, and the number of approvals equals or exceeds the number of votes that would be required to approve the action at a meeting at which the total number of votes cast was the same as the number of votes cast by ballot.

    7. Officers may be elected by written ballot. Such ballots for the election of officers shall list the persons nominated at the time the ballots are mailed or delivered.
      1. Conduct of Meetings

    1. Meetings of organization shall be presided over by the President or, in his or her absence, by the Vice-President or, in the absence of all of these persons, by a person chosen by a majority of the Executive Committee members present at the meeting. The Secretary of the organization shall act as Secretary of all meetings of committee, provided that, in his or her absence, the presiding officer shall appoint another person to act as Secretary/Recorder of the Meeting.

    2. Parliamentary authority shall govern meetings, as such rules may be revised from time to time, insofar as such rules are not inconsistent with or in conflict with the Articles of Incorporation, these Bylaws or with provisions of law.

    1. AGENDA

      1. Agenda at annual meetings shall be:

      1. Call to order
      2. Attendance
      3. Annual Committee Reports
      4. Old business
      5. New business
      6. Financial Report
      7. Collection of dues Announcements/News from EACO community
      8. Adjournment
      1. Agenda at Annual meeting where elections are held shall include “Elections” as an agenda item.

    1. Source of Corporate Revenues

      1. Sources of Corporation Revenue

    1. Membership Dues
    2. Fund-Raising
    3. Donations
    4. Grants
    5. Other sources allowed by 503(c) law.
    1. Records

      1. Maintenance of Organization Records

    1. The organization shall keep:

      1. Minutes of all meetings of committees and, of all meetings of members, indicating the time and place of holding such meetings, whether regular or special, how called, the notice given and the names of those present and the proceedings thereof;

      2. Adequate and correct books and records of account, including accounts of its properties and business transactions and accounts of its assets, liabilities, receipts, disbursements, gains and losses;

      3. 3- A record of its members, indicating their names, addresses and the class of membership held by each member and the termination date of any membership;

      4. A copy of the organization’s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws as amended to date, which shall be open to inspection by the members, if any, of the organization at all reasonable times during office hours.

    1. DISTRIBUTION OF ASSETS

    Upon the dissolution of this organization, its assets remaining after payment, or provision for payment, of all debts and liabilities of this organization shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose. Such distribution shall be made in accordance with all applicable provisions of the laws of this state.

    1. CONSTRUCTION AND TERMS

    If there is any conflict between the provisions of these Bylaws and the Articles of incorporation of this organization, the provisions of the Articles of Incorporation shall govern. Should any of the provisions or portions of these Bylaws be held unenforceable or invalid for any reason, the remaining provisions and portions of these Bylaws shall be unaffected by such holding. All references in these Bylaws to the Articles of Incorporation shall be to the Articles of Incorporation, Articles of Organization, Certificate of Incorporation, Organizational Charter, Corporate Charter or other founding document of this corporation filed with an office of this state and used to establish the legal existence of this organization. All references in these Bylaws to a section or sections of the Internal Revenue Code shall be to such sections of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as amended from time to time, or to corresponding provisions of any future federal tax code.

    1. AMENDMENTS OF BYLAWS

    1. Subject to the power of the members of this organization to adopt, amend or repeal the Bylaws of this organization and except as may otherwise be specified under provisions of law, these Bylaws, or any of them, may be altered, amended or repealed and new Bylaws adopted by the majority vote of the Executive Board members at a regular, open meeting in which a quorum is present, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote.

    2. Alternatively, these Bylaws may be adopted, amended, or repealed by an affirmative vote of the Executive Board at two consecutive regular, open meetings of the board in which quorums are present, by majority vote.

    3. The General membership will have 15 days to review the amendments before the vote.

    ADOPTION OF BYLAWS:

    THESE BYLAWS WERE RATIFIED AT THE REGULAR MEETING OF MEMBERS OF THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION (EACO) Inc. HELD ON SATURDAY, THE _______________ (__) DAY OF MONTH TWO THOUSAND THIRTEEN.

    Signed by: –

    President Date

    Vice-President Date

    Secretary Date

    Treasurer Date

    Please direct any constitution inquiries to:
    East African Community Organization, Inc.
    Albany, NY 12205.
    Tel: 518-229-1665
    Email: info@eastafricaco.org

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