Final Communique of the Extraordinary General Assembly of CENOZO
Extraordinary General Assembly of CENOZO
Ouagadougou, 15 May 2023: The Norbert Zongo Unit for Investigative Journalism in West Africa (CENOZO) held an Extraordinary General Assembly on 28 April 2023 in Niamey, Niger, on the sidelines of the Regional Conference on the Impact of Investigative Journalism on the Fight against Corruption in West Africa.
This Extraordinary General Assembly was attended by 49 members, 37 in person and 12 online. Its objective was to present and adopt the activity reports (narrative and financial), to revise the organisation’s texts and to elect a new Bureau of the Board.
From the narrative report presented by the Secretary General, it was noted that with the support of its partners, CENOZO has been able to train, since its creation, more than 500 journalists in some thirty sessions across West Africa and to support the editing and publication of more than 250 surveys.
The financial report presented by the Treasurer revealed a satisfactory budget execution rate for the various projects implemented by the organisation. Overall, the budgetary execution rate of CENOZO projects as of 31 December 2022 is 98%. The financial balance sheet as of the same date shows a total amount of 364,625,291 FCFA balanced in resources and uses.
The Treasurer also presented the global audit report of the organisation’s accounts. This audit report did not reveal any anomalies. However, he made recommendations to improve the governance and financial management of the organisation. Among its recommendations we have: the respect of the regulatory texts of the organisation by all members, notably the payment of membership fees and contributions on time, the holding of regulatory bodies, the setting up of a salary scale for the technical staff to be adopted by the Board, the re-reading of the manual of procedures by the internal actors, the annual realisation of the global audit of the accounts of the organisation by a mandated Auditor.
After the adoption of the activity reports, the General Assembly approved the revision of the CENOZO Statutes and Rules of Procedure. Major reforms introduced by the members of the organisation were approved by the General Assembly. Article 5 on the headquarters of CENOZO was slightly modified. It now stipulates that the headquarters of the organisation can be temporarily transferred to another West African country in case of force majeure. This modification is intended to avoid a possible blockage of the activities of the organization in the event of problems in Burkina Faso and more specifically at the Norbert Zongo National Press Centre.
Article 20 (c) of the CENOZO Internal Regulations was also amended. From now on, the position of Secretary General of the Board is open to voting among the members of the organisation residing in Burkina Faso.
The Extraordinary General Assembly ended with the election of a new Bureau of the Board of the organisation. With 19 votes for, 00 against and 05 abstentions, the elected Bureau is composed of :
- President: David Dembélé (Mali);
- Vice-President: Anas Aremeyew Anas (Ghana);
- Secretary General: Elza Sandrine Sawadogo (Burkina Faso);
- Secretary for Research and Training: Isine Ibanga (Nigeria);
- Secretary in charge of Communication and Public Relations: Pierre-Claver Kuvo (Togo);
- Secretary in charge of Resource Mobilisation and Partnership Monitoring: Jacques Ngor Sarr (Senegal).
It should be noted that in accordance with the texts of the organisation adopted by the General Assembly, it is the responsibility of the Norbert Zongo National Press Centre to designate a representative to occupy the position of Treasurer within the Board.
After his election, the new Chairman of the Board of Directors reaffirmed the determination of the CENOZO to promote investigative journalism in West Africa through the establishment of new training programmes and the conduct of investigations on issues that affect the lives and future of West African communities.