THE AFRICAN ACADEMY OF LANGUAGES
CHAPTERS AND SECTIONS
Chapter I: Establishment and objectives of ACALAN
Chapter II: Organs of ACALAN
Section i: AU Conference of Ministers of Culture
Section ii: Governing Board
Section iii: Scientific and Technical Committee
Section iv: The Assembly of Academicians
Section v: the Executive Secretariat
Chapter III: Working structures
Chapter IV : Financial provisions
Chapter V: Final provisions
Member States of the African Union:
RECALLING the objectives and principles enshrined in the Constitutive Act of the African Union;
FURTHER RECALLING Decision CM/Dec.613 (LXXIV) adopted by the Council of Ministers at its Seventy-Fourth Ordinary Session held in July 2001 in Lusaka, Zambia which decided on the establishment of an African Academy of Languages;
CONSIDERING that the promotion of African languages is part of the objectives of the African Union, as expressed principally in the Cultural Charter for Africa (1976), the Language Plan of Action for Africa (1986), the Harare Inter-Governmental Conference (1997) and the Decade for Education in Africa (1997-2006);
ACKNOWLEDGING that illiteracy in Africa constitutes one of the factors which could be an obstacle to the development of the Continent and AWARE that languages contribute to the economic, social and cultural development of peoples;
RECOGNISING the efforts already deployed by various relevant institutions and organisations in the promotion of African Languages and the need for coordination;
AWARE also of the role that languages can play in the African integration process as a factor of peace, understanding and conflict prevention;
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HEREBY AGREE AS FOLLOWS:
Article 1: Definitions
1. For the purpose of the present Statutes:
- “ACALAN” means the African Academy of Languages;
- ”Academician” means a member of the Assembly of ACALAN;
- “African Language” means a mother tongue of the peoples of an African State;
- “Assembly” means the Assembly of ACALAN;
- “AU/Union” means the African Union established by the Constitutive Act of the African Union;
- “Board” means the Governing Board of ACALAN;
- “Committee” means the Scientific and Technical Committee;
- “Commission” means a vehicular cross-border Language Commission;
- “Conference” means the AU Conference of Ministers of Culture ;
- “Cross-Border Language» means an African language common to two (2) or more African States;
- “Executive Secretary” means the Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of ACALAN;
- “Member State” means a Member State of the Union;
- “CSO” means a Civil Society Organization;
- “President” means the President of the Assembly of ACALAN;
- “Vehicular Cross- Border Language” means a cross-border African language spoken by a significant number of people for whom it is not a mother tongue;
- “STC” means a Specialized Technical Committee as provided for in Article 14 of the Constitutive Act of the African Union;
2. In the present Statutes, the singular shall include the plural.
CHAPTER I: ESTABLISHMENT AND OBJECTIVES OF ACALAN
Article 2: Establishment
There is hereby established under the aegis of the African Union, a Pan-African scientific institution which shall be a specialised office to be known as the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN). Its Headquarters shall be in Bamako, Republic of Mali.
Article 3: Objectives
The fundamental objectives of ACALAN shall be as follows:
- Promoting African languages;
- Promoting cross-border languages;
- Promoting vehicular cross-border languages;
- Strengthening cooperation between African States in the area of African languages;
- Promoting African languages in all educational sectors;
- Promoting African languages at international level;
- Analysing language policies in Africa;
- Promoting a scientific and democratic culture based on the use of African languages;
- Contributing to the harmonisation of the economic, social and cultural development of Member States based on African languages, and in relation with partner languages;
- Promoting the use of African languages as factors of integration, solidarity, respect of values and mutual understanding in order to promote peace and prevent conflicts;
- Promoting African languages organizations on the continent.
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Article 4: Functions
The functions of ACALAN shall be as follows:
- Giving impetus to research on African languages in close collaboration with all language research institutions;
- Development and coordination of research activities on languages and establishment of consultation frameworks for researchers;
- Collection and dissemination of the results of linguistic research;
- Enhancement of the results of linguistic research;
- Provision of technical support to different Member States for the formulation and implementation of linguistic policy, particularly in the establishment and/or development of national structures for the promotion of African languages;
- Strengthening of regional African structures responsible for culture and oral tradition, with a view to partnership and complementarity;
- Providing support for training researchers;
- Modernization of African linguistic tools through the use of New Information and Communication Technologies thus making it possible to effectively bridge the digital divide;
- Promotion of the use of African languages in all areas of public life at national, regional and continental levels;
- Promotion of the use of African languages as a medium and subject at all educational levels;
- Elaboration of a linguistic atlas of Africa;
- Facilitation of the harmonization of teaching curricula for vehicular cross-border languages;
- Archiving of documents and establishment of data banks relating to African languages;
- Re-defining relations between African and partner languages;
- Mobilization of resources for linguistic research;
- Dissemination of information on linguistic research.
- Performing such other functions consistent with the promotion of African languages.
Article 5: Activities
- ACALAN shall conduct regular reflection on all issues pertaining to African languages in general, and vehicular cross-border languages in particular, through:
- advice it shall give at the request of public authorities, communities and research structures;
- studies it shall commission;
- the formulation of and follow-up on recommendations emanating from its sessions;
- the promotion of vehicular trans-border African languages at international level;
- exchanges of views and information with foreign institutions pursuing similar objectives; and
- monitoring the implementation of linguistic standards.
2. In addition, it shall institute and allocate prizes and awards to organizations and persons contributing to the promotion of African languages.
CHAPTER II: ORGANS OF ACALAN
Article 6: Categories
The organs of the Academy shall be:
- The AU Conference of Ministers of Culture or the relevant STC which shall be the supreme organ of the ACALAN;
- The Governing Board which shall be the highest policy organ;
- The Scientific and Technical Committee which shall be an Advisory Body;
- The Assembly of Academicians;
- The Executive Secretariat.
SECTION I: AU CONFERENCE OF MINISTERS OF CULTURE
Article 7: Composition
The Conference shall be composed of Ministers of Culture or such other Ministers or authorities duly accredited by the Governments of Member States.
Article 8: Functions
The functions of the Conference shall be as follows:
- Issue directives to the Board with regard to the activities of ACALAN;
- Ensure the coordination and harmonization of projects and programmes of ACALAN;
- Ensure the supervision, follow-up and evaluation of the implementation of projects and programmes of ACALAN;
- Submit to the Policy Organs of the Union reports and recommendations on the implementation of the project and programmes of ACALAN;
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Article 9: Meetings, Quorum and Decisions
- The Conference shall meet at the Headquarters of ACALAN or in any other Member State, at the invitation of the latter, once a year in ordinary session.
- At the request of two-thirds of its members, the Chairperson of the Conference shall convene an extraordinary session on a specific agenda communicated to all members at least one (1) month in advance.
- Two-thirds of the total membership of the Union shall form a quorum at any meeting of the Conference.
- The Conference shall take its decision by consensus or failing which by two-thirds majority of its Members present and voting.
- The Conference shall elect its Chairperson at the beginning of each Ordinary Session. He/she shall be assisted by other members of the Bureau, namely, three (3) Vice-Chairpersons and a Rapporteur, elected on the basis of agreed geographical distribution after due consultations.
SECTION II: GOVERNING BOARD
Article 10: Composition
- The Board shall be composed as follows:
- Chairperson of the Bureau of the Conference;
- A Representative of the Department of Social Affairs of the AU Commission;
- The President of the Assembly;
- Representatives of vehicular cross-border language Commissions;
- Representatives of national Language structures;
- A Representative of the Member State hosting the Executive Secretariat of ACALAN;
- Independent experts;
- Executive Secretary who shall sit in an advisory capacity and act as the Secretary of the Board.
- Representatives of partner institutions and CSOs may be invited to attend Board meetings in an advisory capacity;
Article 11: Functions
The functions of the Board shall be to:
- Define the ACALAN policy;
- Adopt its own Rules of Procedure;
- Consider and approve the ACALAN Plan of Action, budget, activity reports and audited accounts;
- Assist ACALAN to mobilize funds;
- Ensure the general supervision of the management and performance of ACALAN;
- Ensure the monitoring, control and evaluation of ACALAN activities;
- Consult the Committee on activities falling within its competence;
- Submit reports to the Conference on activities and achievements of ACALAN;
- Determine the number of Members of the Assembly.
Article 12: Meetings, Quorums and Decisions
- The Board shall meet at the Headquarters of ACALAN or in any other Member State, at the invitation of the latter, once a year in ordinary session.
- At the request of two-thirds of its members, the Chairperson of the Board shall convene an extraordinary session on a specific agenda communicated to all members at least one (1) month in advance.
- A two-thirds majority of members of the Board shall be required to constitute a quorum for any ordinary or extraordinary session.
- Decisions of the Board shall be taken by a simple majority of members present. Each member shall have one vote; in the event of a tied vote, the Chairperson of the Board shall have the casting vote.
- The Chairperson of the Board shall be elected by a two-thirds majority for a two (2) year term of office. The functions of the Chairperson shall be defined by the Rules of Procedure. The Chair shall rotate between the regions, according to an order defined by the Rules of Procedure.
SECTION III: SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL COMMITTEE
Article 13: Composition
- The Committee shall be responsible to the Board and shall be composed as follows:
- The President of the Assembly who shall be the Chairperson;
- The Chairpersons of national Language structures to be selected on a regional basis and in accordance with the rules and procedures of ACALAN;
- The Chairpersons of vehicular cross-border Language Commissions;
- Such specialists or representatives of institutions and organisations the advice of which may be useful to ACALAN;
- Representatives of African and International CSO as may be designated by the Board.
- The Executive Secretary
Article 14: Functions
The functions of the Committee shall be as follows:
- Assist the Executive Secretary in the preparation of the programme of activities of ACALAN;
- Advise the Board and the Executive Secretary of specific technical matters brought to its attention;
- Advise on the implementation of the activities of ACALAN;
- Provide such advise as may be requested by the Board or by the Executive Secretary;
- Adopt its own Rules of Procedure.
Article 15: Meetings, Quorum and Decisions
- The meetings of the Committee shall be convened by the President or the Executive Secretary at least twice a year at the Headquarters of ACALAN or as often as they deem it necessary.
- For any Committee Session, a simple majority of the members shall be required to constitute a quorum.
- Decisions of the Committee shall be made by a simple majority of members present. In the event of a tied vote, the Chairperson shall have the casting vote.
- The Chairperson of the Committee shall be elected by a two-thirds majority for a two (2) year term of office. The functions of the Chairperson shall be defined by the Rules of Procedure. The Chair shall rotate between the regions, according to an order defined by the Rules of Procedure.
SECTION IV: THE ASSEMBLY OF ACADEMICIANS
Article 16: Composition
The Assembly of Academicians shall have the following four categories of membership:
- Associate Members;
- Correspondent Members;
- Honorary Members
Article 17: Conditions for Eligibility
The following criteria shall apply for membership:
- An Academician shall be a citizen of a Member State who is of scientific, technical, cultural and moral repute and elected by members of his/her Commission;
- An Associate Member shall be an eminent African scientific personality working in his/her national structure and nominated by the Commissions and by countries concerned by the language;
- A Correspondent Member shall be a Non-African scientific personality who contributes notably to the study and promotion of African languages;
- An Honorary Member shall be an eminent writer, historian or philosopher or scientist from Africa or the Diaspora, interested in the area of national languages and nominated by the Commissions.
Article 18: Functions
1. The Assembly shall:
- Receive and consider the results of the deliberations or presentations of the Board on subjects relating to scientific, technical and cultural topical issues;
- Examine and discuss issues submitted to it or any other scientific issue, and independently express their opinions;
- Draft their Rules of Procedure and submit same to the Board for approval;
- Consider the Plan of Action prepared by the Secretariat in consultation with the Committee and submit same for consideration and adoption of the Board;
- Encourage researchers to transmit to the Assembly the most significant results of their work;
- Advocate the ACALAN cause worldwide in addition to their scientific contribution;
- Perform any such function in line with the objectives of ACALAN.
Article 19: Meetings, Quorum and Decisions
- The Assembly shall meet every two (2) years in ordinary session, at ACALAN Headquarters or in any other Member State at the latter’s invitation.
- At the request of two-thirds of its members, the Chairperson shall convene an extraordinary session on a specific agenda communicated at least one (1) month in advance to all members.
- The Associate Members, Corresponding Members and Honorary Members shall participate in sessions of the Assembly, but without the right to vote.
SECTION V: THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARIAT
Article 20: Composition
- The Secretariat shall consist of an Executive Secretary who shall be assisted by the necessary administrative, professional and technical officials.
- Members of the Secretariat shall hold permanent positions in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the African Union.
- The structure of the Secretariat shall be determined in accordance with the rules and procedures in force in the African Union.
Article 21: Functions
- The Executive Secretary shall be the Chief Executive and the Legal Representative of ACALAN.
- He/she shall discharge the following duties subject to the directives of the Board:
- Manage ACALAN Secretariat;
- Be the authorizing officer of the ACALAN budget;
- Implement the directives of the Board and report to it thereon;
- Prepare the programme of activities, the financial report and the ACALAN Report;
- Prepare and submit to the Board the Draft Budget, Activity Report, Rules of Procedure of the various organs and the Plan of Action of ACALAN for consideration and approval;
- Attend all meetings of the Board and act as its Secretary;
- Be responsible for collecting and disseminating results of linguistic research;
- Coordinate training programmes for researchers;
- Ensure the archiving of documents and establish a data bank;
- Ensure the production and translation of ACALAN publications in the vehicular trans-border languages and partner languages;
- Ensure the publication of the ACALAN bulletin;
- Monitor the implementation of the Language Plan of Action for Africa;
- Perform any other functions in line with the objectives of ACALAN.
- Should the position fall vacant or the Executive Secretary be prevented from discharging the above duties, he/she shall be temporarily replaced by the most senior Official within the Secretariat until the appointment of the new Executive Secretary.
CHAPTER III: WORKING STRUCTURES
Article 22: Categories
1. The working structures of ACALAN shall be the following:
a) National Language Structures;
b) Vehicular cross- border Language Commissions;
2. ACALAN shall establish such other structures as it may be necessary for its effective functioning.
Article 23: National Language Structures: Composition and Functions
Each Member State of the African Union shall determine the composition and functions of the National Language Structures.
Article 24: Vehicular cross-border Language Commissions: Composition and Functions
1. ACALAN shall establish a Commission for each vehicular cross-border language.
2. The Commissions shall constitute the working structures of the Board and the Assembly.
3. The Board shall determine the criteria for selection and the number of the members for each Commission.
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Article 25: Coordinator
1. Each Commission, at the beginning of its first session, shall nominate a Coordinator.
2. The Coordinator shall coordinate the activities of the Commission and centralize the results of deliberations for transmission to the Executive Secretary in preparation for the sessions of the Assembly.
CHAPTER IV : FINANCIAL PROVISIONS
Article 26: Resources
1. The resources of the ACALAN shall be obtained from:
The funds of the Academy shall be deposited in a bank account. Financial transactions shall be made only after obtaining the signatures of the Executive Secretary and the Accounts Officer.
- Voluntary contributions from Member States;
- The services of the ACALAN;
- Sale of products of the ACALAN;
- Subventions from the AU and such other organisations;
- Donations and legacies approved by the Board;
- Resources established on an exceptional basis.
Article 27: Expenses
All the expenses of ACALAN shall be borne by the ACALAN Budget which shall be drawn up and adopted in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the AU.
Article 28: Transitional Arrangements
Following the adoption of the present Statutes by Member States, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, in close collaboration and in consultation with the host country and the Members of the Bureau of the Conference shall take the necessary measures to establish an Interim Structure and appoint the required staff in order to facilitate the speedy establishment of ACALAN in accordance with the present Statutes.
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CHAPTER V: FINAL PROVISIONS
Article 29: Amendment
- The present Statutes may be amended by the Board. Any Member proposing an amendment shall address a written notification to the Chairperson of the Board who shall notify all members three (3) months before the Board’s session to decide on the proposed amendment.
- The amendment shall only take effect when it is approved by two-thirds of the members of the Board.
Article 30: Entry into Force
- The present Statutes shall enter into force upon its adoption by the Assembly of the Union.
- The present Statutes, of which the Arabic, French, English and Portuguese texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the chairperson of the AU Commission and copies thereof shall be transmitted to the Executive Secretary
- After the entry into force of the present Statutes, the competent authorities of the AU Commission shall negotiate and sign a Headquarters Agreement with the host country.