Your Opportunity to bring Africa Center back to the community

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A letter from Ismail Osman- Hashi, long standing volunteer and Board member of CAAC, written to the CAAC Board has expressed significant concerns on the Board’s ability to lead the organization, and egregious disregard of procedural issues was received by the Membership of the Society and the City of Edmonton.

This letter specifically addressed concerns related to the assuming of Board executive positions without due process, the lack of record keeping by the board, the inadequate management of a staff grievance, as well as interference in the internal investigation process. The letter also substantiates that the Membership of the Society who attended a recently held ‘community engagement’ meeting, were mislead about these issues and the state of the membership of the society. 

Moreover, legitimate members have been obstructed from obtaining the membership roster. When asked for such roster, specific board members have delivered conflicting information about who is and who is not a member. These same people have been utilizing different criteria of membership to pass motions put forward by the board on the one hand, and another criteria when the membership seeks to engage the board and membership to address it’s growing concerns.

In addition, the Board has mismanaged the grievance of a staff member, after she resigned her position. Specific individuals on the Board have apparently acted in a manner that has biased the process and engaged with the media and outside individuals/groups. We are also aware that terms of reference was never created for the investigator, nor has he even met with the rest of the board members except the acting chair.

Regardless of what the independent investigator’s findings are, it appears that the Board may be complicit in activities that have destabilized the organization, created mistrust amongst it’s stakeholders and membership, and put into question the financial management of the organization, and exposure of the organization to significant risk and liability.

A number of members of the society have attempted to exercise their rightful and legal role to engage with the Board to address some of these matters. The Board of Directors, as stipulated in the Society’s Act of Alberta are accountable to its membership. The Board, however, has in a number of ways refused to be transparent and accountable and has mislead and obstructed it’s membership.

John Gaye (The acting chair) and Idowu Ohioze (Another director) held several community engagement meeting and talked down to the community leader and members and prevented community leaders from speaking. They have refused to answer legitimate question regarding the organization and each time got agitated by questions raised by the community  leaders and community members. They shown every sign preventing people  becoming member even through they are qualified. The have failed to provide the independent investigation or share its findings with the community. Africa Center suppose to bring the African community together but these two individual don’t have ingredient needed to lead this community.

Due to the above mentioned serious transgressions of procedural and principle matters, we the community members and community leaders recommend the following:

  • The removal of John Gaye (The acting chair) and Idowu Ohioze from Africa center board to prevent collapse of this organization.
  •  A meeting will be convened of the Membership of the Society, as defined at the last AGM. A membership roster will be finalized in accordance with CAAC’s by-laws and the Society’s Act of Alberta.
  •  A Steering committee of the Membership will be established to manage a process of electing a new board and in the interim, support the Africa Centre staff.
  •  The Steering Committee will engage with funders and other stakeholders to ensure transparency and confidence of these stakeholders are upheld.
  • To disclose the results of the investigation as committed to, when it was announced to the community that a private firm would be enlisted

 It is our sincere wish to bring stability to the organization, minimize conflict in this process, and mitigate the risks that have ensued over the past months, and ultimately insure African families continue to be served through the Center.