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Our Statutes


Article 1 – The International Movement of Catholic Students at Pan-African level is hereinafter referred to as “Pan-African IMCS”
Article 2 – The Pan-African IMCS co-ordination office is currently based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Article 3 – The objectives of the Pan-African IMCS are :
3.1 To promote student Apostolate among students of tertiary and higher education, emphasizing their responsibilities within the life and mission of the Church in the world
3.2 To promote justice which is crucial for the transformation of society and to collaborate with all people in common reflection and action for a more just and equitable social order at all levels including national, continental and international ones.
3.3 To deepen our experience of the Christian faith lived through commitment and to communicate this faith to the students’ milieu by witnessing Jesus Christ.
3.4 To develop an educative process that will help students translate their Christian faith into more practical efforts at building a more just society.
Article 4 – The Pan-African IMCS is composed of :
4.1 All National Movements/Federations that are fully affiliated to the Pan-African IMCS.
4.2 All National Movements/Federations that are affiliated corresponding members of International IMCS.
Article 5 Affiliated Members
5.1 All catholic student organisations in universities and other institutions of higher learning are considered fully affiliated members of Pan-African IMCS if they fulfil the following conditions :
5.1.1. Pursuance of the objectives of Pan-African IMCS as stipulated in Article 3.
5.1.2. Should not be affiliated to any political party.
5.1.3. At national level they should be made up of catholic students of groups of catholic students.
5.1.4. Only one national movement per country shall be recognised by the Pan-African IMCS.
5.2 Corresponding Members.
All catholic students’ organisations in universities and other institutions of higher learning are considered as affiliated corresponding members of Pan-African IMCS if they do not fulfil the conditions as stipulated in Article 5.1 but can collaborate usefully with Pan-African IMCS. They can benefit from IMCS’ services and can participate at the Pan-African Assembly as observers.
Article 6 – All those requesting to be affiliated to IMCS should apply to the Pan-African co-ordination two months before the Pan-African Assembly. This should be accompanied with :
6.1. Candidate’s declaration committing oneself to fulfilling the duties of an affiliated member.
6.2. Three copies of the organisation’s statutes committing oneself to send any modifications to these statutes as soon as they are adopted by the movement.
6.3. A summary of the work carried out during the past and the plan of action for the future.
6.4. A letter from the local church hierarchy as proof of the candidate’s link with the Church.
N.B. At the final stage the Pan-African Co-ordination presents the affiliation request to the International Committee for final approval.
Article 7 – The Pan-African IMCS consists of the following organs :
7.1 Pan-African Assembly,
7.2 Pan-African Council,
7.3 Pan-African Co-ordination Team,
7.4 The sub-regional co-ordinations

Section 1 – Definition
Article 8 – The Pan-African Assembly is the supreme decision making body of the
Pan-African IMCS
Section 2 – Composition
Article 9 – Pan-African Assembly Delegates
The Pan-African Assembly is made up of all delegates of affiliated national Movements/ Federations, sub-regional co-ordinators, members of the Pan-African Team, a delegate from the International Team, candidates to the Pan-African Team as well as invited guests according to the defined circumstances.
Section 3 – Roles and Duties
Article 10 – The Pan-African Assembly has the following as its roles and duties :
10.1 The evaluation of the work of National Movements of the sub-regional co-ordinations, and of the Pan-African Co-ordination Team with the view of building a strong united African Movement.
10.2 The planning and organisation of the orientation of activities of African Movements remaining faithful to the objectives of IMCS. However, it must allow National Movements to be autonomous in taking initiatives.
10.3 The organisation of elections to the Pan-African Co-ordination Team, the Pan-African Council and the sub-regional co-ordinations.
Section 4 – Convening of Meetings
Article 11 – The Pan-African Assembly
11.1 The Assembly is to meet once every four years. The dates and venue are fixed by the Pan-African Co-ordination Team in consultation with the Sub-Regional co-ordinators and the National Movements.
11.2 The central decision of a country to host the Pan-African Assembly lies in the linguistic experience, given that the sub-regional rotation takes second precedence.
11.3 The linguistic experience is defined according to the official language of the country.
11.4 The Pan-African Team convenes the Assembly. However, in an event of failure to do so the IMCS International Team is to see to it that the Assembly is convened.
11.5 In the event of the inability to hold the Assembly due to unforeseen circumstances, without precedent, the Pan-African Co-ordination Team after consultation with the Sub-Regional co-ordinators and National Movements can re-schedule the meeting time for a later date.
11.6 The Assembly is held for a minimum period of two weeks.
11.7 For the Assembly to take place, there shall be a quorum of 2/3 majority present. Otherwise a consultation meeting can replace the Assembly.
Section 5 – Tools:
Article 12 – Requirements at the Assembly:
12.1 The structural tools of the Assembly are the exposure programme, study session and the statutory session.
12.2 The steering Committee is composed of the members of the Pan-African Council and delegates of the Local Organising Committee and is in charge of directing the work of the Assembly. In addition the Steering Committee makes an evaluation of the daily activities at the end of each day and plans for the next day.
12.3 The Steering Committee chooses the Presidium that will animate the discussion following the principle of rotation in order to ensure an effective participation of all the delegates. This team is made of a President and two Secretaries.
Article 13 – Procedures at the Assembly
13.1 During the study session, any delegate may intervene at any time. The Presidium can however decide to withhold the right of a delegate to intervene.
13.2 During the Statutory Session, intervention is made following the principle of one voice per country.
13.3 The following are in order of precedence as regards intervention:
13.3.1 A participant can call for a point of order only when the defined procedure is not followed.
13.3.2 A participant can call for a point of personal privilege to react to issues when he/she is the subject of discussion.
13.3.3 A point of information can be called for when asking for information and/or clarification.
13.3.4 The Presidium has the right to stop any speaker on the floor if he/she is out of order; having abused the “point of personal privilege” granted him/her by the presidium.
13.4 – The members of the Pan-African Co-ordination Team always have the right to speak by priority.
13.5 – Motions are presented by any Movement in writing to the presidium and each motion must be seconded by another movement.
13.6 – A point of order has priority over all other motions and is voted on and passed by a simple majority.
13.7 – When the presidium receives an amendment motion, it is obliged to ask the mover of the original motion if he/she agrees to withdraw his/her motion. If he/she agrees, it is only the amendment motion that is voted upon. If not, then the vote is conducted to choose one of the two motions.
Section 6 – Voting procedures
Article 14 – Rights and Procedures
14.1 Each National Movement/Federation which is a full member of IMCS has only one vote in any round of vote.
14.2 The Pan-African Co-ordination Team and all other members of the Pan-African Assembly who are not delegates of fully affiliated National
Movements/Federations have no voting rights.
14.3 A movement’s voting right can be withdrawn in an event of failure to pay its annual dues. In such a case, the movement concerned has the right to present before the Assembly its case for failure to pay and the latter has the right to decide.
14.4 The delegation of a vote is allowed either before or during the Assembly.
14.5 A voting movement absent at the Assembly can delegate its vote by a letter to either a member movement, to the sub-regional co-ordination or any member of the Pan-African Co-ordination of its choice. The proxy vote must be declared to the Assembly before voting is conducted
14.6 One proxy vote per country is allowed. However the Sub-Regional Co-ordinators and/or any member of the Pan-African Team may hold more than one proxy vote.
14.7 Each proxy vote must be accompanied by the report of activities of the National Movement that delegated the said vote.
14.8 At the beginning of each session and before every vote the number of voting members of the Assembly is taken to certify that there is 2/3 majority of Movements voting.
14.9 Voting on issues is done by showing of cards and by secret ballot for persons.
14.10 A discussion shall be called for on issues before voting is conducted or carried out.
14.11 For each round of election the positive votes are counted, then the negative ones and abstentions last.
14.12 All issues are passed by simple majority of the votes.
Section 1 – Definition
Article 15 – The Pan-African Council is a decision making body between two assemblies.
Section 2 – Composition
Article 16 – The Pan-African Council is made up of the following:
16.1 – Members of the Pan-African Co-ordination Team ;
16.2 – Sub-Regional Co-ordinators ;
16.3 – Two delegate members from two National Movements elected as members of the Pan-African Council.
Section 3 – Roles and duties
Article 17 – The Pan-African Council is responsible to the Pan-African Assembly to determine the orientations and options of the Movement. Its roles and duties are the following:
17.1 – To prepare the IMCS plan of action in conformity with the Pan-African Assembly’s decisions.
17.2 – Safeguard sub-regional contacts, draw up specific sub-regional plans of work which take into account the needs and priorities of the local sub-regions
17.3 – Fix the same financial allocation of all the sub-regions which can be increased or reduced depending on the amount of work and/or the availability of funds. The Council must also determine /review the allowances of the Pan-African Co-ordination Team.
17.4 – The financial allocation for the functioning of the sub-regional structures is given after the presentation of the report (sent in due time) on the use of the funds given in the previous allocation.
17.5 – If an urgent decision must be made, the Pan-African Council must adopt the necessary measures called for with the reservation that it must be ratified by the Pan-African Assembly. Member Movements must immediately be informed of this.
17.6 – The Pan-African Council shall meet immediately after the Pan-African Assembly to implement the programmes of action drawn up by the later. The next Pan-African Council meeting should be held not later than two years after the Assembly. This Council will evaluate the past and then draw up the programme of action for the next two years before the next Pan-African Assembly.
17.7 – The mandate of the Pan-African Council is four years non-renewable.
17.8 – In case of an impossibility of holding a Pan-African Council meeting because of any major problem (e.g. Financial problem, lack of quorum, academic constraints or other valid reasons), the Pan-African Co-ordination Team can take the initiative under the fundamental options of IMCS to address the structural circumstances.
Section 1 – Definition
Article 18 – About the Pan-African Co-ordination:
18.1 – The Regional Co-ordination Team is the Pan-African Co-ordination.
18.2 – The Pan-African Co-ordination Team works in close collaboration with the International IMCS Team in accordance with the norms defined by both the Pan-African Assembly and the International Committee.
Section 2 – Composition
Article 19 – The Pan-African Team
19.1 – It is composed of two elected Co-ordinators elected by the Pan-African Assembly and one Chaplain or a Chaplaincy team.
19.2 – Regarding the Team, it is preferable to have two co-ordinators with different linguistic experience.
19.2.1. – Nevertheless, this condition is not a sine qua non in the choice of a Co-ordination Team.
19.3 – The two Co-ordinators are equally competent.
19.4 – One Co-ordinator takes office immediately after the Pan-African Assembly and the other joins up one year after in order to allow for a smooth transition with the leaving Team.
19.5 – The choice of who is to take up office first will depend on one of the Co-ordinators’ immediate availability.
19.5.1.- In the case of the two elected co-ordinators being available for the same period, authority is then given to them and them alone to work out the solution on who should be starting first.
19.5.2.- If there is some disagreement amongst them, then the first elected co-ordinator is given the priority.
19.6 The two co-ordinators will define their domain of work and inform the Pan-African Council and vice versa.
Section 3 – Elections of Co-ordinators and Chaplain
Article 20 – Nominations and Mandate:
20.1 – The Pan African Team will launch a call of candidatures for the two Coordinators’ posts six months before the Pan African Assembly. Candidates to the Pan-African Team have to be presented by their National Movements/Federations to the Pan-African Co-ordination at least three months before the Assembly.
20.2 – One Movement/Federation can either present one candidate for Pan-African Co-ordinator or one candidate for the Chaplain but not both unless special reasons for this last one.
20.3 – To be elected a co-ordinator, one has to:
20.3.1.- Be confirmed committed Catholic Christian, and be recommended by the Episcopal Conference of the candidate’s country
20.3.2.- When proposed for election, the candidate must still be a student or having ended not more then one year and an half before.
20.3.3.- Have a good foundation and co-ordinating experiences in the movement.
20.3.4.- Be free to take up co-ordination work immediately and for four years or as decided by the Assembly.
20.4 – Having a good command of the official languages used in Africa is an added advantage.
20.5 – The mandate of the Pan-African Co-ordinators and the Chaplain is four years non-renewable. However for the Chaplain, it can be renewed if the need arises.
20.6 – In due time, the Pan African Team will launch a call for the Pan African Chaplain’s post. He will be chosen by the International Chaplain after consultation and personal meeting with candidates among a list of 3 names proposed by the Pan-African Team to the International Team.
Article 21 – Voting Procedures
21.1 – An Electoral Commission elected by the Pan-African Assembly amongst non-voting members organises the elections.
21.2 – The counting of votes and the declarations of winners are done immediately after each round of voting by the electoral commission.
21.3 – Voting shall be conducted in the following manner:
21.3.1.- There will be two rounds in general elections.
21.3.2.- There shall be the first general election with a simple majority votes to select one candidate from among all the candidates.
21.3.3.- Depending on the first elected person’s linguistic experience, the next round of general election is conducted on simple majority votes on other candidates from the other experience.
21.4 – In the case of a tie involving two candidates of different linguistic experiences, both are declared elected in order to avoid any possibility for a new round.
21.5 – In case of a tie involving two candidates fro; the same experience, the Pan-African Team is hereby empowered to break the tie.
21.6 – All candidates contesting any elections being conducted by the Assembly must be physically present to be introduced to the Assembly by their respective delegates.
21.7 – In the case where a candidate has no other delegates from his/her respective movement to introduce him/her, then his/her sub-regional representative if present can introduce him/her to the Assembly. In the absence of sub-regional representative, the Pan-African Team may do so.
21.8 – Assembly delegates have the right to pose questions to the candidates in order to know them better and to be sure of their experience and their understanding of the Movement.
21.9 – The electoral commission shall determine the time to be allowed for introduction and questioning of the candidates.
21.10 – The electoral Commission reserves the right to determine the validity of any particular vote that is not sufficiently legible or clear in statement or bears two or more different names or symbols used to represent the different candidates.
Section 4 – The responsibilities and the life of the Pan-African Co-ordination
Article 22 – The Co-ordinators
22.1 – The Team members should work in communion with the help of prayers and moral support.
22.2 – The Team has to work towards portraying a modest and realistic Christian life.
22.3 – The Team shall be at the service of the National Movements.
22.3.1. – It shall promote decisions and recommendations of the Pan-African Assembly (i.e. Plan of action).
22.3.2. – It shall ensure that the reality and the problems of Africa appear in the programmes of IMCS.
22.3.3.- It shall promote the extension, co-ordination and the interaction of the National Movements/Federations:
(1) By visits, organisation of meetings, formation sessions and reflections for National Movements expressing a need.
(2) By the exchange of experiences through publications.
22.4 – In view of safeguarding the International solidarity, the Pan-African Team in collaboration with the International Secretariat and all the Regional Secretariats of IMCS through correspondence, the exchange of documents and the participation in different events at the meetings organised by one or the other while preserving its autonomy.
22.5 – The Co-ordination Team should develop a working relationship with other International Movements and organisations with a similar orientation.
22.6 – The Pan-African Team is the spokesman of the African IMCS at any International forum.
Article 23 – The Chaplain
23.1 – The Chaplain has the role of spiritual counselling to the Team of which he is a member without voting rights and does attend meetings.
23.2 – He is informed of the activities of the Co-ordination. He has no right of decision and his advice is consultative on all important questions concerning the movement.
23.3 – In case of dispute between the two Co-ordinators, the Chaplain has the right of breaking the tie.
23.4 – He is to help the two Co-ordinators on theological and pastoral questions.
23.5 – A Chaplain is preferably a priest but a church lay person ca also be a chaplain.
23.6 – The Chaplain should be a person with an informed experience of the youth and the movement. He should be one who understands them and their problems and is able to deal with them.
23.6.1. – In the case of a lay person, he has to have good knowledge of the Church Doctrine.
23.6.2. – The relationship between the students and the Chaplain should not be one of dependence, inferiority, or one of superiority but it should be more of trust and understanding. It has to be a relationship of frank collaboration marked with faith, respect amongst themselves and of the love of Christ.
23.7 – The work as Chaplain need not necessary be full time. A Chaplain could also work part time.
Section 1 – Definition
Article 24 – The Sub-Regional Co-ordination is a structure of Pan-African IMCS.
Section 2 – Composition
Article 25 – The Pan-African Co-ordination is comprised of four Sub-Regions viz.: West Africa, Central Africa and Indian Ocean, Eastern Africa and Southern Africa.
Section 3 – Elections and Mandate
Article 26 – Modus operandi:
26.1 – Each Sub-Regional Co-ordination is confined to one country that chooses its Co-ordinator or a structure of their choice to do its work.
26.2 – The election of the Sub-Regional Co-ordination is done by the Sub-Region and the elected country is presented to the Assembly for adoption.
26.3 – The mandate of the Sub-Regional Co-ordination is for four years non-renewable unless a consensus is presented permitting a renewal for clear and specific reasons.
Section 4 – Roles and Duties
Article 27 – The Sub-Regional Co-ordinator among other things has the following responsibilities:
27.1 – To ensure a regular communication with the affiliated movements/federations in the Sub-Region and the Pan-African Team as well.
27.2 – To study possibilities of organising meetings in collaboration with the movements/federations and the Pan-African Co-ordination Team. These could be: study sessions, training seminars, work camps, etc. by taking into account local, regional, continental and international situations and questions.
27.3 – To visit different countries in the Sub-Region (i.e. for consolidation, extension work, preparation of sessions, participation in national movements’ meetings, etc.)
27.4 – To represent the Pan-African Co-ordination Team when the need arises.
27.5 – To present a financial report as well as a report of Sub-Regional activities to the Pan-African Team.
Article 28 – The resources of the Pan-African IMCS are presented as follows :
28.1 – The annual subscriptions fees of members of the Movements/Federations are fixed by the Pan-African Assembly apart from the obligations due to the International Team.
28.2 – Contributions made by friends of Pax Romana;
28.3 – Catholic financing Agencies and anyone in general;
28.4 – Gifts, subsidies and benefits;
28.5 – Local financing efforts by the National Movements and the Pan-African Team.
Article 29 – The Pan-African Co-ordination has to have its accounts audited by a qualified auditor before presenting it to the Pan-African Assembly.
Article 30 – More about Finance:
30.1 – The financial year for the Pan-African IMCS runs from the 1st January to the 31st December.
30.2 – The Sub-Regional Co-ordination shall send their financial statement(s) to the Pan-African Co-ordination and to the National Movements of their Sub-Region.
30.3 – The commitments of the Pan-African IMCS are guaranteed by its assets. Its members and its organs’ directors do not incur any liability except in the event where they are personally involved.
Article 31 – Resignation is not encouraged. However, in a situation in which a member has to resign, he/she should tender his/her resignation to the Team with a copy to the National Movements and the International Team outlining in detail the reasons leading to his/her resignation in order to enable the National Movements and the International Team to study it. After this, the Pan-African Team has the responsibility to either accept or reject the resignation letter as it judges it to be justified or not.
Article 32 – In case of a resignation failure to report for duty of failure to elect a full timer, the Pan-African Co-ordination Team in consultation with the National Movements/Federations is authorised to co-opt a member to the Team. In such a case, the Team suggests a replacement and consults member Movements/Federations. A simple majority of the answers received within a deadline period of two months is then applicable.
Article 33 – Only the Pan-African Assembly is allowed to modify the statutes.
Article 34 – Only the Pan-African Assembly has the authority to transfer the head office of the Pan-African IMCS. Whereas, in the case of a necessity, the Pan-African Co-ordination Team in agreement with the Pan-African Council can decided on the transfer. This decision must however be submitted for ratification at and by the next Pan-African Assembly.
Article 35 – The dissolution of the Pan-African IMCS can only be pronounced by the Pan-African Assembly convened for this purpose. It shall only be valid unless voted on by 2/3 majority of members who have the right to vote.
Article 36 – The liquidation of the Pan-African IMCS is only the right of the Pan-African Assembly in consultation with the International Committee.
Article 37 – The versions of the Statutes :
37.1 – The official versions of the present document are written in English and in French.
37.2 – These Statutes are written in accordance with the statutes and norms of the International IMCS to which Pan-African IMCS is part.
Article 38 – The present statutes adopted by the Pan-African Assembly replace the former ones.
Harare, 23rd December 1998 (corrected edition)