RIWA Constitution


RABIES IN WEST AFICA, GHANA (RIWAG) is non profit Organisation, with the vision to champion for the elimination of rabies disease from human and its animal reservoir to prevent human death and ensure the welfare of animals within the West Africa sub-region and Ghana in particular.

 RIWAG is the initiative of Centre for Disease Control (CDC) of USA and Rabies in the Americas (RITA), a sister organisation that is championing the control of rabies in the American continent.

WHEREAS, we strongly hold the view that development of Public Health in the world can best be achieved through the promotion of One Health concept.  Nowhere is this concept more evident than in the area of animal population control and rabies prevention. However, Rabies remains neglected disease in Africa. Globally, the domestic dog remains the most significant species for viral transmission, responsible for millions of suspected human exposures and tens of thousands of fatalities. Demographic, economic and socio-political trends from mass movement of people with their companion animal have increasingly favoured the persistence and spread of rabies in West Africa.

Rabies continues to impact human health despite the existence of proven cost-effective control measures. Vaccinating domestic dogs against rabies results in a significant reduction in the incidence of the disease among the human population from dogs suspected to be rabid, and this control strategy has been most cost-effective in the medium to long term.  

Unavailability and high cost of human and animal rabies vaccines, ignorance, lack or reliable data/statistics on dog bites and rabies cases as well as accessibility of post-exposure treatment in West Africa militate against rabies control and prevention.

WHERE, THEREFORE, we consider that to help address the low level of political commitment of rabies control, ineffective national surveillance system, and ineffective delivery of vaccines to ensure adequate vaccination coverage in the reservoir dog population. Assist to promote the most cost-effective publicity and advertising of mass canine vaccination rabies campaign and to ensure effective coverage considering the local ecology of the dog population as well as Dog population management and animal birth control (ABC) programmes. The output of effective rabies control programmes is to protect human and animal health and reduce the economic burden of the disease.

The primary beneficiaries of rabies control are subsistence farmers and those living in semi-urban environments, classified as moderate poor and extreme vulnerable poor. Rabies control would particularly help children who are disproportionately bitten by rabid dogs and suffer the highest burden of deaths, and the very poor who can least afford treatment costs and therefore are most vulnerable to developing rabies.


ARTICLE 1:         NAME

The name of the organization will be RABIES IN WEST AFRICA, GHANA  hereafter referred to as the RIWAG.



To be a leading organisation to champion / the advocacy for the elimination of rabies disease from human and its animal reservoir to prevent human death and ensure the welfare of animals within the West Africa region and in Ghana.


  1. Have a wider recognition of the burden of the disease and better knowledge of the disease pattern in order to stimulate the necessary changes in public health thinking to approach and achieve control.
  2. To promote One Health Concept.
  3. To promote responsible pet ownership
  4. To promote such activities including dog population management, research etc that would greatly assist national governments in the fight to eliminate rabies from the West African sub-region


  1. To bring together interested individuals (Professionals and Non-Professionals)and Organisations that are stakeholders in the control of Rabies disease.
  2. To establish a network on rabies control in the West African Sub-region.
  3. To promote rabies awareness in the sub-region.  
  4. To lobby policy makers in the elimination of rabies in the West African Sub-region.
  5. To promote knowledge sharing on rabies in the sub region.


REGULAR: Membership shall be opened to all interested people especially Public Health Professionals, Veterinarians, Medical doctors, biologist, wildlife and Laboratory technicians, students and all who have experience to share.

Application for membership shall be endorsed by two (2) Executive members of RIWAG. The application form shall be obtained from the Secretary of RIWAG to whom the completed form shall be returned.

HONORARY: RIWAG may, from time to time, bestow upon a person, whether or not a member of RIWAG, who has made major contribution to RIWAG or rabies control in Ghana, the designation – Honorary Member.

CORPORATE: RIWAG may from time to time, bestow upon Corporate body or individual the title Corporate Member.


Each member of RIWAG present at any general meeting shall have one vote on a show of hands or a poll and if a postal ballot is directed in accordance with the article thereof, each member whether present or not at a meeting shall have one vote.

He/she may also have access to records and information of the organisation. He/she can submit any grievance, hardship or point in dispute between himself/herself and any other member for consideration of the Executive and may have the assistance of the Executive in appropriate case if the Executive so determines.

An Honorary Member shall be entitled to attend an AGM but cannot vote.

No right or privilege of any member shall  be in any way transferable but all such rights and privileges shall cease upon the member ceasing to be a member whether by death, resignation or otherwise.


All members of existing Committee and member representing RIWAG on other bodies shall be in office for a term of three years and shall be eligible for election for only one additional consecutive term.

An Executive or Committee member who serves two consecutive terms shall become eligible after two years of absence from the executive or the committee. In the absence of an Executive or committee member from the country for a period exceeding six months or resignation or death of the member the Executive Committee shall appoint a member to replace him/her until the next annual general meeting.

A member (committee or elected body) who is unable to perform his/her duty due to other engagement shall voluntarily resign or made to resign and be replaced by the executive Committee until the next annual general meeting.


Subject, in case of ordinary members, in compliance with section (1) of the companies’ code 1963 (ACT 79)

  1. Any ordinary, associate or honorary member may resign his/her membership by notice in writing to the Executive Committee.
  2. The Executive Committee may in its discretion exclude from membership of the organisation any ordinary or honorary member if:-
  3. The subscription payable to the organisation by such ordinary or associate member shall be unpaid six months after the same shall have become due and payable or
  4. In the opinion of the Executive Council the continued membership of such person would be detrimental to the interest of the Organisation or to the furtherance of its objects.


  1. The income and property of the RABIES IN WEST AFICA, GHANA howsoever derived shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the objectives of RIWAG as set forth in ARTICLE 2, no portion thereof shall be paid or transferred, directly or indirectly by way of dividend, bonus or profit to any person who is a patron, Trustee or member of the Executive Committee.
  2. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the payment in good faith, of reasonable and proper remuneration to any Patron, Trustee or member of the executive in return for any services actually rendered to the RIWAG nor prevent payment on interest at a rate not exceeding six (6) percent per anum on money lent, or reasonable and proper rent for premises let to the Organisation.
  3. No Patron, Trustee or Executive Committee member of the Organisation shall be appointed to any salaried office of RIWAG or an office of the Organisation payable by fees.
  4. No remuneration or other benefit in money’s worth shall be given by  RIWAG to any Patron, Trustee or Executive Committee Member except repayment of out-of-pocket expenses and interest of a rate aforesaid on money lent or reasonable and proper rent for premises let to RIWAG.
  5. Funds of the Organisation shall be derived from the following sources:
  6. Donations
  7. Dues and subscription of the board and members
  8. Grants from external donors
  9. Accretions and other legal forms of acquisitions
  10. Other sources of legitimate funding
  11. The Organization shall operate an account with any recognized bank agreed upon by the Executive Committee.  RIWAG shall operate Savings and Current Accounts as well as local and foreign Accounts.  There shall be three signatories of which the President and any other shall be co-signatories.


  1. The accounts of RIWAG shall be audited annually by an accredited independent Auditing Firm to be determined by the Executive Committee.
  2. RIWAG shall keep proper books and records of accounts and this will be kept at its registered office, together with records of names and addresses of its members articled to vote.


  1. For the proper management of the affairs of the Organisation, there shall be an elected Executive Committee consisting of five(5) persons, all shall be members of RIWAG:
    • Chairman
    • Vice Chairman
    • Secretary
    • Treasurer
    • Executive  Committee Member
  2. The Committee shall be responsible for making RIWAG policy and oversees the implementation of the same.


  1. The activities of the RIWAG shall be managed by the Executive Committee who may pay all expenses incurred in promoting and registering the Association.
  2. RIWAG’s position including power to borrow money and to mortgage or change its property and issue determines are not by the Code or these regulations required to be exercised by the members at general meeting.  Accordance with section 150 of the Code and shall be convened on the requisition of ordinary members in accordance to section 297 of the code.
  3. Notice of general meetings shall be given in accordance with section 157 – 159 of the Code and accompanied by any statements required to be circulated therewith in  accordance with section 157 to 159 of the code.
  4. A member shall not be entitled to vote at any general meeting by proxy.
  5. The Chairman, or in his absence the Vice Chairman of RIWAG shall preside as chairman at every general meeting but if neither is present within fifteen minutes after the time appointed shall elect among themselves a member to act as chairman.
  6. On a poll being demanded on any resolution of a general meeting, the Chairman of the meeting may direct a postal ballot of the ordinary members in accordance with subsection (6), (7) and of section 170 of the Code in effect is moved at the meeting and passed by a show of hands or if the resolution concerned is:
  7. A special one, or
  8. Any such resolution as is referred to in article 7 of this constitution.
  9. In accordance with section 174 of the code a resolution in writing signed by all the members, or being bodies corporate by their duly authorized representatives, shall be as valid and effective for all purposes/except as provide by such meeting of RIWAG duly convene and held, and if described as special resolution shall be deemed to be a special resolution within the meaning of the code and this constitution.
  10. Minutes of general meetings shall be kept in accordance with section 177 of the code.
  11. In any transaction with the Foundation on its behalf and in the exercise of their powers the members of Executive shall observe the duties and obligations imposed on them by section 203 to 205 of the companies code 1963 (Act 176).
  12. To the extent permitted by regulation 203-205 and subject to section 207 of the Code, a member of the Executive may enter into a contract of the Foundation in which any member of the Executive Council is in anyway interested shall not be liable to be avoided, nor shall any member of the Executive or of the fiduciary relationship thereby established.



  1. Preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee and the Organisation. At all such meetings, shall be entitled to participate in all discussions and to vote.  
  2. Be an ex-officio member of all Committees.
  3. Be the chief executive officer of the organisation and shall perform all acts and duties pertaining to the office of Chairman.
  4. Call special meetings of the Executive Committee or the Organisation when necessary.
  5. Exercise general control and supervision over the business and affairs of the organisation and shall be the official representative of the organisation.
  6. Have a second casting of vote in the event of a tie at any meeting at which he presides, and
  7. Perform such other duties and exercise such other powers as the organisation or Executive Committee powers as the organisation or Executive Committee may from time to time direct.


  1. preside over meetings in the event of where the Chairman is unavailable.
  2. In the event the chair and vice chair are unavailable. Committee members appoint among themselves a chair for that meeting.


  1. Keep a true record of the proceedings of the Organisation and preserve in proper order all papers and documents belonging thereto and report regularly to the Executive
  2. Send notices to general members to notify them of upcoming AGM.
  3. Keep an up-to date record of members and monies received in membership fee.
  4. Deliver promptly to his successor in office all books and records, voucher, cash in hand and other properties of the organisation in his possession and under his control.


  1. Be the custodian of all financial resources of the organisation and report regularly to the Executive Committee.
  2. Deliver promptly to his successor in office all books, records, vouchers, cash in hand and other property of the Organisation in his possession and under her control. 


There shall be election at the end of a term of office of an Executive Committee. The elections shall be held at annual general meeting. The country’s Electoral Commission shall provide a returning officer for elections.

To be elected to the Executive or the Committee a member has to be nominated and seconded by two fully paid up members present at the meeting. The member being nominated has to accept the           nomination (personally or by proxy) before he/she can be eligible to stand for the election. Only paid up members can be nominated for election.

Outgoing officers of committee or bodies shall officially hand over functions within twenty-one (21) days after the election at a meeting called by the immediate past chairman.


There shall be election at the end the term of office of the representative  of RIWAG to the following bodies:

RABIES IN WEST AFRICA      - 3 representatives

The representatives shall be elected at AGM and election shall follow the same electoral procedure as for election of Executive Committee members.

All representatives of RIWAG on other bodies must submit report or other information that the Executives would require, to the executive committee if the committee so desire.

Such persons must submit an annual report of their activities to the Executives Committee. They must submit report to all at AGM.


  1. Annual General Meetings shall be held in accordance with section 149 of the Code.
  2. Extraordinary General Meetings may be convened by the Executive Committee wherever they think fit.


  1. Amendments to this constitution must be approved by a simple two-third majority of members present and voting at a general meeting of RIWAG.
  2. Notice of intention to move such an amendment must be given to the Executive Committee at least 30 days prior to the date of such meeting.
  3. Copy of such intended amendments shall be circulated to members 21 days prior to the date of such meeting.


  1. The assets of RIWAG in the event of its being wound up, any person whiles he is a member or within one year after he/she ceases to be a member, for payment of debts and liabilities of RIWAG and of the cost of winding up such amount as may be required not exceeding one Hundred Ghana Cedis (GH¢100.00).
  2. If upon the winding up or dissolution of RIWAG there remains after the discharge of its debts, liabilities and property of the organisation, the same shall not be distributed among members but shall be transferred to some other Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) or charity limited by guarantee having objectives similar to the objectives of RIWAG or applied to some charitable object, such other organization or charity to be determined by ordinary resolution of members at a general meeting prior to the dissolution of the RIWAG.


  1. The Executive shall be empowered to adopt a common Emblem for use by the Executive and shall provide safe custody thereof.
  2. The emblem shall only be used by authority of the Executive or of a committee on its behalf. Every instrument to which the emblem shall be affixed shall be signed by a member of the Executive or by some other person appointed by the Executive for the purpose.


A journal to be known as Rabies in West Africa, Ghana and registered at the General Post office  and the Registrar General’s Department shall be published in such manner as shall prescribed by RIWAG and in accordance with the laws of Ghana.


  1. “Code” means the companies code, 1963 (ACT 179) or statutory modification or re-enactment thereof.
  2. “RIWAG” means RABIES IN WEST AFRICA , GHANA the name of the Organisation.
  3. Reference to sections of the Code shall mean such sections as modified or re-enacted from time to time.

We, the undersigned are desirous of forming an incorporated company limited by guarantee (Non – Profit NGO) under the companies Code, 1963 (Act 179) in pursuance of the Regulations and we agree to become members thereof and do solemnly accept liability.