By Leonie Vorster, AMRA Chairman

We are grateful to report that the AMRA non-profit company registration has been submitted in South Africa, the country of AMRA’s Administrative Headquarters, and we await feedback from the powers that be. Completing the registration formalities will at long last open the door for AMRA to officially sit at the GRBN table – an honour and opportunity to contribute that the AMRA community is very eager to embrace.

Some key decisions taken about AMRA membership include that a) AMRA has adopted the ESOMAR Code of Conduct, and this is thus a requirement for membership, and b) AMRA membership will be available to:

1. non-profit market, social and opinion polling research Associations registered in any African country,
2. organisations registered and operating in any African country where no Association membership for supplier organisations exists, and
3. organisations registered and operating in any African country where no Association membership for client organisations exists.

There are currently six Market Research Associations on the African continent, and the AMRA regions now include Central Africa (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon), Eastern Africa (Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda), North Eastern Africa (Egypt, Sudan), North Western Africa (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia) and Southern Africa (Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Reunion, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe).

AMRA members will enjoy a number of benefits, tailored to their needs. Preferential rates for AMRA events is a given for all members, as are advertising opportunities (e.g. in the AMRA Directory) and access to all AMRA publications. Association Members will benefit from partnering with AMRA and expertise for events, ethics advice, integrity programme participation, representation in Africa and worldwide, AMRA’s GRBN membership, sending and receiving requests for proposals, shared accreditation programmes, shared skills development curricula, students exchange, awards participation and a mentorship programme. Organisation Members on client and research agency side will enjoy Code of Conduct protection, and will also participate in the integrity programme, send and receive requests for proposals, compete for awards and be part of the mentorship programme.

The AMRA website will be launched in August 2016 (www.africanmra.org) and membership applications will be accepted as soon as the organisation is registered. The inaugural AMRA event, Africa Forum 2017 – Research and Innovation, Made in Africa, will be held on 16 and 17 February 2017 in South Africa. The event, a partnership between AMRA, ESOMAR and the African market research associations, will be the official launch of AMRA, and set the agenda not only for AMRA but also for market research in Africa in the next few years. It will be an African showcase of innovations in market research and contribute to the body of knowledge in Africa, learning from mistakes made and successes achieved, with ample opportunity for research agencies, clients and supporting industries to network and form partnerships that promote quality, business and standards in African market, social and opinion polling research. The programme committee has started the task of ensuring a line-up second to none, and bookings will open in October 2016. See you there!

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