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Four years ago in 2018, the Board of Directors of RI took the historic decision to accord Africa the status of a Zone of its own, namely Zone 22, with a seat on the RI Board. Clearly this was a groundbreaking development.
Africa was proud to see, Yinka Babalola ascend to the position of being the first Director of the new African Zone. PRIVP Yinka was succeeded by Director Katerina from Zone 21 as the second Director of Zone 22.
In December 2019, I was elected Director Nominee for Zone 22.
On 1st July 2022, I took over the mantle from Director Katerina as the next and 3rd Director of the African continent. As I take over the huge honour and responsibility of leading Rotary in Africa, I would like in the first place to place on record my most sincere appreciation to my two predecessors for the pioneering role that they have played in bringing us to where we are today.
As I take over the leadership baton, I plan to do two things. First, I want to build upon the solid foundations that have been laid by my two colleagues.
Secondly, I plan to introduce some innovations, some new ways of doing things, aimed at taking Africa to the next level.
I am a great believer in the African philosophy which says "If you want to go fast, go alone, If you want to go far, go together". My aim always is to go far. That makes me a team player, so that, by working together, we can go far.
It is with this spirit in mind that I have begun my tenure of service with the establishment of an Africa-wide, Executive Committee comprising of 23 fellow leaders from each of the three Regions of our Zone. This is the team which will assist me in taking all major decisions, collectively, going forward.
Secondly, I have initiated a Zone-level Newsletter in which we will showcase Rotary developments taking place across our Continent. I have asked a seasoned media colleague Dinesh Gajeelee from District 9220 Mauritius, to serve as Editor of the Zone 22 Newsletter.
We will be announcing many other innovations and developments as we go along.
For now, I invite you, all my fellow Rotarians to embrace our theme for 2022 - 23:
"IMAGINE THE FUTURE OF ROTARY IN AFRICA"
Your partner in Service,
Patrick D Chisanga
RI Director Zones 21 and 22.