History of the AFFS

In 2020, the democratically elected African Federation of Fertility Societies (AFFS) was established. The new Federation's Constitution was formally endorsed by 14 African countries that voted in the first historic General Assembly, held on the 5th November 2020. The AFFS board was elected at this General Assembly to serve a 3 year term of office.

Prof Oladapo Ashiru initially established the AFS (African Fertility Society) to pioneer the inclusion of countries on the the African Continent in a single organisation. The collection of ART data on the continent had also been initiated via the ANARA (African Network and Registry of Assisted Reproductive Technology) via Prof Silke Dyer. Prof Dyer and Prof Ashiru approached Dr Paul le Roux, the President of the South African Reproductive Medicine Society (SASREG), to assist in the establishment of a regional organisation which could formally unite all the African National Fertility Societies via a democratic election process. Dr Paul le Roux prepared the first draft of the Constitution of the AFFS (African Federation of Fertility Societies) and this was presented for discussion at the Vienna ESHRE meeting. This idea of the new African federation was adopted with tremendous enthusiasm from the leaders of the African countries. Dr Ibrahim Wada, the Chair of the Nigerian Fertility Society (AFRH) was appointed as Chairman of the Constitution Committee and over the next 2 years the Constitution was further developed in consultation with the Presidents of the National Fertility Societies. Prof Gamal Serour facilitated the final meeting of the Constitution Committee in Cairo, Egypt in 2019, to allow final changes to the document.

Main Goals

AOFC is an African initiative aiming

- To collect data about existing fertility preservation programs/ activities in AFRICA
- To support the creation of new FP programs in the continent
- To advocate for an affordable and accessible Fertility preservation in AFRICA


In early 2020, Prof Ashiru in consultation with other African leaders, appointed an interim board which established governance procedures for the new Federation, and formally signed up African countries as members of AFFS to facilitate their inclusion in the first General Assembly. In addition the first virtual conferences of AFFS were planned, in addition to plans for an Inaugural Conference in Cape Town. Dr Paul le Roux and Prof Silke Dyer were appointed as co-chairs for the Inaugural Conference Committee.

The first AFFS board was elected in November 2020. The following executive committee was elected: Prof Gamal Serour (President), Prof Faye Iketobusin (Vice-President), Dr. Paul le Roux (Secretary-General), Dr Ernestine Gwet-Bell (Treasurer-General), Prof Mohamed Khrouf (Editor-in-Chief), Dr Edem Hiadzi (Assistant Secretary-General), Dr Nicholaus Mazuguni (Assistant Treasurer-General), Prof Oladapo Ashiru (Past-President ex officio). Two regional board members were also elected to represented the following regions of Africa - North Africa, Southern Africa, East Africa, West Africa and Central Africa.

Following the first board meeting, ANARA was appointed as the official data collection organisation for Africa with Prof Silke Dyer as chairperson. The African Onco-Fertility Network was established at the first board meeting, and will be chaired by Prof Mohamed Khrouf from Tunisia and Dr Chris Venter from South Arica. Dr Moise Fiadjoe was appointed as the liaison AFFS board member for the GIERAF origination representing the Francophone African countries.

The international community supported the establishment of the AFFS, and representatives from the following organisations were included in the program for the Inaugural AFFS Conference: IFFS, ESHRE, ASRM, FIGO, WHO, AFOG.

The AFFS is seen to be the first democratically elected regional body representing the National Fertility Societies on the African Continent.