January is Finally here. As we look forward to 2021, our thinking doesn’t have to stop at the end of these 365 days. Are you thinking ahead about what you will be doing in 2022, 2023, and beyond?
We cannot foresee the future, but we can steer ourselves where we want to go. I think it is important that every Rotary club hold a strategic meeting at least once a year. Past RI Director Greg Yank, who has a lot of experience working with clubs on their plans, shares his viewpoint.
A famous aphorism states, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Planning is essential to achieving success in all areas of life, including Rotary, and we’re getting better at it every year.
Strategic planning for Rotary clubs works. I have helped many clubs find that pathway by working with them to build what I call a blueprint, a multiyear plan that answers the fundamental question: “What is our vision for our club?” The best plans I have seen are those that are focused, when a club concentrates its resources on the best opportunities it has. Your Rotary club cannot be all things to its members and to the community it serves; it has limited human, financial, and time resources. A successful plan factors in assets and limitations to chart the desired pathway for your members.
Begin building a multiyear strategic plan by brainstorming with your club, asking, “What are our initiatives and priorities for the next two to three years?” Document your answers using action-oriented language that is specific, concrete, and measurable about the goals you want to achieve.
Next, narrow down your initiatives to a core set of three to five priorities. Your club will then develop specific objectives for each initiative, outlining who will be involved, key milestones of achievement, how progress will be tracked, and a timeline for completion. Keep your plan short and simple.
Then go out and do it. Review the progress you make toward accomplishing the initiatives, and revise as needed at least once a year. Rotary has a solid template to assist clubs in their planning, which you can find at my.rotary.org/en/document/strategic-planning-guide.
We want to enrich and enliven our clubs with new discussions and ideas. But how do we attract the diverse professionals, from different backgrounds, ages, and experiences, who are all driven by as strong a sense of integrity as we are?
Through strategic planning, we explore this question to define the very nature of our club and the value it offers to its members and to the community. Each club is different, and each club’s value will be unique. During the planning process, clubs may also find that some of the activities they used to do are no longer relevant or attractive.
Once your club makes a strategic plan, it’s time to take action and carry out the necessary changes. When we do that — as we engage members in vibrant and active clubs that not only have fun but also serve their communities with projects that have real and lasting impact — our clubs grow stronger. And when we discover what makes our own clubs unique and build upon those core values in all our efforts, Rotary Opens Opportunities to enrich the lives of everyone.

District 9400 congratulates Riana Pretorius from the Rotary Club of Pretoria Capital who has been appointed District Governor Nominee Designate. She will serve as District Governor of District 9400 for the Rotary year 2023/2024.

A Rotarian since 2004, Riana has had the honour of serving as Club President four times. She has been an Assistant Governor and is currently serving on both the District Membership and the District Foundation Committees.
Riana has always believed that it is important to develop small and medium businesses and this is her passion.  This led to her co-founding, and currently serving as chair of, Rotary Means Business Southern Africa fellowship (RMBSA).
Seeing the need for mentors to assist entrepreneurs, the RMBSA Committee has decided to join the RAGCED (Rotary Action Group for Community and Economic Development) - Riana will be Chairing the sub-committee in Southern Africa.
Riana has been involved with The Townships Project for the development of entrepreneurs in the Townships since 2017, and is a Trustee of the project and the Chair of the Committee in South Africa.
Riana is the CEO of Exponential Financial Services and AZUZA Wealth, both Financial Service Providers. Exponential Financial Services is a family business and Riana is responsible for investments.  She is co-owner of AZUZA Wealth, a Private Equity Fund that funds green companies by means of crowd funding. She has been running her business since 2016. Riana is an Exco Member of the South African Independent Financial Advisors Association (SAIFAA) and a member of the Financial Planning Institute (FPI).
We look forward to supporting DGND Riana, as she joins our past, current and future leaders, in strengthening our District by focusing on membership, growing support for the Rotary Foundation and  CREATING LASTING CHANGE to take us into the next 100 years in Africa.

The family of Rotary is in shock and are mourning the loss of PDG Olowu. Our sincere condolences to family and friends, Rotary the world over. We have lost one of the finest philanthropist.

Darkness fell upon us for we lost a friend, brother, uncle, mentor and a 100 percent service minded Rotarian. We all will miss PDG Olugbemiga Olutayo Olowu solely as I officially announce his transition to the great beyond. The incidence occurred in Cairo, Egypt where he recently concluded a Rotary assignment. He died in active service to humanity. PDG Olugbemiga Olowu was the District Governor (District 9110, Nigeria) in 2013-2014, an active member of Rotary club of Lagos Central. He was the West Africa Director and National Chair of our household RAG, Rotary Family Health and AIDS Prevention whose flagship programme is Rotary Family Health Days.
The Family will later announce the burial rites in due course.
May we all be consoled.
Bola Oyebade
District 9110 Nigeria

African Rotary Community Mediation (ARCoM) project has partnered with MBBI and Academics to provide a platform to establish a conflict prevention community mediation initiative which involves Rotarians and Non-Rotarians to deepen Rotary’s peace building work within and between communities. Nominate suitable candidates and community leaders in your area for this internationally recognised training programme. Applications for ARCOM are still open and prospective trainees (Rotarians and Non-Rotarians) can apply.
Log into ClubRunner 9400 or click here and complete the following online application form if you are a community leader that would like to participate in the African Rotary Community Mediation initiative (ARCoM) that aims to Empower Communities to resolve disputes.

Anas Al Hamati talks about helping Yolande Korkie and the work he does now  - YouTube

Congratulations to Mr Anas Al-Hamati who has been selected as one of the 117 incoming 2021 Rotary Peace Fellows representing peace and development leaders from 63 countries! He will be studying at the International Christian University. Anas, project manager of Gift of the Givers, was nominated by The Rotary Club of Sandton. He will be welcomed to the Rotary Peace Centers family. DG Annemarie, together with the members of D9400, wish him all the best on this journey!