UK`s Business Continuity Institute elects first African member

Louise Theunissen has recently become the first appointee to the Business Continuity Institute’s (BCI) controlling board that hails from an African nation.

Mrs Theunissen became the BCI’s South African representative at the end of 2009 and has since had her place within the UK-based organisation cemented by the recent announcement of her board member status.

Her reputation was established whilst working as a manager of ContinuitySA’s consulting service and she has now become one of the 11 members of the BCI’s governing body.

The BCI was created 16 years ago in order to allow members of the business continuity community to have an open forum for the sharing of ideas. The BCI also acts as a regulator, ensuring that international standards for continuity remain at a consistent quality.

The total membership of the BCI has now surpassed 4000 from around the globe, with members originating from 85 different nations. Each year new elections are held to fill any vacant spaces on the board and 20 applicants vied for one of four available positions.

Because the BCI was founded in the UK, a majority of its former board members have been British, but a growing consensus amongst its members has resulted in an increasingly cosmopolitan selection of international board members.

Because Mrs Theunissen is Africa’s first BCI board member, she will be able to expand the general membership throughout her home continent and ensure that more African businesses are properly prepared to deal with data loss and other disasters.

There has been a steep rise in the demand for better business continuity management in Africa and Mrs Theunissen said that she intended to establish outposts in many African nations to help local business owners get a better grasp as to what is possible thanks to BCI standards.

All of the four BCI board members recently elected to their positions took office at the end of January 2010 and it is clear from the ambitions of its first African member that the BCI will continue to influence global practices into the future.

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