October 17, 2020

Dear AFAM Members,

I hope you are all doing well in this era of COVID-19. Please try to keep yourself safe! You matter so much to yourself, family, school, and AFAM!

I write for two reasons. First, I want to check on you as a mem-ber of the AFAM family which is in the spirit of our relational humanism to be there for each other. Each of us is because we are!

Second, I want to briefly update you on what AFAM has been doing. Obvi-ously, the pandemic halted the activities of organizations and nations. We are no exception. Given the uncertainty associated with COVID-19, we do not know how things will be in 2022. Nonetheless, we are still planning our biennial conference to be held in Cairo, Egypt, in January 2022. Please look out for the call for papers which has been distributed and included in this newsletter. Our partners in Egypt are working diligently with us to ensure the conference is successful. As you prepare to submit, please encourage others to join you in submitting their papers and reviewing for the confer-ence when the submission system is opened in January. We expect it to be as successful, if not better, than previous conferences

In addition to the conference, the executives have embarked on a strategic initiative for the next decade. Termed AFAM2030, it will be the guide to our discourse and activities for the next ten years. Obviously, we will need your feedback and involvement in the activities that emerge from the stra-tegic initiative. We hope you will respond when called upon. We began im-plementing one of the plans – Potential Optimization of members. It will involve the use of webinars to train and development members.

Our first webinar, a dry run, was held on Sept 4, 2020. It focused on the Covid19 Pandemic - Managing and Leading Educational Institutions in Africa During Covid19 - and involved Deans and Vice Chancellors from African Universities. We expect to build on this in 2021..

Let me conclude by saying THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your membership and involvement in AFAM. AFAM really cherishes your engagement. May I encourage you and your colleagues to be active members of AFAM. It is through active involvement that we can make AFAM a transformative or-ganization. I also want to thank those who were able to participate in our first webinar. I hope you will participate in future webinars that are being planned.

     David B. Zoogah, PhD
     President, Africa Academy of Management (AFAM) 

Presidential Address: Embracing the Secular in our ‘Sacred Scholarly World’

In this Address, I reflect on the journey of AFAM with regard to its past, present and future. As a new scholarly community, AFAM is called to the sacred society. Its future therefore should be based on the use of the legitimacy associated with that calling to enact its strategic role – facilitating transformation of African societies – by assuming the paramount duty of parrhesia. As a parrhesiatic organization, AFAM has to engage in value-creating practices through its discourses so that it can endow Africans with the right and ability to speak. These value-creating practices are means by which AFAM moves beyond its sacredness to the secular context of Africa. Unlike other scholarly communities, AFAM does not have the luxury of not ‘unliving’ the African challenge; it has a sacred duty to help provide a different and new living to Africans than the one they are currently experiencing.

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