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Dear AFAM Members:
I am pleased to say that our 3rd Biennial Conference held at the beautiful Strathmore Business School in Nairobi, Kenya from 5 to 10 January 2016 proved to be a stimulating and exciting event. The conference was attended by 167 participants from 26 countries.
There are a number of people to thank for the success of the conference. We thank our hosts, Strathmore Business School, for a very warm reception. We were heartily welcomed by Dr. George Njenga, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research and Quality and Director of the Strathmore Business School. The local host committee headed by Dr. Fred Ogola were superb in attending to every logistical detail and the needs of participants.
We also thank our sponsors and exhibitors for their support: Emerald Group Publishing who have been a steadfast supporter of our conferences and other activities since our launch as an association; GIZ who is a new sponsor; and the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies who sponsored our doctoral and junior faculty consortium. We wish to thank our exhibitors as well: Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group) and Diversity IceBreaker.
In addition to presentations of papers, symposia and professional development workshops, the program also included an opening reception keynote speech by Mr Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom, experiential learning opportunities to learn about Kenyan organizations including Equity Bank, Kazuri Beads, Guango Dairy Limited, and iHUB. There was also a session that featured executives from major companies in the East African Community who spoke about the business challenges of regional integration. The managers’ stories and research articles of this session were published in a special issue of the Africa Journal of Management (Volume 1 (4) November 2015). Our gala dinner on Saturday included the 2016 Trailblazer Award presented to Professor Michael Frese for the contributions he has made to the study of entrepreneurship in Africa. You can read more about his research under the 2016 conference tab.
I have to extend profound gratitude to the AFAM Executive Committee members. Coordinating a conference of this magnitude is usually done by a backroom staff or an events planner but because we are young association, everyone on the Executive Committee carries a number of conference responsibilities. Elham Metwally and Nceku Nyathi, Conference co-chairs who worked closely with the program committee and track chairs to ensure an excellent conference. The success of the conference is because of their leadership and the unselfish, hard work of members of the program committee: Eileen Kwesiga, Moses Acquaah, and Judy Muthuri. David Zoogah provided the leadership and organisation for the doctoral and junior faculty consortium and Constance Buegré organised the symposia and professional development workshops (PDW’s). Karel Stanz and Moses Acquaah served as co-editors of the 2016 Conference proceedings. Faith Ngunjiri handled publicity and the conference website along with Lance Stringer who manages the AFAM website. Benson Honig, in addition to chairing the 2016 Trailblazer Award Committee, also served as a track chair along with Amon Chizema, Akhentoolove Corbin, Tarek Hatem, and Jenny Hoobler. Thanks to all of you who volunteered to review paper submissions as well. I want to also thank my research assistant Laura Salmon who has been my right hand in providing support for a lot of the administrative and logistical details.
Finally, I thank all of you who attended the conference. A conference in the end is a lasting experience if participants are able to connect and engage in meaningful interactions around common research interests. I saw a lot of that happening and do hope further interaction and collaboration will blossom. We are already planning for our 2018 conference to do our part to keep the community connected and engaged. Please check out the call for hosts for 2018. For those who were unable to attend the conference, please visit the 2016 conference tab for the program, pictures, and proceedings.
The Executive Committee and I appreciate your continued membership and participation. We are working hard to take AFAM forward. Please assist us spreading the news about AFAM, particularly the new journal and the 2018 conference. Encourage your friends, colleagues and those within your networks to become members and participants in our exciting future.
Professor Stella Nkomo