On January 8, 2020, Lagos Business School opened its doors over 150 management scholars, academics and other delegates from across the continent who will be participating in the 2020 Africa Academy of Management conference (AFAM).
The 5th edition of the biennial conference is themed, ‘Globalisation, Pan-Africanism and the African Business Climate’ and features multiple paper sessions, symposia and professional development workshops that explore two distinct aspects of the newly emerging African business environment: how external actors invest, relocate, and interact with indigenous African businesses, and how internal African businesses move across national boundaries and explore the Pan-African environment.
At the opening ceremony of the conference, Lagos Business School Dean, Professor Enase Okonedo welcomed the delegates to the School and to Lagos iterating the importance of hosting the event in the city considering it is one of the most populous in the world and plays a salient role in the economic growth of Nigeria and Africa. According to her, the conference theme is reflective of what Lagos symbolises.
Speaking further, Professor Okonedo said, “Over a decade ago, our focus at Lagos Business School expanded from developing competent and responsible managers for Nigeria to impacting the workplace and industries across Africa and the world. Therefore, our research agenda and programme structure have equally been altered to ensure that the managers we raise here are able to function effectively in other parts of the continent. It is with this consciousness that we play host to the AFAM conference where conversations that will move Africa to the next level will be held.”
The opening ceremony was preceded by a Junior Faculty and Doctoral Students Consortium that explored topics such as the Challenges of Ethical Research, High Impact Research in Africa, Knowledge Sharing and Scholarship in Africa among many others that are geared towards developing and maintaining high-performance scholarship in Africa.
As part of the opening day activities, a workshop organised by the Global Business Schools Network (GBSN) in partnership with the LBS Sustainability Centre and AFAM also brought together management and research scholars to discuss sustainable development in Africa and the role of business schools in this.
At the workshop, AFAM President, Dr David Zoogah highlighted the need for incorporating lessons on cultural identity, common heritage values and ethics in business school curricula. Dr Zoogah said, “African scholars have a unique role to play in educating other scholars particularly about their identities, as it is important to answer the pertinent question, ‘How can we run business practices from the perspective of African values?’”
The rest of the Conference will include experiential trips to selected indigenous organisations in Nigeria, a Deans’ Forum, paper sessions and a closing ceremony scheduled for Saturday, January 11, 2020. This is the first time the AFAM Conference will hold in Nigeria. The biennial event has held successfully in Gaborone and Nairobi in 2014 and 2016, respectively, and in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2018.
The 2020 Africa Academy of Management Conference is supported by Zenith Bank, African Export-Import Bank, and Stanbic IBTC Bank. Media partner is Proshare Nigeria.