The Nelson Mandela University Family Business Unit (FBU) recently hosted the 2nd Annual African Family Business Research Conference, in collaboration with African Family Firms (AFF). Various members from the Department of Business Management were involved with organising and participating in this conference.


The conference was hosted online between 10 – 13 August 2021 and was themed “Gamade”, which means “Striving for cooperation and sharing”. Over the four days, many accomplished family business researchers and professionals from various countries presented their research in the field of African family business. Informative panel discussions were also held on each of the daily themes, where important questions were raised and answered. For each of these discussions, the context of Africa was also discussed and debated.


Members of the Department of Business Management, who are also members of the FBU, co-organised the conference and participated in its proceedings:

  • Prof Elmarie Venter (Professor in Business Management) presented her and Prof Farrington’s joint research, titled “The nature and importance of entrepreneurial orientation in African family businesses”, while also participating in several panel discussions and chairing several sessions.
  • Prof Shelley Farrington (Professor in Business Management) presented her and Prof Venter’s joint research, titled “Exploring the relationship between governance and family business success in a developing country context”, while also participating in several panel discussions.
  • Mr Welcome Kupangwa (PhD student in the Department and Lecturer in the Department of Management Practice) presented his doctoral research, titled “The nature of values among South African IAFBs”, and also participated in a couple of panel discussions.
  • Mr Haydn Hayidakis (Social Media and Digital Assistant) presented his master’s research, titled “Innovation in South African family and non-family SMEs” and participated in a panel discussion.
  • Dr Tony Matchaba-hove (Head of Department and Senior Lecturer in Business Management) participated in a panel discussion.


Overall, the conference was a great success, and it is hoped that this conference can continue to grow from year to year, as it offers a great opportunity for researchers in Africa to share (and showcase) their research and to contribute to the world of family business management and governance.


Links to all the session recordings can be accessed on the conference website.

Contact information
Prof Shelley Farrington
Professor in Business Management
Tel: 041 504 2203

Prof Elmarie Venter
Professor in Business Management
Tel: 041 504 2204