Dear Colleagues:

On behalf of our Executive Board I wish to, belatedly, but albeit most warmly, wish you a most productive and fulfilling 2018. I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for attending our second biennial conference held at the University of Ghana (Legon) last year, as well as thank all of you—those who attended, and those who could not attend, for your amazing support for our young association.

Both Dr. Toussaint and I suffered the loss of dear family members at the end of 2017, and this has contributed, in part, to your not hearing from us until now. However, transitions are important events in many ways—the funerals bring family together to mourn, heal, and remember the blessings of not only the departed but also our family of ancestors. And as we reflect on our own mortality we are reminded that we have so little time to be a part of so much important work. So, while it is already almost four months since our conference, memories of the vibrancy of the discourse and individual interactions still encourage me—we had a great conference. I am especially gratified by the powerful engagement and energy of our young generation of scholars (scholar-activists)—their presence assures us that our future is very far from hopeless. Further, our analyses of the evaluation forms tell us that in spite of some hiccups which offer important lessons for the future, most of you felt positively about the conference.

We are pleased to inform you that after paying all our bills, the association came out without a debt and even a small income. We shall use this to run the office, pay allowances to our (for now, volunteer) ‘staff’, and hopefully have a small amount to invest. We are also looking at alternative ways to support the association’s work financially, and welcome any ideas members may have.

We could look at global Africa and be dismayed or frustrated by actions, inactions and ill-conceived pronouncements. As I type, I am still reeling from the details of the sexual misconduct (at best, and blatant abuse more likely) of Haitians by staff of an international NGO whose work was precisely to protect Haitians. The abuse of power that often ends up destroying the lives of the most vulnerable, often young people in global Africa, is painful to deal with. And yet, as we ponder our “demographic dividend”—the energy, creativity, and initiative of our youth—there is also much to be expectant about. For this reason, we debated, but eventually decided against making a statement on president Trump’s recent comments on Africa—we feel that we cannot dignify them by providing a platform for any further coverage. When we need to speak out against specific actions and polices we will certainly do so.

For now, ASAA meets once every other year, however, we are looking into possibilities to host small workshops for graduate students and early career scholars; this could be on writing, publishing for different audiences, grantsmanship, linking academic and advocacy work, or public speaking to name a few. We will also soon roll out a programme to accept short-term interns within the association. Finally, please send announcements for our web site: news items of your work or that of your organization if you are an institutional member, job announcements, or links to important events going on around the world that are related to global Africa.

Long live ASAA!
In solidarity,

Akosua Adomako Ampofo

February 2018