International Studies & Programs

New African Alumni and Friends Network to create global engagement opportunities

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Published: Monday, 27 Sep 2021 Author: Daniel Spadafore

A network designed to enhance connections between Michigan State University alumni and friends in Africa is making its debut. 

The African Alumni and Friends Network (AAFN)—through collaboration among Michigan State University’s African Studies Center, International Studies and Programs and the MSU Alumni Office—will strengthen Spartan connections and engage alumni throughout Africa and the African diaspora to help recruit, support and mentor future and current African students; share resources to address global and African challenges and opportunities; and serve as ambassadors for Michigan State.

“This new platform will build on MSU’s decades-long engagement in Africa and provide exciting opportunities for alumni to re-engage with one another and Michigan State,” said Somadoda Fikeni, chair of the AAFN Steering Committee. “Our hope is to leverage our global alumni network to support both MSU and Africa.”

AAFN is open to all MSU alumni and friends from Africa as well as all those interested in Africa. Members of the network receive regular updates and event invitations. 

The inaugural AAFN steering committee consists of an executive committee comprising a chair, vice chair, secretary, organizing secretary, treasurer, eight regional coordinators, and two diaspora coordinators. Members were selected from a group of highly engaged alumni and represent the geographic diversity of Africa:

  • Chair & Southern Africa Coordinator: Somadoda Fikeni, alumnus, College of Social Science (South Africa)
  • Vice Chair: Patrick Lukulay, alumnus, College of Natural Science (Sierra Leone/Ghana)
  • Secretary: Barbara Agyapong, delegate, Global Youth Advancement Network (Ghana)
  • North Africa Coordinator: alumna, Nawal Ghatas, College of Education (Egypt)
  • East & Central Africa Coordinator: Raymond Musiima, Alliance for African Partnership Fellow, (Uganda)
  • West Africa Coordinator: Arhin Acheampong, alumnus, College of Social Science and Honors College (Ghana)

“We are thrilled to work with this talented group of African alumni to establish AAFN, and there are many more opportunities to get engaged,” said Jamie Monson, director of the MSU African Studies Center. “Now is a great time to get involved as we recruit to fill four additional regional coordinator positions and make plans for future MSU alumni programs in Africa.” 

“The development of the African Alumni and Friends Network is the work of a continent-wide group of committed volunteers. I am so pleased to see new partnerships emerging among our alumni and on campus to better support MSU’s African students. The MSU Alumni Office is excited to support these efforts,” said Nick McLaren, executive director of the MSU Alumni Office.

To sign up for the African Alumni and Friends Network, visit To express your interest in becoming involved in the AAFN steering committee and learn about open positions, please contact Damaris Choti, chotid(at), coordinator of student and alumni programs at the African Studies Center.