Increasing the offer of KM education and certifications in African Universities - A Conversation with Prof. Madeleine Fombad 

In a recent episode of the Kabod Group podcast series, a compelling conversation took place between Professor Madeleine Fombad, a distinguished figure in the field as a Professor of Knowledge Management at the University of South Africa, and Christian Elongue, the Managing Director of Kabod Group. The emphasis was on the role of Knowledge Management (KM) in Africa and the critical need to amplify its presence as a discipline across the continent while also strengthening partnerships between academia, industry, and policymakers. 

At its core, the discussion sought to uncover the reasons behind the relatively limited embrace of knowledge management as an academic discipline and professional practice in Africa. Professor Fombad adeptly pointed to the dominating international perspective within the field, shedding light on the necessity for formal KM qualifications—a notable absence in many African nations. She shared her ongoing advocacy efforts, aiming to integrate KM into academic curricula and emphasize the vital linkages between scholarly knowledge and practical industry applications. 

Christian, in his role, emphasized the critical role of KM in steering Africa towards sustainable development. A focal point of interest was Professor Fombad’s recent study, which delved into the intersection of KM and the pressing challenges of climate change in South Africa. She eloquently highlighted KM’s power to drive behavioural shifts, capture and disseminate best practices, and harness indigenous knowledge for policy formulation and community-centred decision-making. 

The conversation further ventured into the collaborative possibilities between policymakers and academia, exploring avenues to leverage knowledge products for sustainable progress. Professor Fombad passionately advocated for proactive community engagement, citing radio broadcasts, conferences, and direct stakeholder interactions as pivotal tools for knowledge mobilization. 

When discussing strategies to advance KM education and research, Professor Fombad emphasized the need for a dynamic curriculum aligned with industry demands. Her vision encompassed a seamless integration of theoretical insights with practical experiences, empowering individuals to embrace KM as a catalyst for change. She encouraged those with a passion for sustainable development in Africa to consider KM as a gateway to a myriad of impactful careers within the field. 


Nevertheless, challenges persist in the effective implementation of sustainable development initiatives through KM. Professor Fombad candidly addressed issues such as organizational priorities, access to timely information, knowledge silos, and the need for leadership to recognize KM as a strategic imperative. 


In response, she proposed a comprehensive action plan—a collaborative effort to garner stakeholder support, elevate awareness, and incentivize governmental backing for KM initiatives. Christian, echoing the sentiment, reiterated Kabod Group’s steadfast commitment to championing KM advocacy across Africa. Their initiatives (KMPA Podcast and Community of Practice) are designed to empower organizations and businesses, equipping them with the tools to thrive and innovate in a rapidly evolving business landscape.  


In summary, the conversation between Kabod Group and Professor Fombad paints a vivid picture of the transformative potential inherent in knowledge management for Africa’s development trajectory. By confronting challenges head-on, fostering cross-sector collaboration, and elevating the narrative of KM’s value proposition, a new dawn emerges—one where knowledge becomes the cornerstone of sustainable growth and prosperity for the continent, Kabod Group is one of the organizations leading the way. 


To participate and contribute to our initiatives, we welcome you to join our community of practice on LinkedIn or reach out to Kabod Group via email at

Written by Prince Teye-Gaga