Our paths crossed about 25 years ago. Professor Robert Rugimbana was a founding member of Academy of African Business and Development (AABD), a professional group of professionals interested in advancing business and development in Africa. Over the years, we met at conferences in Africa, Europe, United States, Canada, and Australia to discuss issues pertaining to Africa’s business and development. Robert will be remembered as a humble, unassuming, engaging, caring, and friendly person. His long involvement in the Academy of African Business and Development, aside from being one of the founding members of our organization, ranged from serving as a Conference Track Chair, a Mentor in AABD’s Mentor-Mentee Program, a member of Professional Development Committee, and a member of the Board of Governors of AABD. He was always willing to lend a hand. He leveraged his position as Dean at Tshwane University of Technology in South Africa to raise funds to support our AABD Arusha conference in 2016.

Dr. Rugimbana obtained his doctorate from Macquarie University in Australia. Recently, Professor Robert Rugimbana served as Vice Chancellor of University of Kigali, one of the foremost Private Universities in Rwanda. Previously, he was a senior faculty at Tshwane University of Technology, Griffith University, University of Technology Sydney, and Macquarie University. He held important University Governance roles such as Campus Rector, Executive Dean, Associate Dean, Director of a Graduate School and Head of Department, Senate Chair of three Private Universities, Midrand Graduate Institute [MGI], Pearson Institute of Higher Education, [PIHE], and EDUVOS South Africa. Over the years, he supervised several students at Masters and PhD levels in a range of business, marketing, and entrepreneurship areas. Some of his former students are now full Professors.

Professor Rugimbana was a highly regarded scholar. He published widely. Throughout his academic career, he championed high impact research on African issues. His works appeared in prestigious journals, such as the European Journal of Marketing, Journal of African Business, Journal of Business Research, International Journal of Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, Australasian Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Management, Journal of Financial Services Marketing, Journal of Psychology & Marketing. Also, he edited a book on Cross-Cultural Marketing [Thomson Learning International Business Press – UK], co-authored an award-winning Principles of Core Marketing textbook [McGraw-Hill, Australia], as well as two adaptations of Kotler & Armstrong, South African editions, 2010 and 2016. In addition, he contributed chapters in the latest Strategic Marketing Textbook 2020 and other book chapters, as well as was co-authoring a textbook titled Marketing in Africa. Also, he consulted at levels of national and local governments, as well as large private international enterprises.

As beautifully stated by Maya Angelou “A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul never dies, it brings us together again and again.” With deep (deep) sorrow, we say good-bye to Professor Robert Rugimbana, our friend, brother, and colleague, for now until we meet again in the Lord’s kingdom. We will surely miss his intellectual leadership. From all of us in the AABD organization, we say, “REST IN PERFECT PEACE, PROFESSOR ROBERT RUGIMBANA”.

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