The African association for Lexicography (Afrilex) was established in 1995 after a feasibility study for a lexicographical institute for Southern Africa indicated a keen interest in a unifying body among lexicographers and members of related professions. Dr Reinhard R.K. Hartmann chaired the inaugural meeting, and officially announced the birth of a new member of the Lex family.

Afrilex is managed by a Board elected biennially by the members present at a General Meeting of the association. Membership is open to individuals and institutions who have an interest in lexicography. The current membership stands at 60 individuals and 8 corporate members. The board consists of the president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, four non-officers and the conference convener.

The aims of Afrilex include the promotion and coordination of research, study and teaching of lexicography by means of publishing a journal, Lexikos, and other appropriate literature, organizing regular conferences and seminars that offer opportunities for exchange of ideas and for mutual stimulus to researchers and practitioners in the field of lexicography, and facilitating the participation in tutorials and training courses.

Afrilex seeks to develop cooperation with other international associations for lexicography as well as with local associations that are interested in the study of language.

The 21st annual International Conference of Afrilex is held in July 2016 in Tzaneen, South Africa.

Lexikos (ISSN 2224-0039) is the official mouthpiece of Afrilex, the editor being an ex-officio member of the Board. All contributions are indexed by the Thomson Reuters Web of Science Citation Index and are freely available online.

In its first twenty years of existence Afrilex has bestowed Honorary Membership on the following members: Prof. A.C. Nkabinde, Prof. Rufus Gouws, Dr Johan du Plessis, and Dr Mariëtta Alberts.