International Conference - Reimagining Africa: Prospects and Opportunities

deadline for submissions: 
February 15, 2024
full name / name of organization: 

International Conference – Reimagining Africa: Prospects and Opportunities

Africa’s evolution in the 21st century has been marked by a mix of remarkable, even if unheralded, strides as well as daunting challenges. There are claims that not only did Africa seem to have ‘lost’ the 20 th century, there is the fear that the continent might also not be taking sufficient advantage of of the hope and opportunities presented by the currentcentury. This is associated with challenges to political stability, conflict management that have dogged Africa in the early part of this century. These difficulties extend also be the economic arena where growth has been uneven with some countries appearing to do well while others still grapple with problematic levels of poverty, unemployment and pressing infrastructural needs.

Amid these, Africa has demonstrated resilience and resourcefulness. Economic growth in various countries, advancements in technology, and improvements in healthcare and education in certain regions depict a continent striving for development. Efforts, such as the African Union's 'Agenda 2063' underscore the commitment to inclusive growth, sustainable development, and peace across the continent. Some observers argue that this should only be viewed with cautious optimism, citing oft-repeated litany of perceived ‘deficits’ stereotypically associated with the continent.

While not ignoring the myriad of difficulties experienced in Africa, this conference challenges potential presenters and participants to think rather in terms of the opportunities, prospects and possibilities that Africa has, as well as the contributions that the continent can make in addressing, not only it’s internal issues, but also the multitude of problems facing the entire planet today. What unique advantages can we find in the history of past and present African civilisations? What lessons can be learnt from the continent’s contemporary resilience in the face of such daunting crises as the COVID-19 pandemic? What cultural, historical and intellectual resources can Africans draw from in the attempt to chart a more auspicious future pathway for its people and the world? What kinds of collaborations, both within and beyond Africa, can be developed to address these issues.

Indeed, what would it take – in broad terms – for Africa to become “the Africa we want” in the words of the AU’s 'Agenda 2063"? Academics, students, researchers, CSO and NGO practitioners, government officials, policy-makers, and other stakeholders are invited to contribute to these discussions using the following (and other relevant) sub-themes:

* Economic transformation and developmental paradigms
* Environmental sustainability and climate change
* Healthcare access and pandemic responses
* Social movements, identities and cultural resilience
* Technology, innovation and digital divide
* Education and human capital development
* Conflict resolution and peacebuilding
* Gender equality and women empowerment
* Historical perspectives on Africa’s evolution

Submission guidelines:
Interested presenters should please send abstracts of no more than 250 words along with a short bio of 100 words to Contributors should state the subtheme that best suits their submission. Upon acceptance of abstracts, presenters are expected to send 10-page slides and a well-researched manuscript of between 6,000 and 8,000 words.

Publishing opportunities

Authors whose papers are presented at the conference as well as those who might be unable to attend have the option of submitting their full papers for peer review and publication in any of the four accredited journals listed below including in an edited book coordinated by Prof. Victor Ojakorotu and Dr. Bamidele Olajide.

* African Renaissance
* Journal of African Affairs
* AYIKA: Journal of Environment and Politics in Africa
* Africa and Global Issues Quarterly

Conference venue:
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (Humanities Graduate Centre), South Africa

Important dates:
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 15 February 2024
Announcement of decisions on abstracts: 16 February 2024
Submission of full papers: 31 March 2024
Conference registration: 1 – 17 April 2024
Conference: 18 – 20 April 2024
Conference fees: R5000 (students – R3500)

Conference conveners:
Prof V Ojakorotu, NorthWest University, Mahikeng, South Africa
Prof P Mashau, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Prof TJ Mudua, Institute of Gender & Youth Studies, University of Venda, South Africa
Prof K Esuola, Institute of African & Diaspora Studies, University of Lagos, Nigeria
Prof P Marumo, School of Philosophy, NorthWest University, Mahikeng, South Africa

Confirmed keynote speakers:
Prof TD Thobejane, Institute for Gender & Youth Studies, University of Venda, South Africa
Prof A Akpome, Department of English, University of Zululand, South Africa


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