8th Annual Africa Conference at Tennessee State University

Adebayo Oyebade Announcement
Tennessee, United States
Subject Fields
African History / Studies, Black History / Studies, African American History / Studies, Area Studies, Atlantic History / Studies

The Department of History, Political Science, Geography, & Africana Studies at Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee, invites academics, independent scholars, policymakers, and graduate students to present papers at its eighth annual conference on the theme: Towards the African Renaissance: Opportunities, Challenges, and Prospects.

Contact Information

The idea of African Renaissance is a recurrent concept in African history. Its origins date, at least, to late colonial Africa, emerging as a response to the European colonial project. The concept envisioned an economically prosperous and politically stable, progressive Africa, rising from the ashes of colonialism. The Senegalese scholar, Cheikh Anta Diop, first articulated the concept in the 1940s to express a rather ambitious vision of rapid social, economic, and political development in postcolonial Africa. In recent years, the ideal of African Renaissance has gained traction in African political discourse. In the early part of this century, post-apartheid South African president, Thabo Mbeki, forcefully articulated a set of developmental goals envisioned to bring about an African renaissance. In addition, the African Union (AU) has called for an African renaissance as it charts pathways towards the overall development of the continent.

Following the attainment of political independence and the recent wave of democratization that swept across the continent, African Renaissance is considered the next major agenda for Africa, which will involve economic, political, and social renewal. The AU in its continental 50-year agenda, called Agenda 2063, envisions a prosperous, peaceful, and integrated Africa, based on the ideals of Pan-Africanism and the vision of African Renaissance, which would usher in a new Africa with global influence, and its states imbued with good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice, and the rule of law. 

The window of opportunity for African renaissance is wide open since the continent has made considerable progress in both economic development and governance in recent years. Indeed, economic growth in Africa has expanded sharply since the turn of the millennium. At least half of the fastest growing economies in the world are from Africa, and many countries have transitioned from one-party dictatorship and military regimes to multi-party systems since the 1990s. Even though one can employ the “Africa rising” narrative to describe recent successes, a more nuanced, balanced, and cautionary approach is needed to examine the dynamics of African Renaissance and its prospects. This year’s conference will provide a platform for scholars, policy makers, and other participants to examine critically within a multidisciplinary framework, Africa’s economic, political, and socio-cultural transformations and renewal, with specific focus on undercurrent issues including achievements, opportunities, challenges, and prospects.

The sub-themes and potential topics around which the conference is organized may include but are not limited to the following:

Defining the African Renaissance: Diop, Mbeki, and AU
Colonialism and its Legacy
Neocolonialism and Postcolonial Africa
frican Renaissance: Make Africa Great
The African Renaissance: Myth or Reality
Pan Africanism and the African Renaissance
African Renaissance and the Diaspora
Economic and Political Integration in Africa
Intra-Africa Trade and Regional Economic Integration
Peace, Security, and Stability for Development
Poverty Alleviation, Inclusive growth, and Sustainable Development
Women and Youth Empowerment
Science, Technology, and Innovation
Good Governance, Democracy, and Development
Development of Democratic Institutions, Accountability, and Transparency
Africa’s Place in the Global Economy and Politics
Trade, Investment, and Entrepreneurship
Climate change: Impacts, Risks, and Vulnerabilities
Pan-Africanism, Cultural Identity and Heritage
Development of Indigenous Languages and African Renaissance
China, Africa, and the West
Agriculture, Agro-processing and Industrialization
Economic Policies—Structural Adjustment, Liberal reforms
Health, Education, and Infrastructural Development
Human Capital Development
Africa's Population Boom, Migration, Brain Drain, and Brain Gain
Toward an Integrated, Prosperous, and Peaceful Africa: Challenges and Prospects
Africa’s Renaissance, Transformation, and Development Prospects in the 21st Century
Africa's Socioeconomic Development Challenges and Prospects

Dr. Adebayo Oyebade
Professor of History
Tennessee State University
Nashville, TN 37209

Dr. Gashawbeza Bekele
Associate Professor of Geography
Tennessee State University
Nashville, TN 37209

Abstracts/Panel proposals

Each prospective presenter should submit electronically an abstract of 500 words or less to by Friday, Dec. 31, 2019. Abstract prepared as Microsoft Word document should include the presenter’s name, title of paper, institutional affiliation, and contact information (mailing address, phone number, and email address). Please, send abstracts to: tsuafricaconference@tnstate.edu (Note that the submission of abstract automatically grants conference organizers the right to publish it in the conference program and website).

Conference Registration Fees
Mandatory non-refundable registration fees for the conference are:
Regular: $75 by Dec. 31, 2019; & $90 by Feb. 15, 2020 (banquet included).
Graduate Students: $30 by Dec. 31, 2019; & $45 by Feb. 15, 2020 (banquet included).
Banquet only: $30 by Feb. 15, 2020.
Please, see the conference website for information on registration.

Publication of Selected Papers
Selected conference papers will be published as a book.

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