Call for Papers - African Economic Conference 2024

May 20, 2024

The 2024 African Economic Conference (AEC), jointly organized by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will be held in Gaborone, Botswana, from 23-25 November 2024. 

Since its inception in 2006, the AEC series has fostered research, expert analysis, policy dialogue, and the exchange of knowledge on various issues and challenges facing Africa.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Securing Africa’s Economic Future Amidst Rising Uncertainty,” with a focus on the following four subthemes:

  1. Global, regional, and national uncertainty impacts on Africa's development prospects: Global, regional, and national uncertainties can disrupt trade, investment flows, and economic growth. Geopolitical tensions, such as ongoing conflicts and shifting of alliances, add another layer of complexity to the continent's economic landscape. These tensions can lead to trade restrictions, sanctions, and alterations in global supply chains, affecting African economies dependent on a limited range of exports. Additionally, global financial market volatility, influenced by fluctuating interest rates and international relations, can contribute to economic instability. African economies, particularly those reliant on commodities like oil, minerals, and agricultural products, are susceptible to commodity price shocks. This volatility can trigger inflation, destabilize national currencies, and strain economies with substantial external debt, thus, reducing their capacity to finance development. The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded these challenges, disrupting global trade and investment flows. It has also reduced tourism revenues and strained healthcare systems, exacerbating economic difficulties. 

    Such questions aim to foster a deep dive into the complexities and nuances of Africa's economic landscape amid global uncertainties, promoting a proactive discussion on resilience and economic policies under uncertainties. 

  2. Practical African strategies to build resilience to emerging shocks: This sub-theme would cover conversations centered around enhancing the stability and growth of African economies, exploring strategies for economic diversification to reduce reliance on limited export commodities, examining the role of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in bolstering intra-African trade and its effectiveness as a shield against global economic turbulence; discussing the development and expansion of social safety nets to protect the vulnerable and foster societal resilience; deliberating on the importance of governance reforms and the maintenance of stable macroeconomic environments in achieving long-term economic resilience; analyzing the adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices as a means to secure food production and as a response to environmental challenges; and building economic sovereignty. Africa’s monetary policies and currency fluctuations contribute to economic uncertainty. Many African countries face inflationary pressures and currency devaluations, impacting purchasing power and business operations. The lack of control over exchange rates can also hinder economic sovereignty, especially when coupled with global financial market volatility. 

  3. Innovative development financing in an era of growing uncertainty: Challenges of securing development financing in an environment characterized by high risk and uncertainty. Innovative financing mechanisms and the role of international financial institutions in supporting development amidst uncertainties. Innovative financing mechanisms are essential for securing the funds needed for development in the face of uncertainty. This strategy incorporates several innovative financing mechanisms to enhance investment in Africa’s high-impact sectors. Domestic resource mobilization is crucial in ensuring sustainable financing for development projects by leveraging internal revenue sources such as taxes, levies, and royalties. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are pivotal, facilitating private sector investments in crucial infrastructure projects, which can significantly boost economic development. The issuance of green bonds, which specifically target environmental projects such as renewable energy installations and reforestation programs, promoting sustainable development with blended finance instruments are particularly effective in combining donor concessional funding with commercial capital from the private sector.

  4. The role of technology in fostering predictability, creativity, and resilience: The discussions will focus on several key aspects of how technology can be a driving force for economic development and innovation. Technology plays a crucial role in reducing uncertainty and sparking creativity. Digital tools can provide better data for decision-making, enhancing predictability in sectors like agriculture through weather forecasting and market prices. Mobile banking and fintech innovations improve financial inclusion and resilience. Furthermore, technology drives creativity and entrepreneurship, which are essential for economic diversification and job creation. The rise of tech hubs across Africa shows how technology fosters a new creative economy. This thematic focus highlights technology's multifaceted role in shaping Africa's economic landscape, from improving sector-specific outcomes to igniting broader entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Policy-oriented papers linked to the conference's overall theme are of particular interest.

Submission Guidelines:

Interested authors should submit their papers to  by 15 August 2024.

Only full papers addressing the conference theme will be considered for presentation. We encourage the submission of policy- and solution-oriented papers with strong empirical foundation.

Authors are asked to submit their papers and register according to the following schedule:

  • Submission of papers:     15 August 2024 

  • Notification of acceptance:    30 September 2024

  • Last day for registration for presenters:    20 October 2024

  • Conference dates:    23-25 November 2024

Young African researchers are especially encouraged to submit their articles. One of the objectives of the AEC series is to provide young African researchers the opportunity to not only share their work with a broader audience but also expand their networks.

Format Guidelines for Papers

  • Read the guidelines thoroughly. Papers will not be reviewed if they do not follow the submission guidelines.

  • Papers should be submitted electronically to  

  • All manuscripts should be submitted in PDF and Word format with 1.5 line spacing. We strongly recommend manuscripts not to exceed 40 pages. The suggested length includes reference lists, figures, and tables. Excessively long submissions may be summarily rejected.

  • Please use 12-point Times New Roman or a similar font. The margins should be 1.5 inches on the top, bottom, and sides.

  • Your paper should include a title page with each author's name, affiliation, and contact information (email address).

  • Include an abstract of 100 or fewer words.

  • We do not require a cover letter. 

Review process:

All papers will be blind peer-reviewed by the co-organizing institutions. Only original, quality work will be accepted for presentation.

A distinguished panel will assess the papers presented and award a prize to a young author whose work is deemed the best conference paper. The winner will be announced at the closing ceremony.


Authors should indicate whether they require support to cover expenses (travel, accommodation, and daily subsistence allowance) associated with their participation at the conference. Only one author per paper accepted for presentation will be eligible for sponsorship. Support is reserved mainly for presenters and young researchers from Africa.

For further information, please read the 2024 African Economic Conference concept note