Conference Overview

Conference Theme: Globalization, Pan Africanism, and the African Business Climate

Our conference theme is meant to encourage dialogue and debate regarding one of the most pressing issues that face the continent: As African economies grow, how are resources and business opportunities best marshalled and shepherded for the benefit of Africans in a way that facilitates sustainability and access to better life for citizens? What is the role of foreign direct investment, regional trade associations, and regulatory frameworks in ensuring and maximizing resources? How can the public and not-for-profit ‘third sector’ help to manage and to benefit from the inevitable challenges and changes? What are the responsibilities of investors, both those in Africa and those from outside Africa, in ensuring a sustainable and healthy environmental footprint in African businesses and economies?

Our location, Lagos, Nigeria, is ideal for exploring these issues. Nigeria is not only the largest economy in Africa but also the largest oil producer in Africa, the 11th largest in the world, and has a long history of FDI. As new oil deposits continue to be discovered throughout the continent, we may ask ourselves if oil (and the other critical resources so prevalent in Africa) are a cure or a curse? How might African countries rich in natural resources best manage this wealth for the benefit of their populations?

Prospective contributors are encouraged to submit conceptual or empirical papers, symposia and professional development workshops that explore the issues relevant to the conference theme and beyond. Topics relevant to the theme include, but are not limited to the following:

  • How can foreign direct investment be best managed in the African context?
  • How can African regional actors compete with international firms?
  • How can local firms be encouraged to globalize, and/or expand across the African continent?
  • What frameworks might be employed to manage natural resources on the continent?
  • What formal institutional factors facilitate or impede the creation of African organizations that can compete in the global economy?
  • How might resources be better managed for the benefit of Africans?
  • How might entrepreneurship be promoted to encourage indigenous resource development?
  • What are effective incentives and frameworks for CSR and social entrepreneurship?
  • What strategies should African businesses implement in their local markets to enable them to prosper both at home and in the competitive global environment?
  • What factors could facilitate (or impede) the emergence of African multinationals?
  • What is the role of African indigenous knowledge systems in contributing to management theory development?
  • To what extent can informal institutional factors, such as culture, ubuntu, and the role of the extended family system facilitate or impede the creation of entrepreneurial businesses in Africa?
  • What human resources management practices can facilitate the creation of high-performing organizations?

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