Institute of African Studies, Rabat, Morocco
Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane
December 9&10, 2010
The 50th anniversary of the independence of African states offers a unique opportunity to evaluate the achievements of African countries as regards socio-economic development and to lead a serious reflection on future prospects.
Having crossed the threshold of a billion inhabitants, Africa must face formidable challenges. It contains the largest number of LDCs, the greatest proportion of inhabitants living below the extreme poverty line and the largest population suffering from several socio-economic problems and space imbalances. If the current trends are not reversed, the majority of the countries of sub-Saharan Africa will not be able to achieve the millennium development goals.
In spite of this bleak picture, remarkable progress has been made by African countries. Growth rates of the African economies have shown a vigorous pace during the last decade, the indicators of education and health have improved significantly, agricultural production has reached very high levels, and the number of conflicts which undermined development in several countries have been reduced or were completely resolved. Moreover, the wind of democracy which has been blowing on Africa since the 1990s has helped establish and consolidate good governance in the great majority of African countries. Constant progress of the African Peer Review Mechanism (resulting from the NEPAD) testifies to the commitment of African leaders for democracy.
The reflection on the future of Africa must be founded on an objective and rigorous examination of the results of fifty years of independence, of the challenges which still need to be met, and of the opportunities which arise in the short, medium and long term.
The object of the conference is to make it possible for Africans to do this essential work of taking stock, and to provide the foundations for the development of coherent strategies for a better future.
A great number of important subjects must be part of this reflection. Among the issues to be examined, the conference could consider the following lines of thinking:
1. The evaluation of progress made must consider economic and social development. In doing so, it would be useful to use the perspective of human development which will make it possible to assess achievements in terms of economic growth as well as in social and human domains. In this respect, education and human capital play a central role.
2. The reflection on the future of the development of Africa will be carried out in the context of a rapidly changing world economy. Given the requirements of globalization, the analysis will have to take into consideration the various African initiatives towards sub-regional and continental integration. Thus, the conference will also give due attention to the place of Africa in world trade, investment and technology.
3. Governance is an important key element of development, so it will have to be a major focus of the conference. The establishment in Dakar of the Africa Institute of Governance reaffirms its importance. The conference will also deal with the various experiences of democratic transition in Africa.
4. Conflicts in Africa pose enormous problems, and it is crucial to analyze the causes and the impact of these conflicts and to draw lessons that can help in preventing them in the future. The conference will also serve as a forum for the evaluation and study of the processes (liberation movements) having led African countries to independence.
5. The initiatives which were taken over the years to unify the action of the African countries (Casablanca and Monrovia Groups, OAU/UA, CEN-SAD, Lagos Plan of Action, NEPAD) deserve an objective examination as for their impact, insufficiencies and future prospects.
- The conference will be held on December 09 & 10, 2010 at the conference hall of the Institute of African Studies.
- June 15, 2010: Deadline for receipt of abstracts (maximum one page summary).
- October 30, 2010: Deadline for submission of papers.
- The one-page (maximum) summaries are to be written in MS. Word format, A4, Times New Roman 12 point, 2.5 cm margins and single-spaced. Each summary is to include on a separate page: title, name and surname of the author, the function and the home institution, email address, telephone numbers and fax.
- The formatting requirements for the paper (from 8 to 20 pages) are the same above
• The languages of the conference are French, English, and Arabic.
• The costs of accommodation and food during the period of the conference are borne by the organizers.
- Conference Secretariat:
Institute of African Studies, Rabat, Morocco
& Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane
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