Call for papers – 6th AfricaLics Research Conference

Hosted by the University of Ilorin, Nigeria and the Ministry of Communication, Innovation and Digital EconomyOrganised in collaboration with NigeriaLics & AfricaLics

BackgroundThe African Network of Researchers in Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems (AfricaLics) has organized research conferences every second year since its inception in 2012. The conferences focus on research on Innovation and Development studies in Africa and target mainly the academic community, but also policymakers and the business community. Conferences aim to bring together Ph.D. students and early career academics with leading scholars working on innovation and development in Africa, as well as policymakers and business communities interested in this field.

The 6th Research ConferenceThe challenges facing Africa, including climate change, high inflation rates, and depreciating currencies, have profound implications for essential aspects of society such as food security, health, and overall well-being. Addressing these challenges necessitates the adoption of sustainable approaches that target key areas of economic diversification, agricultural productivity enhancement, increased use of digital learning, sustainable energy practices and enhancing climate resilience, attracting foreign direct investment, governance improvement, bolstering institutional capacity, fostering regional integration, and implementing effective monetary and fiscal policies. Amid the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is characterized by rapid technological advancement and digital transformation, innovation has emerged as a crucial driver of progress. African nations must embrace innovation and sustainable strategies to overcome developmental hurdles and ensure the welfare of all citizens. It is against this backdrop that the theme of the conference is set: “The Africa We Want: Leveraging Innovation and Digital Transformation.” By harnessing the power of innovation and leveraging digital technologies, Africa can forge a path toward sustainable development, enabling prosperity and opportunities for its people. This conference serves as a platform for collaborative discourse and action-oriented initiatives aimed at charting a course for Africa’s future growth and prosperity.

Conference theme and subthemesThe 6th AfricaLics conference aims to address the above issues which are not only common to African countries but have remained on the front burner of discussions around the development of the continent at the global level. The main theme of the conference is The Africa We Want: Leveraging Innovation and Digital Transformation. Papers addressing the main topic and sub-themes (see below) are strongly encouraged, but other high-quality papers focusing on innovation and development issues may also be accepted.


Appropriate policies for innovation and development in the era of Science, Technology, and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA), 2024, Agenda 2063 and the SDGs.Innovation, the Private Sector, and Sustainable Development – the future of formal and informal economies.Innovation management in key economic sectors for Africa’s development (e.g. agriculture, manufacturing, services): prospects and challenges.4th Industrial Revolution: opportunities and impacts of disruptive technologies on African social and economic structures.Innovation for social inclusion and conflict management.Strategies and technologies to enhance Agricultural Innovation for poverty alleviation, resilience to climate change and its impacts.Innovative and sustainable solutions for quality education and equality for healthy living and well-being.Innovations for reduced inequalities in Africa (gender, income, health, human settlements etc.) and inclusive, productive, and decent job for all.Forging Collaborative Paths: public private sector partnerships for sustainable development and inclusive growth.Conference location and objectives

The Sixth AfricaLics Conference will be hosted by the University of Ilorin in Nigeria. The conference intends to bring together 100 – 150 PhD students, early career scholars, and established researchers and scholars from different disciplines with the overall aim of providing a platform for discussing research on and enhancing the quality of innovation studies related to development and growth in Africa.

The conference specifically aims to provide space for the presentation and discussion of research findings and for networking between researchers working in the field of innovation and development. It constitutes part of the AfricaLics efforts to build research capacity in Africa with strong links to users, including policymakers and the private sector.

The main objectives of this conference are as follows:

To present and discuss state-of-the-art research in the field of innovation and development in Africa with a focus on the promotion of sustainable industrialization and climate resilient development.To provide a much-needed arena for researchers in Africa, particularly early career researchers, to build capacity in presenting and networking skills as well as learning about new methods and theories.To promote networking and create space for new collaborations among researchers in the field of innovation and development, focusing on Africa.To build capacity to teach high-quality, fit for purpose, and curricula in the field of innovation and development in Africa.The conference will be held for three days from 13th to 15th November 2024. The programme will involve keynote addresses, plenary sessions, and the presentation of research papers in parallel tracks combined with panel discussions (thematic sessions). A draft programme will be posted on the conference website in early September 2024.The conference will be held for three days from 13th to 15th November 2024. The programme will involve keynote addresses, plenary sessions, and the presentation of research papers in parallel tracks combined with panel discussions (thematic sessions). A draft programme will be posted on the conference website in early September 2024.

Paper submission and selection process

We invite the submission of original unpublished full papers for the conference. Submission of a full paper (in PDF) not exceeding 8,000 words (including notes, tables, appendices, list of references, etc.) can be submitted against any of the themes mentioned above. All papers should be submitted for assessment via the online submission system that will be open from 1st June 2024 at the conference website: Paper submissions will be accepted through this system up to the 1st July 2024.

AfricaLics reserves the right to use available software to control plagiarism and to take appropriate action in severe cases. If authors used Artificial Intelligence (AI) to develop papers, this must be clearly stated and properly referenced in the papers submitted.All papers submitted will then be peer-reviewed by at least two members of the Conference Scientific Review Committee (to be made up of members of the local organizing committee in Nigeria, members of the AfricaLics Scientific Board, and senior scholars from the AfricaLics community). Each paper will be reviewed by two reviewers and scored on relevance to conference themes, originality, research methods, and scientific quality. In case of huge differences regarding scoring, a third review will be undertaken.The principal authors of the accepted papers will be notified after 1st September 2024. Final papers must be uploaded to the conference website by 10th October 2024.

Other ways to participate

In addition to participating as a presenter with an accepted paper, it will also be possible to participate as follows:Day delegate option: A limited number of conference registrations will also be available for those who would like to participate for one or more days only without presenting their work, including policymakers interested in the topic. Day delegates will be responsible for funding their own travel, accommodation, subsistence, and other costs related to attending the conference (including registration fees). Details of how to apply for day delegate status will be made available from mid-August 2024 on the conference’s website.

Thematic session option: A limited number of conference registrations will be available for organisers of and presenters in thematic sessions approved by the Scientific Conference Committee. Organisations or research projects interested in organizing a thematic session related to the overall theme or one of the sub-themes must submit a concept note indicating the topic of the session, moderator, and presenters by the 1st of July 2024. The organisers must cover all costs associated with the thematic session (travel costs, accommodation, and conference registration fees). Each thematic session will have a duration of 90 minutes. The Scientific Conference Committee will review all concept papers for thematic sessions and decide which thematic sessions to accommodate in the programme.

Conference registration, travel support and logistics

Registration for the conference will open through an online system on 30th September 2024 which is available through a link on the conference website. Details of the registration process will be made available to all accepted paper presenters in the email, detailing their papers’ acceptance. The Deadline for conference registration will be 15th of October 2024.A registration fee is payable by ALL participants of the conference. The fees are listed below. All delegates interested in participating as non-paper presenters must also pay the prescribed registration fee.

Registration Fees Senior researchers PhD studentsHigh income countries 125USD 75USDUpper middle-income countries 100USD 50USDLow-income and lower middle-income countries 50USD 30USDParticipants from NigeriaWith accepted papers

Non-presenting participants

30, 000 Naira50, 000 Naira

20, 000 Naira30, 000 Naira

Limited travel support funding may be available to support the participation of PhD students and scholars from low- and lower-middle-income countries, primarily from African countries. The level of funding for travel support is currently unknown, so participants would need to plan to cover their own travel costs. If travel support becomes available due to successful fundraising, PhD students and junior researchers will receive priority over senior researchers. Applications for travel support should be submitted at the same time as the submission of papers; hence the deadline for submission of travel support requests is 1st July 2024. Please note, however, that travel support is not guaranteed. For more details on eligibility, how to apply and the rules of travel support, please visit the conference website.The local organisers are fundraising to make complementary hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis available for one author (normally the lead author) per accepted research paper ONLY. All other participants will be expected to make their own hotel arrangements and cover the costs of their own hotel and subsistence arrangements. Details of local hotels will be made available on the conference website near the time of the conference. Information about whether complementary hotel accommodation will be available will be included in the mail informing successful paper presenters about the acceptance of their papers (which will go out by 1st September 2024).Further information on registration and conference logistics will be made available on the conference website from 1st July 2024.

Contact DetailsFor further information on the call and submission of papers, please visit our conference website: you have questions that cannot be answered using the website, please send a mail to or the LOC (

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