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12 th Annual Africa Conference, 2012

At the University of Texas at Austin

Theme: Poverty and Empowerment in Africa

Dates: March 30- April 1 2012

Venue: The University of Texas at Austin

Convener: Toyin Falola

Coordinator: Sylvester Gundona and Tosin Funmi Abiodun

Africa is among the most resourceful continents in the world and yet the least developed compared to other continents.  This has not always been the case historically as many pre-colonial formations had successful agrarian and market economies that delivered food and services. When and how did things begin to go wrong? Today, the scourge of poverty remains an entrenched reality, majority of inhabitants in some places struggle to make a living. The model of empowering Africa to dig out of this quagmire remains elusive. Against this background the thrust of this interdisciplinary conference is to engage scholars to reflect on the historical and contemporary issues of poverty, poverty alleviation, and empowerment.  It is also to generate a dialogue and incite meaningful debates on the conceptualization of poverty and empowerment. Was Africa and poverty conceived in the same ‘womb’? Or is it the case that Africa ‘betrothed’ poverty.  In what ways
 and with what level of success has a resourceful Africa over time empowered its citizenry?  What has been the bane and ramifications of poverty reduction/eradication and empowerment? Can scholars come up with meaningful new policies?

Potential paper topics may include but not limited to:
·          Dialoguing Africa
·          Food problems, hunger and malnutrition
·          Development and underdevelopment
·          Formation of class identities
·          Poverty, ethnicity and appropriation of resources
·          Class conflicts
·          Pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial Governance and empowerment
·          Resource mobilization and use
·          Defining and conceptualizing poverty
·          Images and representations
·          Infrastructural decay and rebuilding
·          Globalization and the crises of poverty
·          African Union, United Nations, Non-Governmental Organization and Poverty
·          Urban slums and management
·          Politics and nationalism
·          Local industries and engagement with national and transnational networks
·          Poverty and substance abuse
·          The Media, poverty and empowerment
·          Transnational remittances
·          ‘419’ and Cyber crimes
·          Poverty and popular culture
·          Urban and rural poverty
·          Religious institutions and empowerment
·          Poverty, HIV/AIDs and health
·          International Agencies and agendas (UN and UNESCO)
·          Grassroots mobilization
·          Informal economies
·          Property and property rights
·          Land reforms
·          Gendered poverty
·          Micro financing
·          Social inequalities.

Participants will be drawn from different parts of the world. Submitted papers will be assigned to particular panels according to similarities in theme, topic, discipline, or geographical location. Papers can also be submitted together as a panel. Additionally, selected papers will be published in book form.
The deadline for submitting paper proposals is November 30, 2011. Proposals should include:
1              A 250-word abstract and title,
2              The author's name (with Last name underlined),
3              Postal Address,
4              Telephone number,
5              Email address,
6              Institutional affiliation.

Please submit all abstracts to:
Toyin Falola:
Sylvester Gundona/ Tosin Abiodun:

A mandatory non-refundable registration fee of $100 must be paid immediately when an abstract is accepted. This conference fee includes admission to the panels, workshops, and special events, as well as transportation to and from the conference from the hotel, breakfast for three days, dinner on Friday night and a banquet on Saturday evening.

Go to the Conference Shop where you can pay with a VISA, Mastercard, or Discover card. If you prefer to send a check, select the pre-pay option. Write the check out to the "University of Texas" and enter "Conference" on the memo line. Please be sure that your name is printed on the check so that we can easily correlate your payment with your abstract.

It is expected that all participants will raise the funding to attend the conference. The University of Texas at Austin does not provide participants with any form of funding support, travel expenses, or boarding expenses. If the conference obtains outside funding this will be used to help subsidize graduate students' accommodations on a competitive basis but it is not guaranteed.




Africa Conference 2012: Poverty and Empowerment in Africa

Convened by Dr. Toyin Falola and Coordinated by Sylvester Gundona and Tosin Funmi Abiodun for the Center for African and African American Studies

Webmaster: Adam Paddock