Howard University African Studies International Conference

March 12 - 13, 2024 (Tuesday - Wednesday)   |   9 am - 3:30 pm

Amour J. Blackburn University Center, Howard University


Global Africa in the Twenty-First Century: Visions, Objectives, Challenges & Opportunities


  • Howard University Department of African Studies
  • Howard University Center for African Studies
  • Global Peace Foundation

In Partnership with

  • University of Lagos (Nigeria)
  • University of the Free State (South Africa)
  • Ojaja University & KU8+ University Consortium (Nigeria)

About the Conference

This annual conference brings together scholars, policymakers, business leaders, civil society activists, and Pan-African advocates of various fields of interests and expertise. From the United States to Africa and to the rest of world, researchers, practitioners, corporate and civil society leaders, as well volunteer Pan-African advocates who care about the present and future of Africa and its Diaspora are invited to participate in various ways in the event.

Conference Format

The Howard African Studies International Conference is a hybrid forum that provides an opportunity to explore and reflect on the challenges and opportunities facing Africa in terms of the continent’s economic and sociopolitical development, peace and human security, environmental security, and its relations with the African Diaspora. 
There will be a virtual component via Zoom, so that participants based in Africa, Latin America, Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and elsewhere in the global community will be able to take part in the scholarly presentations and discussions. The in-person component will be held on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC and is expected to further deepen the engagement of scholars in the quest for solutions to key problems facing Global Africa in the 21st century.

Media coverage and live-stream dissemination of the conference proceedings will help further broaden the engagement of the global audience and sustain the critical reflection on the issues discussed during the conference.

Call for Paper and Panel Proposals

For the 2024 conference, we welcome proposals that are in alignment with the theme of the conference. We are particularly interested in the following sub-themes and welcome proposals on topics related to them:

  • Major challenges facing Africa in the twenty-first century.
  • Political instability, foreign intrusion, and the quest for peace and security.
  • African unity and regional integration toward strategic sovereignty and collective self-reliance.
  • Substantive opportunities and prospects that Africa can/must leverage to fully succeed and become a world power in the twenty-first century.
  • Women’s self-empowerment and the holistic advancement of the African community.
  • The double-edged sword of Africa’s massive youth demographic: How to avoid youth bulge and attain youth dividend.
  • Youth empowerment through innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Out of the ivory towers and in the grassroots community: Academic education for effective development in twenty-first century Africa.
  • Africa and its multilayered Diaspora: Global Africa in theory and practice.
  • The African Union’s Sixth Region in theory and practice.
  • Effective people-guided and development-centered leadership and governance in twenty-first century Africa: From aspiration to realization.

We invite individual paper proposals that are in alignment with the sub-themes listed above. Accepted individual papers will be assembled into panels and the corresponding panelists will be informed accordingly. 

Panel propositions should include the sub-theme of the panel and a one-paragraph summary of the panel’s presentation, the list of panelists with their institutional affiliations, the topic on which each panelist will be presenting and a summary of the presentation that each panelist will be making.

The deadline to submit paper and panel proposals is January 25, 2024.

Acceptance notifications will be sent out by January 31, 2024.

Paper and panel proposals, as well as all conference-related questions, are to be emailed to Professors Alem Hailu and Mohamed Saliou Camara at and


Papers presented and discussed at the conference will subsequently be peer reviewed and those that will be accepted for publication will be published in the second issue of the Howard Journal of African Studies, the first issue of which is coming out in January 2024.