Second Out of (and Into) Africa Conference

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October 25-26 (Monday-Tuesday), 2021   |   Virtual

Following the success of the Inaugural “Out of (and Into) Africa” Conference - International Symposium on African Consumer Marketing and Firm Strategies - which was held at the Graves School of Business and Management, Morgan State University, Baltimore in 2018, we are now excited to launch the next edition of the conference with multi-HBCU involvement.

Sponsored by: Morgan State University, CIBER-CMCC, and Howard University

Submit your paper via the Paper Submission Form and register via the Conference Registration Form below.

Conference registration is FREE.

Watch the Highlights

This video is courtesy of Morgan State University.

Watch the Promo Video

This video is courtesy of Morgan State University.

Conference Information

About the Conference

Major changes for this edition of the Conference include the following:

  1. Online conference format: This change is warranted to manage COVID-19 pandemic consequences, and will also lower costs for attendees. Hybrid plenary sessions across venues may be warranted, if conditions allow.
  2. Multi-HBCU involvement: Following the initiative led by the Graves School of Business & Management at Morgan State University, we wish to expand engagement across the HBCU community in enhancing leadership of business and marketing scholarship regarding Africa.
  3. Three “divisions” or programs to the conference: In addition to the Firm Strategy (firm-level research) and Consumer Marketing (consumer-level research), a third division/program of Society & Institutions was added to capture the macro-level research that addresses public policy and institutions that are intertwined with business and entrepreneurship development.

It is expected that the online delivery of the conference will generate greater scholarly participation from the African continent and, indeed, some other parts of the world. It is also expected that the pan-HBCU scope in conference preparation will further enhance the reach and attractiveness of this conference. To be clear, though, submissions are invited from ALL academic institutions across the world, provided that the scholarship has an African context or focus.

Before the pandemic this year, African consumer and business spending was expected to grow beyond $4 trillion, with a striking demographic dividend indicated by a massive working-age population that will be larger than either China or India by 2034, abundant resources, and fast-paced growth (McKinsey, 2016).  While the current pandemic has caused a recessionary environment across the continent, it has also created opportunities (and challenges) for entrepreneurship and small & medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) (World Economic Forum, 2020). Innovative solutions including products/services have been introduced in various countries across the continent in response to the pandemic - which may have far-reaching implications well after the current pandemic subsides in Africa and across the globe.

The past few years have witnessed cross-fertilization of African-born entrepreneurship and innovation into other parts of the world, along with growth opportunities for MNCs and SMEs into Africa. We firmly believe that the time is ripe for an updated showcase of scholarly insights regarding international business in this under-studied continent - including, and especially, insights and strategy/tactics that originated from Africa. This conference will also mark a significant step toward creating a sustained effort among HBCUs - with Morgan leadership - to connect with Africa in business-related research at both the micro and macro level.   Despite the promising social economic development in Africa and foreign marketers' enthusiasm toward its future growth, there is limited market or consumer research for marketing practitioners  (McKinsey's, 2012). The literature review shows that existing knowledge on African consumption and behavior is fragmented. 

Goals for the Conference

We set following three goals for the conference:

  1. Reviewing current knowledge on African consumers, marketing, firm strategy, and societal policies  - highlighting gaps in our knowledge and understanding of the field in that African context.
  2. Developing an agenda for future research
  3. Fostering collaborations among consumer, marketing, firm strategy and public policy researchers with similar interests. 

The conference intends to provide opportunities for brainstorming and dialogues among researchers and marketing practitioners. We will especially encourage collaboration between academia and businesses in the US and those from all over Africa.  The conference is open to any and all scholars who have research work related to the conference theme, and these can include: academic faculty, doctoral students, policy makers, bureaucrats, think tank researchers, NGO experts, and senior corporate managers. We encourage scholars from Africa and worldwide to submit work.


 Conference Chair:

Dr. Omar J. Khan   |   |   Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management, Morgan State University

Program Chairs:

Program Chair for Firm Strategies and Tactics:
Dr. Omar J. Khan   |   |   Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management, Morgan State University

Program Chair for African Consumer Marketing:
Dr. Haiyan Hu   |   |   Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management, Morgan State University

Program Chair for Society and Public Policy:
Dr. Wheeler R. Winstead   |   |   Center for African Studies, Howard University 

Call for Papers

Submission Options and Guidelines

  1. Full Paper Submission Guidelines: Each paper is to have a separate cover page with each author’s name, affiliation, and email. Multiple authorships should indicate the contact person. Authors should avoid revealing their identities in the body of the paper. The title of the paper should appear on the first page of the manuscript, followed by a 150-word abstract, single spaced. The body of the paper follows right after on the first page using double spacing and adhering strictly to APA style. 
  2. Working Paper or Extended Abstracts: Working papers or extended abstracts, which focus on research in its early stages, should not be less than three pages and should not exceed seven double-spaced pages including references, tables and figures using 12-point font.  Please follow the formatting guidelines specified for competitive refereed papers.  Include a separate cover page with the name, affiliation, and email address of each presenter.  Each accepted working paper will be published as an extended abstract. 
  3. Panel, Special Session, & Workshops: Proposals should not exceed 2 double-spaced pages. Include a separate cover page with the name, affiliation, and email of each presenter. Uptil two-page description of the panel, including themes and presentation approach/focus. Each person listed on a panel, special session, or workshop proposal must register for and attend the conference. 

Research Paper Suggested Topic Areas

Research paper suggested topic areas for submissions include, but are not limited to, the following (any other areas within marketing and/or strategy are invited as long as the African context is emphasized and/or leveraged):

The Firm Strategies and Tactics division/program

The Firm Strategies and Tactics division/program invites submissions exploring the creation and development of firm-level advantages/disadvantages and international business management implications for multinational corporations (MNCs) and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Topics in this program include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

  1. African paradigms in developing business
  2. Small business development strategies and tactics
  3. MNC strategies and tactics in Africa
  4. Family-owned firms and internationalization
  5. B2B marketing and supply chain management
  6. International entrepreneurship and born globals

The Consumer Marketing division/program

The Consumer Marketing division/program encourages diverse perspectives to address current issues that are faced by African consumers and marketing practitioners, from coping with the aftermath of a pandemic to the digital revolution. We welcome multi-method/multi-paradigmatic approaches to tackle, but are not limited to, the following topic areas:  

  1. Arts, culture and consumption
  2. Consumer psychology and behavior
  3. Services, retailing, and customer experiences
  4. Consumer well being and pandemic effects
  5. Social media and digital marketing
  6. Emerging middle class and Bottom of Pyramid (BOP) consumers

Society and Public Policy division/program

Society and Public Policy division/program seeks to interrogate public policy and societal institution’s role, effect and changes that are intertwined with business and entrepreneurship development on continental Africa. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Public and private enabling institutions in Africa: Academic outreach.
  2. Governmental supports and barriers
  3. NGOs: foreign and local
  4. Laws, trade barriers and enticements
  5. Institutional framework and support for entrepreneurship.
  6. Sociological shifts

Submission Process

Use the Paper Submission Form to submit competitive refereed papers, working papers, extended abstracts and/or proposals by JULY 20At least one author for competitive submissions that are accepted must register and attend the Conference. Any general questions should be emailed to the conference chair (

Paper Submission Deadline Extended to: July 20, 2021

Paper submissions are now closed.

Reviewing and Reviewers

All submissions will go through a double-blind review process. Reviewers will evaluate each submission on the basis of

  • a) quality of the research,
  • b) contribution to the field,
  • c) interest and relevance of the topic to the conference,
  • and d) coherence and readability.

To volunteer to serve as a paper reviewer, please contact the conference chair ( Please include “Reviewer Volunteer” in the subject line.