Africa’s regional and global integration – Lessons from the past and implications for the future

Event Type
International Research Conference

Online and Kiel, 17.11.2022 until 18.11.2022


German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)

While remaining the most isolated region from the global economy, Africa has realized continuous progress towards a closer and more active integration, both from within and beyond the continent’s borders. Today, almost all African economies are members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and gridlocked regional economic integration has recently been given new momentum by the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). At the same time, Africa’s ties with other world regions have intensified, including through the quasi-reciprocal Economic Partnership Agreements with the European Union and China’s increased local engagement in the fields of trade, investment, and economic cooperation.

These developments, however, not only stand against the sobering reality on the ground in many places across African countries, but also lack a profound understanding of their (medium to long-run) implications on trade and welfare. This conference invites researchers working on deepened (formal) economic relationships, both within Africa and with external partners, to present their original research. Submitted papers need to show a clear link to Africa’s regional or global integration efforts and experiences. We welcome policy-relevant quantitative and qualitative approaches and encourage particularly young researchers and those from the Global South to submit their contributions.

Areas of interest include (but are not limited to) the linkage of Africa’s regional and global integration with:

  • Trade, including regional and global value chain (GVC) integration
  • Foreign Direct Investment
  • Structural transformation & (de-)industrialization
  • Digitalization
  • Labor market & migration
  • Household welfare
  • Economic growth & poverty
  • Covid-19 recovery
  • Climate change & sustainability


Keynote Speakers

  • Bernard Hoekman (European University Institute, Florence)
  • Vera Songwe (Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, UNECA) (tbc)


Special issue

Conference contributions will be considered for submission to a Special Issue to appear in the Review of World Economics. The Special Issue has to undergo full peer review under the terms and conditions of the Review of World Economics.

Modalities and submission procedure

The conference is jointly organized by the German Development Institute (DIE) and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW). Depending on the COVID-19 situation, the conference will be held either face-to-face in Bonn (Germany), as a hybrid event or fully virtually. Participants will be notified about modalities in due time.

Submissions and related inquiries should be directed exclusively to In both cases, please use “Africa Conference 2022” in the subject line.

There are no conference fees. Limited funds for travel and accommodation for participants from the Global South are available. Please indicate in your submission if you wish to apply for funding.

Hinweis / Please note

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Event information

17.11.2022 until 18.11.2022


Online and Kiel


Photo: PD Dr. Clara Brandi  is an economist and Head of Research programme “Transformation of Economic and Social Systems”

PD Dr. Clara Brandi

Head of Research programme “Transformation of Economic and Social Systems

Conference deadline

15 May 2022 Extended abstract submission (600-1000 words)
31 May 2022 Acceptance/rejection notification
20 October 2022 Full-paper submission deadline
17-18 November 2022      Research conference