The UNISA Graduate School of Business Leadership (SBL) have organized an exciting conference set to take place in Johannesburg, South Africa from 14 – 16 August 2022. The 1st International Engaged Scholarship Conference is organized in collaboration with the Journal of Public Administration (JoPA). Themed Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) - Leading Change in the Public and Private Sectors, the conference is a platform for policymakers, revolutionary academics, agents of change, and indigenous knowledge holders to contribute their intellectual prowess towards creating collaborative opportunities between the public and private sectors; between urban and rural businesses; between local, national and regional enterprises, to create sustainable economies. The aim of the conference is to enlist the voices of policymakers, local, regional and global enterprises to contribute their perspectives on poverty eradication solutions in the context of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement. The conference seeks to spotlight systems for co-producing knowledge in ways that navigate policy, science, and indigenous knowledge to advance poverty eradication agendas of African communities.
Today’s world is an interdependent trade ecosystem. The recent signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (2018) underpins the commitment of the African leaders to operationalize the interdependence of economies in the African region. Even more important, is the prevailing mood amongst African leaders to fast-track industrial development and regional integration. On 1 January 2021, trading under AfCFTA started. The AfCTA with its 35 signatories, is an instrument that legitimizes the creation of a single continental market for goods and services – with free movement of business, people, and investments – laying – the foundations for the integrated, prosperous, and inclusive Africa. One of the expected outcomes through the implementation of the agreement is to boost intra-African trade. Currently, intra-African trade accounts for between 10-16%. It is expected that the agreement will accelerate growth and sustainable development through a doubling of overall intra-African trade by 2022, and tripling trade in agricultural goods by 2023.
Trade interdependences pose challenges for policymakers and opportunities for local and cross-border traders. Challenges abound when economic policies do not create an enabling environment for local and international trade to be optimized. Forward-looking trade policy frameworks are crucial in international trade, but these are not enough to transform and align African economies with the needs of the current digital industrial revolution. Without a special kind of policymaking acumen and leadership sensibilities, that unlock capabilities to navigate the global business environment nimbly, the policy environment will still not yield inclusive growth.
The conference seeks to enlist the voices of academics, policymakers, local, regional and global enterprises to contribute their intellectual prowess towards creating collaborative opportunities between the public and private sector; between urban and rural businesses; and between local, national, and regional enterprises, to create sustainable economies.
The Conference will enable a long-awaited opportunity for dynamic face-to-face interaction (combined with an online streaming facility for those unable to attend in person). Here, diverse perspectives will be shared in person on poverty eradication solutions in the context of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement. In particular, the conference will put a spotlight on systems for co-producing knowledge in ways that navigate policy, science, and indigenous knowledge to advance the poverty eradication agendas of African communities.
Take an active part in shaping the development agenda of your own country, region, and the continent.
Make an impactful contribution to the body of knowledge and practice.
Take advantage of an opportunity to publish in the conference proceedings of an accredited international conference.
Even better - Papers of outstanding quality will be featured in the Journal of Public Administration* Special Issue. This is an excellent opportunity for researchers to enhance their DHET subsidy outputs and academic rankings.
*The Journal of Public Administration is a quarterly journal issued on behalf of the South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM).