Call for Papers by WTO Chairs in Africa - AfCFTA: Challenges and Opportunities


May 24, 2022


WCP Virtual International Conference on International Trade and Investment

Special Conference Theme ‘AfCFTA: Challenges and Opportunities’

7–8 September 2022

Organised by the African WTO Chairs Programmes (WCP) @ The University of Mauritius (Mauritius), North-West University (South Africa), University of Tunis (Tunisia), University of Nairobi (Kenya), Université d’Abomey-Calavi (Benin), Cheikh Anta Diop University (Senegal), University of Rwanda (Rwanda); Cairo University (Egypt), National University of Lesotho (Lesotho), University of Yaounde 2 (Cameroon), Université Mohammed V Rabat (Morocco) and Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia).

The signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement in March 2018 represented a milestone on the road towards achieving the longstanding goal of closer African economic and political integration. With 54 signatories and a population of over 1.3 billion people (with a combined GDP of around $3.4 trillion), this agreement has been described as the largest trade agreement in terms of member states and population since the formation of the World Trade Organization (WTO). According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF 2019), under the AfCFTA: "the elimination of tariffs on intraregional trade is estimated to [further] increase trade in the region by about 15-25 percent over the medium term, whereas reducing non-tariff barriers by half would more than double such effects". Thus, despite the fact that the share of Africa's intra-continental trade flows in global trade has remained low, intra-African trade and investment have great growth potential; yet there are still some related challenges.

The WTO Chairs in the African region are organising a virtual International Conference on International Trade and Investment, with a special conference theme of ‘AfCFTA: Challenges and Opportunities’. The conference aims to provide a forum not only to academics working on issues related to Africa and developing countries but also to policymakers from the region who can discuss and deliberate on the implications, benefits, challenges and opportunities of the AfCFTA. The conference organisers invite conceptual, empirical research presentations and country-specific case studies in line with the conference theme as well as other trade-related issues in Africa. Delegates are invited to present completed research papers and/or work in progress. Submissions and presentations must address both the theoretical and practical implications of the findings. Parallel tracks of refereed presentations will enable authors to obtain constructive feedback on their studies. Furthermore, the organisers are hoping to hold a round table that will bring academics and policy makers together to focus on specific aspects of the conference theme.

The organising committee invites the submission of abstracts (max. 300 words) or full papers (max.5000 words) from researchers and practitioners in the fields of international trade, development, finance and investment. All abstracts should be formatted to facilitate the review process. Authors’ names and details, including names of all co-authors plus affiliations and addresses for general correspondence (including email address) of each author, and a brief personal profile (max. 100 words) of the presenter, should appear on a separate cover page. By submitting an abstract, at least one author undertakes to attend the virtual international conference if the final paper is accepted. In addition, one author should not have more than two submissions, either as a single author or as a co-author.

All submissions should be forwarded via email (as a word.doc attachment) to, and, with the subject line ‘WCP Virtual International Conference on International Trade and Investment 2022’. Researchers are encouraged to register upon acceptance of their abstract. Authors of accepted abstracts will need to submit the completed paper (max. 5,000 words) by 30 June 2022 for inclusion in the conference e-proceedings, subject to a blind review. Preference will be given to empirical or conceptual papers, which address the conference theme. Papers in other areas of international trade, development and investment can also be submitted, although preference will be given to those that are most closely aligned to the conference theme.

For more on the Conference Themes, Important Dates and Deadlines, download the full Call for Paper here.