APPLICATION STILL OPEN!!! 2nd Young Scholars Conf. on Structural Change

Call for abstracts:
Second Young Scholars Conference on Structural Change and Industrial Policy in Africa University of Johannesburg, Young Scholars Initiative 21-22 June 2022
Virtual Conference


The economic structures of many African countries remain largely commodity based, without successful industrialisation. As a result, African countries continue to record significant balance of payment deficits as they import manufactured consumer and capital goods. The 2008 global financial crisis, and more recently the global economic downturn associated with COVID-19, revealed the consequences for these commodity dependent countries. The push towards greater regional integration through the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) has brought to the fore the need to strengthen productive capabilities and to advance industrialisation in African countries to maximise the benefits of trade. There has been growing emphasis on industrial policy in many African countries in recent years, yet uneven implementation and outcomes. There are important knowledge gaps around various dimensions of structural change and industrial development in Africa, making research in this field especially important.

Following the success of the inaugural conference in 2021, the Second Young Scholars Conference on Structural Change and Industrial Policy in Africa invites papers from young scholars whose work engages with these themes. We especially encourage research that takes a pluralist perspective. The purpose of this conference is to contribute to scholarship on structural change and industrial development and policy in Africa, specifically among young scholars.
Most of the conference will proceed in parallel thematic sessions. Senior international scholars will act as discussants to provide feedback on presented papers. The conference will be held virtually, and attendance is free and open to the public, especially young scholars. Certificates confirming presenters’ participation will be provided on request.
We hope to compile selected papers from the conference into a proposal for a journal special issue. Applicants indicate their interest on the submission page.
Submission requirements
Presentation at the conference is open to students, postdocs and early career researchers.
Submissions are invited around the broad themes of structural change, industrial development and industrial policy in Africa. Studies with a sub-national, national or supra-national focus are all welcome. Topics could include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Industrialisation and deindustrialisation in Africa
• The political economy of industrial policy in Africa
• Diversification, economic complexity and industrial development in Africa
• The financing of industrialisation in Africa
• Macroeconomics of structural change in Africa
• Gendered aspects of industrial development and policy in Africa
• Innovation and technological upgrading in Africa
• Learning and capabilities in industrial development in Africa
• The 4IR and industrialisation in Africa
• Green industrialisation and green industrial policy in Africa
• Distributional and labour market aspects of industrial development in Africa
• Industrial hubs (parks, zones, districts etc.) in Africa
• Trade and industrial development in Africa
• Regional and global value chains in Africa
• Regional integration in Africa
• Industrial policy post-COVID
• Industrial sector studies in Africa
• Comparative studies of industrial development between Africa and other regions.
As part of the submission, extended abstracts of 600-800 words are required. The deadline for submissions has been extended to 17 May 2022. Submissions can be uploaded at For queries or technical assistance, please contact Mrs. Koketso Manyane-Dlangamandla, email: [email protected].
This year, we will be recognising outstanding papers with awards for the Best Paper ($750) and Runner- up Best Paper ($250). To be eligible, submissions need to be accepted and presented at the conference, and full papers need to be submitted to [email protected] by 25 May 2022. These awards are at the discretion of the selection committee and decisions of the selection committee are final.
Conference organisers
Conference Co-Chairs:
Prof Fiona Tregenna (University of Johannesburg) and Dr Richard Itaman (University of Cambridge).
Conference scientific committee:
Prof Alexis Habiyaremye, Dr Phumzile Ncube, Dr Elvis Avenyo, Dr Nicola King, Dr Everisto Mugocha (University of Johannesburg);
Petronella Munyaradzi Munhenzva, Dr Christopher Pomwene Shafuda, Oluwafemi Awopegba (Young Scholars Initiative).
Conference support:
Ms. Koketso Manyane-Dlangamandla, Ms. Valerie Mahlo (University of Johannesburg).
The DSI/NRF South African Research Chair in Industrial Development (SARChI-ID) is based at the University of Johannesburg, and undertakes research, capacity building and public and policy engagement focused on industrial development. The Young Scholars Initiative (YSI) supports and inspires the next generation of new economic thinkers and aims to transform the discourse in economics by establishing an open space for economic thought and inquiry. These institutions have collaborated in this joint conference in recognition of the need to strengthen research on structural change and industrial development in Africa, especially amongst young scholars.