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Theme: Innovation in and for Africa

Submission Deadline: February 29, 2020

Overview: Across Africa success stories of innovation and technological breakthroughs are replacing gloomy narratives of extreme poverty. The International Finance Corporation estimates that Africa’s technology scene is booming, with over 600 technology hubs that are fostering major innovations. Global businesses that have for years relied on talents from far-flung locations are now looking to African Techies for new innovative solutions.

Despite this technological development, African innovators continue to face precarious and uncertain institutional and infrastructural environment conditions. While some innovation studies in Africa are available, the continent’s unique institutional environment and socio-cultural dynamics have rarely been captured fully in innovation research. While previous studies have suggested that innovators and entrepreneurs in precarious institutional environments may need to develop special management capabilities (e.g., political networking, local market knowledge and adaptation) to cope with political economic risks and high levels of uncertainty, the unique African context requires that researchers begin to chart new narratives on other perspectives and approaches to understand innovation in and for Africa.

As in previous years, we welcome submissions that go beyond the conference theme and encompass all major areas of international business and management.