The Association for African Studies in Germany e.V. (VAD) organises every two years an international and interdisciplinary conference. The conference „African Challenges“, originally planned for September 2020, will be organised by the Centre for Interdisciplinary African Studies at Goethe University and will take place mainly in virtual space due to the still difficult corona cicumstances.  

Decision is still pending if there will be a live opening on 2 June at Goethe-University.  

The theme „Africa challenges“ asks how Western concepts of development, modernisation, capitalism and democracy are challenged by Africa and what historical challenge Africa also poses to academic practice, established academic routines and established disciplinary perspectives. However, this conference also explores the challenges Africa faced and faces in the past, the present and the possible future from different perspectives. However, it also aims to show that Africa is not only a victim of circumstances, but finds unexpected solutions to its many problems, be it the introduction of new mobile technologies, the management of the health crisis or the reception of large numbers of continental refugees. The conference explicitly questions the conditions of knowledge production in Africa and the role of African research in Germany and calls for open discussion of measures to decolonise knowledge production. 

The conference will feature 35 thematic panels and 6 roundtables spanning a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. The keynote address will be delivered by renowned Kenyan activist and political scientist Nanjala Nyabola. A film programme will be offered in collaboration with Goethe University’s Theatre, Film and Media Studies. Face-to-face encounters will be made possible through the use of virtual breakout rooms. 

Thanks to generous funding from the Friends and Sponsors of Goethe University, the Foundation for the Promotion of International Relations of Goethe University as well as the DFG and ZIAF, participation is completey free of charge. Registration is open from 15 April to 1 June 2021 at the conference homepage vad-africachallenges.de. 

Registration is now open until 1 June 21. 

 There are no conference fees ! 

Please note that everybody has to register again even if you have done so before. You can use your old login data but are than asked to complete the registration.