Call for Papers: The 2020 AIB Africa Conference

Conference. Venue: Strathmore University Business School, Nairobi Kenya


Submission deadline: February 29, 2020

Registration deadline: June 30, 2020


Across Africa success stories of innovation and technological breakthroughs are replacing glooming narratives of extreme poverty. The International Finance Corporation estimate 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.


Against this backdrop, the 2020 AIB Africa conference offers an opportunity for International Business (IB) researchers to join the scholarly discourse on innovations in and for Africa. The host city for the 2020 conference is Nairobi, Kenya's Silicon Savannah, famously called the green city in the sun. Kenya’s thriving technology innovation scene is home to some of the most cutting-edge technology startups on the continent.  Boasting one of the fastest mobile internet speeds in the world, with its undersea fiber optic cable, Kenya is now characterized as a truly connected country, and is noted to be a strong contender for early 5G deployment given its emphasis on cultivating a technology-based economy. Its $1 billion tech ecosystem is home to entrepreneurs, investors and technology companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, Intel and many other leading global technology businesses. Nairobi, therefore, offers an attractive space for IB researchers looking for a home in this cradle of innovation in Africa. 


We welcome submissions that address the wider international business and management agenda but with relevance to the African geographical context. Conceptual and empirical papers as well as teaching case studies and panel symposia from scholars, business professionals, policy makers and students are welcome. 


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


Track Chair


Conference Theme Track – Innovation in and for Africa

Prof. Nathaniel Boso

KNUST, Ghana

Technology Entrepreneurship in Africa

Dr. Ogechi Adeola

Pan-Atlantic University, Nigeria

International Marketing & Consumer Behavior

Dr. Michael Ngoasong

Open University, UK

IB Theory, FDI & Entry Mode Strategies

Dr. Thomas Anning-Dorson

University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Global CSR, Sustainability, Ethics & Governance

Dr. Peta Thomas

University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Business History, Economic History, and International Business

Dr Simeon Ifere

University of Lagos, Nigeria

Tourism, Agriculture, Renewable Energy & Industry Studies

Dr. Adun Okupe

The Sahara Centre, Nigeria

Global Value Chains, Supply Chains & Africa’s Competitiveness

Dr. George Acheampong

University of Ghana, Ghana

Governments, NGOs, Global Institutions & State-Owned Enterprises

Dr. James Mshelia

University of Northampton, UK

International HRM, Cross-Cultural Management & Leadership

Dr. Henry Mensah

KNUST, Ghana

Undergraduate, Graduate & Doctoral Studies

Dr. Martin Kang'ethe

Riara University, Kenya

Teaching International Business & Cases

Dr. David Wernick

Florida International University, USA

General Track including Economics and Finance

Mr. Ibn Kailan Abdul-Hamid

University of Professional Studies, Ghana


Special Tracks

Panel Session on Innovation in and for Africa

We will have a special panel session focused on “Innovation in and for Africa”. The goal here is to open the conference to scholarly discussion on how African innovators, entrepreneurs and investors are navigating the precarious institutional and infrastructural condition in Africa to innovate. Nairobi is home to a number of technology startups and hubs that will be invited to showcase their innovations during the panel session. This panel session will comprise of leading academics, innovators, entrepreneurs and investors on the continent. Information on the panelists will be published on the conference website in due course.


Teaching Cases in International Business Track

This track seeks competitive and interactive teaching case submissions. Only real-life cases that address issues concerning international business and/or the conference theme are invited. Cases can be field-researched or based on published sources, decision-oriented or descriptive. We also welcome cases that have recently (post-2019) been registered in case clearing houses such as The Case Centre.


Student Track

We look forward to submissions – interactive and competitive papers and cases – from postgraduate students pursuing research degrees (e.g., MA/MSc/MPhil/PhD) in International Business and Management or related disciplines. 


Panel Sessions

The conference will feature several panels, symposia, ‘scholars meet practice’ sessions and mini workshops. We welcome proposals that address the conference theme as well as other topical issues.


Submission Guidelines

Following the AIB “rule of three”, no author should be associated with more than 3 submissions.


Competitive papers must not exceed 10,000 words, and must comply to the JIBS style requirements; Please refer to


Interactive papers should be around 2,000 – 5,000 words. Submissions should clearly state the research questions, methodology and contribution. The main results and implications for IB research and practice should be discussed, if available/applicable.


Teaching cases should be around 2,000 – 5,000 for interactive cases and no more than 10,000 words for competitive cases.


Panel proposals should have 3 – 5 scholars and/or students and a common theme, as well as a chair/discussant. We welcome a variety of proposals (paper presentations, roundtable, and professional development workshop). The names of participants and the discussant should be disclosed for this type of submission.


Review Process

Competitive papers, interactive papers and teaching cases will be double-blind reviewed; please do not include any author-identifying information. Authors are strongly encouraged to assist in the review process.  Papers can be submitted via  


Please state the submission type (competitive, interactive or panel) and track title on the front page at the top right. In addition, graduate (GS)/undergraduate students (US), please indicate ‘GS’, or ‘US’.


Pre-Conference Workshops


Community Engagement & Field Visits – August 15th, 2020

Participants to the 2020 conferences are encouraged to arrive in Nairobi earlier on Friday August 15th, 2020 to get involved in community engagement and field visit activities on Saturday August 16th, 2020. The host University, Strathmore University Business School, is sponsoring visits to Safari Parks, historical monuments and landmarks in Kenya. Visits are being planned to the famous Nairobi National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park, Hell's Gate National Park, and Mount Kenya National Park. Registration details for participation in these events would be advertised on the conference website in due course.


Paper Development Workshop – August 17th, 2020

The Paper Development Workshop (PDW) is the most extensive of the various developmental activities conducted by the AIB Africa, with the goal to improve the quality of IB research and bring new scholars into the IB field. The PDW will provide doctoral scholars, junior faculty, and those trained in disciplines less commonly associated with the field of IB, with developmental feedback on their current research projects in the broader field of IB. Authors of papers being considered for inclusion in the special issues associated with the 2020 conference (International Journal of Emerging Markets, Journal of African Business, European Journal of International Management, Africa Journal of Management and Review of Development Finance and AIB-SSA Book Series) are encouraged to participate in this workshop. The PDW will be structured to provide feedback to authors with research papers, and to researchers who are designing empirical studies, on IB topics.


Workshop format: The program will start with an introductory session led by Professor Elizabeth Rose from the University of Leeds, UK. The participants will then be divided into groups based on their topic areas. After a lunch break, all participants will split into small-group sessions with workshop leaders to discuss successful publication strategies. Participation at the PDW is limited. Hence, participants will be invited based on the quality of their submitted work. Submissions should be sent to [log in to unmask] and include the workshop title as the subject.


We are expecting two types of submissions:

Full, competitive research papers – Should not be more than 10,000 words in length.

Interactive papers - Should be no more than 3,000 words in length and include a theoretical framework, propositions, and proposed research design. Participants can only make one submission, and this can be the same paper submitted to the main AIB-Africa conference program.


Doctoral Consortium - August 17th, 2020

In line with the Africa chapter’s goal to promote research excellence and improve the quality of IB research in the region, distinguished IB scholars will be leading a Doctoral Consortium for doctoral candidates on August 17th, 2020The aim of the doctoral consortium is to develop the research ideas of doctoral students especially as it pertains to conducting international business research on the continent. The consortium also aims to create a platform for the development of professional networks and to highlight some of the opportunities and challenges of developing a successful academic career.


Consortium format: Interested doctoral students must have successfully defended their research proposals and are asked to submit a four-paged double-spaced document detailing their research. Only completed dissertations will be considered for the doctoral award. Submissions should be sent to [log in to unmask] and include the workshop title as the subject and the following:

Networking & Experiential Learning Journey 

There will be several networking opportunities with international scholars, business executives and students at the welcome reception, gala dinner, and field visits to some of the leading local players and multinational technology companies based in Nairobi.


Conference Awards

Several prizes will be awarded at the conference:


     Best Competitive Paper Award

     Best Thematic Conference Paper Award

     Best Teaching Case Award

     Best Conference Paper Prize for Practice / Policy Implications Award

     Best Doctoral Paper Award

     Best Undergraduate / Graduate Student Paper Award

     Best Reviewer Award

Publication Opportunities

     All accepted conference papers will be published as an abstract in the 2020 AIB-Africa Conference Proceedings (with ISBN).

     Authors of promising, competitive papers will be supported to submit to Africa-focused special issues of high-impact journals.


Registration Fees

The registration fees (in US Dollars) includes conference materials, refreshments and lunches, but not accommodation and travel costs.


Early Bird

(by June 24)

Late Registration

(from July 7)

Conference Registration Rates (Rates include a one-year membership to the AIB)

Student membership



Electronic membership



Low-Income membership



Regular membership






Accompanying Partners







The chapter will waive registration fees for a limited number of delegates, with priority given to students studying on the continent. Details on how to apply will be provided later. Other details regarding accommodation, registration payment, keynote speakers, experiential trips and the conference program will be provided on the chapter website in due course.

Professor Nathaniel Boso, PhD
Dean, KNUST School of Business, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
Visiting Professor, Strathmore University Business School, Kenya
Visiting Professor, University of Kigali, Rwanda
Office Line: +233(0)322060962
Mobile Line: +233(0)260684465
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