Conference Themes

The second AfricaLics Conference will give attention to a wide set of themes covering important aspects linking innovation and competence-building to development.

The theme of this conference is ‘unpacking systems of innovation for sustainable development in Africa’. This conference is being held during a year of change with regards international development goals.  The world is witnessing the start of a post-2015 agenda that focuses on issues of sustainable development.  One of the Sustainable Development Goals is focused exclusively on fostering innovation (goal 9).  This conference will consider what is needed to address this goal in the context of different African countries and their interaction with the global economy.  It will do this through the lens of ‘systems of innovation’ – the idea that innovation is most successful when there is the right set of actors and conditions available creating a facilitatory enabling environment - and allied ideas around the learning, innovation and competence building systems that are needed to ensure inclusive and sustainable development for all.

Papers are invited to be submitted against the main conference theme or addressing one or more of the following sub-themes:


  • Social innovation and national systems of innovation. 
  • The role of higher education and financial institutions in the promotion of innovation Industrial development, manufacturing and SMEs as part of the innovation system
  • Enhancing growth in communities: harnessing grassroots innovation and indigenous knowledge
  • Ensuring inclusive innovation: focusing attention on gender, women and the informal sector
  • Advancing the measurement agenda: development and use of STI indicators in Africa