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Department of Business Administration


Africa Conference 2018 Announcement


Inaugural International Symposium "Out of (and into) Africa" on African Consumer Marketing and Firm Strategies

(Sponsored by: Morgan State University and Association of Consumer Research)

Date: May 24-25, 2018

Venue: Morgan State University Campus, Baltimore, Maryland

Symposium Co-Chairs:

Dr. Haiyan Hu, Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management, Morgan State University
Dr. Omar J. Khan, Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management, Morgan State University

Symposium email for ALL submissions:
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: February 12, 2018

We are delighted to invite scholars to participate in the first ever international symposium of research on consumers, marketing and firm strategy in the African context. We hope you can join us in Baltimore, Maryland on May 24-25, 2018 for this exciting event.

About the Symposium

The African continent has often been overlooked in the field of consumer research, despite the fact that it contributes over $1.5 trillion in total GDP and that the disposable income of the middle class in the five major countries alone matches that of China (Bain, 2015). Total consumer spending has already surpassed that of Russia and is expected to double by 2020. Despite the promising social economic development in Africa and foreign marketers' enthusiasm toward its future growth, there is limited market or consumer research for marketing practitioners to draw on (McKinsey's, 2012). The literature review shows that existing knowledge on African consumption and behavior is fragmented. We set following three goals for this symposium:

1. Reviewing current knowledge on African consumers, marketing and firm strategy - highlighting gaps in our knowledge and understanding of the field in that African context.
2. Developing an agenda for future research
3. Fostering collaborations among consumer, marketing and firm strategy researchers of similar interests.

The symposium intends to provide opportunities for brainstorming and dialogues among researchers and marketing practitioners. We will especially encourage collaboration between academia and businesses in the US and those from all over Africa. The symposium is open to any and all scholars who have research work related to the conference theme, and these can include: academic faculty, doctoral students, policy makers, bureaucrats, think tank researchers, NGO experts, and senior corporate managers.

We strongly encourage authors from outside the U.S. to submit your work as early as possible to allow time to arrange our International Affair Division to issue invitation letter and provide support for your visa application. If this applies to you, please contact. Dr. Yacob Atstatke in the Division of International Affairs ( for more information.
Collaboration with Journal Special Issues:

We are also delighted to be collaborating with two journal special issues for which our conference will be serving as a conduit. Please note the following:
1) Select papers with a macromarketing focus will be submitted, following revisions after the symposium (due October 30, 2018), to the guest editors for a special issue of the Journal of Macromarketing entitled "Macromarketing in the African Context"
2) Select papers with a focus on acquisitions, joint ventures and modes of foreign market entry will be submitted, following revisions after the symposium (due August 31, 2018), to the guest editor for a special issue of Thunderbird International Business Review (TIBR) entitled "Market Entry in Africa".

Submission Options to Symposium:

1. Competitive Refereed Paper Submission Guidelines: Competitive refereed papers should not exceed 15 double-spaced pages including references, tables and figures using 12-point font. Each paper is to have a separate cover page with each author's name, affiliation, and email. Multiple authorships should indicate the contact person. Authors should avoid revealing their identities in the body of the paper. The title of the paper should appear on the first page of the manuscript, followed by a 150-word abstract, single spaced. The body of the paper follows right after on the first page using double spacing and adhering strictly to APA style.

2. Working Paper or Extended Abstracts Submission Guidelines: Working papers or extended abstracts, which focus on research in its early stages, should not be less than three pages and should not exceed seven double-spaced pages including references, tables and figures using 12-point font. Please follow the formatting guidelines specified for competitive refereed papers. Include a separate cover page with the name, affiliation, and email address of each presenter.

3. Panel, Special Session, & Workshop Proposal Submission Guidelines: Proposals should not exceed 2 double-spaced pages. Include a separate cover page with the name, affiliation, and email of each presenter.

Research paper topic areas for submissions include, but are not limited to, the following (any other areas within marketing and/or strategy are invited as long as the African context is emphasized and/or leveraged):

• Product and Branding Strategies
• Emerging Middle Class
• Retailing and Promotion
• Service Marketing
• Sports Marketing
• Agriculture Marketing
• Cross-cultural Marketing
• Consumer Demographics
• Social Media/Digital Marketing
• Firm Modes of Foreign Market Entry
• International business strategy in Africa
• Country-of-Origin effect and Place Branding
• Segmentation
• Supply Chain Management
• International Entrepreneurship and Born Globals
• The African Diaspora and Business

Special Program within Symposium: Integrating Africa into Business Education (Program Chair: Dr. Penelope Muzanenhamo, University College Dublin). This special program within the symposium invites all submission options illuminating the topic of incorporating African context and paradigms within business education at institutions outside Africa. The Special Program Chair can be reached directly at or you can email to the symposium email address with "special program" in the subject line.

All submissions should be emailed to:

Submission Process:
Submit competitive refereed papers, working papers, extended abstracts and/or proposals via email attachment in Microsoft WORD by FEBRUARY 12, 2018. In the subject line of the email please indicate the appropriate topic area (either from the list above or any other relevant topic in African business context). At least one author for competitive submissions that are accepted must register and attend the Symposium. All submissions, proposals and any general questions should be emailed directly to:

Submission Deadline: February 12, 2018
Reviewing and Reviewers:
All submissions will go through a double-blind review process. Reviewers will evaluate each submission on the basis of a) quality of the research, b) contribution to the field, c) interest and relevance of the topic to the Symposium, and d) coherence and readability.
To volunteer to serve as a paper reviewer, please contact either of the conference co-chairs, Dr. Haiyan Hu ( or Dr. Omar Khan ( Please include "reviewer volunteer" in the subject line.

Scholarship Opportunities:
To encourage participation of graduate students, this symposium will provide two (2) travel scholarship to cover travel expenses for $500 each. For more information, you can also contact either of the conference co-chairs.

Conference Registration:
The following is the link for conference registration. Please note: you will not be able to register for the conference until February 15, when registration officially opens.

About Conference Venue
Morgan State University is one of the premier Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the United States, and our business school is one of the select few HBCUs with AACSB accreditation. The Graves School of Business and Management is in a newly built, expansive state-of-the-art facility with acclaimed green architecture. Morgan is the only university in the United States to be officially designated a "National Treasure" federally; it has also been designated by the state as the "Preeminent Public Urban Research University" in Maryland. We are located in Baltimore, within an hour's drive of Washington, D.C., and our strategic location and historical importance gives us great access to major partnerships with government and corporate initiatives.
Baltimore city has gone through several periods of decline and resurgence in its history, and there are varying opinions of whether it is currently waning or emergent. Unarguably, though, it is exciting! Sustained revitalization efforts in the 1970s and the 1980s have borne some visible fruit (particularly in some distinct neighborhoods), and the city continues to develop, aided by its strategic location next to Washington D.C. and within the critically important and economically powerful Northeast corridor of the United States.

Recommended Hotel
Embassy Suites by Hilton in downtown Baltimore. We have negotiated a favorable rate of $179/night, which includes complimentary breakfast buffet. The hotel is located in the heart of downtown Baltimore, at the inner harbor - the most frequented tourist destination in Baltimore and an area with numerous restaurants, shopping areas, museums and attractions. More details will be made available when conference registration begins or emailed to you upon acceptance of submission.