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BRIEF December 5, 2017

Call for Papers: Examining the Challenges and Opportunities of Firms’ Productivity in Africa

  • Full papers should be submitted in pdf format by February 23, 2018
  • Submissions should be e-mailed to
  • Decisions will be made by March 30, 2018

The fifth Annual Bank Conference on Africa (ABCA) will be held at Stanford, California, on June 14-15, 2018. It will cover various topics pertinent to firms in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is being organized jointly by the World Bank (Office of the Chief Economist for the Africa Region), and the Stanford Center on Global Poverty and Development.

The conference will include a keynote address by David McKenzie of the World Bank and opening remarks by Makhtar Diop (World Bank Vice-President for the Africa Region), as well as invited contributions by senior scholars.

Submitted papers with a focus on Africa are now welcome on any of the following topics:

  • Technology, innovation and firm performance
  • Productivity and resource allocation
  • The role of firms in job creation
  • Worker productivity and incentives
  • Data and measurement issues pertinent to firms’ growth in Africa
  • High growth entrepreneurship, incubators, accelerators and start-ups.

As well as papers that examine the following in the context of firms: economic growth, conflict, resilience, input and output markets, gender, property rights, infrastructure, and financial constraints.

Full papers should be submitted in pdf format by February 23, 2018. Submissions should be e-mailed to, and will be considered by a program committee including Marcel Fafchamps (Stanford), Markus Goldstein (World Bank), Jessica Leino (Stanford), Pete Klenow (Stanford), David McKenzie (World Bank), César Calderón (World Bank).

Decisions will be made by March 30. Limited funds to support travel for successful African presenters may be available.