This special issue on the futures of Africa seeks to provide critical thinking about the futures of Africa that can support a range of new development strategies. It aims to explore key drivers of transformation, and the futures these point towards. And it aims to refresh analysis and change mindsets by providing a deeper understanding that there are new and different ways to think about the futures of Africa.

Too often the popular image of the futures of Africa is subject to binary and reactive clichés. When there is a commodity crash the pundits resort to doom images – the colonial narrative. When there is high growth pundits overdramatize the promise of the future. Short term events shape people’s perceptions. Such reactive narratives reflect short term thinking and the weight of history. When a problem arises it gets falsely specified as something uniquely African, rather than analyzing the institutional or structural challenges that affect all nations and peoples equally. This contributes to the cycle of continuous self doubt that perpetuates the problem.
What is needed is strong analysis on Africa’s long term prospects, and an understanding that narrative itself is a shaper of perception and a mediator of futures thinking. There is a need for an analysis of narrative as well as the creation of new narratives. Alternative futures for Africa need to be developed, scenarios, images, strategies and designs, which can form new pathways for thinking and action.

This special issue aims to appeal to policy makers, helping shift how governments think about Africa futures and development, based on better self reflection and the identification of new policy / strategic leverage points. More broadly, this special issue intends to be accessible to the public and generate public debate among intellectuals and other critical stakeholders shaping Africa’s future.

Format of papers
This special issue is accepting both articles and essays:
– Refereed articles provide depth treatment and research on the topic (7,000 word limit)
– Essays provide strong prose, reflection and new ideas (3,500 word limit)

Time Line
– Abstracts Due 15 October 2017
– Abstracts Accepted 1 November 2017
– Draft Papers Due 1 March 2018
– Drafts Accepted 1 April 2018
– Final Paper Due 1 May 2018

*Publication in second or third quarter of 2018.

Send Abstracts and/or inquiries to:
Dr. Julius Gatune
and cc Dr. José Ramos

Special Editor: Dr. Julius Gatune

Julius Gatune Kariuki is a Policy Advisor for the African Center for Economic Transformation. He is from Kenya and is passionate about Africa, especially the future of the continent. He has a multidisciplinary background covering engineering, computer science, business administration, and policy analysis. He has a PhD in Policy Analysis from Frederick S. Pardee Rand Graduate School and also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Frederick S. Pardee Centre of International Futures at the University of Denver. He was a consultant with McKinsey & Co. working in their sub-Sahara Africa office in Johannesburg, South Africa. Julius is currently also policy advisor to various African governments as a fellow with the African Centre of Economic Transformation (ACET) in Accra, Ghana. Julius has particular interest in investigating the drivers of Africa futures and in understanding what leverage Africa has in shaping desired futures. His other interests include knowledge diffusion, the role of ICTs in development, and what strategies are needed to embed inclusive business practices in Africa.



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