Photo by Radek Homola on Unsplash

Call for Papers: EU-Africa migration conundrum in a changing global order



International Scientific Conference and Workshop

EU-Africa migration conundrum in a changing global order


21-22 November 2019

University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu campus, Finland


The conference brings into conversation leading academics, policy-makers, political observers and practitioners from civil society to explore and examine the current EU-Africa relationships vis-à-vis migration. The issue of migration is challenging this relationship, whereas concrete efforts need to be taken in order for the benefits of the increased interaction to be better harnessed and the unprecedented flows of people managed. The conference will approach the topic thought the lens of border studies, an internationally recognized area of expertise of the Karelian Institute, UEF (Joensuu), in order to evaluate EU-Africa relations in a changing global order. An important aim of the conference will also get informed by lessons and parallels drawn from across Africa, and chiefly, the integration experience of the EU—particularly the Schengen Area—in moving from free movement of labour (only) to EU citizenship, as enshrined in Article 20 (1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Africa, in particular, is characterised by extensive interactions across its artificial and contiguous borders and borderlands, just as there are increasing migration flows from Africa to Europe.

The issue of migration is challenging intra-Africa relationships as well as its relationships with other regions of the world, such as Europe. Thus, the imperative to examine intra-Africa relations vis-à-vis migration, in the context of borders and boundaries and evaluate EU-Africa relations in a global order characterised by unprecedented fluxes of men, women and children between the two continents. In particular, Africa is characterised by extensive interactions across its artificial and contiguous borders and borderlands, just as there are increasing flows of migration from Africa to Europe. Several questions arise, such as inter alia; How should these fluxes be managed to promote socioeconomic transformation and development in Africa? What lessons can be gleaned from the experiences of the EU?

This conference is timely as it speaks to contemporary but longstanding issues that impact the continents concerned and the global political economy. Its outcomes and products will speak directly to and inform policy in a bid to formulate working solutions to these challenges. It will also contribute to ongoing discussions and debates in academia on matters raised and thus contribute to theory building. Moreover, the project has as its innovative strength, the proposed conferring of academics, policy makers and practitioners to exchange views, experiences and seek solutions to challenges concerning human mobility in general and the related issues of borders, boundaries and regional integration. The potential of networks that will also be built from this experience for future endeavours and development in general for Africa, the EU and relationships between the continents cannot be overstated.

Following the kick off conference hosted by the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation in Pretoria, South Africa, this second conference will be a two two-day event that will focus on human mobility and migration issues with respect to borders, boundaries and regional integration, and one international conference focusing on EU-Africa relations vis-à-vis migration and borders, under the theme “the EU-Africa migration conundrum in a changing global order.” In addition to the open conference, a closed workshop will be held in which participants will engage in detailed exchanges and discussions of issues framed out in the concept note.



  • The participants are encouraged to submit a full paper to be considered for an edited volume to prepared based on the conference deliberations.
  • The deadline for submission of abstracts is 2 September 2019.
  • Please send a MS Word document in English containing: author’s name, affiliation, e-mail address, a paper title, and a clear and concise abstract of max. 250 words by email to Dr. Jussi Laine at
  • The scientific committee will select those contributions which best fit the theme of the call for papers and selected participants will be notified by 12 September 2019.
  • Participants are expected to make and cover for their own travel and accommodation arrangements.
  • The participation is free of charge. Lunches as well as a conference dinner will provided for all registered and presenting participants.
  • Travel grants: there are seven max. 1.000,00 EUR travel grants available to support attendees. To apply for the travel grant, please include a short motivation letter of why you should be awarded the travel grant in the same document together with your abstract. All travel grants awardees are expected to submit a full-length chapter for the edited volume. Note that there may be more meritorious applications than we will be able to award. Grants are awarded to attendants only upon providing receipts of expenses made in light of attending the conference.

For any other questions, please contact Dr. Jussi Laine:

The conference is supported by the Jean Monnet activity within the ERASMUS+ programme Africa-EU relations, migration, development and integration (587767-EPP-1-2017-1-ZA-EPPJMO-PROJECT) together with the Joensuu University Foundation.


Note also the VERA Conference 2019: “From deconstructing to constructing walls: 30 years after Berlin” to be organized 20-21 Nov 2019 in Joensuu:

GovInn Week 2019 – 24-27 September: Save the date!

Save the date!

From 24 to 29 September 2019, the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation will host the 5th Governance Innovation Week at the University of Pretoria.

More details to follow!

Dickson Ajisafe participated in the 2019 Africa-Europe Dialogue held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Dickson Ajisafe joined other team leaders from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Chad, Ethiopia, Italy, France and Lithuania to coordinate and lead the recently concluded Africa-Europe Dialogue held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia between 14 to16 of May 2019. The Dialogue was building a strategic long-term process in the run up to the AU-EU Summit in 2020. The Dialogue, with a special focus on Education, Mobility and Youth nexus, was organised under the auspices of the Erasmus+ Student and Alumni Alliance (ESAA)-comprising the Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association, garagErasmus Foundation, OCEANS network and Erasmus Student Network. The Erasmus+ Student and Alumni Alliance ( is established and driven by close cooperation between the European Union and the alumni of the Erasmus+ programmes.  Discussions during this unique event were centred on investing in people of Africa and Europe and building contacts between them through educational mobility, youth empowerment and development.

The first day of the dialogue, hosted by the EU Delegation to the African Union in Addis Ababa, started with a kick-off seminar and a warm welcome address from Anna Burylo, Deputy Head of EU Delegation to the African Union. The seminar gathered expert inputs from researchers, educators, social entrepreneurs, opinion leaders, Erasmus+ alumni, youth workers and activists- who presented stimulated intellectual discussions on some pressing socio-economic issues of contemporary African and European societies.

The second day of the event was hosted by the Ethiopian Institute for Higher Education, University of Addis Ababa, with a special opening remarks by Professor Abebaw Yirga Adamu, Director, Ethiopian Institute for Higher Education – Addis Ababa University and followed with presentations on EU scholarship opportunities for bachelors, masters, and PhD students as well as academic and administrative staff of universities in Ethiopia. The forum equally included special consultation with the Ethiopian university students and youth, incorporating their opinions into the longer-term process that will shake and shape the Africa-Europe Strategic Partnership (a high-level policy process between the African Union and the European Union).The core focus of the Dialogue includes investing in people by investing in learning mobility as recognition of the power of people-to-people diplomacy.

The last day of the event was co-hosted by the Human Resources and Youth Development, Education Division of the African Union, as well as Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI), Ethiopia, where participants discussed learning mobility opportunities and possibilities for youth training, internship and exchange programs for African and European students.

The 3-day event was sponsored by the European Union with the endorsement of the African Union Youth Envoy, in close cooperation with the Ethiopian Institute for Higher Education, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia and ended with a special dinner at Dimma Cultural Restaurant, Addis Ababa.

“More work lies ahead to make Africa’s new free trade area succeed” by Dr Frank Mattheis in The Conversation

In their article for The Conversation, GovInn researcher Frank Mattheis and Ueli Staeger from the Graduate Institute argue that more work lies ahead to make Africa’s new free trade area work. Although the AfCFTA has gained more momentum than previous initiatives to liberalise trade in Africa, there is a rocky road ahead: the remaining diplomatic, technical and social challenges are significant.

However, the practical implications of the continental free trade area are not immediate. Significant work is required to deliver tangible results. Negotiations on tariffs, time lines and the seat of the AfCFTA Secretariat are still ongoing. And without effective public policies, liberalising trade risks having negative implications for many people on the continent.

You can read the full article here.

CE + EE 2019 Training, 20-24 May 2019

From 20 to 24 May 2019, the Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa (CEEPA) hosted a five day workshop on “Theory and econometrics of individual and collective choice analysis: choice and controlled experiments”. The course was designed and presented by CEEPA staff, including GovInn Research Fellow, Dr Damien Jourdain.

The course is designed to give students the theoretical and practical tools they require to analyse choices originating from stated preference (SP) surveys and controlled experiments.

More information on the course can be found at their website, here.

“What to expect from Malawi’s sixth poll since one-party rule ended” by Dr Chris Nshimbi, The Conversation

GovInn director Dr Chris Nshimbi outlined the expectations and the processes surrounding the upcoming Malawian election in a question and answer style piece for The Conversation, titled “What to expect from Malawi’s sixth poll since one-party rule ended”.

Answering a question on the elections contribution to consolidating Malawian democracy, Dr Nshimbi answered:

It’s an achievement in itself that Malawi is holding its sixth multi-party national elections since its transition from its era of dictatorship under former President Kamuzu Banda. Banda ruled the country with an iron fist for the first three decades after independence.

But beyond free and fair elections, democratic consolidation entails fulfilling electoral promises, especially those that relate to citizens’ rights to basic services like water and education. The country also needs to provide decent work for its citizens.

The eight candidates contesting for the presidency and the 13 political parties that are vying for Parliament clearly show that Malawi’s election is open. But, more could be done to promote the participation of women.

You can read the full article online at the The Conversation.

Book Review : Migration and regional integration in West Africa: A borderless ECOWAS.

GovInn Research Fellow Prudence Nkomo has published a book review in the journal African Insight, looking at Adebusuyi Isaac Adeniran’s book, Migration and regional integration in West Africa: A borderless ECOWAS. The review was published in the December 2018 edition of the journal.

Although the migration process examined is largely informal, the resulting integration proves that a regionally integrated ECOWAS is feasible – and that it should be people-centric and not state-centric. This is why this book significantly contributes to efforts to understand the role of informal migration in the realisation of a regionally integrated ECOWAS. Academics, policy makers and development workers will benefit greatly from the book and it will be an invaluable resource to policy makers in ECOWAS.

Prudence Nkomo

Prudence Nkomo

Prudence is currently completing her masters at the University of Pretoria, focusing on trans-frontier conservation areas, local communities, inequality and migration.

To read the full review, visit the Sabinet website.


In early 2019, GovInn Research Fellow Dr Magalie Bourblanc published her book “L’AGRICULTURE À L’ÉPREUVE DE L’ENVIRONNEMENT” through Harmattan Publishers. The book looks at the problems linked to intensive farming activities in Brittany, and the public programs implemented over the last 30 years to improve the water quality. The book invites us to look at the public policy and complexity of this system of water management within the agricultural policy space.

Trente ans après les premiers programmes publics de reconquête de la qualité des eaux en Bretagne, les problèmes liés aux activités d’élevage intensif figurent toujours à l’agenda public. Il semble que ces problèmes ne soient pas parvenus à modifier en profondeur les pratiques agricoles. Comment expliquer cette formidable capacité de résistance au changement au sein des arrangements institutionnels de politique agricole ? C’est à cette énigme qu’entend répondre cet ouvrage. Il nous invite à une plongée au coeur des dispositifs publics et de l’hyper-complexité qui semble en être la marque de fabrique et représenter l’une des clés d’explication de cette énigme.

More information on the book can be found in this attachment, or on the website of the publishers.

Event Report: ‘Broadening the debate on EU-Africa relations: Towards reciprocal approaches’- Launch of the South African Journal of International Affairs Special Issue

On 26 February, researchers and practitioners convened at the University of Pretoria to celebrate the launch of the South African Journal of International Affairs (SAJIA) Special Issue on “Broadening the debate on EU-Africa relations: Towards reciprocal approaches”, guest edited by GovInn research fellows Dr John Kotsopoulos and Dr Frank Mattheis.

GovInn Research Fellow, Dickson Ajisafe, speaking at 2019 UKZN International Relations Postgraduate Conference

A 2-day International Relations Postgraduate Conference was held on the 19th and 20th of March 2019 at Garden Court Marine Parade Hotel in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. The conference, with the caption, “The Evolving Global Order: What’s at Stake for Africa?” was hosted by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, South Africa in partnership with the International and Public Affairs Cluster, School of Social Sciences, University  of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban, South Africa. The Conference brought together scores of selected International Relations postgraduate students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban University of Technology and the University of Zululand. The objectives of the Conference, among others, included exposing students in the KwaZulu-Natal Province to influential actors of International Relations, building a community of practice for international relations in the KwaZulu-Natal Province as well as providing young South Africans with insight into topical trends and contemporary analysis on South African international relations.  The conference attracted academics, practitioners, stakeholders and civil society leaders, who served as panelists on diverse topics during the Conference.

Mr. Dickson Ajisafe, GovInn Research Fellow, shared a panel with other speakers, and addressed the audience on “Africa-EU relations: Current development and what Africa should do towards achieving SDGs and 2030 agenda”. In his remarks, Mr. Ajisafe, touched on current development in Africa-EU partnership, significance of goal setting towards development and sustainability, lessons from MDGs and emergence of SDGs. and wrapping-up his session, he hammered on salient attitudes Africa needs to develop as she relates with Europe and responsible actions required of Africa in her pursuit of achieving Sustainable Development Goals and 2030 agenda.

Dickson Ajisafe at UKZN

Moderators and speakers at the Conference included Dr. Candice Moore, a Senior Lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal; Ms. Tamara Naidoo, the Programme Manager for International Relations at the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), South Africa; Hameda Deedat, the acting Executive Director for NALEDI COSATU’s research arm and Sanusha Naidu, Political Analyst and Senior Research Fellow. Others included : Advocate Vasu Gounden, the Founder of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), Zane Dangor, Special Adviser to the Hon. Minister Lindiwe Sisulu; Prof. Lisa Thompson, the Director of the African Centre for Citizenship and Democracy (ACCEDE), University of the Western Cape, South Africa and others.

Within the conference, a special public dialogue was held which brought together the dominant political parties in South Africa – the ANC, DA, IFP and EFF – to discuss with the public their analysis of key international relations issues affecting South Africa and provide a platform to share their positions. The conference ended with a brief address from Dr. Heinz Bongartz-the Director of FES, South Africa, a group photo and certificate of participation presented to all postgraduate students.