Tennessee State University

The Annual Africa Conference

Conference Logo 2022Welcome to the homepage of the Annual Africa Conference at Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee. Each year the department hosts academics, independent scholars, policymakers, and graduate students in an international conference on various themes on African and Diasporan African history and related subjects. Interested individuals are encouraged to submit abstracts relevant to the theme of the current conference.

The 2022 Conference Announcement & Call for Papers
Conference Theme: "Health Issues in Africa and the African Diaspora"
Conference Dates: April 7 -9, 2022
Conference Format: Virtual via Zoom

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Africa and the African diaspora provides an opportunity to turn a searchlight on the state of public health in these spaces. Of all the racial groups in the United States, African Americans have historically benefitted the least from the nation’s healthcare system that continues to be characterized by systemic disparities. Thus, African Americans have suffered disproportionally from debilitating ailments due to lack of adequate access to healthcare, a direct impact of social and economic inequalities inherent in the American system.

In Africa, many states have failed woefully to invest adequately in the health sector such that today they lack a system sufficiently capable of catering for the needs of the citizenry. Typical of the African healthcare sector is inadequate access to health care, limited scientific research and innovation, and shortage of modern health facilities. Compounding this challenge is the massive flight of healthcare professionals especially to the global north. The result is that large sections of the African population, particularly rural-based people, do not have their medical care needs met.

Whether in Africa or the African Diaspora, Black people continue to face significant healthcare challenges. The marginalization of the black community globally in healthcare benefits is quite glaring. The ongoing catastrophic global pandemic has demonstrated quite clearly the disproportionate impact of illnesses on Black people. African Americans remain less likely than their White counterparts to receive the COVID-19 vaccines due to a variety of social factors including education, housing, socio-economic status, and employment, leaving them at increased risk of hospitalization and death. In Africa, most countries are in severe shortage of the COVID-19 vaccines, making access to them rather limited. This dismal reality on both sides of the Atlantic compels a closer look at the subject of healthcare in both constituencies.   

This year’s conference will provide a platform for participants to critically examine the historical trajectories of healthcare in Africa and the African Diaspora, and its contemporary state. We seek scholarly papers on the theme of the conference that are not overtly technical. The sub-themes and potential topics around which the conference is organized may include but are not limited to the following:

Healthcare in global Africa in historical perspectives
History of pandemics: SARS, HIV/AIDS, COVID-19
Healthcare policies
Politics and public health
Public health foundations, funded programs, and private initiatives
Political economy of public health
Poverty and health
Healthcare systems and reforms
Healthcare and health insurance
Healthcare and infrastructural development
Educational institutions and healthcare
Healthcare in inner cities and rural communities
Health education and public knowledge
Women, children, and healthcare
Indigenous medicine and traditional healing practices
Environmental impacts on health
Mental health issues
Health crises and global responses
Ethics and health
Perspectives on health disabilities
Health and religious beliefs
Social Determinants of health
Disease control and prevention
Racial, gender, and regional disparities in healthcare
Migration of healthcare workers
Telehealth and health innovations
Vaccine availability and hesitancy
Healthcare funding and expenditures
Medical tourism
Healthcare education, training, and research
Legal issues in healthcare
Socio-economic impact of COVID-19

Submit an abstract  

Mandatory non-refundable registration fees for the conference are:
Regular: $50 by Dec. 31, 2021; & $60 by Feb. 15, 2022
Graduate Students: $25 by Dec. 31, 2021; & $30 by Feb. 15, 2022

Registration payment is accepted in two ways:

1. By check: Mail check payable to "Tennessee State University" to:
The Annual Africa Conference
Department of History, Political Science, Geography, & Africana Studies
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37209

2. Online: Click this link.
Follow the instructions on the link to make your payment.

Conference Program

Dr. Adebayo Oyebade
Professor of History & Department Chair

Dr. Gashawbeza Bekele
Associate Professor of Geography

Conference Venue
Virtual for 2022 conference