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null Call for papers: The ethics of African development and the development of African ethics

African women on a cereal field. African Development

The Business Ethics Network of Africa (BEN-Africa), a long-standing partner of, is making the first call for papers for its 18th Annual BEN-Africa Conference on 7-8 November 2019 in Mombasa, Kenya.

Scholars and other experts from around the world are invited to submit industry and academic papers and posters that address the theme of ‘The ethics of African development and the development of African ethics' (please see below for suggested sub-themes). However, any papers dealing with business or organisational ethics in Africa will be considered.
The conference language is English. The abstract of the papers and posters will be reviewed for
relevance and rigour. Abstract submissions should be sent electronically to Kevin Behrens at
  • August 31, 2019: Deadline for abstract submissions (500-1,000 words) and for full papers for potential publication in the African Journal of Business Ethics*.
  • September 30, 2019: Confirmation of acceptance to present at the Conference
  • November 7-8, 2018: Conference. The presentation parallel sessions will take place on Day 1 of the conference - 7th November.
  • December 9, 2019: Re-submission of revised, full papers for external review (single blind peer review)
  • January 15 –March 15, 2020: Completion of external review, and feedback to authors
  • Mid-May 2020: Publication of papers in the African Journal of Business Ethics
*Please note that abstract submissions are adequate if you only intend on presenting at the
conference. If, however, you are interested in publishing your paper in the African Journal of Business Ethics, the above deadlines must please be adhered to. We are also pleased to announce the Aloe award for the best conference paper. The winner will be announced at the conference and will receive a signed copy of Rossouw and Van Vuuren's Business Ethics (6th edition). In order to be eligible for this award, your FULL paper must be submitted by 31 August 2019. BEN-Africa reserves the right not to make the award should an insufficient amount of full papers be received by the deadline. 
Presenters are required to register and pay for the conference, the conference fee being $50 for
presenters ($200 for other delegates) and to make the own way to the conference.
For details on the preparation of full papers, please see the ‘Author Guidelines' for the African Journal of Business Ethics, available online at:
Registration and Conference Website
To register for the conference and for information on accommodation, transport and the programme,please see:
The conference theme is ‘The ethics of African development and the development of African ethics'. Any paper that addresses this theme, or the wider theme of business ethics in Africa, will be considered.
Suggested sub-themes include:
  • What meaning is given to ‘development' in the sense of progress, well-being or improvement?
  • Which values underlie this meaning of ‘development' and which values in practice determine the allocation of attention and the prioritizations made in development processes? Are values of human well-being, justice and human dignity adequately reflected in practice? How can attention to those values be supported?
  • Who is gaining and who is losing in social change? Who bears the costs of ‘development'? Is it fair?
  • Why do unfair arrangements arise?
  • How effective has development aid to Africa been?
  • What are the true intentions and motivations of development agencies? Do they consider Africa's unique cultures?
  • How do recipients of aid programs and funds experience development aid?
  • How should we respond to the painful—sometimes ‘cruel'—choices between different values and groups that can arise in development policy/programs/projects?
  • How can one construct well-reasoned alternatives to prevailing practices that violate values of justice, well-being and dignity, in ways of thinking and in strategy, policy and practice?
  • Who has responsibilities (and response-abilities) – to act, to desist, to compensate – in regard to violations of values of justice, human well-being and dignity?
  • How can we apply indigenous African institutional models, cultural norms, and Ubuntu values to business ethics?
  • Whose ethics should be enforced to ensure good governance and a reduction in corruption?
  • Does the West have the right to force its business ethics standards on business on the African continent?
  • How can African communitarianism enhance our ethical discourse?
  • Are Ubuntu and free market capitalism incompatible?
  • Is a relational ethic like Ubuntu better able to ground our ethical obligations than individualism?
  • Can Ubuntu provide a strong basis for sustainability and environmental protection?
Wider themes
  • Developments in business ethics teaching and practice.
  • Defining the business ethics agenda for Africa: Contextual challenges and opportunities.
  • Managing ethics in African companies and organisations.
  • Poverty and sustainability: defining the challenges and the way forward.


Download the call for papers PDF