Main Conference

The Oxford Africa Conference

The Oxford Africa Conference is the leading interdisciplinary conference on Africa, hosted by the University of Oxford Africa Society. The Conference brings together heads of state, policymakers, business leaders, academics, artists, students, and professionals of African descent to critically expand the discourse and action on Africa. The conference is also the society’s annual call to action: the opportunity for coalescing ideas and initiatives that can augment and create opportunities for African individuals, companies and organisations.

In its 9 th year running, this year’s conference will convene around the theme Africa’s Relevance: Locally, Continentally and Globally. Through a series of interactive panels, keynote addresses and debates, we will explore pathways to asserting Africa’s relevance by:

  • Leveraging indigenous assets
  • Critically reflecting on regional integration
  • Engaging with global priorities

This year is a particularly exciting year for the conference as it marks several monumental milestones such as the 100th year anniversary of the 1919 Pan- African Conference, the 400th year anniversary of the 1619 arrival of enslaved African Americans, and the declaration of the United Nations Decade of People of African Descent. The Conference is held at a crucial moment in time, in the midst of a critical global discourse on Africa and Africans in the diaspora.
Students, academics, innovators and trailblazers are invited to explore  the challenges of Africa’s 21st century realities and chart ways forward for the prosperity of Africa.  We value the strengths of Pan-African knowledge and highly encourage attendees to use this conference as an opportunity to learn, participate and share their knowledge.

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Panel Sessions

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Speakers Annually

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Students

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Yearly Average Attendees

Conference Theme

The theme of this year’s conference is Africa’s Relevance: Locally, Continentally and Globally” . In its 9 th year running, this year’s conference will convene around the theme Asserting Africa’s Relevance: Locally, Continentally and Globally. Through a series of interactive panels, keynote addresses and debates, we will explore pathways to asserting Africa’s relevance by:

  • The first track will take stock of the diverse indigenous assets that exist across the continent, whether in terms of artistic tradition or governance models, whilst casting a critical eye on the concept of indigeneity.
  • The second track will address the question of Africa’s relevance as a continental unit and take a deep dive into the multiple aspects of integration ranging from the tangible, such as institutions and roads, to the intangible such as Pan African identity and political ideologies.
  • The third track will explore Africa’s place in the world. Building on our indigenous assets and our conception of what constitutes a coherent geographical and political unit, where does, and where should, Africa fit in broader multilateralism? How can Africa be a resilient and influential global player and partner?

This year is a particularly exciting year for the conference as it marks several monumental milestones such as the 100th year anniversary of the 1919 Pan- African Conference, the 400th year anniversary of the 1619 arrival of enslaved African Americans, and the declaration of the United Nations Decade of People of African Descent. The Conference is held at a crucial moment in time, in the midst of a critical global discourse on Africa and Africans in the diaspora.
Students, academics, innovators and trailblazers are invited to explore  the challenges of Africa’s 21st century realities and chart ways forward for the prosperity of Africa.  We value the strengths of Pan-African knowledge and highly encourage attendees to use this conference as an opportunity to learn, participate and share their knowledge.

Innovation Fair

The Innovation Fair at the Oxford Africa Conference brings together some of the best entrepreneurs and innovators tackling challenges in Africa or running social impact-driven businesses in the diaspora. For a chance to participate in master classes, networking sessions and business pitches, click here to apply.


Finalists of 2018 Innovation Fair

  • EcoAct (Tanzania)
  • Zaacoal (Ghana)
  • Majik Water (Kenya)
  • Utiva (Nigeria)
  • Grainothèque (Ivory Coast)
  • Byoona Help Group (Uganda)

Winners of 2018 Innovation Fair (Amount below in £)


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First place: EcoAct

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Second place: Zaacoal

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Third place: Majik Water

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for participation in the Fair is as follows.

  • 1. Must be an impact–driven social enterprise
  • 2. Must be led/founded by Africans
  • 3. The social enterprise must be registered in an African country
  • 4. The enterprise must already be in operation (that is, the product or service should be launched) for, at least, six months; or, at most, three years by May 1, 2019
  • 5. Must adopt innovative and sustainable solutions in their operation

Africa Week

As part of our efforts to have a more in-depth, holistic and engaging conversation with a much wider audience, we are hosting an ‘Africa Week’. This week comprises a series of pre conference events across a wide range of topics, and culminates into the conference on the 17th and 18th of May. Africa week events are:

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Peace Talks

By Peace Talks



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Africa Research Day

By Oxford Africa Initiative & Oxford University Africa Society


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African Student Societies Roundtable

By Oxford Africa Conference

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Annual Lecture

By Oxford Africa Society



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Oxford Africa Society

The Oxford University Africa Society celebrates 60 years this year,  of providing community, thought leadership and raising Africa’s profile at one of the world’s leading academic institutions and in the world generally. The history of the Oxford Africa Society goes as far back as 1958 when it served as a vibrant forum within Oxford University at a time when many countries were fighting for and winning independence. With such founding sentiments, the discourse we have and action we take through each annual conference is critical as it seeks to advance the cause of independence, for which our forefathers fought.