Theme : “The African Continental Free Trade Area : Challenges and Opportunities” 28/02/2019 @ Kigali, Rwanda

1. Introduction

The Economic Policy Research Network (EPRN Rwanda) is a Non-Governmental Organization aiming at strengthening the capacities of individuals and organizations active in or with an interest in economic policy research and analysis. EPRN Rwanda therefore responds to economic policy gaps resulting mainly from lack of quality and informative research and the challenge of human capacity in terms of limited numbers of economic researchers and active involvement.

The mission of EPRN Rwanda is to contribute to the evidence based economic policy making by providing high quality research, building capacity and creating networking opportunities.

For the fifth time now, EPRN through support from partners is organizing an annual research conference that brings together researchers and policy makers to disseminate research findings from its scholars, other research and academic institutions or independent researchers and consultants. The conference participants are local and international researchers, academicians, professionals and decision makers working in private institutions, government, civil society organizations and development partners. The 5th EPRN Rwanda Annual Research Conference is scheduled on February 28th, 2019 in Kigali.

This year’s main theme is “The African Continental Free Trade Area : Challenges and Opportunities”, which is broken down into threesub-themes :

• Regional Integration
• Human Capital Development
• Econometrics and Financial Sector

2. Purpose of the Conference

The conference seeks to provide a research platform and opportunity for economic researchers from a wide spectrum such as academics, government officials, representatives of development partners and international and local NGOs with interest on research topics related to African Continental Free trade Area. The purpose of the conference is to evaluate the policy progress, suggest innovative policy solutions and, discuss strategies for achieving desired goals and targets.

3. Expected Outcomes of the conference

In addition to research papers and reports, the expected outcomes of the conference are the policy briefs summarizing key findings and recommendations.

The final papers with key policy recommendations will be published online (www.eprnrwanda.org) and through the EPRN Paper Series Vol II.Policy briefs will also be developed and disseminated to stakeholders for information and action.

4. Paper review process

EPRN launched a call for research abstracts in July 2018. EPRN received a number of applicants and the Board and research committee selected 21 abstracts to continue at next stage of paper drafting. To ensure the papers are with high quality, EPRN hired mentors and external reviewers. It is obvious that not all the 21 papers will be ready by February 2019, but we expect to have a minimum of six final papers ready for being presented during the conference.

5. Reward of presented papers

EPRN members who will present a successful paper (those developed through EPRN mentorship and review process) will be awarded 1000 USD per paper. This reward is to encourage and motivate authors to continue the initiatives of carrying out applied research and contribute to the incurred costs by the authors.

6. Key dates

A. Authors through mentorship process have to abide to the following dates :

• Deadline for proposal/abstract submission : 25th August 2018
• Notification of acceptance from the Selection Committee/Board : 27thSeptember 2018
• Deadline for initial submission of full paper (1st draft) : 12thJanuary 2019
• ExternalReviewers’ comments sent to authors by latest : 30thJanuary 2019
• Deadline for amended submissions (Final paper) : 05thFebruary 2019
• Final notification of clearance by : 15thFebruary 2019
• 5th EPRN Economic Research Conference on : 28thFebruary 2019

B. During the conference, papers and reports from independent researchers and organizations may also be accepted to be presented. For this category, authors have to abide to the following dates :

• Deadline for initial submission of full paper or report : 30thJanuary 2019
• Final notification of clearance by : 15thFebruary 2019
• 5th EPRN Research Conference on : 28thFebruary 2019

For more information, call +250788305142 or send message to the following emails : info@eprnrwanda.org