The biannual conference of the Association for African Studies in Germany e.V. (VAD) will be held at the University of Bayreuth from September 30th to October 2nd, 2024. Hosted by the Institute of African Studies, the conference theme is Reconfigurations in Africa – and in African Studies. Gathering a wide range of scholars as well as politicians and activists, the event is structured into 7 streams which aim to address current and past crises and processes of transformation in Africa.

One of the streams is Political Economy of Extractivism, which tackles the analysis of African economies and their relation to global capitalism. The Infraglob’s team will take part in one of the panels regarding this topic.

Under the theme Contested infrastructures: How African and global actors reshape the investment boom, the panel will examine how many new infrastructure, extractivist, and other projects become contested in Africa. From an interdisciplinary perspective, a key question is how these contestations reshape business, politics, and society on the continent and beyond.

Jan Sänding and Jana Hönke will present their paper Are Chinese and Western mining companies differently contested? which undertakes a comparison of local and transnational struggles against Chinese and Western mining companies, based on data from the DRC and Guinea.

Moreover, Mia Yifan Yang will analyze the adaptation of corporate practices by Chinese companies and professionals in three industrial mining projects in Guinea through her paper entitled Corporate practices in contested Chinese mining zones: authority-seeking land acquisition and disciplinary CSR practices.

Overall, VAD 2024 will be a major event in the interdisciplinary work on reconfigurations in Africa, and Bayreuth will be a place of insightful contributions and valuable exchanges for three days.