Econ04
Commodifying Africa: material and representational interests, influences and impacts

Convenors:
Lisa Ann Richey (Copenhagen Business School)
Stefano Ponte (Copenhagen Business School)
Stream:
Economy and Development
Location:
50 George Square, G.04
Wednesday 12 June, 10:45-12:30

Short abstract:

This panel examines various aspects of humanitarianism, development and investment partnerships where good causes, products, and consumers are tied together in what are presented as unproblematic ways to 'save' Africa.

Long abstract:

This panel session explores contemporary trends in the commodification of Africa. We welcome papers that examine various aspects of humanitarianism, development or collaborative investments whereby good causes, products, and consumers are tied together in what are presented as unproblematic ways to 'save' Africa. Papers could consider the commodification of doing good ranging from cause-related marketing and 'Brand Aid' to the more institutionalized push in the UN's Sustainable Development Goals for long-term strategic partnerships between private corporations and NGOs. Papers may explore non-profit, NGO, as well as business incentives and rationales for partnering as well as the different modes of engagement for instance through non-profit innovation, 'humanitarian goods', sustainable consumption and celebrity activism. The panel will debate the positive and negative effects of commodification processes at local and global levels in relation to accountability, power imbalances, and the environment.