Founded in 2002, the Working Group in African Political Economy (WGAPE – pronounced “wah-gah-pay”) is a network of researchers with deep field research experience that meets regularly to provide structured feedback on in-progress (“working”) research papers related to the theme of African political economy. WGAPE employs a unique conference format where all participants read the papers before the meeting, and during the hour allotted to each paper participants hold a roundtable discussion to offer constructive feedback to the offers. WGAPE actively seeks to build links between scholars of African political economy in the U.S. and Africa. Meetings often feature trainings in impact evaluation and research transparency for junior scholars and scholars from developing countrie,s and matchmaking workshops to facilitate connections between these researchers and more senior scholars.
WGAPE holds several meetings throughout the year, each typically attended by 25-40 people and featuring discussion of roughly seven in-progress works by African political economy scholars. WGAPE holds a “national” meeting in May/June of each year to discuss in-progress work from scholars from across the U.S. and Canada. With generous funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, WGAPE brings six scholars affiliated with African institutions to attend each national meeting; typically, two of these scholars will receive feedback on their work. WGAPE also holds an international meeting at NYU-Abu Dhabi in January to facilitate attendance by scholars worldwide. Several “regional” meetings are independently organized across the US to connect scholars in their respective areas of the country; CEGA organizes an annual West Coast regional meeting each fall.
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