By Alice Hutchins, Creative Writing Graduate, University of East Anglia

What do we think of when we picture the Global South?

Well, The Global South consists of the countries who receive foreign aid, places such as Africa and Nepal and Bangladesh. The first thing that comes to some people’s minds are ideas of a poverty-stricken nation, who are underdeveloped and full of instabilities and inequalities. Though in some respects, these images may go towards trying to help and improve the situation in the Global South, it may also contribute towards undermining the power and potential these countries already possess, especially in the realms of politics, academia, and economics. If we always conjure up these images of a country that needs help to sustain itself and hold any sway in the world, then we will always assume that the only way the GS can experience success is through interdependence with ‘more developed’ countries.

So, what can we do about it?

The Accra conference, which takes place August 1st-3rd, 2019, aims to change these perceptions, and promote the Global South as having power in its own right. It is about teaching us to see the influence that these countries can have in politics, trade, security, and climate change negotiations. There is a rise in South-South partnerships that can impact the future of politics in this hemisphere, and allow political agents from this part of the world to have the freedom to stand for themselves, rather than being dependent on the north to support and share political power. We need to open a new window in the way that we study International Relations, so that countries from the GS can begin to step through, and banish their periphery past by becoming part of inter-regional co-operations that dispel their former representations of marginalization and victimhood.

Acrra, the political heart of the nation of Ghana, is hosting its conference in a beautifully diverse and cultural location and is seeking submissions and proposals for topics to address. The deadline for the submission is 21st January 2019, and if you study or research into the areas of International Relations, political agency in Africa, or developing networking and relationships to achieve future ambitions, then Accra want to hear from you.

‘As a professional academic association, our goal is to create a space for international studies scholars to present and discuss their research projects with their peers. Knowledge sharing, particularly with regard to actors in the Global South and their agency in international relations, is the primary goal of the conference in Accra.

Our other goal is to connect scholars, practitioners, and students, with the hope to build networks for future collaboration.’ – Lembe Tiky PhD, Chairman of Accra 2019

In supporting these goals, GSAN hopes to further promote the ideas addressed within the conference and broaden the possibilities of everyone involved. We believe that networks, such as the Acrra conference and GSAN may be the key to creating stability within the political sphere and enabling all countries across the world an equal chance to shape the future.

For more information on the Accra conference and how to submit proposals, follow the link below: