Call for Abstracts! PanAfrican Conference

Participants are invited to prepare and submit abstracts of papers for presentation during oral and poster sessions in the joint PanAfrican Grain Legume and World Cowpea Conference, 28 February to 4 March 2015, Livingston, Zambia.

Participants are invited to prepare and submit abstracts of papers for presentation during oral and poster sessions in the joint PanAfrican Grain Legume and World Cowpea Conference.  Papers should focus on innovative research, technology/knowledge dissemination and/or private sector business development activities relative to grain legumes (pulses) important to Africa, including cowpea, common bean, pigeon pea, chickpea, fava bean, lima bean, lentil, etc.  Since the conference will be focusing on multidisciplinary themes, scientists and development professionals representing diverse disciplines are encouraged to submit papers for presentation. For more information

Topical Categories for Papers

  • Abiotic Stress
  • Biological Nitrogen Fixation
  • Economics and Value Chain Development
  • Gender and Youth
  • Genomics and Plant Breeding
  • Human Nutrition and Health
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Mechanization of Production and Postharvest Handling
  • Plant Pathology
  • Seed Systems
  • Sustainable Intensification
  • Technology Dissemination and Impact Assessment
  • Value Addition and Food Processing

Submission of Abstracts

A mechanism has been established for the electronic submission of abstracts through a link on the conference webpage (  Participants in the conference may submit multiple abstracts for which they are an author or co-author and able to present papers in either an oral or poster session(s).  When submitting an abstract, one should be prepared to provide the following information in addition to an electronic (Word) file of the abstract text (text only, with no title or author information in this document).

  • Abstract Title
  • Submitter’s Name (Presenting Author)
  • Submitter’s Institution and Country
  • Submitter’s Email
  • Is the presenting author a Student? (Yes or No)
  • Detailed information on the presenting author(s)’ institutional affiliation, department, full postal address and phone number
  • Co-author Name(s)
  • Detailed information on co-author’s institutional affiliation, department, full postal  address and phone number
  • Choice of Program Topical Category for Paper
  • Preference of Oral or Poster Session

Authors will be able to return and modify any information in the electronic abstract submission system prior to final submission. Once all the information and the text of the abstract have been “confirmed” and the submission concluded, the author(s) will receive a confirmation email with the abstract’s ID # plus a password.

Format for Preparation of Abstracts

The text of the abstract should be prepared as a Word document (.doc) and not exceed 250 words in length and may be in English, French or Portuguese.

The abstract should be comprised of three well thought out paragraphs which clearly present the following information to a broad audience likely to be attending the conference.

  1. Statement of the problem or hypothesis
  2. Presentation of the key findings (the main points), making explicit how they address the problem or hypothesis
  3. Statement of the overall significance of the findings to grain legumes and possibly future research and/or development activities

Abstracts that don’t include information that responds to these three questions and aren’t organized as requested will be dropped from consideration as presentations in the conference.

See  attached document entitled “Tips for Writing an Abstract” for ideas on how to write an interesting and compelling abstract that will motivate conference participants to attend your oral or poster presentation session.

Peer Review of Abstracts

Abstracts will be reviewed by an international multidisciplinary team of peer scientists who are serving on the Scientific Program Committee for the joint PanAfrican Grain Legume and World Cowpea Conference.  This committee has been tasked with the review of abstracts and the assignment of the abstracts to thematic oral and poster sessions.  The sessions that are developed by the Scientific Program Committee will be in part determined by the volume and topical mix of abstracts received.  Efforts will be made to organize oral and poster sessions that are interesting and coherent around a unifying theme.  It is important though for submitters to understand that their abstracts may not be assigned to thematic oral or poster sessions that are exactly aligned with the topical category chosen when submitting an abstract.  Attempts will be made to honor the preferences of authors for an oral or poster presentation, however, there may be cases where logistics do not allow the committee to accommodate all the requests for oral presentations.

Oral Session Structure

The Scientific Program Committee will be selecting an outstanding abstract to lead-off each thematic oral session.  The author and paper selected will be provided 20 minutes for the oral presentation and invited to prepare and submit a full scientific paper that will be peer reviewed and included in the electronic proceedings of the conference.  Authors will be required to submit the full papers two weeks prior to the conference, 15 February 2016.

Other presenters in oral sessions will be allocated 14 minutes each, plus the corresponding abstracts will also be included in the electronic conference proceedings.

Scholarships for “Young African Grain Legume Scientists”
Full scholarships will be provided to a minimum of ten selected young (<45 years of age) African grain legume scientists affiliated with an African agriculture research institution who present an exceptional abstract of a paper for oral or poster presentation at the conference.  These scholarships will cover transportation to and from one’s home country to the conference, the registration fee, lodging and meals.  The scholarships will be awarded competitively based on the scientific quality of the abstracts as determined by the Scientific Program Committee.  Efforts will be made to award the scholarships to scientists presenting papers in diverse topical areas.

To be considered for a scholarship, interested qualified authors should download a “Young African Grain Legume Scientist Scholarship Application” form from the conference webpage, and submit a scanned PDF copy of the completed and signed application along with the a copy of the submitted abstract (including the abstract ID#).  These documents should be sent electronically as attachments in an email to   The deadline for the submission of Young African Grain Legume Scientist Scholarships is Friday, 27 November 2015.

Schedule and Important Deadlines

  1. All Abstracts for papers should be submitted electronically by 1 December 2015.
  2. Scholarship Applications for Young African Grain Legume Scientists should be submitted by 27 November 2015.
  3. Modifications of Abstracts through the Convex system must be completed before 18 December 2015.
  4. Notification of acceptance of Abstracts will be sent to submitting (presenting) author by 21 December 2015.
  5. Submission of invited full scientific papers that have been selected for leading off presentations in thematic oral sessions; 15 February 2016
  6. Final Conference Program with abstracts assigned to topical oral and poster sessions completed and publically available by 27 January 2016.

Information on the joint 2016 PanAfrican Grain Legume and World Cowpea Conference

The conference will be held at the Zambezi Sun, Livingstone, Zambia, beginning with a welcome reception on Sunday evening, 28 February 2016 and ending in the afternoon of Friday, 4 March 2016.

Detailed information on the conference venue, registration, program, invited speakers, hotels, auxiliary events, etc. as well as the internet link for abstract submission can be found at

The joint 2016 PanAfrican Grain Legume and World Cowpea Conference has the prestige of having been selected by the IYP Steering Committee of the United Nations – Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as a signature international event to celebrate the 2016 International Year of Pulses.  To this end, public and private African agriculture research and development institutions are strongly encouraged to send their scientists and technical staff working on grain legumes to this conference.

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