The third annual Supply Chain Research Summit held in Accra, Ghana, in June was “incredibly successful,” in the words of CARISCA Executive Director Dale Rogers. “It was emotional to me at the end,” said Rogers after the event. “I couldn’t believe how good it was.”
Summit participants also gave the conference high marks, with over 60% rating the event as excellent in a follow-up evaluation and another 35% rating it as good. We asked attendees what they liked most about the summit. A few of the responses appear below along with some additional highlights of the event.
“The speakers were the crème de la crème in the various fields, which provided us with in-depth knowledge. I must confess CARISCA has organized the best event I have ever attended.”Timothy Asaam
Owner, Besigheid Investment
The 2023 Supply Chain Research Summit featured more than 90 presenters, including top scholars such as Hau Lee from Stanford University (and a member of CARISCA’s Academic Board) and entrepreneurs like Lebogang Letsoalo, founder of Sincpoint, a sustainable supply chain consulting firm based in South Africa.
Chief editors of three top journals offered tips on how to get published. And executives from Dell, MTN Ghana and the U.N. World Food Program talked about logistics and supply chain issues and solutions in their respective sectors.
A surprise guest at the summit was Thomas Mensah, a Ghanaian-American who helped pioneer fiber optic technology. He spoke briefly about how his inventions made social media possible.
“It brought together minds from different parts of the world.”Dede Tsonyake
Pharmacist, Ghana Health Service
Attendees at this year’s summit hailed from six continents and 41 countries. The number of countries represented was a 58% increase over last year. Not surprisingly, the largest contingent of attendees (56%) were from Ghana. Next largest, in order, were from Nigeria, Kenya, the United States and Uganda. Rounding out the top 10 were Ethiopia, South Africa, the U.K., Netherlands and Zambia.
“The CARISCA Summit had a really great mix of attendees who were all so excited to be there and passionate about the topic. There were many very interesting sessions that it was often hard to choose which track to attend.”Michelle L’Archeveque Jones
Senior Science & Research Program Manager, USAID
Although the Supply Chain Research Summit is primarily an academic conference, representatives from higher education made up only about half of the participants. Other attendees were from a mix of private-sector companies, government agencies, nonprofits and NGOs. In all, close to 300 organizations were represented.
In terms of programming, the conference offered 35 sessions in five tracks, including a track on practitioner and policy discourse on African supply chains.
“The global blend of ideas as well as giving opportunities to the younger generation to present their thesis/papers.”Larry Donkor
Founder, Slaff Ghana Limited
A popular feature of the summit each year is a Dissertation Awards Competition, which showcases the best logistics and supply chain management doctoral research being carried out in African higher education institutions. Three finalists are selected to present their dissertation proposal at the summit, and first, second and third place awards are announced at the conference dinner.
Taking first place in the 2023 competition was David Antwi, a PhD student from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. His winning dissertation is on “Assessing Cold Chain Logistics Performance, Capabilities and Food Losses.”
“The variety of topics, but what really stood out were the discussions post presentations, the groundwork being done by the Innovation Lab, the collaboration work between academics and practitioners – really inspiring work.”Assilah Agigi
2021 PhD Dissertation Award winner
Lecturer, University of Pretoria
This year’s summit included an invited session featuring presentations from students developing projects in the Innovations Lab. The lab is an entrepreneurial training hub and innovation incubator at KNUST. It serves as a connection point for involving new stakeholders in supply chain research translation activities.
“It addresses real issues on supply chain. The breakaway topics are very timely. It gets better every year.”Rachel Apio, CPA
Supply Chain Manager, Program for Accessible Health Communication and Education
As evidence of the summit’s quality, attendance has grown significantly every year, and word of mouth is the primary way people learn about the event. The number of participants at the 2023 summit (688) was a 53% jump over the year before.
In 2024, we are moving the summit beyond Ghana to further CARISCA’s vision of becoming a pan-African hub for supply chain education, research and practice.
Make plans now to join us for the fourth annual Supply Chain Research Summit, hosted at Strathmore University in Nairobi, Kenya. It promises to be the best conference yet!