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Each Plenary Session of the Conference will last 1.5 hours (sessions #2 and #3) or 2 hours (sessions #1, #4, #5) and will be addressed by a maximum of 5 panellists. The Moderator of the session will introduce the panellists (based on the short bio they submitted) and provide a contextual briefing with guiding questions to focus the interventions of the panellists.  After the panellists’ interventions, the Moderator will invite succinct interventions from the public, and then permit panellists to wrap-up with responses to matters arising.  The Moderator will allot time following these guidelines:

Roles and ActivitiesSession length
Moderator – Introductions and Briefing 6 minutes6 minutes
Moderator  - Transition between panellists 2 minutes2 minutes
Panellists – Each panellist presents (7 mins/10 mins)


50 minutes30 minutes
Moderator (Summary of panellists’ interventions) 5 minutes5 minutes
Open Discussion – plenary public 30 minutes25 minutes
Response by Panellists5 mins. each25 minutes20 minutes
Moderator Closing Remarks 2 minutes2 minutes
Total 2 hours1.5 hours


Moderators should ensure that these time limits are respected and not exceeded as it is important for the smooth progression of the Conference agenda. Finally, Moderators should ensure that the key issues of the sessions are captured by the rapporteurs.


Each concurrent session of the Conference will last 2 hours and comprises of up to four papers that should be presented and discussed. The Chairperson will allot time following these guidelines:

Chairperson (Opening, Transitions and Closing Remarks)- 7 minutes
Presenters – 4 @ 12 minutes each- 48 minutes
Discussants –2 @ 5 minutes each- 10 minutes
Open Discussion- 30 minutes
Response by Presenters – 4 @ 5 minutes each- 20 minutes
Total- 120 minutes (2 hours)


Chairpersons should ensure that these time limits are respected and not exceeded as it is important for the smooth progression of the Conference agenda. The Chairpersons should agree with an assigned Rapporteur to a system of referencing time, with which they should check from time to time.

Presenters are expected to speak for 12 minutes to:

  • Share their research findings by highlighting  key issues discussed in their  research paper (analytical, development issues, challenges etc) as well as relevant policy issues pertinent to the advancement of Africa’s regional integration;
  • Draw policy conclusions to guide discussions; and
  • Capture key suggestions to improve the research paper.  

Discussants are expected to speak for 8 minutes to:

  • Reflect on the content of the research paper and the presentation;
  • Initiate  a debate/discussion by highlighting policy questions arising from the analysis;
  • Provide suggestions to improve  the quality of the research paper, and;
  • Prepare a short write-up (max two paras in bullets) on each research paper (including the areas listed above) to be submitted electronically to; with copy to; and preferably by the end of the conference or at most within 5 days following the conference.


The work of the Rapporteur is crucial for recording the proceedings of the Conference in a timely and comprehensive manner, without losing the key elements of the discussions for each session. In this context, rapporteurs are requested to prepare a maximum of 2 pages per session, using the following guidelines:

  • Capture the key elements of the discussions in detail. This will include issues arising from the contents of the research paper (analytical, development issues, etc) as well as policy issues that have implications for the advancement of Africa’s development,
  • Capture key suggestions to improve the research paper,

In addition, the rapporteurs’ role includes:

  • Reminding Chairpersons about the time limit of each presentation;
  • Finalizing the report on the day the session is held.

The structure of the 2 page report will be as follows:

  • Introductory statement,
  • Comments on the paper’s content and its contributions/limitations,
  • Emerging operational issues and opportunities, and
  • Policy issues emerging from the discussion.

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