Adelaide – 2017

The 40th AFSAAP Annual Conference
“Researching Africa in Australasia – The Way Forward!”
23-24 November 2017
South Australia
University of South Australia and Monarto Zoo


Call for Papers and Panels

The African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP) is a network of academics, students, consultants, activists, diplomats, artists, community leaders, and others who share a mutual interest in the promotion of African Studies in Australasia and the Pacific region. AFSAAP was founded in 1978 and this will be the association’s 40th Annual Conference.

This conference aims to examine the future of African Studies in Australia and New Zealand, and discuss the possible ways forward. The direction of this discussion will be led by your research proposals showcasing African Studies in Australasia.

This THIRD and FINAL call asks you to submit your 200 word paper abstracts or proposals for a panel discussion by July 28th 2017 – email to  and

About The Conference Venue
This year we will celebrate AFSAAP’s 40th Annual Conference by gathering on the first day at the University of South Australia’s City Campus, and then on the 2nd day of the conference we will all gather at Monarto Zoo’s Waterhole Function Centre situated on the edge of the Africa precinct –  that is, Australia’s conservation site re-creating the wild African Serengeti with stunning views of Monarto Zoo’s African animals, including a Giraffe viewing platform a few minutes walk from the venue. Buses will transport conference participants to and from this venue, located 50 minutes from the Adelaide CBD.

Participants will need to book their own accommodation in the centre of Adelaide. Options and Details forthcoming.

Presenters will be expected to prepare final papers for inclusion in the Final Conference Proceedings.


Among a variety of papers detailed in the abstracts below there will also be a few special panels on the following themes (last updated 4th June 2017)

 “African-Australians – Media, identity and youth”
Chaired by Mariam Koslay. Journalist – Goulburn Post, Australian Community Media
If you would like to be a part of this community forum discussion at the forthcoming AFSAAP Conference, please express your interest in writing by detailing any of your relevant research, or experience and the aim(s) of your contribution – or submit an abstract of your research paper.  The questions and issues that will be considered will include:
– The role of commercial Australian media in morphing an individual’s identity, in particular, the identity of recent African migrants or Australian born Africans.
– Should the government legalise stricter media laws to ensure there is diversity (non-white ethnicities) on screen (news, advertisements, cinema etc.)? How could this targeted media approach positively proliferate inclusion for young Africans living in Australia?
– What has the coverage on the ‘apex gang’ taught the African-Australian community? Why is this an important case study to explore when assessing the power of the Australian media?
– The conflicting identity crisis experienced by young African-Australians.
– Should young Africans ‘cling’ to their motherland’s culture even if they were born in Australia? If there any negative effects to this when a family is trying to settle into Australia?
– How significant is education when spreading African history to young people? How do you respond to young people who do not want to learn?
-Indifference is a covertly powerful phenomenon amongst young Africans. In the age of a suffocating social media presence, what is the detriment of people who do not care about the state and its people?
– What are the pros and cons to sticking to fellow African-Australians, in a social context, especially when discovering an African person’s identity?
-What are the problems with African-Australians adopting a US-advertised, ‘gangster’ and ‘hip-hop’ lifestyle. What does this say about young people? Is this an identity crisis or a form of emancipation?

Please submit your expression of interest to contribute to this panel discussion – ie submit an abstracts or outline of your contribution to this panel – to by July 28th.

“Australia’s engagement with Francophone Africa: State of affairs, challenges and opportunities”  – Chaired by Dr. Ibrahima Diallo, UNISA, and AFSAAP Secretary.

Australia’s political, diplomatic, economic and cultural engagement with Africa can be described as negligible (compared with Asia and Europe, for example) and generally limited to Anglophone countries members of the Commonwealth of Nations.  However, Francophone Africa, which represents more than half of the African countries and more than one third of Africa’s population, is overlooked seems its Francophone Africa growing economic performance, attractive economic and financial opportunities (e.g.:  eight Francophone members of the West African Economic and Monetary Union share the same currency and several other Francophone economic and financial institutions and organisations) and immense natural resources. This proposed panel seeks to discuss Australia’s engagement with Francophone Africa in the context of ‘Africa rising’ narrative. It aims to bring together contributions from different perspectives, including academics, students, diplomats, business people, investors, artists, people form cooperate and charitable organisations among other players  to discuss and share experience in the broad themes outlined below:

  1. What is the current state of affairs of Australia engagement with Francophone Africa?
  2. What are the economic, cultural and diplomatic opportunities that Francophone Africa offers to Australia?
  3.  What is the nature of the challenges of Australia’s economic, cultural and diplomatic engagement with Francophone Africa?

Please submit your expression of interest to contribute to this panel discussion – ie submit an abstract or outline of your contribution to this panel – to by July 28th.


“The future of African Studies in Australia and New Zealand”, chaired by Tanya Lyons. Presenters will include current and former AFSAAP Executive and leading African Studies Scholars. Interested participants can send an expression of interest directly to the chair


Key Dates 2017:

3rd and Final Call for Papers/Panels – deadline July 28th

Advise of acceptance – July 30th

Registration  IS NOW Open (venue size is limited to 90 participants)

All Presenters to Register by October 1st

All Participants to register by October 21st .


Dr. Tanya Lyons, Dr. Ibrahima Diallo and Dr. Clare Buswell

AFSAAP Conference Team.

Key Note Speakers

Peter Limb – “Taking African Cartoons Seriously:  Politics, Satire & Culture”

Peter Limb is a member of the Australasian Review of African Studies Board, recently retired from Michigan State University where he was Africana Bibliographer, Associate Professor (adjunct) in African History, and University Distinguished Faculty. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Western Australia, where he co-organised the 1999 AFSAAP conference with Cherry Gertzel. He has published widely on African history, journalism, digitization, archives and ethics, as well as Australian/New Zealand anti-apartheid movements. His books include: The People’s Paper: A Centenary History & Anthology of Abantu-Batho (Johannesburg, 2012), Autobiography & Selected Works of A.B. Xuma (Cape Town, 2012), A Shared History: The ALP, the ANC & the Australian Anti-Apartheid Movement (Canberra, 2012), The ANC’s Early Years (Pretoria, 2010), Grappling with the Beast: Indigenous South(ern) African Responses to Colonialism, 1840–1930 (Leiden, 2010) and Nelson Mandela (Westport, 2008). Until recently, he served on the Herskovits Award committee for the best book in African studies, co-chaired the Association of Concerned African Scholars and coordinated the African Activist Archives. He serves on editorial boards including the Oxford Online Encyclopedia of African History. Current research includes books on black politics in the Free State and African cartooning. Dr. Limb is also a Research Fellow at the African Studies Centre, University of the Free State. He co-hosts the popular scholarly podcast series ‘Africa Past & Present’ ( of over 110 episodes with leading Africanists across the disciplines, which has also featured African cartoonists. At MSU he developed one of the world’s largest collections of African comic art.


Dorothy Driver “‘White Woman Listen!’; ‘Look! Don’t you see! We are the people who have the strength to build a new world!’: Writing and Reading Fiction for an Emerging South African Feminism.”

Dorothy Driver was born in South Africa and now resides in Australia. She has recently retired as Professor of English from University of Adelaide, where she continues in an honorary research position. She is also Professor Emeritus at University of Cape Town, where she taught for twenty years, and has held visiting teaching positions at University of Chicago and Stanford University. Her major research interests have been in the constructions and representations of gender and race both under Apartheid and after Apartheid, and in writing by women. She has published on various South African writers as well as on topics such as the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Drum magazine and gender, South African short fiction in a modernist tradition, and the African National Congress constitutional guidelines. For twenty years she produced for Journal of Commonwealth Literature an annual survey and bibliography of South Africa’s English-language literary work. She has also edited and co-edited a number of books, among them the historical anthology Women Writing Africa: the Southern Region, and, most recently, a new edition of Olive Schreiner’s From Man to Man or Perhaps Only.


Dr. Joseph Masika OAM
Member: South Australia Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission

Dr. Joseph Masika has nearly 30 years of community service and has directly contributed to the empowerment and development of women, men and young people in South Australia and overseas. He is a highly qualified Doctor of Medicine, holding a Masters of Public Health, the National Certificate in Environmental Health, the Certificate in Management and Leadership and a Post Graduate Certificate in Australian Migration Laws and Practice. Since arriving here in 1996 from Tanzania he has worked to improve the community by supporting South Australians, through tireless volunteering with charities and other groups across South Australia and advocating for vulnerable, disadvantaged groups where he gained a reputation as someone who gets things done. He is a member of the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission, White Ribbon Ambassador and also a member of the Commonwealth Ministerial Consultative Committee on Africa. His work for communities has been recognised with community service awards, including the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) and the South Australia Governor’s Multicultural Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement.

Abstracts 2017

Fully peer reviewed and accepted abstracts for the 2017 AFSAAP Conference –
(last updated 6th July 2017)

Nigeria’s 2015 Presidential Elections: Signposts to Democratic Consolidation or a Flash in the Pan? – Olumuyiwa Babatunde Amao, University of Otago
Since its return to civilian rule in 1999, Nigeria has held five national elections (1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015). Unlike previous elections, where the defeat of the ruling party appeared impossible at the national level, the 2015 presidential elections witnessed the defeat of the erstwhile ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) by the opposition party — All Progressives Congress (APC). Drawing references from the Maximalists and Minimalists perspectives on the nexus between elections and democracy, this paper focuses on the institutional processes, activities of the civil society and actors’ behaviour which shaped Nigeria’s 2015 Presidential election. It argues that the outcome of the election epitomizes a considerable attempt in Nigeria’s march towards democratic consolidation. The paper concludes by offering suggestions on how Nigeria can sustain the democratic gains, given its potential to further the course of democracy in its sub-region and in Africa. Keywords: All Progressives Congress (APC), Democratic Consolidation, People’s Democratic Party (PDP),  Maximalists, Minimalists, Nigeria’s 2015 presidential election.

Chieftaincy, the state and legitimacy: A Comparative study between Kom and Bali in North West Cameroon –  Emmanuel Lohkoko Awoh, Department of Development Studies, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia
This paper looks at the notion of the resilience and survival of traditional authorities both in the colonial and post-colonial periods in Cameroon. The question of how traditional authorities derive their authority is central in this paper. In more specific terms, the challenge is to explain how, regardless of their collaborative role during the colonial periods, traditional authorities continue to survive into and play some role in the post-colonial African states. The issue is whether the continued existence of traditional authorities reflects their legitimacy in the eyes of their subjects, or whether it is a result of other factors, including, as is argued in the paper, their role as custodian of tradition including control over land allocation. I argue that the construct and interpretation of legitimacy in Kom and Bali is significantly different and that though both communities draw on tradition for their authority, the kom people turn to lean more on cultural attributes for their legitimacy which they see as incompatible with modern state politics. Kom therefore advocates more of political neutrality for traditional leaders. In Bali on the other hand, traditional leaders are able to use their active political participation with the state to achieve legitimacy even if this is sometimes contested by the people.  This paper concludes on the note that although traditional leaders could play an active role in national politics and still retain their local prowess to adjudicate on local conflicts, this is largely possible only if traditional leaders enter the political scene as neutral mediators. Where this is not the case, the legitimacy of traditional authorities become very fluid and pinned to their role as development providers and less on the ‘traditional’ which they represent.

Factors influencing health-seeking behaviour of mothers and its effects on children in the Dunkwa-On-Offin Community – Ghana – Kofi Awuviry-Newton, Centre for Generational Health, Gender and Ageing, Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle; Johnathan Dapaah Mensah, Department of Sociology and Social Work, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana; and Judith Amankwa, Department of Sociology and Social Work, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Background – Researchers have attributed high morbidity and mortality due to childhood illnesses to the lack of health-seeking behaviour among mothers in developing countries. The Ministry of Health has reported that this has resulted in the low utilisation of modern accessible modern health-care facilities in Dunkwa-On-Offin, in Ghana. The aim of the study was to understand the reasons underlying the mothers’ low utilisation of accessible health care services and assess the implications of their decision on the well-being of their children. Methodology – The study used a qualitative case study design and purposive non-probability sampling to recruit 21 mothers with children under five in Dunkwa-On-Offin to take part in semi-structured interviews. It followed a thematic approach to data analysis, using the computer-assisted data analysis package Nvivo 9.0. Result – The study revealed demographic factors affecting respondent’s health-seeking behaviours included level of education, occupation, religious background, and place of residence. The desire to get better health examination and treatment for their children motivated mothers to access health services. Many had used self-medication with negative effects. Reasons for not seeking treatment included financial problems, self-medication and preference for home treatment, the protracted National Health Insurance registration process, and time constraints. The findings suggested the need for a holistic, strategic intervention involving mothers, health workers, and the government to improve the health-seeking behaviour of mothers. Conclusion – The health-seeking behaviour of mothers has implications for the health of children and the country as a whole. Understanding barriers to healthcare service access is necessary to improve the health-seeking behaviour of mother to ensure the well-being of the children. Keywords: Health-seeking behaviour, mothers, health services, traditional treatment, child well-being, Ghana.

Crime rates among ethnic minorities: an investigation on the effect of systemic and institutional racial bias on police crime records – Marie Barrere-Collet, University of Western Australia, Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education (ABLE)
This paper investigates how systemic and institutional racial bias influence the disproportionate representation of dark-skinned ethnic minorities in crime rates. The types of crime mostly responded to (households crimes) tend to be associated with ethnic minorities from low socio-economic backgrounds. In addition, with the Australian media reinforcing prejudices towards these communities, the public react and respond more to a crime suspect from a minority ethnic background. When focusing on the African youth experience in Victoria, especially regarding concerns of “African gangs”, it was found that racial bias is contributing to the rates of African young men on police crime records. Expert witnesses during the case Haile-Michael v Konstantinidis – part of a series of 2013 Federal Court cases against Victoria Police by individuals of African and refugee backgrounds – found a disparity in both “field contacts” African-Australian men were subjected to by the Police. African-Australian men were two and a half times more likely to have their interactions with police recorded. Although there is no research done to show the prevalence of racial profiling of African-Australians, the many reports to the Australian Human Rights Commission demonstrate such experiences are significantly common. Moreover, the paper acknowledges that people from ethnic minorities do commit crimes, yet highlights that the anti-social behaviours are also linked to systemic racial bias, resulting from imperialism.


African development: ‘Hopeless Africa’, ‘Africa Rising’, or Somewhere in-between? – Tony Binns and Etienne NelDepartment of Geography, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Readers of The Economist may be critical of the generalisations made about Africa in the last twenty years. At the start of the new millennium in 2000, an Economist article titled “Hopeless Africa”, started with a depressing statement about Sierra Leone’s capital city, Freetown, in the midst of the decade long civil war, with the writer concluding that “Sierra Leone manifests all the continent’s worst characteristics”. In 2011, a second Economist article was much more upbeat about the continent. Titled “Africa Rising”, the article reported on bustling local markets, a commodities boom, improvements in health care, peaceful and democratic governance and China’s involvement in upgrading infrastructure and stimulating the manufacturing sector. This paper reflects on key dimensions of Africa’s development and associated challenges in recent years. Consideration is first given to the global context, before questioning whether there is ‘growth without development’ and the role that resource exploitation plays within this context. After examining what achievements towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals can tell us about the continent, the chapter concludes with a call to pay closer attention to the grassroots needs and aspirations of Africa’s people.

Doctoral rites and liminal spaces:  Academics without PhDs in South Africa and Australia – Mignonne Breier, University of Cape Town; Chaya Herman, University of Pretoria and Lorraine Towers, Sydney University
When South African and Australian researchers at a workshop of the Australia-Africa Universities Network decided that an important issue for joint research was ‘Academics without PhDs’, they seemed to have focused on an issue that was far more  important to South Africa than Australia.  In South Africa only 43% of permanent academics have doctorates, in Australia 75%. There are important contextual differences too.  The highly unequal South African tertiary sector is pursuing a radical ‘transformation’ agenda to reverse the effects of apartheid.  A globally competitive Australian sector is undergoing fundamental changes driven by neoliberal exigencies. There are, however, many similarities as well as differences. Australia is engaging with the pressing need to increase the number of academics/PhDs from Indigenous and other non-dominant groups, at the same time as demands for the decolonisation of tertiary education gain momentum. South African universities are increasingly subject to the impact of global neoliberal agendas as they compete for participation in the world ‘knowledge economy’.  How do the concurrent imperatives of transformation and neo-liberalism affect individuals who are employed as academics but have not yet completed the traditional initiation into academia – the PhD? This paper pursues this question through the key themes emerging from our exploratory research: the changing nature and importance of the PhD, new rules and roles in the academic ‘game’, conflicts of identity and the liminal worlds of academics who are simultaneously supervisors and students.

Cream Donnance and #thisporkpie: the diverse meanings and uses of food on Zimbabwe’s social media sphere – Sara Brouwer (PhD student and Leverhulme Doctoral Scholar at Institute of Geography, The University of Edinburgh); and Bruce Mutsvairo (Associate Professor in Journalism Innovation at School of Communication, University of Technology Sydney)
How do Zimbabweans use food on social media? This paper pursues online ethnography following the footsteps of Miller (2014) with the view of understanding digital narratives emerging from Zimbabwe’s social media sphere. Focusing mostly on online food related deliberations, pictures and humorous memes, data was collected between June and December 2016 by closely monitoring events and developments on five Instagram accounts run by Zimbabwean trendsetters and four Facebook pages dedicated to socio-political developments in Zimbabwe. Our analysis shows that food is used as a symbol for everyday concerns, such as conjugal relationships, divides between rich and poor, tradition and modernity, education levels and different generations. Reading food semantics on social media also shows that food is used in online activism, addressing for example concerns about the declining capacity of the country’s food manufacturing industry. Several scholars (Chiumbu & Musemba; Willems; Musanga; Hammett) have addressed how Zimbabweans have used (online) humour to process and cope with daily life during the economic crisis as well as in everyday forms of (online) resistance. Our study makes a contribution to this scholarship by highlighting the importance of food as a carrier of political and moral messages on social media.


Arabic Borrowings in Standard Swahili: Implications for African Diaspora and language services  –  Jean Burke, Social Work Lecturer at Australian Catholic University, and Freelance Swahili Interpreter and Translator
Trade, religious and colonial interactions have brought the Swahili language of East Africa into contact with other languages. A substantial portion of vocabulary in Standard Swahili has been borrowed from Arabic. This presentation explores the ways in which Arabic has influenced Swahili, particularly in the domains of education, religion and law. It aims to describe features of Arabic borrowings into Swahili by analysing examples such as basic Islamic and Christian concepts, legal and education concepts and the numbering system. This analysis draws on literature about language contact, alphabet usage and borrowings from Arabic to Swahili, as well as language dictionaries and my own observations, research and practical interest in the translation of Swahili. While Arabic loan words have tended to be simplified and Bantu-ized, they have also been appropriated to create new words and meanings. A description of the features of Arabic borrowings will enable such words to be more readily identified within Swahili. A deeper understanding of this borrowing process and outcomes may be useful to interpreting and translation services in Australia, to service providers and to diaspora communities, in order to partly explain and clarify the differences between varieties of Swahili.

Developing Academic Nuance Writing for Peer Reviewed Journals: Victorian Rural Newspapers and South Sudanese Representation – Edgar Burns and Naduni Wickramaarachchi, Department of Social Inquiry, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University
This paper describes the review and revision process of a submitted journal article now accepted and forthcoming in the Rural Society journal. That article described the collection and analysis of newspaper reports and photographs about South Sudanese people working in the country town of Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia. Data for the study came from two local newspapers between 2007-2014. The present conference paper sketches the content of that article to then reflect on the authors’ responses and changes through the review process. First, the refereeing can be seen functioning as it should. Second, two further iterations of revision from the initial submission to manuscript acceptance show the authors rethinking their understanding of the data. This leads, third, to reflection on the process of developing appropriate academic and conceptual levels of engagement with the facts of this, or any, situation in analysing, explaining and interpreting. This links the empirical data with theoretical and perspectival contributions the academy contributes to understanding some of the complexities of African migrant experience in the light of current Australian political and media narratives.

Somali Myths: Is the democratic experiment incompatible with Somalia? – Stephanie Carver, Monash University
Most discussions of the beleaguered East African state revolve around this feature and underscore the failed attempts to transplant a democratic state into the country, or worse how the conflict demonstrates that Somalia is a place devoid of democratic ambition.  This paper explores the different types of governance mechanisms in place and questions if some of these practices are democratic if not a model of universal suffrage.  Considering the various models of governance that have existed and still exist within Somalia today, it is evident that popular participation is far from an alien concept to the Somali culture.  Indeed, often demonized as an obstacle to democracy, the clan-system instead actually provides some strong mechanism for consensus building within the clan structure. This feature is contrasted with some examples of democratic models grafted into the Somali system to question whether this model is any more compatible with fostering democracy.  The paper concludes that rather than dismissing what is absent in Somalia’s governance system we need to take Hagmann’s advice and recognize what is present, and that any further attempts to strengthen democracy in the Horn nation will need to do so within this framework.

Profiling African Diaspora’s Attachment Experiences and Quality of Life Outcomes in New South Wales, Australia – Victor Counted, School of Social Sciences and Psychology. Western Sydney University
Attachment experiences may contribute to quality of life (QoL) outcomes, even in cross-cultural contexts that includes the African diaspora. The present study analyses the attachment profile of African migrants with religious backgrounds in New South Wales, and explores whether indicators of attachment experiences in terms of close relationship experiences, people-place bonds, and believer-God relationships could relate to QoL and how they vary based on participant’s sub-group demographic differences. Results show that (a) avoidant attachment in close relationships was strongly felt among study participants who were educated and among those from Southern Africa, while (b) attachment to God was more likely to be experienced by participants’ who are either single, divorced, separated, or widowed. Thirdly, results reveal that (c) indicators of attachment experiences in terms of attachment anxiety, attachment avoidance, place attachment, and attachment to God were related to all domains of QoL, except for (d) the social relationships domain which was not associated with attachment avoidance, and (e) the overall QoL and psychological health domain which showed no correlation with attachment anxiety. These findings position attachment experiences as moderators of QoL outcomes, especially for the African diaspora in Australia, and disruption of these lived attachment experiences may lead to changes in their QoL.

Status of Perceived Social Support and its association with Prisoner’s Common Psychological Morbidity among inmate prisoners in Northwest Amhara, Ethiopia – Abel Fekadu Dadi1, 3*, Berihun Assefa Dachew1 , Amare Tariku2 -1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, college of medicine and health science, University of Gondar – 3School of public health, college of medicine and public health, Flinders University, Australia – 2University of Gondar, College of medicine and health science, Department of Human Nutrition
Although a number of studies in developed country have showed a link between psychological morbidity and social support, the information is limited in the prison population in Ethiopia. Therefore, the current study was conducted to determine the level of social support and to investigate the relationship between perceived social support and common psychological morbidity (anxiety, depression, and psychological distress) among selected prison population in the Northwest Ethiopia. Methods: Institution based cross-sectional study was conducted among 649 prisoners from January to February 2015. A structured interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect the required information. Multidimensional scale of perceived social support (MSPSS) was used to measure the level of prisoner’s social support. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve analysis was done by STATA 12 software in order to determine a cutoff point with high sensitivity and specificity. Mixed effect Bivariable and a multivariable logistic regression model were fitted to identify associated factors. Adjusted odds ratio with its 95% Confidence interval was used to declare the statistical significance between perceived social support and associated factors. Result: Prisoners that had good social support from their family, friends, and significant others was found to be 64.7%, (95%CI: 60.9%, 68.4%). The odd of social support was higher among more educated and rural prisoners. However, it was found to be lower among non-orthodox religion followers, not engaged in a friendship with other inmates in the correctional institution, reported the sign of discrimination, who never felt guilty, and among prisoners who would not back to their previous state after being released from the correctional institution. Conclusion: Prisoners had lower social support from their relatives and friends being in a correctional institution. Unlike previous studies, in the current study, we did  not get any association between common psychological morbidity (anxiety, depression, and psychological distress) and prisoner’s perceived social support. Keywords: Social support, Prisoners, Crosses-sectional study

Engaging Africa’s Infrastructure Boom – Jonathan Fox – University of Adelaide
This paper seeks to critically engage Africa’s infrastructure boom as not simply an object of critical analysis, but instead involved in shaping the production of its own literature. Focusing on the ostensive political and material conditions that surround infrastructure projects, this paper examines those ostensive textures which are influencing what gets written about Africa’s infrastructure boom. This paper seeks a first-pass categorization of these factors, at once at the level of institution, discipline and research. It  looks at the way in which infrastructure works favour access to certain types of data at the expense of others, the difficulties in conducting research over long distances and across sovereign borders, and some of the institutional challenges which come from more familiar spaces, such as research institutions, funding bodies and permit offices. The ability of infrastructure projects to transgress multiple boundaries, brings sharply into focus some of the blunter edges of our approaches to projects of new scale and complexity. The aim of this paper is to make explicit some of these factors, and to approach them anew; no longer simply getting in the way of our access to the real “subject at hand”, but instead, intrinsically part of the parcel of contemporary infrastructure works and therefore in need of focused and critical attention.

Investigating Culture Related Settlement Challenges among Dinka communities in Melbourne – Elizabeth Gardiner, University of Victoria.
Interviews recently conducted with members of the South Sudanese Dinka communities in Melbourne reveal that many of them believed that all peoples around the world shared the Dinka way of life. When considering issues and problems in relation to resettlement in Australia, these traditional views often directly clash with Australian Laws, especially in relation to marriage and domestic violence, as well as children’s rights, and the disciplining of children. Investigating marriage and cultural norms for the Dinka reveals many examples of specific traditions, which do not fit well with Australian democracy, culture and law. The research presented here discusses the effects on family life, marriages, gender stereotypes and relationships, and of particular concern the feeling of ostracism among fathers, and the negative stereotyping of young Dinka males in the community. Research was carried out in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of a Masters degree in International Community Development at Victoria University. The topic was chosen for the purpose of gaining some understandings around why this particular group is experiencing difficulties in settlement.  and to share this information with service providers. It is hoped that the providers will use the information to train their workers who interact with Dinka, to improve the uptake of services by Dinka individuals and families. Currently, Dinka volunteers are manning train stations and shopping malls in Melbourne, in an attempt to meet up with Youths before any incident occurs. While this has reduced the number of violent acts, it is just the first step in what needs to be a suite of programs, assisting parents, separated or divorced fathers, and newly single mothers, creating engagement with troubled Youths. To design a group of programs to support these new Australians requires skilled professionals, whose projects/programs would be funded and run for some time. It would also require all the Dinka clans to learn new ways of behaving and that would be an additional challenge.

Re-imaging the African Diasporas in Australia – Kiros Hiruy – Centre for Social Impact Swinburne Faculty of Business and Law, Swinburne University of Technology
The African Diaspora in Australia is part of the ‘new’ African Diaspora, which is multi-ethnic, super diverse group that maintains continuous and complex interconnections with Africa. Different from the ‘old’ African Diaspora that is linked to the historic Trans-Atlantic slave trade, the ‘new’ African Diaspora maintains active connections with Africa and the essence of ‘being an African’ with dynamic transnational identities. Contemporary global migration indicates that the new African Diaspora is becoming increasingly influential in the cultural, economic and political life of African countries and is emerging as a potential business, cultural and political broker for Australia. It is becoming a sheer force of social change and mobilisation in Australia and Africa. However, wittingly or unwittingly, media and public discourse in Australia tends to portray the group negatively.  Cognisant of the hiatus between the opportunities the African Diaspora offer and its’ negative portray in Australia, this paper sheds light on the new African Diaspora drawing from a long-term study and a systematic review. The paper uses robust conceptualisations of diaspora that goes beyond the narrow and unidirectional interpretations shaped by migration studies and multiculturalism to analyse the contributions of the African Diaspora to both Africa and Australia.

Bodily boundaries: intersections of race, sexuality and beauty ideals among African-Australian romantic couples in Australia.  – Henrike Hoogenraad, University of Adelaide
This paper explores the boundaries of, and notions surrounding African/Australian bodies within interracial African-Australian romantic relationships in Australia. Two angles will be discussed: the ways in which Australian women interpret African male bodies, and how African men perceive Australian bodies. I relate such ideas to (perceived) beauty standards both in Australia and the African continent, as well as stereotypes and historic ideas about the racial other. Often, it seems that Australian partners to African men see the African male body as highly sexual, exotic and tough. Some women, who do not fit the Western standards of what a desirable partner should look like, feel they are a better match with African men as these men would be more attracted to their bodies, in contrast to Australian men. African men, on the other hand, may see the white female body as a site of sexual experimentation, or see ‘big ladies’ as a potential route to live in Australia. While such images are certainly not to be generalised, it seems that they do (re)create general stereotypes about the other that influence the lived experiences of African-Australian couples in general. As a result, African-Australian relationships may be perceived as ‘bad’ and based on wrong motives, by partners themselves as well as the outside world. Thus, the interpretation of bodies creates/sustains boundaries between racial/ethnic others, also within romantic relationships. The arguments I use are based on fieldwork among African-Australian couples in Adelaide since October 2014 for my PhD research on ‘intimate borders’.

Beyond ‘weak states’: Conceptualising strong statehood in the African context – Zimbabwe – Tinashe Jakwa, University of Western Australia
This paper critiques conventional understandings of the cause(s) of insecurity in Africa. Most international relations (IR) scholars (e.g. Rotberg 2003; Reno 1998, 2011; Jackson 1990; Williams 2011; Jeng 2012) hold the view that state ‘weakness’ is the principal cause of human insecurity on the continent. This paper begins by critiquing predominant conceptions of state strength. The modern, Western nation-state form is argued to be an inherently/already failed and unstable project by virtue of its exclusionary ethno-racialist foundations. Liberal democratic institutions, particularly electoral processes, are revealed to be mechanisms for entrenching state strength, with the international focus on their perceived procedural and technical shortcomings in the African context masking their normative dimensions and the ‘social pathologies that are often the outcomes of the procedures’ (Edelman 1988, p. 108), regardless of the presence or absence of electoral manipulation. Using Zimbabwe as a case study, state strength in the African context, understood to mean the effective consolidation of regime security, is revealed to be partly maintained by liberal-electoral democratic political institutions within a unitary state system. Moreover, and underlying this argument and critique of conventional understandings of the causes of insecurity in Africa is a broader examination of the global construction and uses of social and political “problems” vis-à-vis ‘weak’ and ‘failed’ states. The argument presented in this paper carries significant implications for Australia-Africa relations and Australian foreign policy towards Zimbabwe. It highlights the importance of the development of research, theoretical and foreign policy frameworks from an African perspective here in Australia.

Basotho culture and the prayers for rain: Where climate change converges. – Lineo R. Johnson, School of Educational Studies, College of Education, University of South Africa, Pretoria.
In Basotho culture, men, women, girls and boys have different festivities to pray for rain. The rain festivities are organised and performed during the drought months from November to January each year. This study examines the indigenous knowledge systems embedded in the different festivities performed by males and females and how they are understood and practised by various groupings of the Basotho society. The study discussed the prayer for rain festivities and weather predictions and their relevance to the contemporary climate and weather changing phenomenon and patterns.  The study adopted a qualitative approach, and a sample of 40 Basotho men, women, girls and boys including traditional leadership and community elders in the rural villages in Leribe district, Lesotho participated in interviews and focus group meetings conducted orally. The thematic analysis described the narratives and discourse of the festivities and their cultural significance. Basotho believed rain like other environmental issues originates with their ancestors and their cultural beliefs. And thus the rain festivities and prayers serve as indigenous knowledge and largely contribute to the debate on climate change and its effects on the lives of African communities and their culture, particularly those of the Basotho. The study concluded that African communities in general, particularly the Basotho have been engaged in climate change discourse in their own indigenous ways, and their knowledge should contribute onto the global climate change debate.
Key words: Prayers for rain; culture; indigenous knowledge system; orality; climate change; Basotho festivities.

Animal welfare, ethics and development in Malawi – Max Kelly, Deakin University
In many developing countries the base of the economy is subsistence agriculture, and economic growth can include a move to increase productivity, to diversify agricultural production, and moves to commercial production. Livestock production systems are an integral part of this focus, given both the potential for livestock to contribute to economic development, and dietary shifts which are putting increasing demand on meat and animal products.  Increasing or intensification of  animal production has been linked with animal welfare issues in many places.  Human animal relationship are both ambiguous and highly complex. The characterisation of animals ranges from the framing of certain animals from sacred, to being the  subject of human violence and speciesism.  In between animals are variously viewed as food, a subject for experimentation, a form of entertainment via sporting and other activities, and many endless permutations.  Antonites and Odendaal (2004) argue that this ambiguity reflects the way humans perceive themselves and their relationship to nature, or the “non-human environment’ (p539).  Embedded in this ambiguity are some highly contradictory aspects of animal production.  For some, the use of animals in any way is abhorrent. Yet the global production and consumption of animals and animal products provides food and a livelihood for billions.  Globally animal production also contributes significantly to environmental degradation. Development ethics provides one lens from which to view livestock development.  The other is animal welfare.  Development ethics explores the human cost, or the ‘calculus of pain’ and the ‘calculus of meaning’ embedded in Berger’s Pyramids of Sacrifice (Berger, 1974). Animal welfare is concerned with animal wellbeing. As is obvious, the notion of animal wellbeing is almost entirely linked to human animal relationships and resultant views of what is acceptable.   This paper will explore the notion of human animal relationships in the context of livestock development programs in Malawi. The aim of this research is to explore the notion of animal ethics and welfare and how these concepts are understood and or translated in the context of development programing. Who sets the agenda in terms of animal production. Where does animal sit in development that has a primary concern with human wellbeing.  Where do animal welfare and development ethics overlap?

Africa ‘pretty underdone’ in DFAT White Paper Submissions – David Lucas (ANU) Helen Ware (UNE)
In 2005 Gai Brodtmann (Canberra’s Member in the House of Representatives) represented the opposition at the second Australia-Africa Dialogue. She concluded that ‘The dialogue was held in Zambia and it highlighted the fact that, apart from mining, the relationship between Australia and the nations of Africa is pretty underdone.’ In 2017 the Department of Foreign Affairs asked for public submissions for a  White Paper which would ‘ provide a roadmap for advancing and protecting Australia’s international interests and define how we engage with the world in the years ahead’ and would ‘ define our economic, security and foreign policy interests and examine global trend’. Over 600 submissions were received which were published on the Foreign Policy White Paper website: This conference paper puts these submissions into these broad categories: the few that focus on Africa and the many that focus on the Asia-Pacific, often known as ‘our region’.  Within the latter, a sub- category will consider organisations with African connections that had good reason for making a submission but didn’t, or did not mention Africa in their submission. This analysis, together with the White Paper, if available, is expected to find that the relationship between Australia and Africa is still ‘pretty underdone’. The 82% cut in foreign aid to Africa in the most recent Federal Budget will confirm this.

Local Adaptations to liberalized markets and modernity: the cases of ‘sakawa’ and ‘419’ in Ghana – Matthew Gmalifo Mabefam, School of Social and Political Sciences, the University of Melbourne, Parkville
Liberalization of markets in the global south has injected new dimensions to wealth creation and accumulation. As a result, some actors in the global south have adapted/invented new approaches to capital accumulations which ignore local, social and communal norms using neoliberal market space(s) across the different geographies. Throughout this paper, I highlight the use of the neoliberal market space(s) for wealth creation and accumulation and how locals adapt to suit their economic situations. I will also highlight peoples’ shared experiences and observations I made while embarking on ethnographic study in Ghana. I argue that internet fraud and psychic manipulations shrouded in spirituality, are in part some of the local strategic adaptations to neoliberal fall outs, globalization and modernity in Ghana.
Keywords: Local; adaptation; capitalism; modernity; sakawa; 419

Images of traditional Setswana time concepts in DPS Monyaise’s novels – Daniel Sekepe Matjila, University of South Africa
To the Batswana, time was determined by past and current events, the everyday chores and activities of men, women and children, the behaviour of wild and domestic animals, the colour or shape of the landscape and other objects, the sound and music of the birds, the appearance, disappearance and reappearance of celestial objects like the sun, the moon and the stars. These events were given names to indicate time. Naming something is an expression of a relationship, mostly of ownership. By naming these events in Setswana, the Batswana were creating a bank for the memory generated by human interaction with the natural environment. This article will analyse Monyaise’s use of time images in his novels. The choice of images in Monyaise’s work uncovers the quality and/or the essence of his language practice as well as his vision to nurture and safeguard the Setswana language and culture. In Western society, time is a commodity that can be bought, sold or utilised. For the traditional Batswana, man is not a slave of time; he can make time and therefore regulates time.

African Popular Music, Politics, and Belonging in Australia – Bonnie McConnell, School of Music, The Australian National University
Australian political and media discourse frequently presents African cultural difference as a problem that prevents people of African descent from integrating into Australian society. While research has drawn attention to the problem of negative representations of Africans in Australian society (Nolan et al. 2011), the cultural strategies that African Australian communities use to challenge these representations have not been adequately explored. This research examines two African Australian cultural festivals as important sites of self-representation and political action, challenging the negative representations of African Australians in the media. Drawing on ethnographic research with musicians and festival organisers in Sydney and Melbourne, I examine the way African Australian performers negotiate and communicate notions of history in order to articulate a sense of place and belonging. I show that popular music in particular provides a powerful site for negotiating multi-layered identities and plural histories, challenging one-dimensional representations of African Australian people. By focusing on popular music, this research seeks to draw attention to “hidden histories” (Hall 1990) of African Australian communities, as well as cultural strategies for maintaining a sense of coherence in the face of displacement and disjuncture.

Policy design for vocational pathways to protect biodiversity and re-generate the land – South Africa – Janet McIntyre Flinders University and University of South Africa
South Africa faces the challenge of providing employment opportunities to a growing population of young people. The challenges are as follows: Designing places of learning to match the educational content to the contextual needs of a growing population in need of sustainable employment in livable biodiverse environments. Designing a system of education to prepare people across the life cycle to protect diversity and the land on which we depend. The competition for scarce university places in metropolitan areas is a symptom of the need to develop more places of learning to foster educational pathways to enable this generation and the next to protect the environment. The need to address education to meet the needs of the big issues of the day is vital, these are poverty, climate change and competition for resources in an increasingly unequal world where the gaps between rich and poor grow wider.The challenge for South Africa is to balance both the individual and the collective. In the context of the ‘Fees must fall’ campaign led by students who stressed their right to an affordable education the paper reflects on some of the aspects of an educational program that responds to the call for an African Rennaissance  (Mkebi, 1999, Sesanti, 2016).  The paper scopes out the different life chances across age groups and the need to ensure that the life chances of young people from low or no income families are placed uppermost in the policy decisions. The twofold aim of the paper is to make the case that policy design to enhance educational outcomes in South Africa needs to address education the big issues of the day , namely  poverty, climate change and competition for resources in an increasingly unequal world where the gaps between rich and poor grow wider.  The challenges are as follows: a) Designing places of learning to match the educational content and context to the needs of a growing population in need of sustainable employment in livable biodiverse environments.b) Designing a system of education to prepare people across the life cycle to protect diversity and the land on which we depend.c) The competition for scarce university places in metropolitan areas is a symptom of the need to develop more places of learning to foster educational pathways to enable this generation and the next to protect the environment. Education is currently shaped within increasingly neoliberal institutions that measure the value of education in terms of ranking educational outcomes in terms of journal rankings. These can act as channeling devices to control the quality of education and to limit creativity. It is vital to inspire the capability to voice ideas and to draw on many strands of experience. A case is made for changing the way in which we educate people in the interests of re-generating biodiversity in this generation and the next.
Key words: age groups, systemic challenges, re-design, social and environmental justice

Who is ‘from the community’ here? Zambia – Tom McNamara, University of Liége in Belgium
This paper focusing on the people, processes and discourses that claim to ‘speak for’ national and community interests in Africa, particularly in response to resource extraction. In response to scepticism as the representativeness of electoral politics, both mining companies and the international NGOs that oppose or engage them make claims to be acting in the communities’ best interests and frequently engage ‘community representatives’. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Zambia’s north western province and on its copperbelt this paper explores those whose who claim to speak on behalf of Zambia and its communities. It explores local MPs, international NGOs and their local partners, mine controlled Corporate Social Responsibility projects and urban based taxation and extraction think tanks. The paper argues that all these actors’ claims to representation are problematic, but that this does not mean they should be discounted. Rather I propose a topology of representative legitimacy for environments where electoral representation cannot serve as the only legitimate form of ‘speaking for’.

Architectural heritage management in Botswana: The need for a functioning and integrated system  – Olivia Molefe, Freelance researcher, Botswana.
This paper addresses the need to formulate relevant policies that will guide the current architectural heritage management, conserve and preserve architectural heritage in Botswana (Southern Africa); alongside current infrastructural developments within the developing country. The protection and identification of Architectural heritage in the country’s urbanising areas is affected by modernised mushrooming infrastructure.  Protecting the built heritage and conserving the local traditional and cultural values of communities alongside modern development seems to be a prevailing unnoticed challenge in Botswana. Reference is made to historical buildings within the country’s cities, towns and villages as well as the Tswana style architecture houses. This paper aims to discuss the need for a proposal introducing an integrated developmental approach for dealing with heritage conservation policies and projects that concern architectural heritage in Botswana. Benchmarking on policy and advocacy initiatives by the Western Australia Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects the paper puts forward recommendations framed for promoting the interests of heritage managers and the built environment at community and governmental level. Recommendations of the Congress on the European Architectural Heritage (1975) are highlighted as examples necessary for new policy for protection and integrated conservation of architectural heritage to be urgently implemented in the country.

Appraising the UK General Election: An embodiment of Zimbabwean Diasporic Digital Dissidents  –Bruce Mutsvairo, University Technology Sydney
The present study uses the UK General Election in 2015 as a point of departure to qualitatively deliberate, disentangle, discuss and determine the digital discourses emerging from online citizen engagements within the Zimbabwean digital community. It examines digital narratives emerging from the online exchanges between anonymous participants signed in on Zimbabwe’s main UK-based online publication, The election was closely followed by Zimbabwean immigrants in the UK for a myriad of reasons including a potentially shifting immigration policy as well as a possible transformation in UK-Zimbabwe relations, which have been rapidly deteriorating since 2000, when President Robert Mugabe launched his agrarian reforms, plunging himself and his country deeper into international isolation. Twenty articles published in the run-up and with specific reference to the election were randomly selected for monitoring, purposefully profiling participants and coding their contributions to identify who they represented, what issues they discussed and which dominating social and political narratives dominated the supposedly democratizing digital discussions. Ultimately, the goal of this research is to investigate the outcomes of the mediating online environment, questioning the extent to which the UK General election affected Zimbabweans both at home and abroad. Decisions made in London or policies sponsored by UK at European level have always affected Zimbabwe, a colony of the British Empire until 1980.  Most notably, the UK-led European Union sanctions against the southern African country in the early 2000s caused a troubling discord within Mugabe’s ruling elite, the majority of whom were banned from visiting Europe.

Market-Oriented Strategy for Niger Delta Development – Chukwuma J. Okonkwo, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia.
This paper provides policy options for a market-oriented strategy for the development of Niger Delta in Nigeria. I frame the key issues on two fronts, within public policy context. The first issue is the paradox in the development of Niger Delta. Development results in Niger Delta have been disappointing, despite the abundance of natural resources in the region and huge amount of financial resources invested in the region. Another issue is the continued difficult development challenges in Niger Delta, for example, deteriorating socio-economic infrastructures and increasing poverty and inequality, despite government interventions. I argue that the existing strategies for Niger Delta development do not work for the vast majority of people in the region because of a broad range of issues, including mismanagement of allocated funds, lack of coordination amongst government agencies and lack of community engagement in policy design and implementation. To support the arguments, I review relevant literature on conflicts in Niger Delta and adopt relevant theoretical frameworks that underpin the challenges that exist as a result of the conflicts. I draw on public policy frameworks to frame the strategy being proposed and analyse the need for strong community engagement. In the analysis of issues and strategies I draw extensively on my professional experience on Niger Delta conflict management and disarmament of militants, having engaged with various government agencies and stakeholders involved in Niger Delta development, as a Research Economist working under the Office of the Finance Minister, Federal Republic of Nigeria, between 2013 and 2015. I recommend that the existing strategies for Niger Delta development be reconsidered. I conclude that Niger Delta currently remains a time bomb in the sense that the stabilized security situation could be undermined by any act of provocation, which would trigger the chronic memory of injustice, marginalization and deprivation held by the Niger Delta people and instigate another round of violent conflicts.  Keywords: Conflicts, Development, Market, Niger-Delta, Strategy.

Navigating the Current of Change: A Collaborative Curriculum Design for Socio-Economic Development of South Africa – Kofi Poku Quan-Baffour, College of Education, Department of Adult Education, University of South Africa

The absence of a curriculum responsive to the socio-economic realities (needs) of the country makes it difficult for thousands of school leavers to be employed or self-employed. Schools do not teach skills for employment and coupled with the perception that government is only there to provide employment hinders the socio-economic development of the country.  It is assumed that to reduce youth unemployment and achieve social cohesion the perception of people need to change through curriculum transformation. Politicians and educators need to make the public aware that government does not only employ but creates a conducive environment for job creation since it cannot employ every economically active citizen. To change the public perception and also agree on a curriculum responsive to the needs of the country there must be a paradigm’s shift to curriculum design and implementation.  Decisions regarding what should be taught and learnt should be taken by major stakeholders. The paper emanated from a study which explored the views of the unemployed, educationists, parents, learners and community members from three provinces. It found the urgent need to use the collaborative curriculum design approach for the realization of social cohesion and socio-economic growth of South Africa.
Key words: unemployment, socio-economic, perception, job creation,curriculum, stakeholders.

International Organisations and the Myth of Civilization in Southern Africa: Synthesis Framework – Shadrack Baleseng Ramokgadi, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
The post-cold war era ushered new debates on relations between durable peace and sustainable development. Although much has been researched on the impact of the Western military organisations in projecting the second wave of industrial revolution in Africa, little or nothing has been researched on relations between military organisations, durable peace and sustainable development. The study traces the European policy formulations on civilization and material well-ness to the outcomes of 1876 Brussels Conference and 1884/5 Berlin Conference. In doing so, the study is limited to the role of European powers and international organisations in the formulations of regional policies on the suppression of structural violence and the promotion of civilization or material well-beings. In doing so, the researcher focuses on the material and virtual discourses on the historical evolution of development in southern Africa since the 19th century. In an attempt to synthesise the existing or found data, the study use grounded theory methodological analysis and framing approach analysis. The study content that imperial formulations on structural violence are bound to frame the domestic ideology in respect of the foreign imaginary representations, while emergent constructs may impact positively or negatively on the prospects for durable peace and sustainability development.
Key words:  Military role, international organisations, regional governance, durable peace, sustainable development.

Roads to the Future: Development, Infrastructure and Citizenship in Uganda – Richard Vokes, University of Adelaide
In recent years, the Government of Uganda (GoU) – like many other governments throughout Sub-Saharan Africa – has embarked on a major programme of structural transformation, aimed at turning the country into an advanced industrial economy of middle income status within a decade. One of these projects, the Chinese-funded Kampala-Entebbe expressway, has actually become the most expensive road in the world, at a whopping US $9.2 million per km. Yet for the GoU, the basic assumption – which it has outlined in numerous policy documents including in the current ‘Vision 2040’ plan – is that all of this investment is justified on the basis that once these new roads are completed, all of the rest ‘will simply follow’.  Yet is this assumption justified? Drawing on a multi-year ethnographic study of one of Uganda’s new road building projects, the Mbarara-Kabale highway, which is part of East Africa’s main trunk route that connects the littoral to Rwanda and the DRC, this paper argues that the relationship between road-building and wider development outcomes is much more complicated than the GoU and their partners might sometimes suggest. On the one hand, such projects certainly do generate all kinds of new economic flows, albeit not always ones of the roadbuilders’ designs. Yet on the other, they also produce a wider range of other social and political effects, some of which are detrimental to development goals. For example, these new roads also allow for criminal gangs to operate across a wider geographical range; they provide passage to armies, and; they act as corridors for communicable diseases. The Mbarara-Kabale highway was, after all, the very road along which HIV/AIDS first travelled to the rest of East Africa, in the 1970s and 80s. In addition, the road building projects themselves generate new entanglements: between the GoU and new kinds of donor-partners; and between the state and its citizens, whose built environment is inevitably disrupted by the construction of such highways. Roads also have an unavoidable environmental cost.  Thus, rather than representing a panacea, road-building projects highlight the gap that still exists between development aspirations and realities, and the difficulties that African governments face in their current attempts to radically transform their societies.

Belonging, Strangerhood and Mobility: South Sudanese in a Rural Town, Victoria – Naduni Wickramaarachchi and Edgar Burns, Department of Social Inquiry, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University
Australian regional areas are now receiving significant numbers of migrants from the African continent. Predominantly Anglo-Saxon communities perceive these ‘newcomers’ as physically and culturally different. Asking, however, how African migrants themselves construct relationships with local communities and build a sense of belonging in regional and rural areas is a very different question. This paper explores South Sudanese migrants’ experiences conceptualising their sense of belonging in a small county town: Castlemaine, Victoria. Focus group discussions show that even with the welcoming atmosphere and support from the local community, South Sudanese migrants are still attracted to metropolitan environments that have greater diversity, feeling more at home in such settings. Using the theoretical background of stranger, this paper argues the cities allow strangers be un-noticed letting them feel at ‘home’. Findings from the study show settings with greater diversity encourages negotiating difference openly and easing power imbalances among different groups. Finally, the locality of Castlemaine, within easy commuting distance to metropolitan Melbourne and suburbs, is considered in relation to hyper-mobility reducing the capacity to construct ‘bridging capital’ within such local communities.

The relevance, ramifications and legacies of Eugen Fischer’s ideas of miscegenation amongst the Rehoboth community in German South-West Africa (Namibia). –  Christine Winter – Flinders University
Race and Ethnicity in the Global South, the research (laureate) project I have been connected with at the University of Sydney argues that Australia is part of a Global South where scientific racism differed from that of the North: hierarchies are less stringently thought, boundaries transgressed, miscegenation theorized with a positive undertone.  This is a somewhat puzzling preposition given the history of race relations and race theories of the white dominions Australia, New Zealand and South Africa – that also all administered ex-German protectorates as C Mandates of the League of Nations from 1921 (Trust Territories of the United Nations after WWII). In this presentation I will use the case study of Eugen Fischer’s scientific race theories to examine the value of a connecting approach that links race and ethnicity in the Global South. The German medical race scientist Eugen Fischer’s influential theories on miscegenation and race mixing that re-introduced Mendel’s theories back into the modern race science, were first explicated in his research on the so-called ‘Rehoboth bastards’ in the then German colony South-West Africa. I will explore through Fischer’s colonial race science and his reworking of it during the 1930s interwar ramifications of Fischer’s work beyond their African context: I am focusing on models of exclusion and inclusion, and implicit arguments about gender that created real consequences for people of mixed heritage beyond Africa, in particular for African diasporas and people of African heritage in Germany and the USA.

Environment as justice: Akwamu reflections on river justice In GhanaKirsty Wissing, Australian National University
In considering environmental justice, this paper will consider environment as justice.  Drawing on twelve months of ethnographic research in southern Ghana, I will explore local Akwamu perspectives that counter ideas of nature as vulnerable victim and instead view the environment as alive with deities of agency that oversee human disputes and mete out justice.  Specifically, I will look to the phenomenon and explanations of drowning in the Volta River, Ghana, to explore how the environment is seen to reflect the true quality of humans and to judge and punish accordingly.  I will also consider undercurrents of power in human interpretations of drowning as the environment delivering justice. This paper seeks to look to an Akwamu Indigenous perspective that repositions the environment as an active rather than passive entity in notions of environmental and human justice, albeit it as interpreted by humans.  Exploring water as a shorthand for the environment more broadly, I suggest Indigenous perspectives on justice and nature, as embedded with religious meaning, might refract rather than reflect global understandings of the environment as subservient to humans and in need of human guardianship to achieve environmental justice.

Epistemic Violence and the Right to ‘Irrelevant’ Education – Yirga Gelaw Woldeyes, Curtin University
The right to education in Africa was guaranteed at a time when Africans had no opportunity to determine the content, method and purpose of education. While the ‘hardware’ of education (the building of schools, the hiring of teachers and the provision of material resources) is largely provided by the African poor often through taxes and debts, the ‘software’ of education (the subject matter of knowledge, its method and purpose) has been determined by politicians who operate under significant pressure from international financial institutions and powerful governments. Consequently, the education system has become a structure that supports the global networks of power rather than addressing the daily challenges of local people. It also contributes to the reproduction of ‘docile bodies’ through a ‘conversion’ process that alienates African students from their own societies’ traditions. This paper presents the notion of epistemic violence to exemplify the systematic ways in which irrelevant education is packaged and presented to Africans as a right. It also suggests fresh insights into the meaning of relevant education in light of the ongoing crisis of education and the challenges Africa is facing in the 21st century.
Key words: epistemic violence, relevant education, alienation, Africa

Internationalisation of Chinese capital and the transformation of state-society relations in Ethiopia – Edson Ziso, The University of Adelaide.
This paper contributes to the growing literature on China’s growing economic relationship with Africa. Employing Ethiopia as a case study, the internationalisation of Chinese capital is interrogated with a view to determining how it is interacting with and reshaping the state and social forces within the Ethiopian state. This is achieved by using a theoretical framework that understands the state as a complex social relation. The social forces making up the Ethiopian state, especially those affected by and affecting Chinese capital, are examined through a comprehensive discussion of Ethiopia’s political and economic organisation and enduring state-society relations. Through carefully selected case studies in the Ethiopian economy such as Special Economic Zones (SEZs), leather, agricultural and infrastructural development sectors, the thesis argues that the internationalisation of Chinese capital is having two major effects on Ethiopian state-society relations, namely, the intensification of party-oriented capitalism and the informalisation of politics. Scholarship on China-Africa relations had until now analysed this relationship through mainly state-state lenses. A key contribution of this paper is that it offers a new way of understanding the relationship between China and Africa through an ‘inside out’ perspective that explores the changing nature of internal politics as a result of Chinese investment and commercial links.  I disaggregate the Ethiopian state and the defining roles being played by its constituent social forces. I conclude that a combination of internal and external forces involved such as the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) ruling party and Chinese State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), respectively, gives a basis for a better understanding of the direction, form and nature of state transformation in Ethiopia.


Accommodation in Adelaide

Conference participants are required to organise their own accommodation for the conference – anywhere in Adelaide CBD would be suitable – keeping in mind that it takes about half an hour to walk from South Terrace or East Terrace to the North Terrace venue (down the West End of the City). On the second day of the conference Buses will collect and drop off  all conference participants from outside the Oaks Embassy 96 North Terrace, Adelaide City.  This hotel is located only 300 metres approx from the Conference Venue

Suggested Hotel Located near the Conference Venue –

Oaks Horizons and Oaks Embassy have provided a discount for AFSAAP Conference Attendees.
Click on this link below to review availability and costs. Use “AFSAAP” for the code to receive the discount.


Getting there and about Adelaide

Conference Venue – Barbara Hanrahan Building, UNISA City West Campus – located in the block between Hindley St, Finn Place, North Terrace and Morphett Street.  Registration desk will be open from 8.30am – 5pm on Thursday November 23rd outside room 4.23, (level 4).  See this PDF map for the location – City West Campus Site Plan.

Also See and for further information.

Air Travel to South Australia

Adelaide is South Australia’s capital city. It is easily accessed by air from all Australian capital cities and international destinations. Adelaide Airport is only 8 kilometres from the centre of the city, a 15-minute drive.

Adelaide Airport (ADL) services regional, domestic and international travellers. The state of the art facility is the newest and most efficient aviation terminal in Australia, incorporating the latest in design and technology.

Qantas AirwaysVirgin Australia and Jetstar offer frequent daily services to Adelaide Airport from Australia’s capital cities.

Domestic flight times (direct) are:
Melbourne – Adelaide: 1 hour 5 minutes
Sydney – Adelaide: 1 hour 40 minutes
Canberra – Adelaide: 1 hour 40 minutes
Brisbane – Adelaide: 2 hours 30 minutes
Perth – Adelaide: 3 hours 10 minutes
Darwin – Adelaide: 3 hours 35 minutes
Alice Springs – Adelaide: 2 hours

Airport Transfers

Door-to-door 7 day service. Reservation is appreciated at least 48 hours prior to travel.
Office hours 0700 – 2100, 7 days a week.

Phone 1300 856 444 or +61 8 8389 3528
Fax +61 8 8389 3572


A new taxi rank is located left of the pedestrian plaza as you walk out of the airport terminal. Concierges provide a safe environment and allocate taxis to passengers. There is a $2 levy added to fares for taxis leaving the airport.

Visas to Australia

International visitors to Australia require a visa or an electronic travel authority. It is your responsibility to ensure documentation is correct and completed before you start your journey. Information on obtaining visas and ETA’s (Electronic Travel Authorities) can be found on the Department of Immigration & Multicultural & Indigenous Affairs web site –

AFSAAP Participants please NOTE – it can take a long time to organise visas from some African countries so please begin the process soon.

Public transport
Trams runs from Glenelg through the city via North Terrace where it passes the Adelaide Convention Centre, with a stop just in front of the Railway Station. located less than a minutes’ walk from venue. Travel between South Terrace and the Entertainment Centre is free with no ticket required. The trams run approximately every 10-15 minutes. The historic Adelaide Railway Station is located a 2 minute walk from the ACC. For more information please visit:

The free City Connector bus is an easy way of navigating around Adelaide, look out for bus 98C or 98A. Adelaide is great tour by bike as well.  The ACC is a designated pick up and drop off point for Adelaide Free Bikes – an initiative run by the Adelaide City Council.

Visitor Information Centre

There are various Visitor Information Centres throughout Adelaide. Closest to the ACC is on one on James Place just off Rundle Mall and opposite the Myer Centre.

James Place (off Rundle Mall)
Phone: 1300 588 140
Open: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm
Public holidays (except Christmas Day and Good Friday) 11am to 3pm.

For general information on Adelaide and South Australia, call the South Australian Visitor Information Line (Monday to Friday)- Phone: 1300 655 276 (within Australia only)

About Adelaide

Vibrant Adelaide is globally renowned for its innovation, world class facilities, ease, value, safe clean surrounds and superb climate.

Adelaide is a city that offers the physical and emotional space to breathe. There is a sense of freedom here – of expression, of movement, of thought. It is not only the gateway to some of Australia’s best wine country, the city centre is surrounded by parklands and is a blend of historic buildings, wide streets, parklands, cafes and restaurants.

Adelaide has rolling hills to the east and beaches to the west. With a population of slightly more than one million, Adelaide is the “20 minute city”. The airport is only seven kilometres from Adelaide city. The Adelaide Hills and major beaches are less than half an hour away by car. That’s what we call liveable.

Emergency numbers
Fire, Ambulance Police – dial 000 (or try 112 from your mobile phone)