Conference Proceedings

Africa: Moving the Boundaries

Proceedings of the 39th Annual African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP) Conference, 5-7 December 2016, The University of Western Australia

ISBN: 978-0- 9942689-2-1

(FORTHCOMING in 2017)

Email your completed conference papers to AFSAAP2016@afsaap.org.au or the conference organisers

(deadline Feb 28th 2017).

All conference papers will be peer reviewed in full and accepted papers will appear below in alphabetical order. All Conference Abstracts were peer reviewed and are available here (and below).

Last updated 31 January 2017.

Abbey, Eunice – Hong Kong Polytechnic University,   – Disadvantages, Silences and Thriving: Rural Women in Northern GhanaIdeologies turn to form the basis of our beliefs, opinions, faith and doctrines. Whilst people hold different ideologies, they often become our culture and influence the way we live. The differences in these ideologies do create competition which also makes it extremely difficult to change the ideologies of other people. Most villages in the Northern part of Ghana have come to the attention of several NGOs, international organizations and other governmental agencies for certain ideologies and beliefs which are seen as threats to the well-being of the people especially, the women. Some of these ideologies or beliefs are the widowhood rites, witchcraft accusations tests, adultery tests and early marriages. The presentation will highlight some of these beliefs from a study conducted in two villages in the Upper East region of Ghana. The study revealed that these beliefs which are mostly linked to the women are also strongly connected to the faith of the people. They are such that the women are required to go through very painful, dehumanizing and degrading experiences that negatively affect their general well-being. The study further revealed that the NGOs have not made significant impacts in changing these beliefs compared to the religious bodies present in the villages. Thus, the people preferred religious interventions to those of the government and other agencies. Reasons given for this mainly centred on mistrust and politics. This also poses a lot of challenges to non-religious individuals, groups or organizations that wish to create positive changes in villages such as the study area.   How do we break through these stout ideologies and beliefs as Social Scientists to make a change? Is it possible to merge our theories with the beliefs, ideologies and faith of people such as those of the participants? This presentation aims at exploring some these issues and to create the platform to share critical ideas on these could be resolved with other conference participants.

 

Aboagye, Kaiya – University of Sydney, Australia,   “There’s No Such Thing as Aboriginal African Australians”: A Discussion Paper on the Need for a Radical Reversal of Our Colonial Education About the History Between Africans in Australia and Indigenous Australians. – This paper will seek to draw out and make sense of the complex, transcultural and social history between Indigenous Australians and people of the African diaspora in Australia. Investigating the socio- historical and racial positioning of Aboriginal Australians of African descent, this paper asserts that this is a long often undocumented history. A history that starts from the very beginning of colonization in 1788, with the arrival of eleven settlers of African descent on Australia’s first colonial fleet. It is commonly known among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family groups, that linage can be traced back several generations to long lost African forefathers, changing the nature and kinship of Aboriginal family formation.  Dominant interpretations of Australia’s African history and early colonial literature routinely leave out this relationship between people of colour within its nationalist narrative. Our history books are habitual discourses that present an uncomplicated story about black and white protagonist and race relations, but never between the subjects themselves, or the voices of the oppressed “others”.  This paper argues that by examining the historical relationship between these groups; we can start to extend our current thinking about the nature of, what is the culture of the “African Australian Diaspora” today, particularly as it emerges within transnational spaces of Indigenous Australian social history? As we work to further advance our theoretical articulation of, the development of transcultural black studies in Australia, this paper will not only assess the parameters of this research study. But it will speak to the transformative power of theorizing our spaces as the most urgent project of decolonization, in particular for young people of the African diaspora today.

 

Adusei-Asante, Kwadwo  – Edith Cowan University, AustraliaWhere Did They Go? A Ten-Year Trend Analysis of Post-Secondary School Destinations of African High School Graduates in Perth – Higher education is considered a critical social mobility tool. As a result, one of the key targets of the 2008 Review of Australian Higher Education (‘Bradley Review’) is to increase the percentage of university students from low-socioeconomic status (LSES) backgrounds to twenty percent by the year 2020. The publication of the Bradley Review has led to the implementation of a broad range of equity programs and strategies that are targeting various LSES students to enhance their access and participation in higher education. While most Australian residents from Sub-Saharan Africa (SAA) fall into the LSES category, the proportion of the population participating in higher education after secondary school in Perth is officially unknown, although it is generally believed to be low. It is also unclear which equity programs are specifically targeting SAA high school students in Western Australia. This paper presents the findings from the analysis of a ten-year trend (2005-2015) in post-secondary school destinations of SAA students in Perth, drawing on data from five selected schools and the Western Australian Department of Education. The study forms part of a research project that is examining the factors influencing SAA high school students’ post-secondary choices and their interest in higher education in Western Australia.

 

Alusa, Doreen – Murdoch University, Australia,   – Counterterrorism and Kenya’s Urban Women Refugees – An increase in the number of terrorist attacks on soft targets in Kenya has resulted in a backlash against refugees from Somalia. Over the past five years, there have been over one hundred brutal attacks on civilians in many parts of the country. Although investigations into these attacks have revealed that many of the attackers are young Kenyans who have joined the Somalia-based militant group Al-Shabaab, it has become common for government officials and other stakeholders in Kenya to blame Somali refugees for the attacks. As a result, counterterrorism strategies are gravitating towards the indiscriminate and mass deportation of Somali refugees, including women, who are classified as a vulnerable group.  This paper will investigate the impact that current counterterrorism measures are having on women refugees from urban areas in Kenya. Urban women refugees will be the focus of this study because; first, although the increased visibility and involvement of women in terrorist activities around the world has made women refugees highly susceptible to counterterrorism measures, researchers often focus on the impact of counterterrorism measures on young men. Second, the counterterrorism measures also involve the de-urbanization of refugees through directives that require all refugees to reside in the country’s refugee camps. This is in spite of research that shows that rather than being a security threat, urban refugees are astute entrepreneurs who are having a positive impact on the Kenyan economy (Omeje and Mwangi, 2014). The research will be conducted through semi-structured interviews and document analysis.

 

Alves, Ana Cristina, Nanyang Technological University – China’s Economic Statecraft in Africa: the resilience of development financing from Mao to Xi  – Since the turn of the century Chinese infrastructure loans have attracted much attention from scholars, politicians and media alike, mostly because they have been widely used by Beijing as a tool to expand China’s economic interests in Africa. These loans have successfully opened the gates for Chinese construction and resources companies to penetrate African markets, whilst simultaneously expanding China’s political capital over a continent that had for decades struggled to attract much needed infrastructure funding.  This chapter explores the role of positive economic statecraft tools in Africa since the founding of the PRC in 1949 in pursuing Chinese foreign policy goals, focusing particularly on development financing targeting infrastructure. The study argues that the use of this kind of economic incentives has been persistent throughout the history of the PRC, has shown remarkable resilience in view of changing contexts and obstacles, and accounts for a reasonable amount of successes in achieving China’s tactical and structural goals, in both political and economic realms, on the continent over the past six decades.

 

Arko-Acheomfuor, Akwasi –  University of South Africa,   – Opportunity Identification and Exploration Through Systemic Failures: The Case of Basic Education in Ghana – Ghana went through a lot of turmoil from the mid-1960s due to several factors including misrule, military dictatorships and near economic collapse in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Provisional National Defence Council government in the early 1980s went to the multinational institutions for bail out. Some of the conditions that were given for the bail outs included rationalisation and other austerity measures which led to funds being cut to various state institutions including the education sector.  Schools did not receive enough funding from the state to function effectively which led to their neglect, decline and stagnation. Some industrious individuals across the country saw an opportunity to fill the gap that was created through the systemic failure. This paper investigated how the private sector has taken advantage of the systemic failure to fill the gap by making a comparison between public and private schools regarding their number, infrastructure, performance and other measures in two districts in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana. The mixed methods design based on a set of questionnaire, interviews and observations were used to investigate the two types of schools. The results indicate that while most of the public schools have stagnated and deteriorated over the years, majority of the private schools have developed in diverse ways to accommodate many learners who otherwise would not be in schools. It is recommended that the state should find a ways of assisting the private schools to continue to provide quality education in the country as education is a public good.

 

Awoh, Emmanuel Lohkoko, University of Melbourne, Australia   – Contesting Forms of Authority and Local Governance in Cameroon  – Attempts to co-opt traditional authorities and the modern state in Africa have led to the creation of hybrid political systems. Remnants of an earlier order remain and continue to shape countries’ institutional and governmental structures. It becomes thus imperative to consider carefully the relationship between these two modes of authority and their potential in mitigating or promoting local violence. It is common knowledge that traditional authorities have a long history across Africa continent, but also a highly varied one in which change and flexibility has been as fundamental as the maintenance of traditional customs and practices in ensuring their continued importance in local governance. The post-colonial states have taken some bold steps in co-opting indigenous values and traditional authorities within the frame work of local governance especially on land disputes. But like the colonial regimes that created chieftaincy structures where they did not previously exist, the post-colonial states attempt in many instances to create local traditional hierarchies through which they could exert power simply by controlling the man at the top. This understandably generates considerable resentment as the state constantly attempt to manipulate lines of succession in order to manoeuvre compliant candidates into positions of power. In this paper, I argue that modern and traditional authorities are somehow overlapping especially in the execution of their functions of handling local disputes.  The relations between traditional and modern authorities do not necessarily involve displacement, conflict or exclusiveness. I will further contend that the institutions and processes attributed both to traditional authorities and the state in local governance at various point overlap but also conflict. Even in some cases where they do not conflict, state agents and also traditional authorities sometimes purposefully and masterfully avoid conflict resolution, as they have to gain more by perpetuating of conflict than by its resolution.

 

Babane, Morris Thembani University of Venda, South AfricaNaming and Humour: Decrying Extensions to Time-Celebrated Residences – This paper was inspired by the humorous place naming of newly developed extensions of villages which is not restricted to any particular individuals. The main aim of this research is to provide a comprehensive and critical evaluation of the meaning behind the names of some places among Vatsonga communities. Emerging villages in the form of extensions of the existing villages are receiving a considerable amount of attention as regards patterns of their naming. The presence of these villages is important for the study of toponymy. The study is qualitative in nature and data was collected using the interviews technique. A focus group of five participants in each of the ten villages was used. Therefore, the paper reports the results of the investigations into these place names among Vatsonga communities. The analysis shows that behind every place name there is a meaning which is humorous and symbolic in nature. The study was conducted in order to make recommendations on guidelines for naming process of the newly developed extensions of villages.

 

Babatunde-Sowole, Olutoyin – University of Technology Sydney, Australia  [West] African Women Migrants in Australia: Implications for Health Care – Introduction: The world is going through dynamic demographic changes with migrant women constituting more than half of the total international migration statistics. Many of these women are refugees from war-ravaged countries. West African women migrating to Australia, from the war-torn areas of Africa, have often experienced trauma and rape. This study explores the stories of the strength of the Australian-West African women and the related implications for health care. Design: Qualitative storytelling. Methods: Twenty-one West African migrant women living in Sydney, Australia, voluntarily participated in this study. The women were 18 years and over and had lived in Australia for a minimum of two years. The women’s stories were audio-taped, transcribed and thematically analysed. Findings: Women’s stories of trauma included accounts of resilience and tenacity. Cultural issues were discussed as potentially being an impediment to engagement with the Australian health care system and health professionals. Conclusions: Trauma faced by women from war-torn areas has implication for clinicians’ in Australia. Clinicians need to be cognizant and provide necessary support. Findings from this study may contribute to advancing health care for women migrants.

 

Ben, Jehonathan – Deakin University, Australia,   – Employment Challenges and Migrant Responses Among Horn of Africa Men Living in Melbourne – The employment of Horn of Africa migrants in Australia is crucial to them and to the Australian economy and society, yet many Horn of Africa migrants are unemployed or underemployed. Lack of English proficiency and employment skills have often been suggested as major explanations for poor employment outcomes among Horn of Africa migrants, but such explanations hardly hold in the case of migrants who are fluent in English and have locally-relevant qualifications and skills that should be associated with employment in better-paid, higher status jobs. Alternative explanations that focus on structural challenges like discrimination and non-recognition of qualifications have been offered but have rarely been the focus of research on Horn of Africa migrants’ employment. This paper aims to explore migrants’ employment experiences in-depth, drawing on data from the first phase of a 12 months’ ethnographic study conducted as part of my PhD. Centering on participant observation and informal conversations held in cafes and other small businesses in Melbourne’s western suburbs, I examine Horn of Africa migrant men’s challenges to employment access and at the workplace, their negotiation of such challenges, and the roles of social connections within and outside their communities.

 

 

Bondarenko, Dmitri M. Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences/Russian State University for the HumanitiesThe Past Never Dies: Historic Memory of the Slave Trade and Relationship Between African Americans and Contemporary Migrants from Africa and the USA – The paper is based on the field evidence collected in seven states in 2013–2015. It shows how differences in the historic memory of African Americans and African migrants influence their mutual perceptions and relationship. The reflection in the both groups’ collective memory and mass consciousness of the transatlantic slave trade is most important in this respect. The slave trade is the event that gave rise to the very phenomenon of Black Americans and to the problem of the «Black world» and its history’s unity. It is argued in the article that the historic memory of the slave trade, slavery, and fight against it is of key importance for the African Americans’ historic consciousness. As for the Africans, this memory is also important but, firstly, not to that degree and, secondly, they see slave trade differently: as history not of one Blacks’ betrayal by other Blacks, but of exploitation of the Blacks by the Whites. Significant differences in the perception, estimation, and attaching importance to the slave trade, slavery and anti-slavery struggle separate the groups of Black population, rather than unite them in the face of «White» America. The lack of the sense of historic unity alienates African Americans and African migrants from each other spiritually and mentally, thus contributing to the establishment of ambiguous and complicated relationship between them.

 

Bruentrup, Michael – German Development Institute, GermanyBounded Investments for Boundless Growth? Potentials and Pitfalls of Agricultural Growth Corridors in Sub-Saharan Africa – Agricultural growth corridors – geographically bounded areas that receive intensive agricultural investments – are the newest approach to economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa. They have gained prominence through the African Union’s “New Partnership for Africa’s Development” (NEPAD) and the G7’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NA). Agricultural corridors now figure prominently in several national development strategies in the region. Agricultural growth corridors combine agricultural policies with agrobusiness and infrastructure investments to pursue 1) agricultural growth, 2) poverty alleviation, 3) opening up of enclaved areas, and in many instances 4) regional integration across coastal and land-locked countries. Since they are usually planned and managed as strategic private-public-partnerships involving governments, national and international private sector agroenterprises, farmer organisations and donors, they promise to bring together expertise, funding and coordination that are usually dispersed and aim to benefit from multiple synergies that arise. There are, however, huge pitfalls to be overcome from agricultural corridor approaches: 1) risk of top-down planning, 2) land and water grabbing, 3) lack of policy cohesion, 4) regional disparities, and 5) the spread of an agricultural model which is rejected by stakeholders. In fact, corridors and large-scale agricultural investments, are among the most contested rural development approaches. The paper brings together literature on geographical approaches to rural development (focusing on large-scale land acquisition and investments) as well as empirical evidence from two case studies: public participation in the PROSAVANA of Mozambique and lessons learned from the SAGCOT of Tanzania.

 

Chauke, Mkhacani Thomas – University of Venda, South Africa Malapropism as Portrayed in the Novel N’waninginingi maka Tindleve – The paper investigates the use and significance of malapropism in the novel N’waninginingi maka Tindleve (The one who does not listen). Thuketana makes use of malapropism as a comedic literary device to bring some great comic effect to the readers.  The paper also explores the fact that the use of malapropism does not compromise the message the author is trying to put across. The methods used in this paper to elicit all the data required is the documentary method, whereby a variety of written sources such as theses, dissertations and journal papers will be consulted.

 

Chida, Ignatius, and Dr Ndungi wa Mungai, Charles Sturt University, AustraliaChallenges and Opportunities for Southern African Skilled Migrants in Rural and Regional New South Wales, Australia – This paper presents the findings of a research on opportunities and challenges relating to migrants who move from developing to developed countries. The research utilises the ‘push and pull theory’ of migration to analyse these migration experiences and is based on seventeen (17) in-depth interviews. The migrants in this research were from the Southern African countries of Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe and resided in rural New South Wales, Australia.  The research identified that economic and social benefits such as better wages, better employment and educational opportunities, stable and safe political conditions, and a better lifestyle as the major factors pulling most migrants to the developed countries. Out of Africa ‘push factors’ were the unfavourable prevailing conditions such as unemployment, prevailing unstable economic and political environments, limited educational opportunities. The research also established that migration was not unproblematic and came with challenges related to the adaptation to the social and economic environment.  There are implications on how the countries of origin could retain their skilled manpower and how the countries of migration can support the new migrants and benefit from their skills.

 

da Silva, Julian Gadret Curtin University, Australia,   – The African Legacy in Brazil: Political, Religious, Social and Cultural Manifestations of Identity and BelongingContemporary debates about identity and belonging have been describing the struggles of current societies over the ownership of heritage discourses and the questions of transnationalism and immigration.  The displacement and movement of people across different nations and cultures opens up the discussions about multiple narratives and different versions of past and present, challenging static and limited views of official discourses and of nationalist ideals. Furthermore, these multiplicity of identities have been connected to alternative interpretations of place, which emphasizes the complexity and importance of the sense of belonging and attachment in displaced communities, immigrant societies and diaspora groups. Brazil has a long history of colonialism and forced migration of Africans, followed by troubled economic and political times of independence, republic and dictatorship.  Not different from other post slavery societies, Afro Brazilians face a long history of ‘invisibility’ and socio-economic exclusion, however, contrasting with other situations across the world – such as in America, Brazilian issues were masked for a number of decades in the nationalist (and controversially accepted) ideals of a hybrid-mixed nation with no segregation or racial conflicts. Recent shifts on self-identification in Brazil have been showing significant change towards a more individual approach to identity, having the number of people identifying as African descendants bigger than the rest of the population for the first time since the end of slavery. This paper intends to outline the African legacy in Brazil, by analysing questions of identity and belonging through political, religious, social and cultural manifestations, discussing different types of markers left by the “involuntary displacement” of these community.

 

Demana, Vincent – University of Venda, South Africa,   – A Study of the English Comprehension Strategies Utilised by Level-One Students at the University of VendaThe purpose of this study is to investigate the English reading strategies utilised by level-one students at the University of Venda. The respondents in this study will be three hundred and fifty level-one students from various Schools in the University of Venda who will be doing English Communication Skills (ECS) course in the 2016 academic year. Data will be collected by means of a self-completion questionnaire of the Survey of Reading Strategies (SORS) developed by Mokhtari and Sheorey. The researcher will employ descriptive statistics to analyse frequency use of each reading strategy using frequency, percentage, mean, standard deviation, and usage level. Open-ended data will be summarised by using grouping technique. The findings from the study will shed some light on the English reading strategies that students use while reading English academic materials and how often they use these strategies. The findings can be helpful for students in increasing their awareness of reading strategies while reading, improving their understanding of the reading process, and enhancing confidence in their own reading ability and to teachers and lecturers in helping their students learn to become constructively responsive and thoughtful readers, which will promote skillful academic reading and ultimately enhance academic achievement.

 

Deng, Santino Atem – Victoria University, Australia,   – South Sudanese Youth Acculturation and Intergenerational ChallengesAlthough several studies have been carried out about refugee resettlement or settlement challenges, little has been done either academically or practically to understand their parenting experiences and challenges after settling in Australia. This paper explores the impact of South Sudanese youth experiences of the settlement challenges resulting from acculturation and intergenerational conflicts. It explores their perspectives on the difficulties they encounter while adjusting to their new environment and parents’ expectations on them to hold onto their original cultures. Youth also attribute their challenges to a lack of appropriate support services, including the absence of strong local community leadership. The combination of these challenges results in many young people becoming more susceptible to mental health issues, antisocial behaviour and difficulties in acculturating as they struggle to balance their cultures of origin and the new environment. This paper was informed by a PhD study, which involved in-depth interactive engagement with sixty South Sudanese participants (parents and youth) through individual interviews and focus group meetings, mainly on their transition, parenting practices and experiences since settling in Australia.

 

Diallo, Ibrahima University of South AustraliaFraming Africans in IndiaAfrica-India relations have experienced a giant leap forward following the first India-Africa Summit in 2008. However, one of the most noticeable feature the reengagement between these two giants is the increasing number of Africans in India. However, the growing African communities in India have been in the spotlight following a series of incidents. Local and international media have reported on a number of cases of alleged (and proven) harassment, assault, discrimination, negative stereotyping, and racism towards Africans.  Early in November 2013, a Nigerian national was murdered in Passa, Goa, sparking violent reactions among the Nigerians. In the same year, in July, a Chadian national was assaulted in broad daylight by a mob in Bangalore. More recently, on January 15, 2014 in New Delhi, the then Law Minister Somnath Bharti (of Aam Aadmi Party) was accused of heading a midnight raid with a group of supporters against Nigerian and Ugandan women living in Khirki (Delhi) on grounds that they were running a drug and prostitution racket. Additionally, in May 2016, a young Congolese student was brutally murdered in New Delhi. These series of incidents created shockwaves in both India and Africa over racism towards Africans in India in the context of robust economic and education reengagement. Based on interviews conducted in India in 2014 with Africans, this presentation discusses the ways in which the changing social, economic and political transformation in India has impacted on the ways Africans are (re)framed, (re)presented, and (re)imagined.

 

Dune, Tinashe, Western Sydney UniversityExploring the Role and Impact of Culture on Constructions of Sexual and Reproductive Health for 1.5 Generation African and non-African Migrants in Australia Using Q Methodology – Background: 1.5 generation migrants in Australia (those who migrate as children) may have to contend with constructions of sexual and reproductive health from at least two cultures which may be at conflict on the matter. This study was designed to investigate the role and impact of culture on constructions of SRH from the perspective of 1.5 generation migrants. Methods: 42 adults, of mainly African descent, took part in this Q methodological study. A by-person factor analysis was then conducted, with factors extracted using the centroid technique and a varimax rotation. Results: A seven-factor solution provided the best conceptual fit for constructions of SRH. Factor A compared constructions of SRH and values across Australian and migrants culture of origin. Factor B highlighted the influence of culture on SRH values. Factor C explored migrant understandings of SRH in the context of culture. Factor D explained the role of culture in migrants’ intimate relationships, beliefs about migrants and engagement of health care services. Factor E described the impact of culture on SRH related behaviour. Factor F presented the messages migrant youth are given about SRH. Lastly, Factor G compared constructions of SRH across cultures. Conclusions: This study has demonstrated that as SRH norms take on more cross-cultural constructions experiences and expectations of SRH reshape. While this journey is rarely smooth it can produce multicultural ways of understanding and experiencing SRH without losing one’s relationship with their culture of origin.

 

Dywili, Sophia – Charles Sturt University, Australia,   – The Voices of African Nurses Working in Regional NSW, Australia – The global shortage of nurses has seen an increasing demand for nurses in many countries especially in the developed world. This has resulted in continued cross border movement of nurses. Australia’s response to its challenge of nurse shortage included recruitment of overseas qualified nurses (OQN) as an immediate solution to the crisis while they were expanding the training of local nurses. The recruitment of OQNs included those from sub-Saharan Africa who are now working in many regional areas in Australia. This paper examines the experience of these sub-Saharan African nurses in regional Australia. The findings are drawn from my PhD research project where participants told their migration stories. The paper discusses the participants’ migration journeys as they left their countries for various reasons in search of a better life in Australia. Participants told stories of their arrival in regional Australia and their experiences as they work and live in regional Australia. Their workplace and socio cultural experiences and plans for the future are also discussed.

 

Erber, Wendy University of Western AustraliaImproving Health Care in Ethiopia Through Improved Diagnostic Services – Ethiopia, with an area of 1.104 million km² and population of 102 million, is the 13th most populous country in the world. The median age is 18.9 years and access to health care is poor, with only one doctor per 37,000 people. Pathology is crucial for the diagnosis of disease and optimal health care but there are only 30 pathologists in Ethiopia. In 2011 the Department of Pathology of the University of Basel embarked on a project to improve pathology at the 1,000 bed Tikur Anbessa Hospital in Addis Ababa. Significant progress has been made in general technical and diagnostic aspects. In 2016 the programme was expanded by the addition of support from UWA. Together we have introduced training in specialist pathology to improve the diagnosis of leukaemia. The programme, specifically tailored to meet local needs, provided intensive 2-week on-site education for scientists and pathologists in the techniques, interpretation and clinical application of flow cytometry. This was followed by remote real-time technical and diagnostic support. Instrument output and clinical data can be uploaded so that pathologists in Basel and Perth can assist with troubleshooting any technical and diagnostic problems that arise. Second-opinion online pathologist interpretation is available as required. Significant progress has been made, and it is anticipated that this training model will continue to develop knowledge and sustain skills. The outcome will be higher quality pathology data provided to clinicians resulting in improved patient care. This model could be applied in other resource-constrained countries in Africa.

 

Etone, Damian, University of Adelaide, Australia,   – The Role of African NGOs/Civil Society in Enhancing the Effectiveness of African States’ Engagement with the UN Human Rights MechanismsThe concept of civil society has greatly developed within the theoretical frameworks of modern natural law theory and the post-enlightenment political philosophies of Hegel and Marx. There is no universal understanding of the term ‘civil society’ as the term means very different things in different countries and languages. Kenya, for example, uses the term ‘Public Benefit Organisations’ to include NGOs.  In Africa, the concept of civil society has greatly informed the discourse on the role of the state and the issue of democratisation. Civil society is crucial to Africa’s sustained political reform, legitimate states and governments, improved governance, and viable state-society and state-economy relationships. Within the context of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the UN Human Rights Council, African states sought to limit the involvement of civil society in the UPR According to Bulto, this provides them an opportunity to engage in ‘ritualism’ with the UPR.  This paper argues that NGO participation in the UPR process can play a significant role to strengthen state engagement with the UPR. This can be achieved through strategic UPR engagement and the formation of broad and representative UPR coalitions. With a focus on Kenya, this paper argues that effective NGO engagement can move the UPR beyond ritualism and make it an effective regulatory mechanism. This paper also underscores the relationship between state and NGO recommendations. However, this paper equally examines the factors which have limited the impact of NGOs in Africa such as the legal operational environment, lack of transparency and accountability, and lack of financial independence.

 

Fozdar, Farida University of Western AustraliaBelonging in the Land Downunder: Synthesising Research on Africans in Australia – African migrants have become a visible presence in Australia in the last decade and a half, although some are known to have arrived much earlier, on the ‘first fleet’. Many have come through the humanitarian program, experiencing trauma and disadvantage both pre and post migration. This paper explores recent research to help tease out aspects of belonging among African migrants. Photo voice, interview and survey data from a range of projects with slightly different foci is used to argue that despite constructions as visibly different and for some, experiences of marginalization socially, culturally and economically, African migrants demonstrate a sense of belonging based on access to civic rights, and aspire to a more emotion-based sense of inclusion.

 

Gime, Abderahim, RMIT University, Australia,   – Eritrea, Historical Experience, Endogenous Development – This paper explores the significance of history and ‘culture’ to the Eritrean example of development. It examines some of the Eritrean material as a type of a discourse of development. The analysis draws together two distinct and yet interconnected chapters in Eritrean history to render apparent the genesis and context of current Eritrean development policy and practice. Eritrea’s pre-independence struggle is treated as a seminal phase/ repository for the kind of social transformation that is being sought in today’s Eritrea. The focus is on how the Eritrean discourse weaves together a set philosophy of reality and a theory of social history, including ways of bringing about political change. The analysis, in other words, highlights the dialectical and historical materialist groundings of the Eritrean claim for development. Eritrea’s development discourse has as its main definition the goal of overcoming ‘alienation’. Now as then, the topics stressed in the Eritrean alternative discourse range broadly. Often, these deal with social, cultural, political and economic exigencies, all bearing on self-determination and future national development. Characteristically, the Eritrean narrative evinces such (asymmetric) standpoint as: sense of being connived against and short-changed, a sceptical disposition, denunciatory attitude, resentment, lamentation; buoyancy, devotion, capacity to overcome, positive self-image, affirmation of women’s participation in change. And this whole dualistic way of thinking and acting naturally has direct repercussions on the decisions made about Eritrean development. This paper accordingly is designed to show how subaltern ways of being and knowing can influence alternative development choices.

 

Hale, Ben – Edith Cowan University, Australia   – The ANC and Capital: Aspirations to Hegemony – This paper argues that ANC has been attempting to institute a hegemonic project through the vehicle of the South African state, and further that this has led to its capture by large capital. The bloc of social forces which coalesced around the South African state after 1994 was diverse and eclectic, ranging from large capital to small landholders, popular movements and unions. However, the ANC was disproportionately influenced by financial capital and conglomerates moored in the extractive industries which required economic liberalization, fiscal ‘responsibility’, and state support for foreign expansion. The ANC’s business-friendly approach has been crucial in binding together this bloc of social forces into a multi-racial cross-class alliance with dire economic ramifications for the bulk of the population. However, this hesitant and unsteady hegemonic project is highly elastic, tempering its neoliberal policies with state interventions in the form of state housing, public-works programmes, and social grants. Further, by evoking the symbols and concepts surrounding the national liberation struggle, such as the National Democratic Revolution, the ANC invests itself with great moral weight and undermines counter-hegemonic projects. However, it will be argued that the ANC’s bid for hegemony has been compromised by its bias toward key blocs of capital in economic policy, and the growing division between the governing and the governed.

 

Higgins, Maree – Australian Catholic University/UNSW, AustraliaPostgraduate Student) – ‘Knowing’, ‘Being’, and ‘Doing’ Human Rights in the Diaspora: Findings from a Study Involving African Families from Refugee Backgrounds – A level of awareness and engagement with human rights is considered important in our multicultural society. Human rights are defining elements of social work practice and arguably the basis of service provision to vulnerable and marginalised populations. Legalistic understandings of human rights sit side-by-side the lived experiences of human rights in ways that are often not well understood or articulated. The power to exert human rights is often mediated by wealth, community status and cultural identity.  This study explores how African families from refugee backgrounds in Sydney understand and construct human rights and how these insights can inform social work practice. The research accessed unique stories about human rights which draw upon participants’ recent experiences, personal turning points, childhood memories and wisdom from ancestors as well as hopes and fears for the future. The data suggests that African families from refugee backgrounds experience a nuanced engagement with the knowing, being and doing of human rights that is underpinned by a realistic appraisal of the enablers and barriers to the realisation of human rights in everyday situations. These appraisals appear to be influenced by gender, region of origin, and levels of education to a certain degree. The findings provide insights about how help seeking, trust-building and leadership capacity can be strengthened in these communities.

 

Higgins, Maree. Australian Catholic University/UNSW, Australia,   – Reflecting on Methodology for the Qualitative Cross-Cultural Study of Human Rights – The aim of my doctoral research is to build knowledge about how African families from refugee backgrounds understand and construct human rights, and to explore how this data might inform cross-cultural social work practice. To achieve these goals, I undertook a qualitative study with a critical constructionist orientation, utilising in-depth semi-structured interviews to create opportunities for co-construction of meaning about human rights through the examination of participants’ lived experience. In this paper I present the methodological challenges and learnings that emerged throughout the study. There were fundamental components that contributed to the study’s complexity, including vulnerability, culture, language and ontology. Drawing upon empirical evidence I put in place a number of methodological strategies to address these complexities and to enhance the strength, efficacy and validity of the study. Firstly, in convening a research reference group of African-born informants, I facilitated the inclusion of important insider perspectives on ethical, conceptual and practical matters at key points in the study. Secondly, in embedding concepts of liberation through dialogue within the study, the semi-structured interview guide, cycles of participant recruitment and data checking processes took shape. Thirdly, in selecting to apply Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis to the data I was sensitised to both the meaning of participant experience of human rights, and the way experience was conveyed in the research. Implementing and then reflecting upon these aspects of the research project has led me to new understandings of good practice in qualitative research with a critical orientation.

 

Holmes, Tass, University of Melbourne, AustraliaShifts in African Herbal Medicine: Its Relevance for ‘New Diseases’, Particularly HIV/AIDS, and Some Impacts of Contemporary Culture Change on Traditional Uses – African herbal medicine is as ancient as humankind, and was categorised into organised healing systems since before ancient Egyptian times, around 3000 BC and earlier. African herbs became popularised in Europe, following colonisation of Africa by European nations. Contemporary inroads of African modernisation processes include dramatic culture shifts around understanding the nature and definitions of wellbeing and cure, and the use of ‘medicine’ and ‘healing’ to effect health improvements. Viewing endemic disease in the face of extensive poverty, pressure is exerted by international communities and African national governments to ensure greater reliance on conventional biomedicine, while traditional healing cultures are now often portrayed as ineffective, over-simplistic, superstitious and potentially dangerous, or conversely as exclusively ‘magical’ and disconnected from everyday reality. Despite this, African herbal products have supplied a lucrative global marketplace, to an extent where some species are now threatened. Ongoing interest is evidenced by popular articles and scholarly research. Significant value is accorded to African indigenous herbal medicines for treatment of ‘new’ diseases, including HIV/AIDS (as a current leading cause of mortality for African adults). This paper summarises African plant research offering potential to help HIV-positive persons, discusses pertinent issues including environmental impact, and focuses on relevant shifts in the social and cultural contexts of herbal medicine practice in Africa.

 

Howieson, Jill, University of Western AustraliaDeveloping Human Capacity: It’s an Australian-African AttitudeDeveloping human capacity is an attitude. It’s an attitude that says let’s partner to develop your capacity and develop mine, and through that develop institutional and country capacity. “The sustained value of capacity building depends on many ingredients, but it works best through problem-based collaboration to create effective partnerships” (Hewitson, 2015). A partnership between the University of Ghana (UG) and University of Western Australia (UWA) Law Schools to improve capacity in Mining Law and Governance in Ghana led to a deeper understanding of the required approach. The evaluation of the partnership was conducted through an Appreciative Inquiry lens that led to a dual learning and understanding of capacity building relationships. In an era where there is a continual desire to ensure that capacity building leads to sustainable and long-term human development, it was refreshing to discover that there was a simple way to frame the approach. It’s an attitude mate, an attitude.

 

Israel, Mark, Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy ServicesEthical Imperialism, South Africa and the Global Transfer of Research Ethics – The global export of principlism forms part of broader international flows of capital, students and academics, as well as knowledge and ideology. The impact of global capital has had a long-standing effect on research ethics governance. Pharmaceutical companies have sought to open up new markets and take advantage of cheaper sites for multi-centre drug trials. Multinational research teams have looked to those countries with lower risks of litigation, low labour costs, pharmacologically ‘naive’ participants, weak ethics review and the absence of other regulatory processes. As a result, research in low- and middle-income countries has burgeoned. As developing countries struggle to keep pace, the Helsinki and UNESCO Declarations have created regulatory templates for those without the infrastructure to create their own, and a range of capacity-building initiatives in research ethics have encouraged researchers in many developing countries to follow these models. Increasing student and academic mobility and international research collaboration between the global North and South may also ease international transfer of a range of research and education policies that favour universalist approaches to research ethics. So, contemporary regulations in countries such as South Africa have shadowed developments in the North and have extended biomedical regulation to all forms of research. However, in some parts of the global South and the Fourth World, there is an emerging distrust and a critique of the motivation for some of the funding for capacity-building in research ethics. For many, opposition to uni­versalist claims is not simply targeted at insensitivity in application but draws on critical ethical traditions such as indigenous, postmodern and postcolonial ethics to challenge the universal basis for principlism, and calls for a deeper understanding of and engagement with how different socie­ties, cultures, peoples and disciplines understand ethics, research and ethical research.

 

Jagtenberg, Hanna –  University of Adelaide, Australia,   – Longing for South Africa but Becoming “Aussiekaner”: Self-imposed Transnational Identity Formation Among Africa’s “White Tribe” in Australia – Based on ongoing anthropological fieldwork amongst first-generation Afrikaner immigrants in Australia (white Afrikaans-speaking South Africans), in this paper I argue that the development of a transnational imagination is identifiable within this migrant group, thereby meaning that next to feelings of belonging towards South Africa, they are developing similar feelings towards Australia, and that their social worlds span both countries in numerous ways (by physically travelling between them, and also through continued contact by technological means, i.e. the Internet: Skype, FaceTime, What’s App, and forms of social media such as Facebook). The emergence of this transnationalism is perhaps exemplified most clearly in the name they have attributed to themselves in one of their Facebook groups: ‘Aussiekaners’. However, this process of transnational identity formation seems to be self-imposed, since Afrikaners are becoming ‘Aussiekaners’ by default: they actually do not wish to be in Australia, or anywhere in the world apart from South Africa for that matter, and their longing for South Africa, for the land, its peoples, its nature, its game, and so forth, is immense. On an emotional and psychological level, they are suffering on a daily basis for not being in South Africa. Even though they left their country by personal choice, they do not experience this decision as such: for a number of reasons, they feel forced out of South Africa. Therefore, they view themselves as privileged refugees, and they embrace Australia not because they want to, but because they feel it is their only option for survival.

 

Jakwa, Tinashe – University of Western Australia,  African Realism: Reconceptualising Notions of State Weakness in Western Thought – This paper critically engages dominant understandings of African state capacity, particularly so-called ‘failed’, ‘failing’, and ‘fragile’ states. Drawing from Mazrui’s (1977) delineations of latent, imminent, and active instability, it is argued that the contemporary ‘Westphalian’ international system and the nation-state are characterised by latent-imminent instability. The latter and global processes of policy transfer, diffusion and convergence are the primary causes of African state instability.  Thus the governance challenges facing African countries are principally due to the regulatory or jurisdictional competition that characterises the contemporary re-scaling of governance and ‘traditional power’ re-strategisation, as well as African leaders’ failure to view the nation-state as a transitional mode of governance. The arguments provided in this paper ground the formulation and ongoing development of an African Realist framework delineating strategies for navigating this tenuous global terrain towards ‘sustainable’ regional integration.

 

Janif, Jennifer & Mahad Warsame, E Tu Whanau Ministry of Social Development, Aotearoa, New Zealand/African Development Centre, AustraliaSettlement and Wellbeing of Communities from Horn of Africa Living in Aotearoa New Zealand – According to Census 2013 census data, it shows significant increases in Asian, Middle Eastern, African and Latin American populations in Aotearoa, New Zealand.  Auckland has the highest percentage of residents born overseas and is home to increasing culturally and linguistically diverse communities.   Former refugees from the Horn of African countries of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somali first arrived in New Zealand in early 1990s through the Annual Refugee Quote intake.     Upon arrival in Aotearoa New Zealand, families are faced with many settlement challenges including new environment and landscape, lack of knowledge and information about New Zealand systems, unemployment and underemployment; health and mental health issues; intergenerational conflict; language barriers, family breakdown including partner violence and elder abuse, youth issues, drug and alcohol, lack of social and family networks, culture shock and identity issues.  The E Tu Whanau (Stand Up Family) Programme was designed by Maori for Maori (the indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, New Zealand) and is administered by Community Investment, Ministry of Social Development.   The holistic approach, concepts and protective factors outlined in E Tu Whanau programme and resources has been successfully adapted by the communities from Horn of Africa to address issues of positive parenting and family violence awareness programmes. The approach to the programme is strength based and builds on the resilience, cultural traditions and practices, spirituality and links to ancestral land of former refugees from Horn of Africa countries. These programmes contribute to reducing social isolation, increasing coping skills and strengthening protective factors; fostering positive long term settlement outcomes including greater understanding of Maori as indigenous people of New Zealand.

 

Jember, Gashaw – University of Western Australia,   – Great Power Competition in Africa: A New ScrambleFor centuries, Africa’s development has incapacitated by slave trade, colonialism, and Cold War rivalries by great powers. During the past decade, a new scramble has been emerged by the old powers and a new comer, China. The continent becomes a battlefield from “the hunting of black skins” to resource hunting and geo-political influence, especially, between China and the U.S. In these contexts, this paper will examine what the U.S. and China strategic objectives in contemporary Africa are, how both faces challenge from each other, from other great powers and African governments when they advance their economic, security and geopolitical interests in Africa, and how this in turn impacts the realisation of U.S. and China strategic objectives in the continent.

 

Judge, Melinda University of Western Australia,   – Does Early HIV Infection Exhibit Unique Gene Expression? Background: HIV causes vast immune damage during the initial stages of infection. This study aimed to identify a host gene signature unique to early HIV infection. Additionally, characterisation of the host response will enhance understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms specific to early HIV-induced immune damage.  Methodology: Subjects presenting at the Manhiça District Hospital with acute HIV infection (negative HIV rapid test serology and positive HIV RNA viral load) and control subjects were enrolled. PBMCs were collected and RNA extracted (Qiagen RNeasy MinElute). Illumina 50bp, single-end RNA-seq was performed for 53 early HIV samples and compared with 50 HIV negative, 26 chronic no ART and 24 chronic ART samples. Reads were aligned to human reference genome hg19 using HISAT. Quantification and normalisation of read counts was performed using summarise Overlaps (GenomicAlignments package) and voom (limma package), both from Bioconductor. Statistical analyses were performed using R version 3.2.0. Results: The 53 early HIV infected individuals had a median estimated time since infection of 9 weeks (IQR 7.8-19.3 weeks). The RNA-seq resulted in an average of 23 million reads per sample with 80% of the reads mapped at a high mapping accuracy. The preliminary analyses shows clustering of gene expression in recent HIV infection compared to all control groups. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first study to use the RNA-seq platform on such a large cohort in sub-Saharan Africa to investigate gene expression during early HIV-1 subtype C infection. Statistical analyses are currently underway to identify a unique gene expression signature and enable further understanding of the pathological mechanisms involved.

 

Kanyi, Teresia Nduta, University of Melbourne, Australia,   – The Role of African Worldview in Social Work with African People in Australia – Social work practice with African people in Australia and internationally is based on the dominant Western and European worldviews.  African worldview is either unknown or not considered useful in social work practice in most western countries including Australia. The principles of the African world view namely spirituality, religion, collective identity and the interconnectedness of all things are generally not present in Eurocentric worldview.  These important principles in the life of an African person are therefore not integrated into social work practice. Such misalignment between the African worldview and the dominant worldviews has created challenges for practitioners and for African people receiving social work support, leading to less responsive intervention. Western worldview informed practice is based on the Western individualistic and State welfare support system. On the other hand, Africans in continental Africa and in the Diaspora draw from informal community based systems to address social issue.  As the helping profession in Australia continues to be offered by State sponsored formal institutions, community based care in the form of informal family and community support continues to be underdeveloped due to lack of recognition and underutilisation by professionals. This and the importance of spirituality, religiosity, interconnectedness of all things and collective identity is critical to the development of cultural responsive social work practice.

King-Aribisala, Karen University of Lagos, Nigeria – What is Africa to Me Now? The Sweet, the Bitter… The author’s romance with the continent of Africa began with its name, Africa. It was to her a sweet and bitter melody, a song that sang of her African diaspora heritage. Sweet because of its mystery: it was an unknown, a land imagined; a land of vast deserts, tumbling plains, wide waters, the cradle of civilization; a land of famed warriors like Chaka Zulu; a land with plenteous jungles where lions and zebras and other awesome animals roamed free; a land where exotic birds of colourful plumage marked the sky in bright streaks of orange and yellow and green. Africa was romantic and exotic and so thrilling it made your heart beat with drum beats just with the imagining and thinking of it. Africa was a land of stories sweet. And the Nigeria she knows is bitter, is sweet, is a romance and a land she is still and will always be involved in. This work was recently published in Research in African Literature and details the boundaries between Africans and those of the African Diaspora as a result of the Atlantic Slave Trade etc. from a personal and writer’s point of view.

Klu, Ernest Kwesi, University of Venda, South AfricaTeaching Academic Literacy as an Academic Support Programme in a South African University: Do We Know What We Are Doing? In response to the widely held believe that most South African high school leavers are not adequately prepared for university education, academic support programmes have been put in place to address the problem. On such programme is the teaching of academic literacy which in most cases is a compulsory module for all first entering students.  The success or failure of such a programme is largely dependent on how it is conceived, planned, implemented and monitored. Furthermore, all stakeholders should have a common understanding of what is required and expected.
This paper scrutinises an academic support programme in a South African university. It is taught in two semesters. This roughly translates to English for Academic Purposes and English for the Professions or English for Specific Purposes.  This largely exploratory and descriptive study, draw heavily on my 15 year experience of teaching academic literacy in three universities, extensive literature study and the situation at the university which is the focus of this university.
It is hoped that the paper will come out with findings and recommendations which will help strengthen the teaching of academic literacy not only in the university focused on but also other universities in similar situations.

 

Lang, Elizabeth – Curtin University, Australia,   The Complexities of Race and Racism and Australia’s Most Visible Minority – The paper seeks to explore issues of race and racism as experienced by Sudanese Australians and the media portrayal of Australia’s most visible minority. Sudanese Australians have had a fair share of media spotlight in the past decade, leading the community to feel largely unwanted and marginalized. This paper will explore the power of the media in shaping and conditioning the minds of the masses. In particular, its use of imagery to portray Sudanese Australians as criminals has been damaging. Alternative forms of media, including social media are proving powerful in challenging stereotypes and facilitating dialogue around issues of race and racism in Australia. The paper will also explore further ways of facilitating a healthy and courageous conversation around race and racism in Australia. Dwelling on personal experiences of work with young people, the paper will explore some of the ways young people have been able to speak up about racism and suggest other creative means of encouraging dialogue particularly amongst young people.

 

Lapushkina, Alina, Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences,  , The Avatime Childhood: Balancing the Heritage of the Past and “the key to the future” – Avatime is a small people (24000) in eastern Ghana. Even in this small community, the multiplicity of expectations from children varies and bases on the ideologies of 50 churches coexisting with shrines and primary schools in each of their seven towns. The results of today’s research show that children consider the possibility to get modern education as “the key to their future”. However, the problem of balancing between two trends – preservation of tradition and moving away from it – contributes to formation of a volatile platform for the process of a younger generation inculturation. Working as a teacher and a missionary assistant in a primary school (2010) and gathering the oral histories of the Avatime as an anthropologist (2012-2013), I drew up a new illegible model of the world perception among children. How does Christianity coexist with traditional beliefs? When children believe in equal importance of puberty rites and church attendance.  How is it important to combine school with work at farm? When some decades ago parents sent to study only those who were stubborn and disobedient. The young generation still inherits traditional knowledge through festivals and rites but the question is how topical and valuable this way of knowledge transmission is today, taking in consideration a new perception of children in the Avatime society.

 

Li, Jia – Kobe University & Japan Society for the Promotion of Science,   – Ethnic Favouritism in Primary Education: Evidence from Kenya – This study measures the effect of ethnic favouritism on primary education attainment using individual level data from household survey of Kenya. It investigates how colonial legacy and ethnic favouritism can explain current disparities in education attainment across different ethnic groups. Additionally, it also clarifies at which level ethnic favouritism in Kenya operates. The estimated results show that ethnic favouritism is prevalent in primary education in Kenya as confirmed in previous studies. However, the magnitude of ethnic favouritism is comparatively smaller than what is estimated in previous studies after isolating the effect of early exposure to education during the colonial era. It goes beyond prior work in the following three aspects. First, it finds that ethnicity is not the only criterion which makes sure that individuals could benefit from ethnic favouritism. Only co-ethnics of the president living in the districts whose dominant ethnic groups also share ethnicity with the president were favoured in terms of education. This finding also provides evidence that ethnic favouritism in education in Kenya operates at the district level. Second, this study also finds that the magnitude of ethnic favouritism increases as the population share of dominant ethnic groups increases. Third, local minority did not benefit from ethnic favouritism even though they live in districts whose dominants ethnic groups share ethnicity with the president.

 

Lucas, David, Australian National UniversityOverseas Destinations for Elite Zimbabwean School Leavers – Emigration from Zimbabwe has been quite well documented by the Southern African Migration Project and others. This paper will begin by updating the statistical information on the major countries of destination: South Africa, the UK, the USA, and Australia.The core of this analysis will provide insights into these moves using a database of around 2,500 leavers (or former students) of a top independent boarding school in Zimbabwe. The school was founded in 1955, originally for boys, with girls following in 1987. The school considered itself a pioneer of multi-racial education and African boys were first enrolled in 1964. Different cohorts of school leavers have experienced pressures to emigrate related to the Unilateral Declaration of Independence by Rhodesia in 1964, Independence of Zimbabwe in 1980, and the adverse economic and political conditions of the 21st century. The date of finishing school is known for each leaver. The research will focus on comparisons of characteristics such as occupation, post-school education, and migration pathways. Important dichotomies will include Europeans and Africans, male and females, and those remaining in Zimbabwe with emigrants.

 

Lyons, Tanya – Flinders University, AustraliaReflections on the Dilemmas of Feminist Fieldwork in Africa – 20 years ago Christine Sylvester both inspired and challenged me to go into the field and conduct “feminist fieldwork”, and not be a party to “feminist tourism.” Yet, when I got into the field, in Zimbabwe in 1996, Sekai Nzenza criticised me for being just another middle class white girl choosing to do fieldwork on ‘women in Africa’.  This paper will therefore retrospectively reflect upon my experience of conducting feminist fieldwork in Zimbabwe in the late 1990s, which ultimately led to the publication Guns and Guerrilla Girls Women in the Zimbabwean National Liberation Struggle (2004), and will question the ethical position of such research and its enduring legacies. In particular this paper will examine the politics of ‘who can speak for whom’ and why any woman researching in Africa has the emancipatory potential to challenge the dominant colonial and postcolonial discourses that have determined historical texts.

 

Makinda, Samuel – Murdoch University, Australia – Exploring Beyond Paradigmatic Boundaries: Ali A. Mazrui and Analytic Eclecticism – I argue that Ali A. Mazrui invented a theoretical approach, eclecticism, through which scholars could defy, or explore beyond, paradigmatic boundaries. In an article, “Eclecticism as an ideological alternative: An African perspective”, Alternatives, 1(1), 1976, Mazrui defined eclecticism as “a genius for selectivity, for synthesizing disparate elements, and for ultimate independent growth in the intellectual field” (p. 465). The article focused on “four systems of thought which [had] profoundly influenced Africa” in the 20th century. These were “the liberal-capitalist system, the complex of nationalism and race consciousness, socialism with special reference to the Marxist tradition, and the resilient forces of traditionalism and primordial values”. In other publications, including the BBC TV documentary, which resulted in a book, The Africans: A Triple Heritage (1986), Mazrui described these influences as three interacting heritages: African traditions, Islamic influence, and Western values. As Mazrui focused on the triple heritage, he appeared to have collapsed the liberal-capitalist system and the Marxist tradition into one category termed Western/European influences. He also appeared to have collapsed nationalism and race consciousness as well as traditionalism and primordial values into one category of African traditional values. I posit that most of Mazrui’s intellectual work revolved around the synthesis of various traditions, such as African traditional values, Islamic culture, and Western political thought. However, the irony of Mazrui, as a great scholar who pioneered analytic eclecticism, is that he failed to elaborate the innovative theoretical perspective that animated most of his work.

 

Manson, Andrew University of South AfricaThe University of South Africa (Unisa) and the Transition to Democracy, 1994-2010 – The University of South Africa is one of the world’s so-called ODL mega-universities, with over 350,000 students. It has played a central role in the history of higher education in South Africa, from its founding in 1873 as the University of the Cape of Good Hope (UCGH) as an examining body for the colony. In 1918 the universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch were granted status as independent institutions, and the UCGH moved to Pretoria and was renamed Unisa.  All the main universities in South Africa today were at one time or another part of a federal arrangement in which Unisa was the degree conferring institution. Unisa was also central to university education for Africans, ‘coloureds’ and Indians. The year 2018 is thus a centenary year for all these universities and nearly all of them are engaged in the production of scholarly centenary histories. This paper forms part of this overall objective. Its focus is on the recent period in Unisa’s past. The university was throughout the colonial and apartheid eras largely acquiescent in the political and social restructuring of South African society, though somewhat paradoxically it fiercely protected its role and image as the only bi-lingual (Afrikaans and English) higher education institution and its control over education for races other than whites. The paper thus critically investigates Unisa’s efforts to transform itself in the post-1994 period and re-position and re-brand itself as the ‘African university in service of Humanity’.

 

Marine, Jane. University of Canterbury, New Zealand,   – Citizens: Navigating the Implementation of Public Participation in a Constitutional Transition Period – This paper examines a civil society perspective of the experience of Kenyan citizens   as the public participation provisions contained under the Constitution of Kenya 2010 are implemented in the transitional period of 2010-2015. It will present the findings of 17 in-depth semi structured interviews that were carried out with members of civil society from Kenya between September 2015 and April 2016. This primary data is complemented by a review of the literature about public participation under the Constitution.  This paper will be a contribution to the discussion on the role of citizens in this new form participatory of governance. The paper will further examine the extent to which citizens can play their constitutionally envisioned role in public participation and the challenges that are being faced by the citizens as they continue to strive for greater participation in the transformation of governance in Kenya.

 

Martins, Sara – University of London, United Kingdom,   – The Re-emergency of African Contemporary Arts – There is an increasing presence of diasporic, inter- and transnational positioning of African arts, artists, and their cultural and creative practices among different events and institutions across the world. I called it the re-emergency because this process is no longer about the recognition of an aesthetic, but rather its refusal! This is due to the multiplication of media and contents produced and (re)distributed in global terms. The emergency was to specify the place of Africa in the artistic scene – considering its own elements of distinction/legitimation, markets and technological artefacts. Does the label “Africa” represents an emergent process of marketing of global sales and attracts audiences? Does the “post-colonial” plays an active role on the creation of this platform of distribution and legitimisation? I will explore different events/institutions from Documenta 11 to the Tate Modern (especially looking at the development of the new working area focusing specifically in Africa, November 2012/2014). These different elements will help us to understand the recent development in terms of cultural policies within Europe and trace the dynamics of the global field of arts. I will also consider the projects not fully achieved as the intention of creation of the Africa.cont in Lisbon – project that was dismissed in its ambitions of a major centre of contemporary African arts to assume exclusively a role of platform of events production. This presentation is the result of some early analysis from on-going doctoral research about cultural policies in Europe regarding African contemporary arts.

 

Masuku, Jesta – University of New England, Australia,   – Ambivalent Southern African Borders: Sites for Hegemonic Language Imposition and “Free Linguistics” – This presentation is a critical exposition of communication strategies employed by cross-border traders (CBTs) at selected border sites in Southern Africa. The study spotlights the innovative ways by which CBTs circumvent nationally imposed language policies and practices that are a barrier to their survival and success in the trade arena. I use the linguistic realities of Southern African borders and borderlands to explore the different levels of complexity of the linguistic environment of national boundaries in Africa. The study observed an ironic situation where rival power forces were juxtaposed and seen to exist alongside each other on the same socio-economic, socio-political and sociolinguistic platform. The selected Southern African borders were seen as ideological battlefields where contending powers were contesting for space, capital and language. The study revealed that both the communication and trade practices of CBTs were under significant threat, thus prompting the need for survival strategies by this transnational community of practice. Using evidence from on-site observations and oral interviews, I reveal how cross-border traders coming to these highly politicized public spaces engaged in business transactions in ways that challenged some of the hegemonic forces that threated their survival on the economic arena. The communicative ethos of these traders also invariantly became a response to real life situations determined by the linguistic diversity of the borders. Based on an ethnographic study of the discursive language behaviours of CBTs, the research contributes a multi-modal, non-discriminatory and socio-culturally inclusive alternative model of communication in cross-border trade contexts.

 

McDougall, Russell – University of New England, Australia“There Are No Bears in Africa”. Discuss. In November 2007 a middle-aged English primary-school teacher in Khartoum named Gillian Gibbons was arrested and jailed for allowing her class of seven-year olds, after due electoral process, to name a teddy bear “Mohammed.” We know what happened to her. But what happened to the bear? In Evelyn Waugh’s quintessentially English novel, Brideshead Revisited, Sebastian Flyte journeys to North Africa in the hope of achieving holiness by a process of redemption through suffering. We know what happens to him. But what happens to his faithful teddy bear, Aloysius?

 

Mensah, Isaac – University of Western Australia,   – Border Control and Movement of Terrorist Groups in West Africa. Border Control asserts territorial sovereignty by enforcing boundaries either to facilitate or limit the movements of people, animals, plants and goods in and out of a country. It ensures securing of borderlines and controlling of ports of entry. This becomes important in ensuring that conditions under which people legally cross borders are adhered to, and also to prevent the transmission of diseases, smuggling operations and terrorism among others. Borders in West Africa are undeniably porous and that is an issue of concern for West African governments, individuals, civil society groups and the international community as a whole. This porosity has contributed to easy movement and crossing of borders by terrorists in attacking innocent people across the sub-region of West Africa. Boko Haram (a terrorist group) which has its headquarters in the Bono State in Nigeria for instance, easily crosses the Nigerian border in attacking citizens of Cameroun, Chad and Niger. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (another terrorist group) based in the northern part of Mali easily crosses the border of Mali and attack innocent citizens in Burkina Faso, Niger and Cote D’Ivoire. This paper will meet its aim by studying relevant literature on the subject matter and seek to investigate why there is much porosity in most borders in West Africa and what can be done to secure the borders in preventing the free flow movements of terrorist groups in the sub-region.

 

Molefe, Olivia – University of BotswanaCultural Heritage Management and Education in Botswana: Exploring Integral Management Strategies for Structural Change – A PhD concept paper, this research proposes an analysis and assessment of cultural heritage management practices and existing education initiatives in Botswana, Southern Africa.  It is crucial for key organizations, national and Institutional policies or mandates that influence perspectives of cultural heritage management and its sustainable growth in the country. These organizations include government ministries, departments and their partners which currently face the mammoth task of managing Botswana’s heritage resources. This research aims to present opportunities and challenges of the heritage management system and existing underlying causes of compromised performance stemming from gaps within the education system within the country. Context-related factors are identified as having a strong impact on the performance of Botswana’s cultural heritage management system. With a young and emerging economy, the government continues to search for ways to diversify its diamond mining dependent economy. This focus has however left most cultural heritage concerns at the bottom of the list of priorities. The existing lacking practical training for professionals in the field is an example. These challenges present the need for integrated management projects which should render effective and sustainable efforts. This research should produce an in-depth analysis of the current situation as well as propose new strategies. Using a critical paradigm approach the purpose and goal of the research is to improve and transform Botswana’s current cultural heritage management system through education and practices that should promote greater community participation and cultural appropriation, based on social justice and respect for diversity by international standards.

 

Mphasha, Lekau E. University of Venda, South AfricaThe Riddle is Characterised by Poetic Tendencies Which Give it its Rhythm and Concentration is on the Stylistic Features of Northern Sotho Riddles- A riddle is a question, statement or problem phrased obscurely but correctly and posed to the test the ingenuity of the person trying to find the answer. The truth is deliberately distinguished in the riddle. The answer is known only when an accurate description is provided. Like the proverbs, riddles contain truth that originates from an accurate observation of human beings in the world in which they live. They form a game of puzzling and guessing and are based on what is happening in real life. People are taught to conform to the norms and customs of their community. They mirror relationships between people. These cultural expressions strictly involve everything that people know, but not things they have never experienced. These purely ready- made native labels are connected with previous events in the history of the Northern Sotho people.

 

Mulaudzi, L.M.P. – University of Venda, South AfricaDictionary Use and Students’ Preference: The Case of English Communication Skills Students at the University of Venda, South Africa – Most language practitioners are of the opinion that dictionaries are a valuable and an indispensable tool for learning a non-native/second language. Dictionaries are the custodians of a language and they provide students with valuable information. At the University of Venda, first year students are exposed to dictionary skills through a compulsory core module, ECS. As second language learners, the teaching of dictionary skills also seeks to encourage and conscientise students to a more extensive use of the dictionary. However, currently there is a paucity of research regarding dictionary use by first year students at a rural South African university and not much is known about their attitudes and preferences of dictionary uses since most of these students are from rural areas where, despite the fact that English is regarded as a second language in South Africa, it is actually a foreign language. The main objective of this study is establish Univen first year students’ attitudes towards dictionaries, the frequency of dictionary use and the lexical information sourced from a dictionary as well as the types of dictionaries they prefer. The study also seeks to establish if the teaching of dictionary skills in the first semester does influence or promote their subsequent use of a dictionary. The study used semi-structured questionnaires and focus group interviews as data collecting instruments. Data will be analysed statistically as well as thematically and recommendations will be forwarded to ECS lecturers.

 

Mulumba, Alphonse – University of Tasmania, Australia,   – Africa and the Blood Minerals: Exploring to What Extent the Mining Sector Has Fuelled Political Instability in DR CongoDRC’s natural wealth and economic potential is a paradox. The DRC remains one of the poorest countries in the world, yet in relation to mineral resources and its size, it is considered the wealthiest country in the world. For years, the country’s mineral wealth, economic potential and human capacity, and economic growth have failed to translate into better standards of living. With 80 million hectares of farmland, a growing population of 77.27 million people (2015), a GDP of $35.4 billion (2015) and inflation of 1.6% (2013), DRC is Africa’s lung in failure. It holds some of the world’s largest and richest raw mineral deposits, with an estimated valued of US$24 trillion. The country’s incomprehensible mineral potential opened a door to decades-long political instability. This paper will qualify the above claims by highlighting poor governance of DRC’s minerals, multiplicity of armed groups in mineral areas, the involvement of multinational corporations, failed intervention from the international community, and how these factors have resulted in the creation of an unstable Congo and Great Lakes Region.

 

Ndhlovu, Finex, University of New England, AustraliaReimagining Language Boundaries in Immigrant and Diasporic Contexts: Prospects and Opportunities – Contemporary scholarly conversations in applied language studies invite us to reflect on the porous boundaries between languages and the ways in which speakers draw on their varied communicative resources to instantiate identities and achieve communicative ends. This paper explores some of the consequences and applications of these views to heritage language maintenance and transmission in immigrant contexts. The paper draws on data on the language practices of African Diasporas in regional NSW, to challenge traditional understandings of heritage language (HL) and the normatively defined language boundaries. It seeks to delink linguistic conceptualisations from the model of ‘nation-state as a container’ and argues that languages–however defined–live in mobile people who regularly cross linguistic and social boundaries in their everyday interactions. The paper draws our attention to the spheres of possibilities that come with the notion of language as transient, indeterminate, emergent and characterised by border crossing – what has been variously called ‘translanguaging’ (García & Wei, 2014 and García & Kleyn, 2016); ‘transidiomatic practice’ (Jacquemet, 2005); ‘creative linguistic practice’ (Otsuji & Pennycook, 2010); and ‘diversity of language practices’ (Ndhlovu, 2014).  Among questions addressed are the following: In a world of shifting and hybrid identities what does it mean to say something is a ‘heritage language’? How are families from small or isolated HL backgrounds in rural and regional Australia managing language transmission in the absence of formal Heritage Language Education programs? What promises does the view of language boundaries as transient, fluid and porous hold for the future of HL transmission among African Diasporas in Australia?

 

Nwokeke, Peter – University of Canterbury, New Zealand,   – Revisiting Resource Abundance and its Effects on Democratic Consolidation in Africa: The Case of Nigeria – This paper examines the various scholarly works which stipulate that resource abundance can hinder democracy and its consolidation. This paper concurs that consolidation of democracy in Africa has been confronted with severe challenges amidst resource wealth. Evidence shows that individuals with access to the resources have used same to finance their elections, lure the electorates, and the electoral bodies to their favour thereby reinforcing the popularized slogan of ‘a winner takes it all’ predispositions. The main objective of this paper is to explore how leaders with charisma can be elected for political positions to enable them use the resources in Africa to promote democracy instead of building a patrimonialist and clientelist links where financial gains become a hallmark for joining politics. Within the considered framework, elections in Africa have become makeshift as emerged election winners are often decided before elections take place. This paper contends that this undesirable development has jeopardizes the chances of consolidation of democracy in Africa and produced leaders with questionable legitimacy and lacklustre vision towards sustainable democracy. These ideas would be conveyed in this paper through the use of secondary data while the framework for analysis derives from a strong anti-corrupt institutional capacity body to incriminate those who have turned resource abundance to a curse instead of a blessing to Africa’s democracy

 

Nyembo, Patrice – University of Sydney, Australia,   – Connection and Disconnection: Complex Identity and Complex Trauma Within the African Great Lakes Community – The Great Lakes region of Central Africa is comprised of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda. Traumatic impact upon this region is the result of factors such as war and political conflict, battles for land, resources, identity and ownership manipulated by political leaders and fuelled by greed, corruption and geopolitical interests. The region has the majority of its sociocultural fabric within the Bantu speaking ethnic groups and the large Hutu ethnic group. There is a shared Bantu culture across different ethnic groups in the region, such as pygmies and pygmoids in the Congo, Tutsis and pygmoids (Twa) in Rwanda, and Tutsis in Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda. There is also a shared language – Swahili – as well as a history of intermarriage and movement of peoples across borders. This interconnectedness meant that people from different countries, ethnic groups and tribes were living and working in peaceful coexistence, until the breakout of war in the eastern Congo prior to the genocide in Rwanda. There have been millions of deaths, rapes, and displaced persons. Among the group of displaced persons in this region, 7618 people have resettled in Australia as refugees or immigrants. This paper will look at the complex identities, and interconnections between people affected by the geopolitics of the region, and the need for greater understanding of this background and context for social workers and counsellors in Australia to better serve the needs of these communities. In particular, it will focus on the complex trauma, resettlement process, with ongoing conflict and differences within the diaspora communities.

 

Oduwobi, Oluyomi –  University of Venda, South AfricaDelineations of Rape in Manu Herbstein’s Ama: A Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade – This paper examines how Manu Herbstein employs rape and sexual violence as the central focus of his novel entitled Ama: A Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade (2000). The novel chronicles the experiences of the eponymous protagonist, Ama (who is also known as Nandzi and Pamela), across various kingdoms and continents in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. As a result, this study examines how Herbstein employs his fictionalised neo-slave narrative to address the issue of sexual violence against women and to foreground the trans-Atlantic rape identities of ‘victims’ and ‘victimisers’ in relation to race, gender, class and religion. An appraisal of Herbstein’s representations within the framework of postcolonial feminist theory reveals how Herbstein deviates from the stereotypical norm of narrating the rape of females during the era of the trans-Atlantic slave trade by creating graphic rape images in his narration. A postcolonial feminist reading of the representations of rape contributes to the arguments on sexual violence against women from the past to the present. Herbstein, therefore, thematises rape from the viewpoint of the victims in an attempt to address the issue in literary discourse and provide a voice for the victims of rape.

 

Olagbegi, Adedamola. University of New England, Australia,   – Diaspora Capital, Capacity Building and African Development: Role of Nigerian Migrants in Australia – International migration of Nigerian skilled personnel has become a global issue. The paper examines the nexus between migration and development and provides ideas to policy makers on the role of the Diaspora in the development of Nigeria. The study focuses on the non-financial benefits of migration to Nigeria and argues that migration does not mean complete loss of skills to Nigeria but the building of a brain bank in the Australian Diaspora of Nigeria. Nigerian skilled professionals, who are trained with the limited resources of their origin country, migrate to developed countries in search of greener pastures (Adepoju, 2009; Glennle, 2010). Some demographic factors in developed countries and surplus labour in developing countries have further promoted the need for migration of skilled workers (UN 2013). The bulk of early research on migration of skilled African workers has focused on the negative effects of migration. However, some studies on migration have shown that financial remittances help compensate for the loss of skilled labour and financial remittances help improve global welfare of households in developing countries (Adepoju, 2009; Connell, 2010; Newland 2013). Nevertheless, financial remittance cannot help sustain long-term developmental goal in developing countries (Glennle, 2010).  The paper uses social capital, transnational migration, the network of society, and capacity development theories to examine the social benefits of Diaspora as well as descriptive and analytical methods that are strengthened by quantitative research procedures.

 

Ongalo, Jennifer – Avondale College of Higher Education, AustraliaRedefining “Home”: The Concept of Dala in Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye’s ChiraThe debates about Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye’s identity either exclusively identify her as Kenyan or British-born without explicitly interrogating the process by which she became Kenyan. This study is interested in interrogating Luo-Kenyan notions of identity through an exploration of the concept of ‘dala’ in the work of Macgoye. In this context, this study will focus on Macgoye’s novel, Chira, to elicit different appropriations of the concept of Luo dala. The use of postcolonial and/or diaspora theories will be applied to frame the emerging concepts of dala positioned within Macgoye’s work. How does Macgoye’s Luo wife status help to inform and redefine concepts of home? How can this enrich current diaspora and postcolonial notions of home?

 

Ouzman, Sven – University of Western AustraliaArchaeologies of Austral: Tracing Circuits of Knowledge and Exchange Between Southern Africa and Northern AustraliaBoth southern Africa and Australia have vexed and violent colonial histories. One of the structural violences of colonial encounter was how archaeology was used to construct myths of exotic origin for Indigenous cultural achievements, especially rock art. In addition to the acquisition, theft and trade in artefacts and human remains were conducted along a colonial circuitry that shared key individuals, institutions and scientific agendas. This presentation examines the histories of these colonial archaeologies in order to understand and counter the worrying persistence to this day of a core set of ‘settler myths’.

 

Parker, Erica – University of Western Australia,   Characterisations of HIV-1 Rapid Progression During Acute Infection HIV infection progresses to life-threatening immunological failure, with median treatment-naïve survival documented at 10.2 years in developing countries. A substantial subset, termed ‘rapid progressors’, experience a sharp decline in CD4+T cell counts, with progression to AIDS typically occurring within three years. We hypothesise that rapid progressors have unique clinical and immunological characteristics from the earliest stages of infection. Cases of acute HIV infection (AHI) were recruited in Mozambique and followed over 12 months, with further data from patient files. Of those with sufficient follow-up, n=12 were identified as progressing rapidly (RP) within 12 months. The remaining n=18 were normal progressors (NP). Clinical data and plasma protein levels were compared.  Median time to event was 95 days in RP, and median follow-up was 524.5 days in NP. RP had more symptoms during acute retroviral syndrome (p=0.036), and reduced CD4+ counts (median 382.5 vs. 619.0, p<0.006) after one month. HIV-1 RNA level was similar at diagnosis, but higher in RP after one month (median Log10 5.58 vs 4.49 copies/mL, p=0.047). In univariate analyses of 52 plasma proteins, only zonulin and EndoCab-IgG were significantly different. Cox regression including major clinical variables and these proteins showed CD4+ count at 1 month to be the best predictor of time to event. RP were clinically unique for severity of acute retroviral syndrome, CD4+ count and viral load one month post-diagnosis, with CD4+ count most predictive of time to event. Early identification of rapid progressions will allow treatment prioritisation in areas where antiretroviral coverage remains poor.

 

Pijovic, Nikola – Australian National University,   – The Liberal National Coalition, Australian Labor Party and Africa: Two Decades of Partisanship in Australia’s Foreign Policy – The issue of bipartisanship in Australian foreign policy is not often substantially addressed. The country’s relations with the world appear to exhibit strong continuity regardless of the political party in government. And yet, when it comes to engagement with African states and issues, the last two decades have seen highly prominent partisan differences in Australian foreign policy. This article utilizes the example of Australia’s foreign policy engagement with Africa to argue that there may be two levels of understanding bipartisanship in Australian foreign policy. On the one hand, aimed at relationships and issues perceived to be of primal and significant security and economic well-being for the country, Australian foreign policy does indeed appear to be bipartisan. However, aimed at relationships and issues that have traditionally been perceived as holding minimal security and economic interest and importance for the country, Australian foreign policy does exhibit partisanship.

 

Quan-Baffour, Kofi Poku, University of South AfricaAfricanising the Catholic Mass Celebration in Ghana: Recognising Cultural Identity or Agenda to Retain the Faithful? The Catholic Church is one of the major Christian churches that began in the then Gold Coast with the arrival of the Missionaries during the 1500s, AD. The missionaries introduced the Catholic faith to Africans but excluded the cultural practices of the converts [e.g. drumming, singing, dancing of folk songs and traditional dresses] from the celebration of the Mass. The singing of African folk songs, dance and drums were regarded by the missionaries as heathen, unchristian and ungodly. The Catholic Church introduced Euro-centric hymns (mainly in Latin) and sermons in its worship; the celebration of the Mass and effectively denied the African converts their culture as worshippers of God, Onyame. The perception was that Africans did not know God. In view of this perception all the Catholic Church activities were based on the quest to win souls for Christ and to secure salvation for the converts in heaven. To realise the church’s agenda, the Missionaries decorated all Catholic Church premises with the images of Jesus, the Cross and the saints to assist in the total immersion of the converts into the Catholic faith. The wearing of African artefacts and talismans by Africans was outlawed and replaced by the Rosary and the Cross because such traces of African identities were considered satanic. Since the latter part of the last century the Catholic Church in Ghana gradually introduced drumming, xylophone (marimbas), folk songs and African dance into the celebration of the Mass. The inclusion of some African cultural practices into the worship of a very conservative faith could be seen as the harbinger of transformation in the Church. It might also indicate how Africa is stretching its cultural and psychological boundaries in Christianity. The quest to understand the motive behind the church’s ‘U-turn’ on Ghanaian (African) culture informed this study. The qualitative research in the form of ethnographic investigation was employed to establish the surprise acceptance of some Ghanaian cultural practices in the Catholic Mass. The study found that the introduction of local songs, drums, dance and the wearing of traditional dresses artefacts into the Catholic Mass is done to recognise African culture in order to retain the faithful in the midst of competition from the emerging charismatic churches.

 

Robinson, David – Edith Cowan University, Australia A Gramscian-Marxist Framework for Modern African History – This paper will lay out the structure of a Gramscian-Marxist framework for the analysis of modern African History. This framework is built around core Marxist understandings of capitalist processes and class relations, with emphasis on the specifically Gramscian developments around the nature of the state, and ideas of hegemony, common sense, and the role of organic intellectuals. This also incorporates developing ideas in the area of Uneven and Combined Development, and insights from World Systems Theory, on how relations between core and peripheral states also impact the underlying class dynamics. This framework creates a narrative of shifting power relations and ideological paradigms over the last century, which gives the necessary context for understanding recent events in African politics. Thus a broad narrative of global history over this period will be presented, with specific reference to the African situation. This paper aims to provide theoretical background for the paper “The ANC and Capital: Aspirations to Hegemony”.

 

Shrestha, Manoj. Konan University JapanJapanese Firms and Technology Transfer in Africa, with Specific Reference to Japanese Official Development Assistance, Foreign Direct Investment, and Technology Transfer – As the third-biggest economy of the world, Japan has been involved in Africa’s development actively creating the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) extending its official development assistance (ODA) to uplift the livelihood of the people of Africa. In fact, Japan was the second largest donor in 2000, providing $12.6 billion after the United States ($13 billion). In 2014, Japan provided $9.8 billion as the fifth major donor country. In 2013, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had projects worth almost $1 billion in 20 African countries. At the Fifth TICAD meeting in Yokohama in May 2014, Japan pledged African leaders $32 billion in public and private support to boost investment for Africa’s economic growth. The focus has been on supporting capacity building and infrastructure development, including the productivity growth of agriculture. The presence of the Japanese private sector in Africa has been growing gradually. The recent policy transformation of Africa, specifically improved political and macro-economic stability, economic diversification policies, improvement of sectoral regulations, emergence of non-commodity industries and sensible fiscal policies, have been well-received by the Japanese private sector. Subsequently, this has enhanced foreign direct investment (FDI) by Japanese corporations in the cross-section of industries in Africa, resulting in technology transfers. Japan now ranks as the most active Asian project finance sponsor in Africa investing almost three times as much as China. Japan accounted for $3.5 billion of $4.2 billion Asian project finance in 2014. This presentation aims to review Japanese ODA to Africa, shedding light on major issues of Japanese FDI and technology transfer in Africa.

 

Siziba, Liqhwa Patience – North West University, South AfricaRe-aligning the Self – The Ndebele Woman and the Institution of Marriage and Family as Presented in Ndebele Mythology – This paper discusses the role of the Ndebele woman within the various institutions of the Ndebele culture. It analyses the woman within the context of marriage, family and society as a whole. The researcher traces the development of the woman from the pre-colonial context as reflected in the Ndebele myth of creation, through the colonial context as reflected by contemporary mythology as well as the contemporary roles of women in most societies.   It is through Mythology, folklore and proverbs in the Ndebele traditional and contemporary society that gender roles are prescribed. This is because orature is the bank that houses society’s history, norms values and customs. This research therefore investigates the role of the Ndebele woman within the institution of marriage, and the family structure. It also analyses the presentation of the roles of the Ndebele women and men in society, with particular emphasis on the domestic and gender roles. In doing so, the article addresses the notion that gender roles did not begin to change during the post-colonial era since that change began in the colonial context and then developed and affected women right through the post-colonial phase. The article reveals this crisis through the juxtaposition of the colonial “Christian” myth of creation and the Ndebele myth of creation.

 

Sturman, Kathryn – University of Queensland, AustraliaDevolution and Oil Discoveries: Putting Kenya’s Political Settlement to the Test – Is Kenya’s newly devolved political settlement able to harness resource projects for development and conflict transformation? Compared with other resource-rich developing countries, Kenya has relatively good economic indicators, institutions and policies in place to take advantage of mineral and energy resources. Yet there are serious conflict risks to mining, oil and gas operations and related infrastructure projects. Long-term planning for resource-led development needs stability and inclusivity at national and subnational levels, and attention to transnational and external factors. Devolution is an important vehicle for inclusion of ethnic, religious and regional diversity. There is evidence in other countries, however, that subnational resource revenue transfers may intensify rather than resolve conflict. Implementation of benefit sharing law should focus on the negotiation of agreements at county and local levels, in addition to institutional capacity-building. The downturn in global commodity prices will put pressure on the political settlement as expectations of county governments and local communities remain high. The challenge for the ruling coalition is to empower subnational actors without losing their consent in the political settlement before the resource revenues begin to flow. Local jobs and business opportunities along the supply chain, especially during the construction phase of extractive projects, are important to ensure this accommodation of subnational interests. The location and timing of oil and gas discoveries in Kenya cannot be changed, but political alignment of key actors and interests could improve prospects for developmental outcomes.

 

Suleiman, Muhammad Dan, University of Western Australia   Decolonising Terrorism in Africa: Security and Statehood in the Age of ‘Jihad’ – This paper will argue for the subject of Islamist ‘terrorism’ (Muslim insurgencies) in Africa to be decolonized. It will further advance an argument elsewhere that existing conceptions of the subject find legitimacy in Western knowledge and consciousness of the religious and cultural ‘Other’ (such as the Arab, Muslim and the African). Using a decolonial framework of analysis, the paper will postulate that Muslim insurgencies are therapeutic in nature, and are a very (un)popular way of fomenting a Césairien spirit of solidarity with some African communities against perceived socio-economic, but also cultural, marginalization. In light of this, the paper posits that fundamental to finding a sustainable solution to the rise of Muslim insurgencies in Africa is moving away from externally contrived systems of preferences concerning challenges of governance in Africa. The paper will conclude that seeing Muslim insurgencies as primarily ‘African’ is necessary to effectively deal with the security threat posed by Islamically-veneered violence.

 

Thwala, Jozi – University of Venda, South AfricaAn Interpretive Study of Selected Descriptive Images in Siswati Poetry – The focus of this study is on an employment of images to enable the poet to describe objects and situations with precision, force and vividness. Images are used for more factual reflection of the scene and object. They become descriptive when manifested in various forms for comparisons, resemblances, contrasts and differences as well as for associated ideas. The appreciation of literature and the development of the literary flavour are advanced by images. Figures of speech are used as words, phrases or expressions in other than their plain or literal meaning in order to produce a special effect They deliberately interfere with language usage to transfer the meaning of one object into another object. The interference takes the form of transference or ‘carrying over’ with the aim of achieving a new meaning. Figurative language plays a vital role in selected poetry due to an employment of various images. Various words, phrases or ideas are ambiguously employed for specific effect. Conjunctive ambiguity underlies metaphor and allegory. All types of ambiguities suggest meanings in various contexts. Most poetic words or phrases in this work reflect separate meanings that are projected, added, conjoined or disjoined. The theoretical and interpretive approaches serve as a point of departure in this discourse.

 

Tugli, A.K. – University of Venda, South Africa – Extra-curricular Encounters in the Learning Environment: The Case of Students with Disabilities at the University of Venda[Note: Poster Presentation]The importance of extra-curricular activities on the life of students with disabilities cannot be overemphasised. Extra-curricular activities are regarded as social and recreational activities beyond the classroom. It means involvement in university clubs, athletics, sports and games, music, art, culture, religious engagements etc. This study investigated the encounters and needs of students with disability with regard to their extra-curricular activities at the University of Venda. A descriptive design was employed in which questionnaires were administered to 67 students with disabilities (aged 19-44) at the University of Venda. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Among the findings, 27 (40.5%) of the participants indicated that there was a need for equipment, support and funds for the promotion of disabled sporting activities and recreation. It is, therefore, recommended that the Department of Higher Education and Training must support all educational institutions to promote extra-curricular activities including indoor and outdoor games that will cater for all categories of disabilities.

 

Tuwe, Kudakwashe – Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand   Employment Experiences: Africans in New Zealand – This qualitative study investigates the employment-related experiences of New Zealand-based African communities and the impact of these experiences on their well-being.  The African oral tradition of storytelling (Olupona 1990, Tuwe 2016) will be used to critically examine the meanings, feelings and experiences of participants with regards to these challenges. The central research question for this study is: What are the main employment challenges faced by the African communities in New Zealand? This is a human right issue. The study will utilise the labour disadvantage theory to understand/ explain the issues pertaining to labour or employment disadvantages on the job market, (Li, 1997). The labour disadvantage theory states that some groups of people are disadvantaged and excluded from the labour market and pushed into business (Rigg, 2005) t (Waldinger., Aldrich et al. 1990, Li 1997, Mata and Pendakur 1999, Schmis 2013). Individual face-to-face, interviews with 20 participants from New Zealand-based African communities were carried out in order to understand their personal employment experiences (Kvale & Flick, 2008; Saunders & Lewis, 2009). In addition, four focus group interviews consisting of five people in each group were held. The purpose of the focus groups was to obtain the collective stories shared by participants from communities’ perspectives. The participants were drawn from both refugee and migrant backgrounds. The term African refers to persons originally from the continent of Africa. All participants were recruited from the Auckland region which has the largest number of Africans in New Zealand  (Refugee Migrant Services 1993, Refugee Services 2012, Tuwe 2012).

 

Udah, Hyacinth – Griffith University, Australia,   – ‘Othering’ and Settling Among African Immigrants in Australia: Impacts and ChallengesAfrican immigrants are a contemporary ethnic immigrant minority group in Australia. They can be singled out on the basis of their visibility in terms of difference from the majority group members of the society. Given the existing discourses about the Other, what does living in a black body mean for adult African Immigrants in Australia? What impacts do skin colour and race have on their settlement experiences? Data findings from a recent qualitative study of Africans in South East Queensland provide empirical evidence to understanding their lived challenges as visibly and culturally different immigrants. The paper discusses the process of othering, and the ambivalence toward ethnic minority groups in everyday life in contemporary multicultural societies like Australia. The paper aims to highlight the relevance of visible markers of ethnic group membership to immigrants’ settlement.

 

Usacheva, Veronica  – Institute for African Studies in the Russian Academy of SciencesRace and Ethnicity: Similarity and Distinction in Identities of Contemporary African Migrants and African Americans – From 1980 to 2012, the African-born population in United States grew from just under 200,000 to 1.6 million. What is surprising or even shocked African immigrants in North America is that race remains a significant and pressing social category, that racilised power relations and hierarchical differentiation exist, and that peoples of black African descent are still struggling to define and redefine their identities, roles, and places in the global community. As Marylin Halter (2007) stated, the foreign-born blacks come to realize that their cultural distinctiveness does not shield them completely from racism and discrimination. Their black skin colour also serves as an ascribed marker of ethnic and cultural identity and membership or belongingness to the group, as well as marks them for discrimination and prejudice from the wider society. This paper investigates the complexity and ambiguity of the relations between old African-American communities and emerging African communities, and tries to find an answer to the question: why, despite the congeniality of many cultural myths and ideological settings, African-Americans and Africans constitute different communities with certain specificity of relationships.  The paper presents the results of the research projects, «African Americans and Recent African Migrants in the USA: Cultural Mythology and Reality of the Intercommunity Relations» (2013), and «The Relations between African-Americans and Recent African Migrants: The Socio-Cultural Aspects of Intercommunity Perception» (2014-2016) supported by the Russian Foundation for Humanitarian Research., grant # 14-01-00070.

 

von Veh, Karen, University of Johannesburg, South AfricaMoving the Boundaries Through Art: Diane Victor’s Critical Response to Gendered Violence in South Africa – The complexities of South African society under apartheid created a clear moral imperative for the arts.  In a country where the majority of the population were dispossessed and oppressed both socially and politically, cultural activities were often biased towards activism.  Nelson Mandela’s release from jail in 1990, signalling the end of apartheid, was the catalyst for a shift of emphasis in the oeuvre of many South African artists from liberation politics to the constraints that society imposes on individuals, so personal issues such as sexual orientation and the construction of identity were interrogated through culture in the move towards a post-apartheid era.  In South Africa now, however, there has been a pendulum swing back to what might be identified as ‘activist art’ or ‘consciousness raising’ in response to the ongoing violence and turmoil in society. South Africa has had a democratic government for 22 years and one of the best constitutions in the world, guaranteeing freedom and equality for everyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, religion or race.  However, women (particularly rural women), children, emigrants and the gay community face injustice, violence, intolerance and suppression; often exacerbated by patriarchal traditionalism, prejudice, and continued financial inequality.  In this paper I closely analyse Diane Victor’s triptych, No Country for Old Women (2013), which responds to issues of ongoing violence against women and children.  I argue that despite living in era with guaranteed equality on paper, a return to ‘resistance’ or ‘activist’ strategies in art, exposing ongoing inequalities, is a necessary and timeous response to conditions in South Africa today.

 

Warlik, Wanda, University of Western Australia,   – Black and Not-So White Relations in British Colonial Africa, 1942-1950 – The role of Africa in the Second World War has in recent years been re-examined to reveal the vital part played by sub-Saharan Africa in securing Allied victory. Scholarships on Africa in the war and the war in Africa has been extended beyond the standard combat narratives of the North African campaigns and African conscripts on the battlefields of Western Europe and in the jungles of South East Asia, to examine the ways in which the daily lives of African men and women across the continent were affected, how economies were manipulated and cultures transformed as labour was conscripted for essential war industries and the peripheries of European empires struggled to satisfy the insatiable demand of the metropoles at war for raw materials (copper, rubber, sisal, timber). This paper aims to add a small but significant chapter to the history of Africa and the Second World War. It examines the phenomenon of Africa as a haven for refugees – some twenty thousand Polish women and children, who after deportation to the Soviet Union, fled to Iran and from there were provided with wartime domicile in British East and Central Africa. Confined in isolated and often remotely located ‘settlements’, neither coloniser nor colonised, the refugees’ sense of identity was challenged by this new world defined by race and ethnicity. This paper will use colonial archival material, personal memoirs and photographs to explore how Poles and Africans negotiated the boundaries imposed upon them by the British colonial system to limit and control their relations.

 

Weldegiorgis, Fitsum – International Institute for Environment and DevelopmentOpportunities and Challenges for a Developmental Mining Sector in Rwanda – Rwanda’s recovery from civil war to steady economic growth is attributed to a stable power-sharing bargain under the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) to prioritise development as the route to national reconciliation.  Booth and Golooba-Mutebi (2012) describe the Rwandan post-1994 governance approach as that of a ‘developmental patrimonialism’, a model of centralised management of economic rent for development in a non-competitive elite-dominated political system. This paper analyses the implications of this type of political settlement for the Rwandan minerals sector. Currently, the relative political stability and governance capacity to implement long-term policy objectives is found to be conducive to growing the mining sector. Since Rwanda is not as rich in natural resources as some of its neighbours, growth of the mining sector is more likely to support the overall economic development agenda than to foster the kind of resource dependence seen elsewhere in the region. However, the risk remains of association of the domestic mining industry with ‘conflict minerals’ smuggled over the border from the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Given the predominantly artisanal and small to medium scale nature of the sector, efforts to organise artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) and promote greater domestic investment in industrialised medium-scale mining are necessary to achieve inclusive and conflict-free development. Synthesis of evidence including comparative evidence from a literature review of resource-rich developing countries is used to understand the relationship between extractive industries, political settlements and conflict.

 

Woods, Yvonne Rowa. University of Adelaide, Australia,   – Refugee Representations in the Context of Conflict: Perceptions and Experiences – The journey of refugees who have fled conflict does not begin as a refugee but is a cumulative embodiment of years of structural and armed conflict. Once in the host country, their plight is further exacerbated by the breakdown of peacebuilding efforts in their country of origin. Moreover, the lack of durable solutions leads to their interminable encampment, a phenomenon typically referred to as Protracted Refugee Situations (PRS). The Somali refugees in Kenya, the focus of my research is an archetype of PRS. Protracted refugee situations not only present humanitarian concerns but also raise significant challenges as a result of conflict spillover into neighbouring countries. As such, protracted displacement is instructive of the complex dynamics and interactive relationship between a diversity of actors, issues, interests and contexts that characterise regional conflict systems. Most discursive constructions of refugees have focused on their lived experiences in the camps. At the same time, there have been limited attempts to draw connections with the drivers and effects of conflict beyond the camp microcosm. My research aims to examine the intimate relationship of conflict dynamics at the camp, refugees’ country of origin and the Horn of Africa regional system. My presentation will focus on popular rhetoric, discourse and lived experiences of Somali Refugees within two sub-systems namely, Dadaab Refugee Complex in Kenya, and Somalia, the refugees’ country of origin.

 

Yeboah, Sampson Addo Hong Kong Polytechnic University,   – Education in Rural Ghana: Understanding Parents’ Perspectives on its Pragmatism (presentation on youtube)- Ensuring basic education for rural children in Africa is a major pre-occupation of governments. A focus that has seen these governments sign international treaties on education and develop local policies that ensure children—especially rural and deprived ones—acquire basic education. Middle income countries like Ghana sign international treaties and have structures that aim to protect children’s basic educational rights. Yet, this educational right is not always honoured by caregivers. The rhetoric on schooling in Ghana centres mainly on the merits of schooling and does not address the challenges that rural caregivers have to grapple with to keep children in school.  This article aims to explore the perspectives of rural parents on formal education and child labour in rural Ghana. The study is a qualitative one that used interviews, focus group discussions, and observation to gather data. Findings suggest that whilst participating parents reified schooling, they were of the opinion that the form and quality of education available in the rural communities could not guarantee a better future for their children. Instead, they believe that by engaging children in economic activities, children will contribute to family income and also learn important skills, which would make them self-sufficient in future. Parents were reluctant to brand this as child labour, but rather referred to it as “vocational training” and viewed children working as a form of education. It is concluded that high levels of poverty pushes rural parents to engage children in work and disregard children’s right to formal education.

 

Young, Charlotte, Australian Catholic University,   – Community Consultations to Determine Priority Health and Wellbeing Concerns in sub-Saharan African Australian Community in Greater Melbourne – This paper outlines the steps taken in the early stages of a community consultation with members of the sub-Saharan African Australian (SSAA) community in Greater Melbourne.  The selected method is useful to researchers interested in community development in the context of African Diasporas and clearly addresses a gap in the health promotion literature in the SSAA community context.  Despite research seeking to understand and explain health issues amongst the SSAA population there is a paucity of rigorously evaluated programs that seek to address these issues.  Interventions aimed at addressing the broader issues of social inclusion for the SSAA population are minimal (Naidoo, 2009; Renzaho, Green, Mellor, & Swinburn, 2011), while programs that seek to address specific health problems for this population are even more scarce (Renzaho et al., 2015).  Scarcer still, are detailed accounts of preliminary research that outline the process for assessing community needs.  Evidently there is a gap in knowledge that can inform best practice health promotion design in this community. In addressing this gap in our knowledge, a SSAA community consultation is currently underway.  This consultation uses a research orientation readily promoted by a variety of key stakeholders in the field of health sciences, namely a community-based participatory approach (CBPA).  In contrast to traditional research that is driven by the investigator CBPA begins with an issue that is of importance to the community (Minkler, 2011, pp. 1-2).  A key benefit of CBPA in health promotion, includes the idea that starting with the community’s felt needs is more likely to result in a successful change process and community ownership of programs and actions (Minkler, 2012).  The results of this research will inform the design and implementation of an intervention tailored to the identified needs in this community.


Conference Photos

AFSAAP 2016 All Conference participants, on the lawns at St. Catherine’s College UWA.


FINAL Conference Program

The UWA Africa Research Cluster and local organising committee are hosting the 39th Annual conference of the African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP). Located in Perth, Australia’s “Gateway to Africa”, and set amidst the stunning surroundings of UWA’s Crawley campus on the Swan River, the conference will be an opportune moment to share critical ideas, engage and network with colleagues and research students, and further advance African Studies in our region. The 2016 conference theme, ‘Africa: Moving the Boundaries’, is designed to inspire participants to explore how physical, social, creative and conceptual boundaries are being stretched, transcended, re-constructed, re-defined, critiqued and challenged by a range of historical and contemporary dynamics, forces, and ideas of relevance to Africa, Africans and African Studies.

AFSAAP 2016 FINAL CONFERENCE PROGRAM

Summary Conference Schedule

(Last updated November 28th 2016)

David Mickler and Tinashe Jakwe AFSAAP Conference Conveners

David Mickler and Tinashe Jakwe AFSAAP Conference Conveners


Key Note Speakers

Dr_Wafula_Okumu

DR WAFULA OKUMU is the founding Director of The Borders Institute (TBI), a leading research and training institute on border issues in Africa, and an Advisor to the Kenyan Government on boundaries. He previously served as the Capacity Building Expert in the African Union Border Programme (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) and a Senior Research Fellow (focusing on border security) and Head of African Security Analysis Programme (ASAP) at the Institute for Security Studies (Pretoria, South Africa). Before joining the ISS in 2006, Dr. Okumu taught at McMaster University’s Centre for Peace Studies (Canada), Prescott College, Mississippi University for Women, and Chapman University (USA). He has also served as a Conflict Analyst for the African Union, and as an Academic Programme Associate at the United Nations University, Tokyo, where he coordinated international courses on peacekeeping and on the UN. He did his undergraduate studies in Government and Sociology at the University of Nairobi and graduate studies in Political Science at Atlanta University. He also holds an International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance from the City University of New York, and certificates in project management and senior mission leadership. His research and publications have been on a variety of topics ranging from African borders to human rights, democracy, terrorism, African international organizations, peace and humanitarian assistance. His books include Democratic Transitions in East Africa (coeditor with Paul Kaiser), Understanding Terrorism in Africa (series co-editor with Anneli Botha), The African Union: Challenges of Globalization, Security and Governance (co-author with Samuel Makinda), The African Union: Addressing the Challenges of Peace, Security and Governance (co-author with Samuel Makinda and David Mickler), and Militias, Rebels Groups and Islamist Militants in Africa (co-editor with Augustine Ikelegbe). His forthcoming book is on African boundaries. Dr. Okumu has also published book chapters and articles in journals in Peace Review, African Security Review, Journal of Eastern African Affairs, Pambazuka, International Peacekeeping, and Journal of International Affairs.

Yvonne+Adhiambo_Owuor

YVONNE ADHIAMBO OWUOR earned her B.A from Kenyatta University, an M.A. from the University of Reading, and, later, an MPhil (Creative Writing) from the University of Queensland. She was the director of the Zanzibar International Film Festival (2003-5) under the remit of which a literary forum was established. From 2007-11, Yvonne worked as Programme Specialist overseeing the development of a fine arts curriculum for a new East African university initiative. In 2003, the literary journal, Kwani? published her first short story, ‘Weight of Whispers’, which went on to win the 2003 Caine Prize for African Writing. The work introduced readers to Yvonne’s poetic, fast-paced and emotionally charged style, which continued with her highly acclaimed debut novel, Dust (2014), which explores notions of displacement-at-home, silences, memory, and amnesia. Her second novel, an Indian Ocean coming-of-age story, The Dragonfly Sea, was developed as part of her studies in Brisbane. It will be launched in 2017. Yvonne’s works, including her non-fiction, has appeared in several global publications. In 2010, she was one of twelve writers involved in the “Pilgrimages” travel writing project initiated by Bard College, USA. Her experiences of Kinshasa reinforced her passion for stories in and of the African interstices. Yvonne has twice made TedX presentations. In addition to her literary life she is involved with conservation matters and also champions the growth of the creative and cultural industries of Eastern Africa.


Postgraduates

Winners of  The Annual Cherry Gertzel/AFSAAP Postgraduate Prize will be announced in February 2017.

The AFSAAP PG Travel Grant Winners for 2016 were:

Hanna Jagtenberg, PhD Candidate, Anthropology & Development Studies, University of Adelaide, will present her paper entitled “Longing for South Africa but becoming “Aussiekaner”: self-imposed transnational identity formation among Africa’s “white tribe” in Australia”;

and

Awoh Emmanuel Lohkoko, PhD Candidate, Conflict and  Crisis Management, School of Social and Political Sciences , The University of Melbourne “Contesting forms of Authorities and local governance in Cameroon”

The AFSAAP Executive would like to congratulate both of these AFSAAP members on their excellent applications and conference abstracts.