AFSAAP members have been following the crisis in Zimbabwe closely. See the following news story from last week prior to the alleged coup in Harare.
Nominations are sought for the position(s) of Editor and Co-editor for the Australasian Review of African Studies (ARAS), the official journal of the African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP).
The term of office is usually three years.
The Australasian Review of African Studies (ARAS) aims to contribute to a better understanding of Africa in Australasia and the Pacific. It is published twice a year in June and December by AFSAAP. ARAS is a multi-disciplinary journal that seeks to provide critical, authoritative and accessible material on a range of African affairs that is interesting and readable to both academic and non-academic audiences. All articles are double blind peer-reviewed by two independent and qualified experts prior to publication.
The journal is supported by an expert International Editorial Board of members who represent esteemed scholars in African Studies from around the world.
The appointed Editor and Co-editor(s) will work with the Managing Editor and Copy Editor as a team. We are specifically looking for individuals with a strong academic background who will assist the editorial team to promote the journal, provide expert editorial advice, lead the process of peer-review and manage all aspects of communications with authors and peer-reviewers as required.
The Editor and Co-editor(s) will be an academic or scholar with a demonstrated interest in African Studies, and/or the African Diaspora in Australia, New Zealand or the world, and with relevant research interest to support the journal’s multidisciplinary focus. The appointed Editor or Co-editor(s) will also work with AFSAAP executive members to ensure the timely production of this bi-annual journal.
AFSAAP is an international network of academics, students, consultants, activists, diplomats, artists, community leaders, and others who share a mutual interest in the promotion of African Studies in the Australasia and Pacific region. AFSAAP is based in Australia and was founded in 1978. It is a not-for-profit-association, and as such all roles are voluntary. Further information can be found at http://afsaap.org.au/publications/aras/
Potential candidates are asked to submit a short statement (no more than 1000 words)
- identifying your relevant experience and understanding of African Studies and the journal ARAS,
- outlining why you would like to be a part of the ARAS team.
- indicating how you would like to take ARAS forward over the next 3
- Include a list of your publications.
- Any Editorial experience (including journal editorships, edited books, guest editorships and membership of editorial boards) – (previous experience not essential).
- Any indication of support from your University College/Department /School/Faculty for this role to be undertaken by you (institutional support not essential, but nice when you can get it).
- A copy of your Resume.
Applications will be considered by the AFSAAP Executive and current ARAS Editors. Deadline for submissions is October 1st 2017. Email to
As normal, all office bearing positions will be declared open at the AGM at the forthcoming conference, and all AFSAAP members are invited to nominate for one of the positions: President,
ARAS Journal Editor.
Position descriptions are detailed below. If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else, please send a short description of why you believe you would be suited to the position, and what you can bring to AFSAAP to email@example.com by 1 October 2017. These will be disseminated in advance of the AGM. Please note that if you would like to nominate another person, you must get their written approval.
Please also contact the firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss any of the office bearer roles and duties in more detail.
POSITION DESCRIPTIONS – The Role of AFSAAP Officers
The role of the President is one of leadership, of influencing the direction of AFSAAP, and directing links with Africa and with federal, state and local government institutions, NGOs, African communities in Australia and the Business sector that has interests in Africa. In conjunction with all/and or the relevant other executive members, the President will managing any short-term or contract staff employed by the Association for discrete tasks (e.g. preparation of reports). The president will also oversee the day to day running of AFSAAP and ensure an annual conference is held, and the journal is published twice a year, and the newsletter goes out to members monthly.
The Vice-President has a supporting role to the President, stands in place of the President in his/her absence from the AGM or while the President is either on leave or out of the country for an extended period.
The Secretary is responsible for the day-to-day running of business matters arising from the AGM, correspondence, incoming enquiries about the Association. The Secretary coordinates communication between committee members and with the annual conference organizer. The Secretary maintains files concerned with the maintenance of records and continuity between holders of the office of Secretary.
The Treasurer manages subscriptions, donations and the membership lists. This role requires coordination with the Secretary who may receive initial inquiries about membership. Coordination with the Editor of the Australasian Review of African Studies is also necessary. The Treasurer is responsible for managing the AFSAAP accounts.
Postgraduate Representative(s): will be chosen at each AGM or during the year to assist with the promotion of Postgraduate research in particular in conjunction with the Annual Conference, and they will organise the postgraduate workshop at each conference in conjunction with the Conference Convener.
The Editor of the Australasian Review of African Studies will ensure that 2 journals are published annually in June and December, and facilitate all processes required for an international peer reviewed journal. The Editor will manage all co-editors and maintain the files, peer review process, and publication and distribution of the journal. The marketing and indexing of the journal is also the responsibility of the Editor.
Ordinary members of the Executive Committee are local representatives of AFSAAP. However, not all local representatives are Executive Committee members. Ordinary members are expected to promote AFSAAP within their own academic institution and their own city or state, and also to bring ARAS to the notice of their local university and state libraries. Posters promoting AFSAAP are available for printing and display and for giving to individuals or local interest groups.
Ordinary members should try to send local research and news items to the Editor of the Monthly AFSAAP Newsletter and/or for publication of each issue of ARAS in June and December. This means collecting items and submitting them to either Editor at least one month before the date of issue and preferably earlier.
Other Supporting Roles
Editor of the Monthly Newsletter Habari kwa Ufupi (News in Brief):
The Editor(s) will be appointed by the Executive. Prepare a monthly newsletter detailed events, publications or other items of interest for the membership – to be distributed electronically through AFSAAP membership emails and kept online through the AFSAAP website.
AFSAAP Website Manager: The Web Manager(s) will be appointed by the Executive. They will manage the website.
African Down Under – 6-8 September, Perth Australia (focus on Mining Sector) https://www.africadownunderconference.com/
African Studies Association of Africa – Addis Ababa, October 18-21, 2017 http://www.as-aa.org/
Institute for African Studies – Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow October 17-20, 2017 http://www.inafran.ru/en/node/487
African Studies Association (USA) – November 16-18 2017 – http://africanstudiesassociation.org/
African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific – 23-24 November 2017 – (venues – University of South Australia and Monarto Zoo – The Serengeti in Oz!). http://afsaap.org.au/conference/afsaap-2017/
African Studies Association – (UK) September 11-13 2018 http://www.asauk.net/category/conferences/
At the beginning of 2013 I embarked on a graduate program at the University of Queensland, specialising in GIS and Environmental Management. This program was funded by AusAID, Australian government funding that was intended to prepare me for my PhD studies at an Australian university. As a student, a large proportion of my time was allocated to studies which were a mix of theoretical classroom lectures and laboratory sessions for GIS and Remote Sensing courses.
Australian assignments and classwork were interesting, especially the fact that contrary to most African education systems, where practical laboratory sessions are often a formality with little or nothing gleaned. Here, laboratory sessions were conducted in an excellent way with tutors who would assist the students in their learning. This ensured that students actually understood the important aspects of laboratory exercises. As a student, I worked as a tutor in undergraduate Environmental Science and GIS courses where I learnt a lot.
Participation in conferences
I also had an opportunity to further my research whereby three abstracts of conference papers were accepted at conferences at the University of Queensland, Brisbane; at Murdoch University, Perth; and at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. The topics of the papers were as follows: “Community-based natural resource management and sustainability of forest use in Uganda: Case study of Kibale National Park” at the University of Queensland; “Community-based natural resource management & sustainable forest resource use at Bwindi Impenetrable and Kibale National Parks, Uganda” at Murdoch University; and “Using GIS and Multi-criteria analysis for land suitability analysis for residential and conservation at Pinjarra Hills, Brisbane” at Victoria University. At these conferences I had opportunities to interact with scholars from different parts of the world and who remain influential in my life. I was also able to polish my writing and presentation skills which are vital to the upcoming PhD program.
Engaging in community social activities
Besides classwork, I also had opportunities to engage in activities such as playing soccer, visiting friends, participating in organising activities for associations such as the African Students’ Association (ASA), GPEM mentor programs, and the Geography Club. As a student, I could not of course miss the weekly and weekend prayer meetings, the meetings in our apartments over the weekdays, and traveling for church services to St Lucia Uniting Church, Hillsongs church, and many more at Brisbane city. I also worked as a volunteer at Australian Conservation Foundation where I was involved in conservation activism, organising workshops and preparing funding proposals.
The first job opportunity was working as a tutor at the UQ in semester two. This was a rewarding opportunity where I assisted undergraduate students in laboratory sessions involving image acquisition, interpretation and classification. I considered this a learning experience since remote sensing was one of the courses I was enrolled in.
I was also privileged to secure work at one of the baking and coffee spots in Brisbane city namely Brewbakers at Albion. This was an interesting opportunity because I was able to learn how to bake cakes, prepare pizzas, sandwiches, make coffee etc. I was glad to work for humble bosses – Caroline and Richard – with Caroline in charge of sales and Richard heading the baking section. Surprisingly, it took me over three months before I realised that Richard was one of the owners of Brewbakers, owing to his humble character. During my time in Australia I should say I have learnt a lot from the numerous interactions in class and out of class which have shaped and continues to shape my future.
Reintegrating in the Ugandan society
Upon my return to Uganda in 2014, I resumed my work as a Lecturer at Kabale University where I was tasked with developing the GIS course which was to be developed into a Unit. During this time, I attracted two volunteers, Joseph Abrams and Adam McKay, from the USA and Canada, respectively. These two GIS experts were linked to me through Shoreh Elhami, one of the GISCorps co-founders, who is based in the USA. With the assistance from ESRI, a GIS vending company, ArcGIS 11.2 software licence and its extensions were donated to Kabale University for GIS teaching. In March and April 2015, the volunteers under my supervision participated in the training of 21 Kabale University academic staff, in addition to four academic staff of Bishop Barham University and two research fellows of Kachwekano Zonal Agricultural Research Institute (see photo below).
It was a nice experience coordinating this volunteer training program, which I can say was a success. Unfortunately I could not work with Kabale University longer and by October 2015 I had left the University and started my career with Earth Consult Uganda Ltd, a GIS and forestry consulting firm.
While working with Earth Consult I also had an opportunity to establish ACODEP (Advocate for Community Development and Environmental Protection), a NGO with headquarters in Wakiso, Hoima Road. AODEP is a community development and environmental management organisation with pilot projects in Wakiso District. The organisation so far has a team of five professionals specialising in Natural Resource Management and Community-income generating development projects.
I am returning back to Australia for a PhD program in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of New South Wales, pending availability of the necessary funding. My PhD project has the working title “Climate change adaptation and vulnerability assessments: Implications for farmers and pastoral communities in dryland areas of Nakasongola district, central Uganda”. Since my return I have been working on academic manuscripts for publishing in referred journals with support from my supervisor. So far, three papers have been submitted for publication.
In summary, I am very thankful to the Australian Government for the generous funding provided for the pre-Doctoral studies that I was undertaking. Acknowledgement also goes to the UQ Academic staff, AusAID staff and the Ugandan community in Queensland.
AFSAAP Member Mr. Zafu Assefa Teferi from Curtin University was awarded the $1000 AFSAAP Travel Grant to promote AFSAAP at this recent conference held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia May 27-28 2016. For further information about these AFSAAP Travel Grants
The AFSAAP Executive are pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 conference postgraduate essay prizes.
The winner of the $3000 Monash/AFSAAP Postgraduate Prize for is Charlotte Mertens for her paper “Sexual violence in the Congo Free State: Archival traces and present reconfigurations”. Charlotte is enrolled in a PhD at the University of Melbourne and will travel to Africa. AFSAAP wishes to acknowledge Monash University for the special sponsorship of this prize since 2010.
The winner of the $500 Cherry Gertzel – AFSAAP Postgraduate Prize for 2015 is Naomi Thompson, for her paper “Surviving vs. Living: The importance of resilience in the transformative redefinition of Ghanaian breast cancer survivors”. Naomi is enrolled in a PhD at Macquarie University.
Congratulations to both of the winners.
On the 25th August 2015 the African Studies community lost a great scholar and dear friend. Cherry Gertzel died peacefully at her home surrounded by her books. Cherry taught and researched from 1958 to 1975 as a staff member at, in turn, Makerere University – Uganda, Nairobi University – Kenya, and at The University of Zambia. She returned to Australia in 1975 and became a staff member at Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia between 1975-1993. She subsequently moved to Curtin University between 1993-1997, and remained an Adjunct Professor in the Humanities and Social Sciences at Curtin University, and was an Honorary Research Fellow in the History Department at the University of Western Australia, until her retirement. She engaged in research relating to the politics and administration of the three east African states, but also on more widely ranging issues of social change. She continued with her research until the end. Between 1982-1986 Professor Cherry Gertzel was the President of the African Studies of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP), and was the Editor of The Australasian Review of African Studies (ARAS) between 1984-2004. She was a tireless campaigner for Africa and African studies in Australia. She will be missed.
Selected Publications by Prof. Cherry Gertzel
Dr. Clare Buswell attended the AEGIS Conference on behalf of AFSAAP. She wrote the following to the AFSAAP Executive –
I would like to thank AFSAAP for providing funding to attend this renowned international European conference on African Studies in Paris, July 7-10 2015. The conference is organised by the Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies (AEGIS) held every 3 years and brings together scholars from all over the world who are passionate about African research. This conference had 1800 participants, (three of whom came from Australia), 1000 papers were presented, 24 books launched, and cost 350,000 Euros to run. It was held at the Paris-Sorbonne University in conjunction with a weeklong major arts event titled Africa Acts. http://africaacts.ecas2015.fr/.
The major book sellers publishing material relating to Africa were present, James Currey, Brill, Oxford, Codesria, African book collective to name a few, and if I did not have a weight limit on my flight home I would have purchased a lot more than I did. Papers were presented in either English or French. At one session I attended translations into German were made by audience members. Participants of the conference could be found in debating not only in the panel sessions, but also in corridors, courtyards and coffee shops around the university. It seemed that not only were old friendships renewed, I ran into David Moore and Peter Limb, but new ones made. The scope of the papers presented was of course wide ranging from Laughter in Social Transformations in Africa, (about the use of humour/comedy and social change in Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire and Benin) to problems relating to abortion in Eritrea, Burkina Faso and Kenya, to panels on Pandemics in Africa, Guy Rights, governance, and to the problems of Land grabbing, agriculture. There were round tables where no papers as such were presented, but people gathered to discuss specific items such as: problems of Ethics and research, getting published in African Studies Journals, Gender and African citizenship, Boko Haram, and policy issues relating to Border problems to name a few. You can visit the conference website and download the programme at: http://www.ecas2015.fr/ The next conference will be Basel, Switzerland June 2017. My only advice is: Go to it.
Dr Clare Buswell (July 2015)