NEW!!! The AFSAAP Annual Conference: Dunedin, New Zealand 2019, Call for Papers



Dunedin, New Zealand – 2019

‘Africa: diversity and development’

42nd AFSAAP Annual Conference

Call for Papers

26-27 November 2019
St Margaret’s College, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand


The African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP) invites submissions for its 2019 conference from academics, researchers, students, practitioners and policy makers, and the diaspora community, with interests in African studies, both on the African continent and in the Australasia and Pacific region. In 2019, the conference theme is ‘Africa: Diversity and Development’. The conference seeks to explore the richness of the continent and its diversity in a wide range of social, economic, political and cultural dimensions, while simultaneously discussing development options, challenges and experiences.

Papers from all disciplines considering African issues in a broad range of topics, such as culture, history, literature, physical, social and economic development, environment, politics, geography, ecology, demography, health, education, migration, media, aid, climate change, natural and human-induced disasters, civil society and gender are welcomed.


Please send abstracts not exceeding 300 words in length to:  by 31 July 2019. Acceptance of Abstracts will be notified from 1st August 2019.

Conference Fees

Registration Fees for AFSAAP Conference: AUD $315, Student/Unwaged AUD $225

(**This includes lunch, morning & afternoon tea/coffee and conference dinner). Registration fees will need to be paid if your paper is accepted and you wish to attend the conference. All presenters will need to be fully registered.


All non-Australian and New Zealand citizens will need to investigate whether they will need to obtain a visa to enter New Zealand in order to attend the conference. Visa applications can take up to 3 months.

Getting to Dunedin

There are direct Virgin flights from Brisbane to Dunedin. Alternatively, delegates can fly from Melbourne, Perth or Sydney via Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to Dunedin (or from Adelaide and Canberra via those cities). Regular flights (1 hour duration) connect Christchurch and Dunedin. Shuttle buses and taxis meet all flights at Dunedin Airport and can take delegates to the conference venue and accommodation.


Accommodation will be available at St Margaret’s College, at the University Executive Residence, or in the north end of the city close to the University, see Dunedin Tourism and Accommodation:

Please note: Delegates should book and pay for their own accommodation.

Conference Programme

To be advised in due course

March 26th, 2019

ARAS EDITORIAL TEAM – Expressions of Interest 2018-2021

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 AFSAAPARAS 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

Potential candidates are asked to submit a short statement (no more than 1000 words)

  1. identifying your relevant experience and understanding of African Studies and the journal ARAS,
  2. outlining why you would like to be a part of the ARAS team.
  3. indicating how you would like to take ARAS forward over the next 3 years
  4. Include a list of your publications.
  5. Any Editorial experience (including journal editorships, edited books, guest editorships and membership of editorial boards) – (previous experience not essential).
  6. 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).
  7. A copy of your Resume.

Applications will be considered by the AFSAAP Executive and current ARAS Editors. Deadline for submissions is October 1st 2018. Email to

July 19th, 2018

New !!! Cherry Gertzel Bursary Award

The Cherry Gertzel Bursary Award is an annual award to assist female post-graduate students to complete study or research in African Studies.


Professor Cherry Gertzel AM (1928 – 2015) was an internationally recognised scholar of history and politics in the field of African Studies.  She spent over twenty years researching and teaching in Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Zambia before returning to Australia in 1975 where she worked at Flinders University and Curtin University. Throughout her career, and until just a few years before her death, Prof. Gertzel returned to Eastern and Central Africa regularly to continue active field work.   She was a foundation member of the African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP) set up by Africanists in Australia in 1978, President from 1982 – 1986, and editor of the Association’s Review and Newsletter from 1987 – 2004.  In 1994 Prof. Gertzel was appointed a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia, Queen’s Birthday Honours, for her contributions to Australian-African relations.  Her wish to establish this annual bursary is a generous legacy and testament to her lifelong dedication to advancing the field of African Studies. More information about Prof. Cherry Gertzel is available at


  • Women who are enrolled in an Australian or New Zealand University
  • Have embarked on a post-graduate degree of which the subject matter is the study of Africa.
  • Good undergraduate academic record
  • Not be in full time employment or on fully paid study leave during tenure of the bursary
  • Be able to undertake travel to an African state to conduct fieldwork, research or study related purposes
  • Have had their study proposal approved by their institution and have had any field work approved, and if required approval from their relevant ethics committee for study or research in the field.   
  • Not have previously received the Cherry Gertzel Bursary Award


  • Funds are not to be used for basic research costs that should be met by the University in which the student is enrolled
  • Funds can be used for conference attendance, purchase or hire of equipment, costs of study commitments or short-term assistance with living expenses in an African State, for the purposed of field work, research, or study.
  • Any purchase of equipment is required for the successful completion of the research or fieldwork and is for personal use/ownership, not for the University in which recipient is enrolled.
  • No less than 50% of the funds are to be applied to the cost of travel to and within Africa, for the purpose of fieldwork, study or research toward their degree 
  • Funds must be used within 12 months of the date of the award

Recipients must provide an acquittal report showing how the funding was spent, with original receipts for all expenses within 14 months of the date of the award. 

Recipients are required to submit a 2000 word report within 14 months of the date of the award with an account of the fieldwork, study or research in Africa that the bursary supported.  The report is to be suitable for the public, and may be published in AFSAAP’s newsletter.  

Selection criteria

  • Academic merit
  • Purpose for which the bursary will be used toward progress or completion of the degree
  • Extent to which the award will enhance the quality of the higher degree for which she is enrolled
  • Financial need
  • Community activities or other interests relevant to the applicant’s study

Value of bursary

One bursary of $10,000 will be awarded annually.

In exceptional circumstances the trustees of the Cherry Gertzel Bursary Fund reserve the right not to award a bursary or to award a different amount.  The Fund will provide the award in perpetuity and thus the amount awarded may increase in the future.

Source of funds

The bursary is funded by the Cherry Gertzel Bursary Fund. 

Administration of bursary

The bursary is administered by the trustees of the Cherry Gertzel Fund with the assistance of the Executive of the African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP).

Intellectual property

The trustees recognise that students own the intellectual property arising from their study.

Application process

Information about the Bursary and application forms will be available on the AFSAAP website and the Cherry Gertzel legacy website by May each year.  The closing date for applications will be in September each year and the selected recipient will notified, with details made available on the website, in November of each year.

Applications, including supporting documents, should be lodged by email to Dr. Karen Miller ( before or on the closing date.  Incomplete applications, or applications received after the due date, will not be considered.  Applications remain the property of the trustees of the Cherry Gertzel Bursary Fund.

Receipt of all applications will be acknowledged.  Should you not receive an acknowledgement within one week of your application, you are responsible for contacting   The selection committee will consist of representatives from the AFSAAP Executive and at least one trustee of the Fund. The selection committee will provide a recommendation to the trustees who will make the final decision, after which no correspondence will be entered into.

The completed application form must be accompanied by

  • A list of the documents that make up the application
  • Scans of the applicant’s certified academic record
  • Proof of enrolment for a higher degree
  • A copy of the research proposal and proof of research proposal acceptance
  • Ethics committee approval of study plan (if required)
  • Proposed activities to be undertaken during fieldwork, study or research that will be supported by the bursary
  • Any other supporting documents

Applicants must request two referees to email a referee report form to the Award convener, Dr. Karen Miller (  Referee report forms are available from  and  Applicants are responsible for checking that references have been sent and received by the closing date. Referees reports will be verified. 

For enquiries about the award and eligibility, please contact AFSAAP President Prof. Peter Limb or Dr. Karen Miller

Note: The Application Form and Referee Form will follow in due course (February 2019).

February 21st, 2019

AFSAAP President Peter Limb discusses the challenges facing Cyril Ramaphosa’s presidency

As the euphoria of the drama-filled political changes in South Africa die down, focus now shifts to what the future holds. AFSAAP President and South African expert Peter Limb discusses some of the challenges facing President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration on ‘The Wire’. You can listen to the podcast here.

Earlier, Geoffery Hawker, Associate Professor of Politics at Macquarie University, previous president of AFSAAP (2006-8) and on the International Editorial Advisory Board of AFSAAP Review had been on the same program and gave his thoughts. You can also listen to the interview here.

March 1st, 2018

AFSAAP President Prof. Peter Limb analyses the recent leadership changes in South Africa

Jacob Zuma finally tendered his resignation as President of South Africa on February 14, 2018 marking the end of a tumultous 9 year-reign. Professor Peter Limb was on ABC’S The World on Wednesday to shed light on the new man in power, Cyril Ramaphosa. You can watch the special interview via this link:

February 16th, 2018

AFSAAP President Prof. Peter Limb on Pres. Jacob Zuma’s worsening political troubles

South African President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma has had a torrid presidency, surviving numerous attempts to have him ousted from power. He is back again in the news, but this time the mounting pressure on him to quit is nothing like his presidency has seen before. Many analysts are convinced the end of his reign is probably just days away. AFSAAP President, Peter Limb, himself a specialist on the African National Congress with extensive publications as well as forthcoming work on ANC political history sat down with the ABC’s Ros Childs and gave his thoughts. You can watch the segment here. It plays at 35 mins 30 seconds onwards

February 8th, 2018

Podcast of recent interview between AFSAAP Representative and KayaFM959 re: Statement of the African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP) on the Stereotyping of African Australians/South Sudanese

AFSAAP recently put out a Statement of the African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP) on the Stereotyping of African Australians/South Sudanese. KayaFM

spoke to AFSAAP Secretary Edson Ziso to talk about the root of the stereotyping and lived experience of Sudanese people in Australia. You can listen to the podcast here. 

February 5th, 2018

Statement of the African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP) on the Stereotyping of African Australians/South Sudanese

The African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP), a network of academics, students, consultants, activists, diplomats, artists, community leaders, and others who share a mutual interest in the promotion of African Studies in the region, founded in 1978, includes among its aims the goal “to contribute towards an understanding of Africa in the community at large”. The AFSAAP Executive is deeply concerned that the recent stereotyping of South Sudanese in Australia, especially in Melbourne, does not help to contribute to better understanding. Ascribing negative behaviours to any community should always be avoided, and whilst various recent comments by officials and media may be well intentioned for their immediate purpose, there is very real danger that some people will come to view such communities, and by implication all African and indeed all black communities, as inherently having negative qualities. We therefore call for the greatest care in making such statements and the greatest consultation by all stakeholders with South Sudanese and African communities.

AFSAAP Executive



January 10th, 2018

Australia Awards Outcomes for Africa! Frank Akampa’s experience in Australia and thereafter returning to Uganda

Academic engagement

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.

Part-time work

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).

Volunteers with Frank Akampa

Volunteers with Frank Akampa

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.

August 30th, 2016