On April 5th 2013 AFSAAP President Dr. Tanya Lyons Presented a paper entitled “The Role of Education in Australia’s foreign policy toward Africa” at the Flinders University School of International Studies Seminar Series in conjunction with the AFSAAP Seminar.
This paper was a draft version of a chapter that will appear in David Mickler and Tanya Lyons, eds., New Engagement: Contemporary Australian Foreign Policy Toward Africa, Melbourne University Press, 2013, forthcoming.
Lyons argued that the role of the education sector in Australia’s relationship with Africa is currently dominated by the Australia Awards in Africa (AAA) Scholarships program, which will educate up to 1000 African students per year from 2013 through to 2016 in targeted courses in Australian institutions. However, while there is a new engagement with Africa through such schemes, as Lyons pointed out, at the tertiary level, and at the primary and secondary levels, there is a need to educate Australians about Africa, which would in turn contribute to a more informed Australian foreign policy towards Africa.
The opening presentation of the the African Studies Seminar Series in Melbourne – a collaboration between AFSAAP and the Institute of Postcolonial Studies (IPCS) – took place on March 14th with great success. Our speaker for the night was Professor Pal Ahluwalia, a former president of AFSAAP and a long time associate of the IPCS, as well as one of Australia’s most renowned Africanist scholars.
Prof. Ahluwalia’s talk, Rethinking Reconciliation: Reflections on Genocide in Africa, focused on the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. The address included an in depth analysis of the historical and political causes of the genocide, but was presented though an introspective lens, drawing from the professor’s own time in Rwanda and East Africa in and around 1994. Its theoretical focus concerned the practice of reconciliation and it’s challenges after the genocide particularly the intertwining role of the religious and secular worlds in the post reconciliation landscape. For the Professor, one of the most important aspects of a path to reconciliation is pedagogy, for it is the next generation who we must trusty to keep the promise
of ‘never again’. (more…)
More than 250 people attended an African-themed International Women’s Day event at Macquarie University on March 6th. Co-sponsored by AFSAAP, the event featured four women who presented “ideas worth sharing” about international development. They included MC Juliana Nkrumah, a women’s advocate who has been honoured by many organisations in Australia, Gemma Sisia, founder of Tanzania’s School of St Jude’s, Naomi Steer, founder of Australia for UNHCR, and Carol Angir, Senior Program Coordinator for ActionAid’s violence against women initiatives.
The event raised more than $5000 for Rotary Hunters Hill international service projects. A highlight of the event was a performance by Oz Afrique, a teenage drum and dance group made up of Cabramatta High School (Sydney) refugee students. The group’s name symbolises youth who belong in Australia but acknowledge their roots in the African continent. Their families come from Sudan, Burundi, the Congo and Somalia but some were born in refugee camps in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Ethiopia. (more…)