Reports from the Africa Down Under Conference in Perth

Dr Nesrin Varol attended the Africa Down Under Conference. The conference was held in Perth and attracted 2500 delegates, including African resources ministers and mining department heads. Dr Varol reports from the conference and other meetings.

Forum on African Technology Policies Studies Network 27 August 2012

Murdoch University hosted a forum with the African Technology Policies Studies Network (ATPS). This organisation is one of the most dynamic research agenda setting organisations in Africa with strong connections to national governments, donor organisations, United Nations and Australia. This inspiring organisation has the potential to make a real difference in Africa.

The University of Murdoch and AAUN are supporting the establishment of an Australian Chapter of ATPS. We will endeavour to serve to create a conduit particularly for the African diaspora in Australia to intellectually connect with Africa and to harness the expertise found in Australia. The AAUN and ATPS have the firm belief that effective cooperation and partnerships between institutions, countries and regions would lead to more cost effectiveness and greater policy impact.

One of shared visions is to create a more coordinated research and development program in Africa through partnerships amongst institutions and individuals with expertise on thematic areas across cultures, languages, countries, regions and continents.

Africa Australia Research Forum 28 August 2012

The Africa-Australia Research Forum was hosted by Murdoch University in partnership with the International Mining for Development Centre at the University of Western Australia and the University of Queensland, and the Western Australian School of Mines at Curtin University The Forum was supported by AusAID, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the Australia-Africa Mining Industry Group (AAMIG).

It was attended by African Nationals, Australian and African mining companies, Australian and African academics, NGOs, and Government representatives.

Discussions centred around the Africa Mining Vision and how Australian research institutions and NGOs can engage with their African counterparts to undertake research that will support the execution of the action plan to maximise value and minimise harm. The focus was on corporate social responsibility programs to address African development priorities and economic development in relation to extractive industries.

Africa Downunder Conference 29 August 2012

Foreign Minister Bob Carr officially opened the Africa Down Under Conference. In his opening address, Foreign Minister Bob Carr said:

“In the next few years, to 2015, African countries will be among the world’s fastest growing economies – based on International Monetary Fund data. …direct foreign investment in Africa rose from $9 billion in 2000 to $80 billion last year.


Australia is optimistic about Africa and its prospects and we see immense opportunities on the continent.


Against this backdrop, Australia is scaling up our presence and increasing our engagement with Africa.


We are opening new diplomatic missions in Ethiopia and soon in Senegal. We are joining the African Development Bank. And we are strengthening political links with African regional organisations and through high-level contact.


Our development assistance – to help Africa increase economic self-reliance – has quadrupled in the last five years. And we are helping to build capacity by providing more than 1,000 scholarships for Africans to study in Australia this year alone, through the Australia Awards. Our trade and investment with Africa is growing rapidly.


And in the spirit of cooperation, and in our own national economic interest, Australia is committed to developing a long-term partnership with Africa. One that helps African countries realise their economic potential and promotes self-reliance.”

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