Canberra Multicultural Festival 2020

Canberra’s annual Multicultural Festival beings today (21 February) and runs all weekend! 

Details and program here:

Africa Village
The Africa Village will be at Stage 5 across the 3 days of the Festival. The program will feature ‘One Spirit Africa’ an Afro-fusion band from Melbourne. Combining Ghanaian lyrics with English, they perform traditional African rhythms with vibrant percussive styling that will keep you dancing! One Spirit Africa will feature traditional West African drums, xylophone and flute along with contemporary keys, guitar, bass, drum kit and horns to present an authentic percussive performance. The Village will also feature Afro Zumba and a Drum workshop for all to participate in!

There will also be food for sale from Egypt, Ethiopia, Mauritius and Nigeria.

Africa Party in the Park – 18 April

18th April 2020, 10 AM – 7 PM

Stage 88, Commonwealth Park, ACT 2600


This free one-day event, is a fun, family friendly affair with non-stop entertainment ranging from cultural performances, catwalk fashion shows, artists in traditional costumes and iconic drumming – all creating a memorable and unique experience that promotes cross-cultural awareness and understanding

of African culture in Australia.

More details here.


From:  Ashton Robinson
Email: ashton.robinson [at]

I am a University of Melbourne scholar based in Canberra. My research interests are Seychelles and sovereign risk issues associated with FDI in Africa more broadly. I am currently doing some work on sovereign risk issues associated with the Ghanaian mining industry.

I have published recently on Seychelles in Round Table and the Journal of the Indian Ocean Region. I am working now on a feasibility exercise for a biography of France-Albert Rene, the former Seychelles president.

Interested in connecting with anyone interested in either of these fields.

Virtual African Wilderness Reality at the NMA

A National Geographic VR Exploration into the Okavango Delta

Now showing daily at the Circa theatre of the National Museum of Australia, with sessions starting at a quarter past the hour from 9.15am.

Tickets $20 at the Information Desk

‘Come face-to-face with elephants, lions and hippos as you explore one of the world’s largest wetlands. This stunning 360-degree virtual reality experience is from the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project team.

Ride in a mokoro (canoe) as it glides through the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana, one of Africa’s most biodiverse regions.’

Allow up to 30 minutes for the VR experience and plan your visit during peak times.

Note: Not recommended for children under the age 13 and people with certain medical conditions; glasses can be worn under the headset, but the focus cannot be adjusted.


Belonging in a Cosmopolitan Society: Perspectives from African Migrants in the Diaspora

University of Melbourne, 12-14 March, 2020

‘Borders, Identities and Belonging have been at the centre of debates on the profound transformations wrought by globalisation. But perhaps the movement of people across geographical borders, and the transformative impact of the digital revolution that has ushered in the information age, are the most illustrative examples.’

African Studies Group( ASG) invites submissions for a paper
proposal to their inaugural conference titled Borders, Identities and Belonging in a Cosmopolitan Society: Perspectives from African Migrants in the Diaspora to be held on 12-14 March .

The ASG is an association of researchers with interests in African studies, which is hosted by the University of Melbourne .

Conference Themes
The Borders, Identities and Belonging conference will be organised around the following thematic questions:
1. The Concept of Home : What and where is home? Where, when and how do we feel a sense of ‘belonging’?
2. Relevance of Borders : How do borders permeate our social lives?
3. Digital Transformation : How have digital communication platforms transformed the concepts and experiences of borders, identity and belonging?
4. Multiculturalism and Integration : What are the experiences and prospects of multiculturalism in increasing our sense of belonging and social integration?

 Paper proposals related to the main themes of the conference are welcome with a deadline of 20 January, 2020, at 11:59 AEST .

They can be submitted on the online form or copy/paste the following link to your

A few travel bursaries are available for student applicants from within Australia.

More Information on the Conference is at

For inquiries please contact

Africa Studies coursework resumes at ANU after several decades

When the Development Studies major at was set up at ANU around 1981, regional specialisations included Africa, East Asia and SE Asia. John Ballard taught a course in Post-Colonial Politics in Africa and the Pacific and Ian Hancock taught one in African History. Also Geography and Anthropology courses had substantial African material although Geography later dropped its regional courses. Africa became unviable by the end of the 1980’s, when Ian and John moved to other courses.

POLS3030,  an undergraduate course offered in Second Semester, 2020 by the School of Politics and International Relations, seems to have started quite recently. The Course Convener is Dr Richard Frank.

Conflict and change in sub-Saharan Africa

 ‘This class explores the issues, ideas, and trends that shape the politics of sub-Saharan Africa, across almost 50 countries and a billion people. Unlike what often appears in the press, Africa is not all conflict, famine, and state collapse. This class offers an overview of both successful and unsuccessful cases of political and economic development in this region and seeks to answer a number of questions including: What are the legacies of colonial rule? Why do some African countries suffer political violence more frequently than other countries within Africa or without? Why has democracy been consolidated in certain African countries but regressed or collapsed in others? What accounts for the failures and successes of African countries’ economic development? How have international actors and events affected African politics and society?’


Research on Africa at the Crawford School, aNU


The Individual Deprivation Measure (IDM)
Helen Suich of the Crawford School leads the IDM country study in South Africa. Her research focuses on issues of poverty alleviation, examining the impacts of rural development interventions on multidimensional poverty and vulnerability. See
An international conference will be held in 2020.

State Fragility
By building on seven in-depth country case studies, three of which are in Africa (Burundi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone ) the other four being Afghanistan, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Papua New Guinea) and recent developments in the field, a 2019 panel discussed dimensions of state fragility and pathways that can help to escape fragility. This event is part of an ongoing research project on state fragility at the Development Policy Centre, Crawford School, ANU.

Livestock, aquaculture and sustainable food security policy
Robyn Alders is a senior consulting fellow with the Chatham House Centre on Global Health Security focusing on policy opportunities to support sustainable livestock and aquaculture strategy implementation and sustainable food and nutrition security. Robyn is also an honorary professor with the Development Policy Centre within the Australian National University. She is currently involved with a Chatham House research project in Nigeria. Also with Chatham House she’s involved with One Health Food Security Policy research. She is also the Chair of the Kyeema Foundation which has a regional office in Mozambique and development projects being implemented in Mozambique and Uganda.

Robyn has recently co-authored ‘The global institutional
landscape of food and agriculture’. Chatham House Discussion Paper 265,


Poetry by Ian Iqbal Rashid and Omar Sakr

Date & time

Mon 09 Dec 2019, 5.30pm


SRWB Theatrette, Sir Roland Wilson Building, ANU


The Humanities Research Centre and the Freilich Project are honoured to host an evening of poetry and short films exploring the complexities of sexuality, culture, faith and identity. Ian Iqbal Rashid,  born in Tanzania of Indian Muslim background, will be reading selections from his poetry collections as well as new writing, and screening two early short films, Surviving Sabu and Stag, with a response from Omar Sakr, one of Australia’s most prominent young poets, who will also share his poetry.

For more information and see