Diane Johnstone

 Congratulations to Di Johnstone of Deakin, ACT, who became AM (Member in the General Division) in the Australia Day Honours, ‘For significant service to international relations through support for creative arts in South Africa, and to the community in Canberra.’


 Di and  another former Australian diplomat to South Africa, Bruce Haigh, were founding donors to Ifa Lethu, a South African foundation.  The original aim of the Foundation was to repatriate South African struggle era art and heritage back into South Africa.


Liberian President Sirleaf launches CAP on Post 2015 Development Agenda

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, and Chairperson of the High Level Committee on the African Common Position (CAP)on the Post-2015 Development Agenda has launched the CAP in Monrovia.
The High Level Committee (HLC) chaired by President Sirleaf was set up by the African Union during its May 2013 Summit to draft a CAP on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The HLC identified areas of priority to Africa, and committee completed its work, after which the African Union adopted the CAP on 31 January 2014. The CAP was subsequently launched by the AU in March 2014 in N’djamena, Chad.

The CAP defines six pillars that are essential to the development of Africa:
1. Structural Economic Transformation and Inclusive Growth;
2. Science Technology and Innovation (STI);
3. People Centered Development;
4. Environmental Sustainability, Natural Resources and Natural Disaster Management;
5. Peace and Security; and
6. Financing and Partnership for Implementation.

Each of these pillars is anchored on good governance and serves as a foundation for ending poverty, promoting prosperity and achieving sustainable and equitable development.

For more details on this story,please click http://www.emansion.gov.lr/2press.php?news_id=3002&related=7&pg=sp.

For more information about the Post-2015 Development Agenda, please click http://www.post2015hlp.org/.

We hope All African states will strive to attain all the six pillars agreed under the Common African Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The Federal Republic of Nigeria becomes Africa’s biggest economy

The Federal Republic of Nigeria has now become Africa’s biggest economy, surpassing the Republic of South Africa. GDP for 2013 in the Africa’s top oil producer was 80.22 trillion naira, or $509.9bn as disclosed by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistic on 6 April 2014. This is good news for  Africa in general, and the Federal Republic of Nigeria in particular. The challenge remains how this GDP growth translates into human development. Whatever the situation, Nigerians and Africans should be proud of this forward march. Hope to see Nigeria on the G20 and the BRICS sooner than later. Those are places well deserved.

For more details, please click the link below.




Happy Independence Anniversary to Zimbabwe

The Australian National University African Students Association (ANUASA) congratulates the Government and People of the Republic of Zimbabwe on this auspicious occasion commemorating the 34th Independence Anniversary of that great country. We extend heartfelt felicitations and sincerest best wishes to the Government and gallant People of Zimbabwe. As Zimbabwe observes this historic event, we pray that its government will continue to work with all African states in furtherance of the principles of the African Union and the United Nations. May President Mugabe be endowed with abundant wisdom and strength as he leads his compatriots to greater prosperity.

Executive Producer, Half of a Yellow Sun

YEWANDE SADIKU, is a Nigerian investment banker who was keynote speaker at the 2013 African Studies Association conference in Perth (see http://afsaap.org.au/conference/conference-2013 ) As Executive Producer of the film Half of a Yellow Sun, she helped to raise financing for the film adaptation of the best selling novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, directed by Nigerian Biyi Bandele. She described how rich Nigerians were reluctant to put money into the film while the cash flow was for the filming in Calabar was maintained by smaller investors, including admirers of the novel.

UNGA declares ‘International Decade for People of African Descent’

The 72nd plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly, on 23 December 2013, adopted a Resolution proclaiming the ‘International Decade for People of African Descent’. This decade commences on 1 January 2015 and ends on 31 December 2024, under the theme “People of African descent: recognition, justice and development”. This decade will officially be launched immediately following the general debate of the sixty-ninth session of the UNGA.  There is reason to celebrate this long awaited proclamation. Indeed recognition, justice and development are quintessential elements to the continent’s transformation, growth and development. The time is now for Africa’s forward march. Forward ever, backward never. Africa must unite.

Click http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/68/237  for more details.

Changing the African Narrative

On March 20th, 2014 ABC radio Canberra hosted a discussion regarding changing the African narrative in the western media. The panellists were H.E. Molosiwa Selepeng, the Botswana High Commissioner and dean of the African heads of Mission in Canberra, Phoebe Mwanza, the President of African Professionals of Australia ACT Chapter and Margaret O’Collaghan who worked with UNFPA in Zambia and is currently an academic visitor at the ANU Crawford school. The panellists pointed out that the African narrative needs to change because Africa has made great strides in economic development and democratisation. They urged western media to tell the diverse range of stories taking place in Africa, as there are many positives that do take place there. The African Media Resource Centre of Excellence launched a similar initiative last year in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The entire interview can be downloaded here.

Half of a Yellow Sun

This film of Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche’s novel about the Nigerian Civil War will be on national release from March 27th. Film reviewer David Stratton writing in The Weekend Australian gives it four stars out of five and writes that it is “a significant achievement for the embryonic Nigerian film industry.”