Seven years after this website was created by David Lucas, the ANU Africa Network website has been renovated and relaunched as part of the DFAT-funded project to increase awareness of Africa and African studies in the ANU and the ACT.
The major innovation is the creation of the ACT Africa Expert Directory which currently lists 71 experts on Africa from institutions around the ACT, primarily the ANU. We will continue to expand and refine this list in the coming months and years, offering a key resource for media, government and non-government organizations seeking expert facts and opinions on Africa.
Another notable addition is the expanded directory of PhD theses on Africa produced in the territory’s universities, a solid measure of the vitality of the study of Africa in the city of Canberra.
Reviewing both directories, it is revealing to note that the vast majority of research on Africa is produced by disciplinary experts (environmental scientists, economists, demographers, etc.) rather than area studies experts. This means that the study of Africa is woven into the fabric of the research culture of the ANU and the ACT’s other universities in ways that are not necessarily apparent.
As the project to increase awareness of Africa and African studies in the ANU and the ACT continues into next year, this website will be an important tool in organizing and promoting the study of Africa.
Monday, 30 August 2021, 5pm-6pm AEST
Free and online: register here via Eventbrite
This zoom webinar will launch the new book Race, Class and Christianity in South Africa: Middle-Class Moralities by Ibrahim Abraham. Exploring the relationship between race and class among middle-class Christians in South Africa, this book will be of interest to researchers of South African culture and society, as well as religion, anthropology, and sociology. The presentation will draw from the book’s concluding chapter “Covid-19 in Cape Town” reflecting on the ongoing crisis in South Africa in light of the book’s focus on the spiritual and material insecurities of the South African middle class, and the diversity of theological and political approaches among multiracial middle-class churches.
About the author: Ibrahim Abraham is the Hans Mol Research Fellow in Religion and the Social Sciences in the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University. A graduate of Monash University and the University of Bristol, he was previously a research fellow at the University of Helsinki. Ibrahim is the author of Evangelical Youth Culture: Alternative Music and Extreme Sports Subcultures (Bloomsbury, 2017), editor of Christian Punk: Identity and Performance (Bloomsbury, 2020), and co-editor of the Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, the publication of the Australian Association for the Study of Religion.
The Convenor of the Herbert and Valmae Freilich Project for the Study of Bigotry has advised that the recording for Dr Ibrahim Abraham’s “Truth and Reconciliation: South Africa and Victoria” webinar given on 8 April, 2021, is now available at
A free Book on African Women:
From the press release:
“In Her Words: African Women’s Perspectives on Gender Equality,” is a collection of essays that are equal parts thought provoking and witty from young women across the African continent and the diaspora.”
“In collaboration with the publication team of Agbowó, this free anthology will be made available to the public on International Women’s Day – March 8th. In the meantime, please follow the journey across the social media channels.”
In its May 2021 Blog Highlights the ANU’s Devpol News has refers to a podcast on Somaliland, a country that does not officially exist. See
Senegambian Rhythmic Traditions, Embodied Knowledge, and Adaptation
Lamine Sonko and King Marong
Date & time: Thursday 20 May 2021, 3.30–5pm
Location: Kingsland Room, Level 6, ANU School of Music
In this research seminar, Lamine Sonko and King Marong will reflect on their longterm engagement with embodied knowledge of ancient rhythmic traditions in West Africa, as well as current research exploring the adaptation of traditional music, dance, and theatre in contemporary Australia. The seminar will include a discussion and live music demonstration.
Lamine Sonko is a composer, director and multi-instrumentalist, originally from Senegal and living in Australia since 2004. In his artistic practice he draws on traditional wisdom to create inter-disciplinary & multi-sensory arts experiences inspired by his cultural background as a Gewel (hereditary cultural role). His role as a Gewel is to be a keeper and communicator of history, customs, rituals and sacred knowledge through music, dance and oral storytelling. Through his work he has defined new ways to present and re-imagine the traditional African, contemporary and classical synthesis of music and theatre. As a composer he has arranged and recorded award-winning music including two compositions for Grammy Award-winning album ‘Winds of Samsara’ (2015). He has composed and directed large scale works including the Boite Millennium Chorus ‘One Africa’ (Arts Centre Melbourne) and has presented and performed throughout Australia and internationally.
Born in The Gambia, King Marong has been performing professionally since the age of 12. King developed his skills in the coastal fishing village where he grew up surrounded by the griots (hereditary musicians) and international musicians who were his mentors for Senegambian drumming and cultural priorities. In his late teens he formed his band Kunta Kinteh and consequently toured The Gambia, Senegal, UK and Europe. King has since built an international reputation as a master of many African drumming styles on instruments such as the Djembe, Boucarabou, Doundoun and Sabar, performing and teaching percussion to students from around the world.
ANU School of Music
Wed 19 May, 6–7.30pm
Join Gambian master percussionist, King Marong, Senegalese multi-instrumentalist, Lamine Sonko, music technology convenor Professor Samantha Bennett, and musicology convenor Dr Bonnie McConnell in ANU’s world class recording studio for a special performance/recording exploring Gambian and Senegalese culture.
Please note places are strictly limited to 25.
Click for details and registration.
More information on the fourth Anthony Low Commonwealth Lecture is available on the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific website http://asiapacific.enu.edu.au
Topic: How to eliminate human trafficking and modern slavery
from our 21st century world.
Speaker: Julie Bishop, Chancellor of ANU and former Australian Foreign Minister.
Date: Thursday, 27 May
Location: Lotus Hall Auditorium Theatre, Australian Centre on China in the World,
Building 188, Fellows Lane, Canberra
This is a free event open to the public. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, registration is
essential and numbers are limited. Please join us for light refreshments after.
At present there are no plans to stream it
2021 SOUTH AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL
12th – 24th May
‘We are bringing to your homes 17 remarkable films’
‘What kind of tickets are available?’
‘You can either buy a Festival Pass which will grant you access to all of the films (A$60 for an individual or A$80 for more than 1 person viewing films), or you can purchase individual tickets for each film you would like to view $8 (for an individual) or $10 (more than 1 person).’
For more information see
ANU School of Demography Seminar
Date and Time: Tuesday 20 April 1.30-2.30pm
Location: Room 1.23 RSSS Building and By Zoom (details below)
Presenter: Dr Helen Suich
Title: Measuring individual-level multidimensional poverty in South Africa
The Individual Deprivation Measure (IDM) is a gender-sensitive and multidimensional measure of poverty, assessed across 14 economic and social dimensions of deprivation. I this seminar, I will introduce the IDM as an individual measure of multidimensional poverty, and provide highlights from the South African country study. Data was collected from more than 8,500 individuals across South Africa, in 2019. I will provide examples of how this innovative tool can provide rich insights into the different patterns of deprivation, and use the data to highlight some of the important differences in the experiences of men and women and across age groups. I will present data from a range of dimensions which illustrate how individual-level data enriches our understanding of multidimensional poverty and can better inform poverty reduction policies and programmes designed.
Helen Suich is an independent researcher, focusing largely on issues of poverty alleviation, rural development and natural resource management, and the design and evaluation of projects and programs designed to achieve these goals. Helen worked as a senior research fellow in the IDM programme at ANU, and led the IDM South Africa Country Study.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 895 2018 9486
Additional Resources provided by Helen Suich
There are a wide range of resource available for those who are interested in the results of the South African survey and the methods used for the analysis. There are six briefing notes, describing the results for the main sample, as well as the analyses by gender, by age group, by disability status and by rural/urban locality. The sixth summarises the South African country study and the revised data analysis methods. Accompanying documentation includes reports describing the revised methods in detail, as well as providing all of the revised results. A comprehensive report published in May 2020 summarises the initial analysis of both the main sample and the purposive sample, which is available here. There is also a series of videos, one summarising the South African country study, one for the overall results of the main sample, based on the revised analysis methods, and one each describing the results by gender, age, rural/urban locality and disability status.
More information about the ANU-led Indonesia study can be found here.
Australian Centre on China in the World
Thursday, 22 April 2021, 4.00pm – 5.30pm
Online and in person, China in the World seminar rooms (Building 188), Fellows Lane, ANU
Details and link to registration here.
Abstract The rolling out of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and overseas projects provides a window to examine the intercultural dynamics between Chinese expats and local communities. Ethiopia, an East African country, has become a strategic partner of China and hosts a growing population of Chinese developers, business people and workers. In this contact zone, assumptions and misassumptions, tentative adjustments, and reevaluation of Chinese and local communities’ relations are abundant to the extent that any culturalist explanation is insufficient to grapple with the Chinese’s evolving ethical experience. This study shows how the Chinese and Ethiopians relate to one another ethically in different contexts and why the boundary between them becomes explicit or less so.
Bio Dr Liang Chen’s research interests involve migration, urbanisation, and intercultural encounters in China and Africa. He has been studying the trans-continental business network of African expatriates in China, the Chinese working in Ethiopia, and Afar pastoralists’ urbanisation in Ethiopia and Djibouti since 2016. He is currently visiting the School of Culture, History, and Language of ANU.
Public Seminar: History matters – Implication for Agricultural Research for Development in Southern Africa
Speaker: Henning Bjornlund, Research Professor in Water Policy and Management at University of South Australia. Since 2013 he has worked on a Research for Development project funded by ACIAR and lead by ANU
Date: 1pm, Thursday 29 Apr 2021
Venue: Frank Fenner Seminar Room
141 Linnaeus Way, Acton ACT 2601,
Also available online via Zoom
For more information and to register go to