ANU Africa Network Website Relaunch


Seven years after this website was created by David Lucas, the ANU Africa Network website has been renovated and relaunched as part of a project to increase awareness of Africa and African studies in the ANU and the ACT, funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 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.

David Pocock elected to Senate

‘Senator Pocock is the first territory senator not from one of the two major parties.

The ACT has two Senate seats.

‘When announcing his candidacy, he said the choice to run as an independent, rather than join an established party, was an easy one, hinging his campaign on person-led politics intended to support Canberrans over political parties.’


‘David grew up on a farm outside of Gweru, Zimbabwe and began playing rugby at school at the age of 8. In 2001, at 14, David and his family relocated to Brisbane after their farm was taken in Zimbabwe government’s land reform.’

In 2008, ‘David co-founded EightyTwenty Vision, a charitable foundation in partnership with a rural Zimbabwean community development organisation with a focus on improving maternal health, food and water security for the underprivileged community of Nkayi in Zimbabwe. ‘

‘In 2017 David took a year long sabbatical away from Australian rugby. This was the year EightyTwenty Vision handed over their partnership to a larger NGO who had the capacity to scale up the project. He played two seasons with the Panasonic Wild Knights in the Japanese Top League. Between these two seasons David and Emma spent seven months living and working on a farm in rural Zimbabwe, exploring the potential for a project that could sit at the intersection of agriculture, conservation and community development.’

‘Also during 2020 David and his youngest brother, Steve, co-founded Rangelands Restoration Trust – a regenerative agriculture project working to build nature-based climate solutions, adaptation and resilience in rural southern Zimbabwe. The Rangelands Restoration Trust works to restore ecosystems and partner with people who depend on them to improve their livelihoods. During the pandemic, David spent much of 2021 on the ground in Zimbabwe helping implement the early stages of Rangelands work toward an ambitious model that could be implemented at scale across sub-Saharan Africa. The model would secure space for wildlife, improve degraded landscapes and ensure the benefits flow to the communities living within and alongside these remaining wild places. ‘

Town Hall – ANU International Strategy Update (26 May)

The ANU held a Town Hall style meeting on 26 May 2022 to discuss The ANU’s International Strategy Update. The new website was most impressive but is currently only available internally.

One question on  the Zoom chat was put to Brooke Logan who had said  that some updated regional plans had been sent to Regional Institutes. The questioner pointed out  Africa does not have an Institute or a Centre.

From the graphics could be seen that Africa was lacking in many areas, including an absence of student exchanges. 

Studying Africa in Australia – Report and Public Lecture

Adjame Market, Abidjan, Eva Blue via Unsplash

The results of research into the current situation of African studies in the Australian Capital Territory, are available online. A lengthy report, contextualizing the past and present situation of African studies in Canberra, with reference to international developments, and a shorter article recently published in the Australasian Review of African Studies, focusing on changes in Australian universities and academic life, reveal the importance of research methodologies rather than regional specialization.

A reminder that this research project will also be the focus on the Future of the Humanities and Social Sciences Annual Lecture, delivered online via Zoom at 5pm on Wednesday 25 May (Africa Day).


The ANU Media Team is updating the experts guide for the media. At present ANU staff members interested in Africa are scarcely represented in the Guide.

To be listed in the Guide, this short survey should be completed as soon as possible.

The survey has one tick box for Africa but unlike most other regions has no tick boxes for individual countries. In contrast, the Middle East and Central Asia has tick boxes for 20 countries while the Pacific region has 12.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call James Giggacher (Associate Director, Media and Communications) on +61 436 803 488 or the team on +61 2 6125 7979.

Title: Impact of diabetes on longevity and disability-free life expectancy among older South African adults

Title: Impact of diabetes on longevity and disability-free life expectancy among older South African adults

Presenter: Collin Payne, School of Demography, ANU

Date and Time: about 1.20 -2.00 pm Tuesday 26 April
(after the presentation by Kim Xu)

Presentation: Room 4.69, RSSS Building, ANU, 146 Ellery Crescent, Acton and By Zoom (details below)

Understanding the coexisting effects of population aging and a rising burden of diabetes for healthy longevity is of key importance in South Africa. We used longitudinal data from the 2015 and 2018 waves of the “Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa” (HAALSI) study to explore life expectancy (LE) and disability-free life expectancy (DFLE) of adults aged 45 and older with and without diabetes in rural South Africa. We estimated LE and DFLE by diabetes status using Markov-based microsimulation. We find a clear gradient in remaining LE and DFLE based on diabetes status. At age 45, a man without diabetes could expect to live an additional 26.8 [95% CI: 25.22 – 28.44] years, compared with 19.4 [95% CI: 15.59 – 22.79] years for a man with diabetes. For women, these figures were 33.7 [95% CI: 32.44 – 35.08] years for those without diabetes and 29.8 [26.26 – 33.17] years for those with diabetes. Individuals with diabetes lived proportionately more years subject to disability than individuals without diabetes. Additional analyses using marginal structural models to control for sociodemographic and health differences between diabetic and non-diabetic populations suggests that these factors only minimally explain LE and DFLE differences between these groups. Our findings highlight the large and important shortfall in healthy aging for people with diabetes in South Africa. This finding should motivate efforts to strengthen prevention and treatment efforts for diabetes and its complications for older adults in this setting.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 895 8732 1433
Password: 306745

Georgia Troup on the Habitat Use of African Elephants

Georgia Troup’s 2021 thesis is entitled
Understanding the influence of nutritional drivers on the habitat use of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) living in a semi-arid, anthropogenic landscape.

She concludes that her ‘Results also highlight the success of Rukinga in providing a safe refuge for elephants when travelling outside the national parks and into areas of human disturbance. Ultimately, the findings of this thesis highlight how the habitat use of elephants in Tsavo is influenced by nutritional drivers, specifically protein.’
For more details see 

Fenner School Project: Transforming irrigation in southern Africa

‘Transforming irrigation in southern Africa’ , a project at the Fenner School, is described at

The Fenner School has advised that it has ‘received funding for an extension to June 2023, the aim of which is:
By June 2023, we propose to evaluate the extent to which gains comprising increased production, reduced irrigation, increased resilience, and reduced emissions are “climate smart ”, in the face of high climate variability, by evaluating and quantifying the climate change adaptation benefits from irrigation improvements (institutional, technical and non-technical) promoted by the Transforming Irrigation in Southern Africa (TISA) project.

We will receive $600,000 from the Australian Government from ACIAR / DFAT, our focal countries in SSA remain the same i.e. Tanzania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. ‘

ANU Recent Publications on Africa

ANU Recent Publications on Africa Draft 5/4/2022

ANU School of Political Science and International Relations

Ernest Akuamoah, 2020. ‘Democratic Governance and Political Development in Africa’, Australasian Review of African Studies, 2020, 41(1), 9–30 
Ernest Akuamoah, 2021. ‘The Coup in Guinea: Causes and Consequences’, Australian Outlook, 30 September, Australian Institute of International affairs,

Atem Atem, Jennifer Balint, Denise Cauchi, Shyama Fuad (forthcoming). ‘Diaspora Peacebuilding through Inter-ethnic Harmony: The South Sudanese and Sri Lankan Diasporas in Australia.” In Understanding Diaspora Development: Lessons from Australia and the Pacific. Edited by Melissa Phillips and Louise Olliff. Palgrave Macmillan, (forthcoming).

ANU RSSS Demography 

Houle, B, Kabudula, C, Stein, A et al. 2021, ‘Linking the timing of a mother’s and child’s death: Comparative evidence from two rural South African population-based surveillance studies, 2000-2015’, PLOS ONE (Public Library of Science), vol. Online, pp. 1-15.

Houle, B, Yu, S, Angotti, N et al 2020, ‘Clusters of HIV risk and protective sexual behaviors in Agincourt, Rural South Africa; Findings from the Ha Nakekela population-based study of ages 15 and older’, Archives of Sexual Behavior, vol. 49, no. 6, pp. 2057-2068.

Gomez-Olive, F, Houle, B, Rosenberg, M et al. 2020, ‘HIV Incidence among older adults in a rural South African Setting: 2010-2015’, J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr, vol. 85, no. 1, pp. 18-22. 

Redinger, S, Pearson, R, Houle, B et al. 2020, ‘Antenatal depression and anxiety across pregnancy in urban South Africa’, Journal of Affective Disorders, vol. 277, pp. 296-305.

Ben Brinkmann, Justine Davies, Collin Payne et al. (2021) Impairment in activities of daily living and unmet need for care among older adults: a population-based study from Burkina Faso. Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. Online.

Fred J Barker, Justine Davies, Collin Payne et al. (2021) Developing and evaluating a frailty index for older South Africans – findings from the HAALSI study. Age and Ageing, online 1-7.

Alisha Wade, Collin Payne (2021). Multimorbidity and mortality in an older rural black South African population cohort with high prevalence of HIV findings from the HAALSI study, BMJ Open, 11, 1-9.


McConnell, B 2020, Music, Health, and Power: Singing the Unsayable in The Gambia, Routledge, New York.

Sanfilippo, K, McConnell, B, Cornelius, V et al. 2020, ‘Community psychosocial music intervention (CHIME) to reduce antenatal common mental disorder symptoms in The Gambia: a feasibility trial’, BMJ Open, vol. 10, no. 11, pp. e040287.

Abraham, I & Liu, S 2020, ‘Middle-Class Anxiety and Moderate Prosperity: South Africa and China in Comparative Perspective’, Australasian Review of African Studies, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 5-26.

Bjornlund, H, van Rooyen, A, Pittock, J et al. 2020, ‘Institutional innovation and smart water management technologies in small-scale irrigation schemes in southern Africa’, Water International.

Babatunde F. Obamamoye, 2020. Trans-state security complexes and security governance in West Africa, African Security Review, Volume 29, Issue 2.

Australian ODA budget summary 2021-22 for Africa

Australian Official Development Assistance budget summary 2021-22 for Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa 15.0 $million
The Middle East and North Africa 17.1 $million

Thus the allocation for 2020-2021 is the same as for 2021-2022

Also Sub-Saharan Africa thus receives less than Kiribati which gets 24.2 $million.

For more details see:

Studying Africa in Australia: The Future of the Humanities and Social Sciences Annual Lecture

On Africa Day, May 25, Dr Ibrahim Abraham (Humanities Research Centre, ANU) presents the annual Future of the Humanities and Social Sciences Lecture, a critical overview of the study of Africa in Australia in the past and present, with an eye to the future.

In a time of increasing disciplinary fragmentation in the humanities and social sciences, and strengthening methodological and moral scrutiny around the study of a misrepresented continent of many cultures, this lecture suggests paths toward strengthening and promoting multidisciplinary research on Africa in Australia.

Register here.

About the presenter: Ibrahim Abraham is the Hans Mol Research Fellow in Religion and the Social Sciences in the Humanities Research Centre at the ANU. His most recent book is Race, Class and Christianity in South Africa: Middle-Class Moralities (Routledge, 2021).

This event is part of the Humanities Research Centre’s 2022 Distinguished Lecture Series.