How bad government can ruin a country: the case of Zimbabwe


Speaker: David Gadiel is a Senior Fellow in the Health Program at The Centre for Independent Studies. He emigrated from Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia) in the 1960s and is a former development economist.

Date & time:
Tuesday 30 October 2018
Seminar Room 2, Crawford School of Public Policy, 132 Lennox Crossing, ANU

“The history of Zimbabwe is a portrait of decay and mismanagement that ruined a once-thriving economy. With its sophisticated institutions, a stable banking system, a manufacturing base and a highly-capitalised farming industry, Zimbabwe inherited the richest, most developed land in Africa after South Africa. An economic history of Zimbabwe thereafter provides a classic example of how populism can trump reason; how readily world leaders who should have known better became so easily beguiled; and how a false god became a liberation icon to fellow African leaders. It is a sad story often neglected, partly because ‘optimists’ in the West, who had enthusiastically greeted the birth of Zimbabwe and the incumbency of Mugabe, became reluctant to accept their error.”

Ross McLeod, Seminar Convener

Australian aid stakeholder survey 2018

Australian aid stakeholder survey

For those who haven’t had completed it yet, the deadline for the ANU’s  Devpolicy  2018 Australian aid stakeholder survey has been extended to Monday 22 October. The survey focuses on the effectiveness of the Australian Government aid program and will provide suggestions for its improvement. The survey is open to anyone familiar with Australian aid, and will only take approximately 15 minutes. Responses are confidential. See

More information about the survey is available in the Participant Information Sheet.

If you have any outstanding questions about the survey or the procedures, you may contact Terence Wood on +61 2 6125 5693 or by email at


Examining Recent African Mining Conferences

Revised topic for the second talk in the  African Discussion Group series

“Examining Recent African Mining Conferences: Lessons learnt re Governments, the African Union, Corporates, NGOs and communities.

It will include a joint round table discussion of what are essentially Africa wide governance issues, with the students (and others) contributing from their own country’s experiences,

Date: Thursday 25th October, 6pm
Venue: Fenner Seminar Room, Building 141, Fenner School of Environment and Society
Linnaeus Way. This building is at the corner of Daley Road and Linnaeus way
Speaker: Margaret O’Callaghan (Visiting Fellow at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy)

Our presenter Margaret O’Callaghan will speak on the impact of mining in Africa and the role played by corporates, civil society, government agencies and other key actors using Zambia as a case study.
The presentation will provide an overview and analysis of conferences focused on mining in Africa, including those run by corporates, civil society, regional agencies and governments. It will highlight the resulting issues, especially those related to costs and benefits for both the continent and mining communities.

Margaret is a Visiting Fellow at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy. Formerly a teacher, community worker, researcher and writer, a major part of her career focused on international development assistance working with AusAID (1987-93) and serving as UN Population Fund Representative to PNG (1993-1998) and Zambia (1998-2005).
This second discussion series promises to be interactive and exciting for those interested in learning and contributing to discussions on mining in Africa.

Please RSVP through the link to secure your place:

There will be snacks and non-alcoholic drinks after the presentation.
Hope to see you all there!

The ANU’s Ceri Shipton named as Australia’s Leader in the Research Field of African Studies and History

The September 2018 issue of  the Research Supplement of The Australian was devoted to ‘The Stars of 2018’.

Pages 36-38 were devoted to Australia’s Australia’s Research Field Leaders and Institutions in the Humanities, Arts and Literature. Dr Ceri Shipton of the ANU was named as the Field Leader in African Studies and History, while Charles Sturt University was nominated as the Leading Institution.

Dr Shipton has worked on research projects in East Africa, Arabia, India, and Polynesia, and on periods from the Lower Palaeolithic to the Neolithic.

 He is a researcher at the School of Culture, History and Language at the ANU. In article entitled ‘Kenyan cave sheds new light on dawn of modern man’ he said that ‘the Panga ya Saidi cave sequence dates back 78,000 years and is the only known site in East Africa with an unbroken archaeological record of human habitation.’

Just one example of his African work is ‘Taphonomy and Behaviour at the Acheulean Site of Kariandusi, Kenya’, African Archaeological Review, 2011. Acheulean refers to a range of Paleolithic tool-making traditions spreading from Africa to the Middle East and Asian.