The African Union's headquarters complex in Addis Ababa.
Photo courtesy of Yilak Kebede.
Dr David Mickler
UWA Africa Research Cluster
The UWA Africa Research Cluster was launched on 25 May 2015, the annual anniversary of "Africa Day", as a new initiative to develop, coordinate and promote high-quality, relevant and ethical Africa-related research at UWA, including early career academic and postgraduate research.
It will also provide a mechanism for developing and deepening UWA research collaborations and other engagements with relevant local, national and international partners from academia, government, industry, community and not-for-profit sectors, including from the African continent.
The Cluster will promote community engagement through hosting an ongoing series of public lectures and other events in Perth on Africa-related themes featuring students, academics, practitioners and other groups. It will also help to facilitate the inclusion of Africa-related content and experts into UWA academic programs, such as the new joint Arts-Science MA in International Development.
The Cluster is inter-faculty and inter-disciplinary, with membership drawn from the across the university's faculties as well as from the International Mining for Development Centre (IM4DC), the Centre for Muslim States and Societies (CMSS), and the Office for Research Enterprise. It will also contribute to UWA’s founding membership of the Australia Africa Universities Network (AAUN) and the Global Africa Group of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) and is supported by the UWA Energy and Minerals Institute (EMI), the African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP) and the Africa Australia Association (AAA).
Africa-related research in Australia is an important field, reflecting a growing and diverse African Diaspora in Australia, a deepening of diplomatic and commercial relations between the continents over the past decade, and a recognition of Africa’s rising political, economic and demographic significance in global affairs.
This includes a natural resources boom and rapid economic growth, increasing democratisation, and the creation of new Pan-African governance institutions such as the African Union. It also reflects new collaborative forms of research on and external engagement with Africa’s development, security, migration, health, environmental, economic and other socio-political, legal and scientific challenges.
The UWA Africa Research Cluster was launched at UWA on 25 May 2015, the annual anniversary of "Africa Day".
The Cluster was formally launched by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Community and Engagement) Professor Kent Anderson. An overview of the Cluster was provided by Coordinator Dr David Mickler before UWA 3rd year student Tinashe Jakwa discussed the meanings and significance of "Africa Day". The keynote address was given by UWA Centenary Professor in Rural Development Petra Tschakert on "Understanding structural vulnerabilities to climate change in Africa."
Following the launch, guests were treated to a great performance by local Afro World band Shangara Jive at the reception in Hackett Hall.