On 2 September 2019, UWA hosted the Australia Africa Universities Network (AAUN) Annual Australia Forum, AGM and Dinner. UWA has hosted this flagship event annually since 2016 as part of national Australia Africa Week in Perth. The 2019 Forum theme was “Strengthening Australia-Africa University Relationships”.
The 22 member Network includes ten universities from Australia and twelve from the African continent. In addition to leading AAUN researchers, a range of high-level speakers presented at the Forum, including several Vice-Chancellors, High Commissioners and other diplomats from Australia and Africa.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Dawn Freshwater opened the Forum and later chaired Session 2 on “Strengthening University Relationships: What Works and What Does Not?” featuring a panel of Vice-Chancellors and Deputy Vice-Chancellors from Network members University of Pretoria, University of Ghana, Murdoch University, Curtin University and Tshwane University of Technology.
The Forum included the launch of two new books by researchers within the Network, Africa and the Sustainable Development Goals edited by Prof. Maano Ramutsindela (University of Cape Town) and Dr David Mickler (UWA AfREC) and Australia and Africa: A New Friend from the South? by Dr Nikola Pijovic (UWA AfREC Research Fellow).
For the first time, the Forum also included a TEDxUWA session. The TEDx theme of “Australia-Africa: Water for Life” featured presentations by water experts Prof. Basant Maheshwari (Western Sydney University), Prof. Greg Leslie (UNSW) and Prof. Anas Ghadouani (UWA AfREC Research Fellow).
The Forum was followed by the AGM and then Dinner, with entertainment provided by The Komichi Alliance. The next AAUN Africa Forum will be held at the university of Pretoria in late March 2020. Please check the AAUN website for details in due course.