Australia's Foreign Minister Bob Carr visited The University of Western Australia today to meet international students who have benefited from AusAID tertiary study programs and hold talks with staff from the UWA-affiliated International Mining for Development Centre (IM4DC).
The IM4DC program was formed last year as a partnership between UWA - through the University's Energy and Minerals Institute - AusAID and the University of Queensland to support governance, sustainability and expertise in developing nations.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard launched the program at UWA during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth last October.
The program includes scholarships for students from developing nations to study advanced mining-related sciences at research intensive universities in Australia's two main resource-rich states.
While at UWA today, Senator Carr met postgraduate geology students Sam Summerville from Liberia and Catherine Nyakecho from Uganda; Lamin Manneh from Gambia (oil and gas engineering); and Javier Gonzalez-Garcia (geology/geothermal).
Senator Carr said the IM4DC program brought Australia's world-leading expertise in mining to resource-rich developing countries through education.
"It is an example of Australian know-how that delivers global benefits," he said.
The Vice-Chancellor of The University of Western Australia, Professor Paul Johnson, said UWA had established a strong reputation in regional and geopolitical influence, including through the University's unique In The Zone conference series.
"The University of Western Australia has a long track record with other AusAID programs, notably in agriculture," Professor Johnson said.
"The University is pleased to further extend its leading expertise in mining and energy to more students from developing nations."
While in Perth, Senator Carr also announced a new $4.9 million Australian aid package to help the world's developing nations gain a better share of the benefits of mining in their home countries.
Senator Carr said Africa's exports of oil, gas and minerals were worth more than nine times the money it received in foreign aid. "This represents an opportunity for developing countries to use their mining wealth to drive their future prosperity," he said.
Caption (from left); Javier Gonzalez-Garcia, Sam Summerville, Catherine Nyakecho, Foreign Minister Bob Carr and Lamin Manneh.