A new centre that will drive Australia-Africa research and innovation with the hope of improving life in both continents has been launched by The University of Western Australia.
The Africa Research & Engagement Centre (AfREC), announced during the Australia Africa Universities Network (AAUN) Annual Forum, will drive new initiatives and ethical collaborations between Australia and Africa and draw upon the important knowledge, ideas and experiences of growing African-Australian communities.
The Centre will work with multiple industries across a wide range of research disciplines including agriculture, mining, law, public policy, international development, environmental science, engineering, archaeology and heritage, population health, biological science, history and economics.
Building on the Africa-related work of the University’s flagship institutes, the Institute of Agriculture, Oceans Institute and Public Policy Institute, the Centre will oversee collaborative research, teaching and training programs that will address development challenges in the region.
Across Africa, rural welfare and economic growth depend on agricultural productivity and AfREC will provide research expertise in agriculture and food security that could influence the need for new policies that improve technological uptake in African agriculture.
The Centre’s interim Director, Dr David Mickler from UWA’s School of Social Sciences, said the establishment of AfREC builds on UWA’s engagement with the enormously important and diverse continent of Africa and African-Australian communities.
“Based in Perth, Australia’s ‘gateway’ with Africa across the Indian Ocean, the Centre will enhance Australia-Africa relations by deepening research and education partnerships and creating new opportunities for engagement between the two continents,” Dr Mickler said.
“AfREC will have a direct impact on society and policy through ongoing consultation with key stakeholders in academia, government, industry, the not-for- profit and community sectors.”
Dr David Mickler (Director, Africa Research & Engagement Centre) (+61 8) 6488 1890
David Stacey (UWA Media and Public Relations Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716