Conference links mining and agriculture across two continents

August 5, 2013

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Kalgoorlie Super Pit

Murdoch University in association with Africa Down Under and in partnership with the Crawford Fund is set to host the Africa Australia Research Forum to foster research collaborations and build relationships between Australia and the countries of Africa.

Running from August 25 to 28 in Perth, the event includes keynote presentations by H.E. Festus Mogae, former President of Bostwana and recipient of the Mo Ibrahim Prize, and Mario Pezzini Executive Director of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation Development Centre.

They will be joined by government representatives from 18 African nations and local and national industry representatives.

Forum Co-chair David Doepel said this year’s four-day event would focus on the interaction between mining and agriculture.

“Mining and agriculture are significant industries for Australian and African nations, so it is incredibly important to think about them in a holistic way to understand their challenges and opportunities, Mr Doepel said.

“Part of the conference’s focus will be on identifying national and international practices that foster a mutually beneficial coexistence between these interests, providing benefits to communities.”

Mr Doepel noted that Murdoch University has entered into a number of partnerships in Africa to do with mining management and rehabilitation, helping small holder farmers engage with markets, improving nutrient uptake from soil and using mineral wealth to improve water and sanitation, making the conference theme a timely one.

“The on-going partnership with Africa Down Under ensures that the conference benefits from the strong participation of the mining community as well as visiting African delegations,” Mr Doepel said.

“Coupled together with civil society organisations and academics, it makes for a very relevant discussion that hopefully will lead to significant and meaningful outcomes.”

“The Crawford Fund’s annual conference on food security has been held in Canberra for the past two decades, and their participation in Perth with us this year also adds a very positive dimension to the program.

“This includes the Sir John Crawford Memorial Address, to be given by the Hon Dr Florence Chenoweth, an influential global agriculture development and human rights expert, Africa Prize Winner and Minister for Agriculture in the Republic of Liberia.”

Dr Chenoweth’s talk is entitled ‘Opportunities in the Midst of the Global Food Crisis’.

For more information and to register for the conference, go to here.

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