Leaders come together to re-engage with Africa

19 March 2010

The Right Honourable Mr Tendai Biti MP, Zimbabwean Minister of Finance.
The Right Honourable Mr Tendai Biti MP, Zimbabwean Minister of Finance.

The University of Sydney will today host a high-profile event on Australia's re-engagement with Africa as part of the University's International Forum series. The forum will bring together leaders and thinkers from around the world to share their views on strategic international issues concerning Africa.

The Honourable Mr Stephen Smith MP, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, and the Right Honourable Mr Tendai Biti MP, Zimbabwean Minister of Finance, will present the keynote addresses.

Mr Biti has distinguished himself as one of the leading lawyers in Zimbabwe
with special expertise in human rights, labour and constitutional law. He has co-founded some of the leading human rights organisations that have dominated civic society. These include: the National Constitutional Assembly, the Zimbabwe Lawyers For Human Rights and the Movement for Democratic Change.

Mr Biti's speech will be followed by speeches and discussions from a range of high profile delegates. Presenters will include: H.E. Mr Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chair, on behalf of the African Union Commission (AUC) Addis Ababa; H.E. Mrs Marie Roussety, Dean of the Africa Group, on behalf of African High Commissioners; Mr Geoffrey Levy AO, Deputy Chair/Former CEO of Investec, on behalf of the Australia Africa Business Council; The Honourable Dr Geoff Gallop AC, Professor and Director, Graduate School of Government, University of Sydney; and Ms Sue van der Merwe, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, South African Government.

A series of academic seminars will follow in the afternoon, addressing topics including: Australia and health-related MDGs in Africa; Current fiscal and revenue management practices for extractive industries; Peace, governance and capacity building; and Realising potential - education and human capital in Africa.

Forum attendees will also be treated to a performance by Doudoumba, an African dancing, chanting and drumming group from West Africa.

Event details

What: Australia's re-engagement with Africa

Where: MacLaurin Hall

When: From 9.30am, Friday 19 March, 2010

Media inquiries and RSVP: Michelle Wood on 0466 655 115 or Kristi Maroc on 0434 154 870.