The size of the African diaspora in Australia is now more than half a million. With it comes a range of people-to-people and cultural links through which Australia is in a great position to promote closer relations on the continent.
Matthew Neuhaus is the first assistant secretary, Middle East and Africa Division at Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and former Australian ambassador to Zimbabwe. He says engagement may be hampered by having too much focus placed on conflict in Africa and not enough on the improving economic conditions and the growth in democracy. He mentions South Africa, Kenya and Ghana among others who have shown strong economic and civil foundations to build from.
In an interview at the AIIA National Office, Neuhaus told Australian Outlook Editor Karan Dhamija that Australia has long provided humanitarian assistance and development aid to Africa. This has recently been accompanied by large investment by Australian businesses in the continent’s resources sector. However, as a G20 member with a global approach in its engagement there are strong opportunities for increased cultural and educational engagement by Australia in the near future.
Matthew Neuhaus is the first assistant secretary, Middle East and Africa Division at Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and former ambassador to Zimbabwe.
Interview by Karan Dhamija.
Filmed by Simon Harrison.
Edited by Yidan Qu.