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Akirteh Institute of African Studies Australia

The Akirteh Institute of African Studies Australia (AIASA) is a vision of Melbourne Polytechnic’s Chief Executive and the leadership team, to create an African institute within Melbourne Polytechnic. Located at the Melbourne Polytechnic Collingwood precinct, AIASA will provide a space for teaching, learning and research to AIASA staff, students and the broader community. They will work collaboratively with industry and diverse population groups at the local, national and international levels.

The Purpose of AIASA is to: Create, Enable, Educate and Develop (CEED) a community of learners with knowledge about Africa; advance research; build linkages between individuals, communities and governments in Australia and globally.

The Vision is to have a community that knows about Africa, its history and people; and for those with an African ancestry, to help them embrace and celebrate their culture.

AIASA envisages itself as a future ‘Expertise Funnel’ on Africa, in Australia.

The Mission of AIASA is to connect, to link, and be an enabler for Australians regardless of heritage, enhance their knowledge about Africa.

In line with the Mission and Vision, AIASA has as its objectives:

  • To build partnerships and collaborations between communities, institutions and governments;
  • To build a community of learners;
  • To build, develop and strengthen linkages between communities and industry;
  • To create new knowledge through research and training, with the view of AIASA becoming a reference point for policy makers, industry, community and researchers.

Areas of Focus

AIASA will focus its work in four main areas:

  • Education, teaching and learning (Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees)
  • Research and training (on Africa and the global African Diaspora)
  • Linkages
  • Programs and scholarship in the workplace.

This will allow for efficiencies and scalability as AIASA develops in scope and activities, while aligning AIASA with global counterparts. Courses, programs and initiatives will be delivered under the following themes:

  • The Australian African Diaspora;
  • African Languages, Arts, Culture and Music;
  • Anthropology and History;
  • Trades and Investment;
  • Entrepreneurship and Business;
  • Refugee Health;
  • Gender Studies;
  • Contemporary Africa in the Global Context;
  • Crime and Justice;

Finally, the creation of the Akirteh Institute is visionary and aspirational in Australia and we applaud Melbourne Polytechnic for such a vision.

Dr Mimmie Watts

Doctor Mimmie Claudine Ngum Chi Watts (MPH; GCTE; Ph.D.) has extensive experience and well-developed skills in governance and management and recognised for her strategic engagement capabilities.

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Last Modified: 15th May 2019