Farewell to former High Commissioner Ian McConville and his family
On 17 December 2012, Ian McConville completed his term as High Commissioner to Nigeria, with accreditation to ECOWAS and the Republics of Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, The Gambia and Niger. After a challenging and rewarding time in Nigeria and the region, he and his family have left for Australia.
Travelling widely in all seven countries of accreditation, Ian McConville has been crucial in opening the door for increased engagement between Australia and the region. Among his many achievements, he led with distinction the Australian response to the tragic Sundance plane crash in the Republic of Congo in 2010; supported the establishment of the Australia-Nigeria Trade and Investment Commission (ANTIC); furthered Australia's commitment to mining, development and anti-piracy efforts; became the first Australian High Commissioner accredited to ECOWAS; and oversaw the signing of an agreement of inter-agency cooperation between the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). We wish him and his family farewell and all the best in their future endeavours.
HE Ian McConville celebrating his birthday at the office with his spouse Ms Libby McCutchan and their three kids Sarah,Kieren and Hamish, October 2012
Mr Jon Richardson appointed as Australia’s new High Commissioner to Nigeria, with accreditation to ECOWAS and the Republics of Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, The Gambia and Niger
Read the full text of the press release issued by Senator the Hon Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs, on 1 November 2012.
Mr Jon Richardson
Australia and Nigeria sign Memorandum of Understanding to enhance cooperation
On 5 September 2012, Secretary of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Dennis Richardson, and Permanent Secretary of the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during a visit to Australia by Ambassador Uhomoibhi. The inter-agency MoU reflects the increased bilateral engagement between Australia and Nigeria and provides a framework for future cooperation. The MoU provides for regular consultations on bilateral and international issues of mutual interest, including political, economic, commercial, scientific, technical and cultural co-operation.
Ambassador Uhomoibhi and Mr Richardson during the MoU signing on 5 September 2012 in Canberra
Proud to present: The Australian Lapdesk Project
Australia distributes almost 4000 lapdesks to schools in Niger, Benin, the Republic of Congo and Cameroon. Read the full story here.
Australian lapdesks presented to students in a UNICEF displaced person's camp in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, in July 2012
Australian Government scholarships for Africa increase ten-fold
Australia Awards in Africa (AAA) open for applications from 1 September 2012. Read the full text of the media release from the Australian High Commission. For further information visit the AAA website.
Australian High Commissioner Ian McConville with four recipients of Long Terms Awards for 2013 at the launch of the Australia Awards for Africa round on Thursday 13 September 2012 in Abuja. From left to right: Dr. Nneka Orji, Ms. Mercy Abdullahi, Ms. Bunmi Olalekan Odusanya and Mr Tarfa Mariellinus Cliffori Makyur
Visit to Benin by Australian Prime Minister’s Special Envoy H.E. Mr William Fisher, 16-17 August 2012
Read the full text of the article here.
Prime Minister's Special Envoy meeting with the President of the Republic of Benin.
From left: Mr Tom Beamish, Mr Percy Stanley, H.E. Mr William Fisher, H.E. Dr Thomas Boni Yayi, H.E. Mr Ian McConville, Ms Mariam Aladji Boni Diallo, Mr Jérôme Fayomi, Mr Seth Tebe
Prime Minister's Special Envoy, H.E. Mr William Fisher, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr Nassirou Bako-Arifari, signing a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Republic of Benin.
Launch of the touring Indigenous Australian art exhibition Message Stick: Indigenous Identity in Urban Australia, 11-20 August 2012 at the Transcorp Hilton Lobby in Abuja.
Australian didgeridoo player Chris Williams performing for guests and media representatives during the opening ceremony
Australian High Commissioner Mr Ian McConville; Ministry of Tourism, Culture & National Orientation Director for Culture Chief George Ufot and National Gallery of Art Direct General Alhaji Abdullahi Muku handing out certificates to the young, Abuja-based photographers who attended the “UrbanLlife in Nigeria” photography workshop.
Australia provides a further $50 million for food security in Africa-
The Gambia and Niger major beneficiaries
Australia funds border security workshop in Abuja
On 25-26 June, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade funded an International Organisation for Migration (IOM) workshop in Abuja entitled 'Enhancing Border Management to Improve Security and Facilitate Legitimate Travel in a Changing Environment.'
The workshop brought together Nigerian border security agencies to identify ways to harmonise inter-agency communication in the face of increasing security threats. The workshop included senior representatives from Nigeria Customs, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Police and the State Security Service.
In addition, the regional representative of INTERPOL based in Cameroon and his colleague based in Nigeria both made presentations aimed at increasing information flows. The workshop was opened by Australian High Commissioner Ian McConville and IOM Chief of Mission Martin Ocaga.
Above Australian High Commissioner Ian McConville (centre), IOM Chief of Mission Martin Ocaga (left) and IOM Programme Officer Mark Richmond (right).
Prime Minister’s Special Envoy visits Nigeria
Read the full text of the article here.
Special Envoy Ms Joanna Hewitt talking to the press after the commissioning of a hand pump borehole in Ijabisa - Bwari Area Council-FCT - on 17 April 2012
The Gabonese President, HE Ali Bongo Ondimba, on State Visit to Australia: Joint statement with Prime Minister Gillard
Read the full text of the joint statement of Prime Minister Gillard and Gabonese President Bongo Ondimba dated 29 March 2012.
President Bongo Ondimba with his family, Australian High Commissioner Ian McConville and Gabonese officials at Taronga Zoo in Sydney
Alan Davies appointed as Australian Honorary Consul in Lagos
Read the full text of the media release from the Australian High Commission dated 2 March 2012.