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Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa

How to contact us

Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
Email: africacentre@lse.ac.uk

The Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa has been launched on Monday 11 July, thanks to a generous gift from LSE alumnus and long-term supporter Firoz Lalji.


Based at LSE, the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa promotes independent academic research and teaching; open and issue-oriented debate; and evidence-based policy making.

The Centre accomplishes this by connecting different social science disciplines and by working in partnership with Africa bringing African voices to the global debate.

The Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa is part of the Institute of Global Affairs at LSE.


ESRC awards LSE £5 million for new centre looking at successful models of government in fragile African countries

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has awarded LSE a five-year grant to research governance in fragile, conflict-affected, and impoverished areas in Africa. Launched on 1 April 2017, the Centre for Public Authority and International Development (CPAID) will be led by Professor Tim Allen and hosted at the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa. Its aim is to produce high-quality research and evidence that can help to generate informed and successful international development policies.  

The research will look at how families, clans, religious leaders, aid agencies, civil society, rebel militia and vigilante groups contribute to governance, by sharing the experiences of affected populations particularly marginalised and excluded groups.

Countries included in the research programme are those involved in prolonged conflict, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, South Sudan, but also the now relatively peaceful states of Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Uganda. The common denominator of the research locations is the informal or semi-formal nature of public authority, or the presence of so-called “twilight institutions” such as those associated with rebel groups, border trade networks, and diverse international actors.

The funding of the centre forms part of ESRC’s contribution to the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), a £1.5 billion UK Government investment to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries.

Read more about CPAID 


Ibukun Awosika delivers inspiring closing keynote at the 2017 LSE Africa Summit

A successful fourth LSE Africa Summit, led by students, concluded on Saturday 1 April with a rousing address by the Chairman of the First Bank of Nigeria, Ibukun Awosika who urged the students in the audience to actively engage in solving the issues facing Africa today.

Awosika’s keynote underlined the theme of this year’s Summit, Built for Africa: African Solutions to African Issues. Although Africa has problems, young Africans can use their education to think constructively and strategically about how to solve these problems, she said, as she urged students to think of themselves as leaders of today, not tomorrow.

Ghanaian undercover investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas gave a spirited defence of what he called “results-based journalism” in the closing keynote of the research conference on Friday 31 March.

Professor Muhammadou Kah, Vice Rector For Technology & Innovations at the ADA University in Baku, Azerbaijan, also emphasised the importance of the diaspora’s contribution to developing African countries.

Security, education and financing were also among the topics debated at the research and business conferences.

Watch video of the 2017 LSE Africa Summit

MSc Global Media icon

Applications deadline fast approaching for LSE-UCT MSc Global Media and Communications scholarships

If you fancy being part of the first class of students to enrol in the new MSc Global Media and Communications double degree from LSE and UCT, time is running out to apply.

There are two scholarship opportunities for African applicants for this degree, but in order to be considered, it is recommended that you apply by 31 March.  If an offer is received, holders must then complete the LSE Graduate Financial Support Application form by 5pm GMT on 26 April 2017.

Find out more about the degree and how to apply

Discover more scholarships available to African students applying to LSE.

Mauritius Vice President will deliver the opening keynote at the fourth LSE Africa Summit

HE Mr Paramasivum Pillay Vyapoory, Vice President of Mauritius, will give the opening address on the first day of the 2017 LSE Africa Summit on Friday 31 March. Mr Vyapoory is a former High Commissioner to South Africa and a former academic.

The theme of this year’s two-day conference is Built for Africa: African Solutions for African Issues.
Applications open for MSc African Development at LSE

If you are looking for Masters programme which can provide you with a high quality academic introduction to the study of politics, economic development and economic policy in Africa, then you may be interested in applying for the LSE MSc African Development programme.

Find out more about the programme
D4Dignity launch their campaign

The winner of the PfAL projects campaign, D4Dignity have launched their fundraising campaign to provide menstrual products to women and girls in a refugee camp in Maiduguri, Nigeria.

The group of six postgraduate LSE students aim to raise £10,000 which will be used to acheive their goal of providing menstrual hygiene kits for 1400 women and girls in the Maiduguri camp.

Find out more about the campaign on the website and the GoGetFunding page.
Apply to attend the 2017 LSE-UCT July School

The fifth LSE-UCT July School will take place from 17-28 July 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa.

This innovative and prestigious two-week ‘summer school’ style programme provides the highest calibre students, graduates and professionals from across the globe with an exciting opportunity to study important social science issues relevant to Africa today across subject areas as diverse as international relations, economics, management, government, geography, law, media and social policy.

Find out how to apply for the 2017 LSE/UCT July School

Women Leaders on Global Stage: lessons for Africa

To commemorate International Women’s Day 2017, the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa gathered three notable women, Fadumo Dayib, Nemata Majeks-Walker and Joice Mujuru, at LSE on Tuesday 7 March to share their personal challenges and successes in securing political office and campaigning to increase women’s representation in government.

The following day, Dayib, Majeks-Walker and Mujuru had the opportunity to speak to an intimate audience at the UK Parliament at an event hosted by Maria Miller MP, Chair of the Women’s and Equalities Select Committee.

Watch the video of the event and discover how the event unfolded on social media with Storify

African Revolutions: From the streets to the written word

As part of the LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2017, the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa held an event African Revolutions: From the streets to the written word which explored the impact of the Arab Spring on the literature of the region.

Yasmine El Rashidi, Samar Samir Mezghanni and Nii Ayikwei Parkes shared personal reflections on how the popular revolutions in North Africa since 2011 continue to inspire their work and those of their colleagues.

Listen to a podcast of this event
TimAllen at the 2016 Africa Summit

Professor Tim Allen Gives Evidence at The Hague

Professor Tim Allen, Director of the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa and head of the Department for International Development at LSE, was the first witness of the prosecution at the ongoing trial of the former Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leader Dominic Ongwen at the Hague on 16 and 17 January 2017.

The LRA sprung up in Uganda in the 1980s when Professor Allen, then a young academic, was living and conducting research in Uganda.

In his testimony, he explained the origins of the LRA and gave some insight into how the LRA leader Joseph Kony inducted junior recruits into his army.


Nigerian Scholar and Diplomat Ibrahim Gambari visits LSE

A LSE special session with Professor Ibrahim Gambari was hosted by the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa on 12 December 2016.

Professor Gambari, who has had a distinguished career with the United Nations, discussed the relationship between Africa and the UN, tackling various aspects including the outlining of an agenda for peace, security and human rights.

This interactive session also opened up a discussion about the implications for Africa of the increasing wave of nativism and protectionism in Western societies, while stressing the importance of African leaders taking action so as to generate responses from the UN.

PfAL Campaign winner

D4Dignity wins PfAL Projects Competition

In the 2016 Michaelmas Term, students in the Programme for African Leadership (PfAL) worked in groups to create campaigns that addressed political, economic and social issues in Africa.

Campaigns covered a wide range of topics, including mental health awareness in Tanzania; increasing the distribution of children’s books in indigenous languages/content; and getting people to get involved with their local food assistance programme, to name a few.

Each of the 10 groups gave a presentation to a panel of judges, who selected four groups to continue on to the final stage: a vote from the PfAL cohort on Wednesday 7 December 2016.

After four outstanding presentations and a very close race, the cohort voted for the group D4Dignity, which proposed a fundraising campaign to provide menstrual silicone cups to women and girls in the refugee camp in Maidiguri, Nigeria.

D4Dignity not only won the first place prize, they will receive funding to execute their campaign.

Keep your eyes peeled to find out how ‘one cup can save someone’s life’!

Oriana Bandiera

Professor Bandiera elected as Fellow of the Econometrics Society 

Congratulations to Professor Oriana Bandiera (pictured) who has been elected as Fellow of the Econometrics Society.

Professor Bandiera is Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics and Director of STICERD. Alongside these roles, she also co-directs the State Capabilities programme at the International Growth Centre.

The Econometric Society is an international society for the advancement of economic theory in its relation to statistics and mathematics

Deborah James FageOliver Award

Deborah James wins the inaugural Fage & Oliver prize

Congratulations to Professor Deborah James of the LSE's Department of Anthropology who has been named as one of the winners of the inaugural Fage & Oliver prize.

The prize has been established in honour of the two founders of African Studies in the UK, John Donnelly Fage and Roland Oliver and was awarded for a book published in 2014 or 2015.

Professor James received the award for her book Money from Nothing: indebtedness and aspiration in South Africa.

Follow this link to read a review of this book.

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Catherine Boone wins 2016 Luebbert Book Award for Property and Political Order in Africa

Congratulations to Professor Catherine Boone of the Departments of Government and International Development who has received  the American Political Science Association’s prestigious Gregory Luebbert Book Award for the best book in Comparative Politics published in the last two years.

The book has been widely acclaimed, also winning APSA’s African Politics Conference Group Best Book Award 2014, receiving an Honourable Mention for the African Studies Association’s 2015 Herskovits Best Book Award, and gaining praise from experts in the field.

Follow this link to read an interview in which Professor Boone discusses Property and Political Order in Africa.



PfAL students visit the UK Houses of Parliament

Lord Paul Boateng hosted a group of Programme for African Leadership (PfAL) students on Monday 10 October 2016 at the Houses of Parliament. After a tour, the students engaged in a lively conversation with the former Cabinet Minister and British Ambassdor to South Africa, discussing a number of issues including the importance of having a young generation of emerging African leaders.

2016 Benefactors Dinner
LSE Director Julia Black, Firoz Lalji and Tim Allen celebrate landmark gift in London

A special dinner was held in London to mark the establishment of the Firoz Lalji Centre of Africa and the gift by LSE alumnus Firoz Lalji. The LSE Director Professor Julia Black and the Director of the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa Professor Tim Allen were among the attendees celebrating the generous £13 million gift from the long-term LSE supporter.

Why Understanding Public Authority in Fragile and Conflict Settings Matters for International Development
What is Public authority? And why does it matter that we understand it? Duncan Green discusses the hypothesis behind the new ESRC-funded Centre for Public Authority and International Development.   Thomas Hobbes argued that states are essential to guarantee security. In their absence there would be a ‘war of all against all’ in which life would be ‘solitary, poor, nasty, […]

Government Spending: More Harm Than Good?
Africa’s large infrastructure gap and heavy political economy element promotes significant government intervention in erstwhile free markets. It has become increasingly important to assess the efficacy of such government interventions. Following the “Bridging Africa’s Finance Gap” panel at the recently concluded LSE Africa Summit 2017, Stears assesses the welfare costs of government spending, drawing out implications for the cost of governance, […]

Book Review: Cotton by Adam Sneyd
In Cotton, Adam Sneyd brings the reality of international trade into focus through tracing the local and global politics behind the circulation of one of the most everyday of materials: cotton. This is a vividly told, interrogative read that establishes its author as a leading expert on the politics of commodities and development, finds Dr Milasoa Chérel-Robson. The cover of Cotton by Adam Sneyd is […]

Book Review – Clothing Poverty: the Hidden World of Fast Fashion and Second-hand Clothes by Andrew Brooks
Clothing Poverty should be of immense intellectual stimulation to anyone searching for inspiring examples of writing about a capitalist system as a whole rather than isolated capitalist actors, says Dagna Rams.   Many of us, clothes consumers in the West, are aware of the poor working conditions in Asian sweatshops existing side-by-side with multinational companies’ growing revenues. In this context, […]

African Pentecostal churches in Britain’s urban spaces
Richard Burgess looks at a Nigerian Pentecostal church in the London borough of Islington and finds that the church’s ability to occupy a permanent and dedicated space has influenced its visibility in the public sphere. Our Pentecostalism in Britain series is in collaboration with LSE’s Religion and the Public Sphere blog. In recent decades, London’s religious landscape has undergone significant […]

After Rape book cover

After Rape: Violence, Justice and Social Harmony in Uganda

Hosted by Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa, Department of International Development, Justice and Security Research Programme, Centre for Women, Peace and Security and International African Institute


Date: Tuesday 9 May 2017
Time: 6-8pm
Venue: Senior Common Room, Old Building, LSE
Speakers: Holly Porter, Adam Branch
Chair: Professor Tim Allen

This event marks the publication of Holly Porter’s new book After Rape: violence, justice and social harmony in Uganda.

Drawing upon abundant fieldwork and in-depth interviews with almost 200 women, Holly Porter examines issues surrounding wrongdoing and justice, and sexual violence and rape, among the Acholi people in northern Uganda.

This intricate exploration offers evidence of a more complicated and nuanced explanation of rape and its aftermath, suggesting a re-imagining of the meanings of post-atrocity justice, whilst acknowledging the role of sex, power and politics in all sexual experiences between coercion and consent.

Dr Holly Porter is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow, CRG, University of Gent & IOB, University of Antwerp and a Research Fellow in the Department of International Development at LSE.

Dr Adam Branch is University Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Studies and Fellow of Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge. He is the author of two books: Africa Uprising: Popular Protest and Political Change and Displacing Human Rights: War and Intervention in Northern Uganda.

Professor Tim Allen is Director of the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa and Head of the Department for International Development at LSE. He has long experience of research in Uganda, Kenya and Sudan.

This event is free and open to all, but pre-registration required via Eventbrite. Contact the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa at africacentre@lse.ac.uk if you have any queries.

Walla je te jure poster

Documentary Screening: Wallah Je te jure

Hosted by the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa

Date: Monday 13 March 2017
Time: 6.30-8.30pm
Venue: CLM 6.02, Clement House, Aldwych, LSE
Speakers: Marcello Merletto, Robtel Neajai Pailey, Giacomo Zandonini

Wallah je te jure tells the stories of men and women travelling along West African migration routes to Italy. Senegal’s rural villages, Niger’s bus stations and “ghettos” full of traffickers, and Italian squares and houses are the backdrops of these courageous trips, which often end in tragedy. Wallah Je te jure was produced in 2016 by the International Organization for Migration

A Q&A session will take place after the screening.

Marcello Merletto is the director of the film Wallah Je te jure.

Robtel Neajai Pailey (@RobtelNeajai) is a senior researcher at the University of Oxford's International Migration Institute.

Giacomo Zandonini (@giacomo_zando) is a journalist and reporter on migration in sub- Saharan Africa.

The Twitter hashtag for this event is #LSEWallah.

This event is free and open to all, but pre-registration required via Eventbrite. Contact the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa at africacentre@lse.ac.uk if you have any queries.

Nemata Majeks Walker

Women Leaders on the Global Stage: lessons for Africa

Hosted by the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa and Africa Talks

Date:Tuesday 07 March 2017 
Time: 6:30PM to 8:00PM
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speakers: Fadumo Dayib, Dr Nemata Majeks-Walker, Dr Joice Mujuru, Dr Josephine Ojiambo
Chair: Tina Fahm

From Germany to Liberia, UK to Argentina, there has been a marked increase in the number of women leaders around the globe in recent years. OnInternational Women's Day 2017, this event will explore how women leaders are changing the world and the implications for women leaders in Africa. Our panellists will discuss the state of female political representation in their countries; the barriers they have tackled and broken down; as well the lessons to be drawn and implemented from global settings.

Fadumo Dayib is the first woman to run for President of Somalia, standing for the November 2016 election.

Nemata Majeks-Walker is the Founder and first President of the 50/50 Group of Sierra Leone.

Joice Mujuru served as Vice-President of Zimbabwe 2004-14 and is a Presidential candidate for the 2018 elections.

Dr Josephine Ojiambo
is Deputy Secretary General, Commonwealth secretariat.

Tina Fahm is CEO of a consulting firm which advises on corporate governance in sub-Saharan Africa. She is a governor of LSE, member of the governing Council and chair of the Audit Committee. Tina is also a commissioner of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI)  the independent body responsible for scrutiny of UK aid.

Based at LSE, the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa promotes independent academic research and teaching; open and issue-oriented debate; and evidence-based policy making.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEwomen

This event is free and open to all current LSE students and staff only, however a ticket is required

More Details about this event

Nii Ayikwei Parkes

African Revolutions: From the streets to the written word


Hosted by the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa, Africa Talks and LSE Literary Festival

Date: Saturday 25 February 2017
Time: 3:00PM to 4:30PM
Venue: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building

This event explores the literary trajectory in North Africa since the Arab Spring from the initial outburst of optimism to grim dystopian narratives, from the more traditional literary form of poetry in the region to writers experimenting with other literary forms. It will also examine the impact of political realities in the fiction from sub-Saharan countries and how it compares to what has emerged in North Africa since the Arab Spring of 2011.

Yasmine El Rashidi (@yasminerashidi) is an Egyptian writer. She is the author of The Battle for Egypt, Dispatches from the Revolution (2011), and the novel, Chronicle of a Last Summer, A Novel of Egypt (2016). She was a 2015/16 Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library, and a visiting professor at Princeton University. She lives in Cairo.

Samar Samir Mezghanni (@SamarSamirMEZ) is a Tunisian writer with two records in the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest writer in the world in 2000 and the most prolific writer in the world in 2002.

A 2007 recipient of Ghana’s ACRAG award, Nii Ayikwei Parkes (@BlueBirdTail) is the author of the hybrid novel, Tail of the Blue Bird was recently appointed director of the soon to be inaugurated Ama Ata Aidoo Centre for Creative Writing at the African University College of Communications in Accra, the first of its kind in West Africa.

Bola Mosuro (@bbcBola) is news presenter on the BBC World Service. She has a keen interest in the arts and in gender issues.

Based at LSE, the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa (@AfricaAtLSE) promotes independent academic research and teaching; open and issue-oriented debate; and evidence-based policy making.

Suggested Twitter hashtag for this event: #LSELitFest

This event forms part of the LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2017, taking place from Monday 20 - Saturday 25 February 2017, with the theme 'Revolutions'.

(Photo of Nii Parkes by Giorgia Fanelli)


More details about this event

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Arab National Media and Political Change

A Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa and LSE Middle East Centre Event

Date: Thursday 9 February 2017
Time: 6-7.30pm
Venue: Vera Anstey Room, Old Building, LSE
Speaker: Dr Fatima el Issawi
Chair: Dr Katerina Delacoura
Discussant: Dr Claire Spencer

Dr el Issawi will discuss the findings of her new book “Arab National Media and Political Change”. The book examines the evolution of national Arab media and its interplay with political change, in the context of the Arab uprisings.

Based on empirical research, the book dissects dynamics of change and challenges in newsrooms practices and journalists’ roles and identities, in a fluid and unpredictable environment of the uprisings and ensuing political and security upheavals.

Investigated from a journalistic perspective, this research addresses the role played by traditional national media in consolidating emerging democracies or in exacerbating their fragility within new political contexts.

Dr Fatima el-Issawi (@elIssawi) is a Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at the LSE Middle East Centre.

Dr Katerina Delacoura is Lecturer in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Dr Claire Spencer is a Senior Research Fellow at Chatham House.

Based at LSE, the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa promotes independent academic research and teaching; open and issue-oriented debate; and evidence-based policy making.

The LSE Middle East Centre builds on LSE's long engagement with the Middle East and North Africa and provides a central hub for the wide range of research on the region carried out at LSE.
This event is free and open to all, but pre-registration required via Eventbrite. Contact the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa at africacentre@lse.ac.uk if you have any queries.

South Sudan Comic Cover

South Sudan - The Political Marketplace

LSE Arts public exhibition

Date: Monday 9 January - Friday 27 January 2017 
Time: Mon-Fri 10am-8pm
Venue: Atrium Gallery, Old Building

An exhibition of infographic comics visualising research on South Sudan undertaken by the Justice and Security Research Programme (JSRP).  

The comics represent a collaboration between the JSRP and Kenyan cartoonist Victor Ndula, facilitated by JSRP partner The Cartoon Movement.  The graphics explore political, social and economic developments since 2011 in the world’s newest country.

Twitter Hashtag for this exhibition: #LSEArts

This exhibition is open to all, no ticket required. Visitors are welcome during weekdays (Monday - Friday) between 10am and 8pm (excluding bank holidays, when the school is closed, at Christmas and Easter, or unless otherwise stated on the web listing). Please note the exhibition will close at 3pm on Friday 27 January.




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