Updates from the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa

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LSE Visiting Fellow, Michael Amoah

LSE Visiting Fellow provides expert analysis on Kenya elections

Ahead of the 2017 Kenya general elections, Dr Michael Amoah, Visiting Fellow at the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa was interviewed on the BBC and Al Jazeera about Kenya's general elections which took place on 8 August 2017. While the BBC discussion centred around general aspects of the elections, the Al Jazeera interview focused on the reasons why it is difficult to hold fair elections in some African countries.



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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.

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 


Students graduate from PfAL 2016-17 programme

Students participating in the 2016-17 Programme for African Leadership completed the programme on Monday 12 June in a full-day event at LSE.

The students gathered together to discuss their ideas of how they can respond to current issues in their home countries and the African Continent. One of the sessions welcomed PfAL alumna Navalayo Osembo-Ombati, Co-founder of Enda Athletic, Inc., to share about her own LSE journey and the experience of founding a company that aimed to make the first Kenyan running shoes.

Dr Kumi Naidoo, Launch Director of Africans Rising and former Executive Director of Greenpeace International, delivered the keynote address: 'The role of the African graduate in a turbulent and unjust world'.

The event - and the 2016-17 programme - concluded with commencement addresses from current PfAL students Efua Kumea Asibon and Muna Ngenda, who reflected on the cohort's past year and the responsibility that was now in their hands. Professor Paul Kelly, Pro-Director of Teaching and Learning at LSE, presented PfAL certificates to the students in a certification ceremony that saw the 52 students join the PfAL Alumni Network.


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

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

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.

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’!

Professor Bandiera elected as Fellow of the Econometrics Society 

Congratulations to Professor Oriana Bandiera 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 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.

Read a review of this book.

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.

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.

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.