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Programme for African Leadership
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street




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About the Programme

PfAL group pictures

The Programme for African Leadership provides candidates with access to a world-class education programme at the LSE to develop knowledge, confidence and leadership capability.  The first PfAL programme took place at the School over three weeks in March 2012, bringing together 18 emerging leaders with a diverse range of professional backgrounds from across 13 African countries.  Another three-week programme followed swiftly in September 2012, welcoming a further 36 participants to the School.

In 2013, with continued support from Firoz and Najma Lalji, the PfAL programme developed into a full-length scholarship programme, incorporating an LSE Master's degree at its core.  Recruitment was targeted at three neighbouring countries: Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda with the aim of founding a strong alumni hub in one geographic region from which to develop across the continent. 

The 2014/2015 Lalji LSE PfAL scholarship programme consists of:

  • A Masters degree offered by the Department of International Development
  • A bespoke weekly lecture and seminar series focused on leadership and the challenges and opportunities facing the African continent.
MSc Programme

PfAL students will study either MSc Development Management or MSc International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, offered by the Department of International Development at the School. Both degrees provide an academically rigorous foundation together with exposure to the ‘real world’ of practitioners via a ‘live’ team-based consultancy project on which students work together for a client within the sector.  In addition, students are able to select a number of option courses from within the  international development field or from other departments & institutes across the School dependent on their individual area of interest.

For the 2014/2015 academic year, a total of 17 scholarships have been awarded with some additional  funding provided by the School.  This select group from Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana and Zimbabwe will study together with students from all over the world, providing a perfect platform for cross-cultural  learning, networking and friendship.

Seminar Series

Photos of Lord Boateng and Clare Short

Over the course of the year, a lecture and seminar series will take place exclusively for the PfAL cohort.  This bespoke element is designed to provide time for candidates to come together to listen and contribute to key contemporary debates and to reflect on their own development as future leaders of African organisations and communities.  Expert speakers from the School and invited guests from the public and private sectors, civil society and the media will address the cohort on a wide variety of topics designed to stimulate, challenge and engage participants, and open debates will follow. 

Indicative topics based on previous PfAL seminars could include:

  • Leadership in the 21st Century
  • Leadership Presence and Style
  • Potentials and Pitfalls of Leadership
  • Leadership and Coalition-Building
  • Global Economic Governance
  • The Role of Commodities in African Development
  • China, Aid and FDI
  • Development Dilemmas
  • The State, Development and Democracy
  • The Demographic Transition and Development
  • Poverty and Capabilities
  • Global Youth
  • Responsibility to Protect
  • In/equality – does it matter?
  • Invention and Intervention in African Cities
  • Africa in a Global World: Outstanding Challenges

***Details for the 2015/16 programme  will be announced on You can make sure you don’t miss any updates by checking this page regularly,  following @LSEPfAL on Twitter, or by emailing us and asking to join our mailing list. ***