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LSE African Initiative

LSE African Initiative logoThe LSE African Initiative is a long-term programme designed both to reinvigorate African research at LSE and to put Africa at the centre of the social sciences and in the global public spotlight.

Some of the elements which feed into the programme are outlined below. More detail about each can be found on the linked pages.


Chair in African Development

Professor Thandika MkandawireProfessor Thandika Mkandawire is the first holder of the Chair in African Development, which was created in 2009 and is based in the Department of International Development.

Its creation follows a powerful speech Africa and Its Position in the World Today| by Nelson Mandela at LSE in 2000 in which he spoke of the connections between LSE and Africa and pointed to the potential for education to deliver a renaissance on the continent.

The new post plays an integral leadership role in LSE's African Initiative. The Chair is funded by the department and a generous contribution from supporters of the School donating through the LSE Annual Fund.

Academic partnership with the University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town became LSE’s fifth global institutional partner, and its first in Africa, in May 2010. Both sides aim to develop opportunities for student and staff mobility, research collaborations and a range of capacity building and other initiatives across the African continent.

Programme for African Leadership (PfAL)

US-based Firoz and Najma Lalji have made an initial gift of almost £1 million through their charitable foundation to help establish the Firoz and Najma Lalji Programme for African Leadership (PfAL) at LSE. Each year the programme will enable 30 high-achievers from Africa to attend an intensive executive training course in London.

Africa Talks

The Africa Talks is a series of high-profile events that is part of the LSE public lectures programme and was initially funded by the Annual Fund. The series creates a platform for African voices to inform and transform the global debate.

Africa at LSE blog

Africa at LSE is a blog set up to promote African research, and includes posts from LSE academics, students, and others.

African Research Fellowship

LSE offers a number of fully-funded Visiting Fellowships for early career, and more senior African, academics to spend up to six months at LSE. The African Research Fellowship Programme has been generously supported by an anonymous donor, Atlantic Philanthropies, Richard Delbridge, and the LSE Centennial Fund. The Fellowships are based across the School with the first in LSE IDEAS, and relates to the research centre’s Africa International Affairs Programme.

To find out more about supporting the LSE Africa Initiative, please email development-office@lse.ac.uk|.

Find out more about alumni groups in Africa and how to join, see LSE Advancement - alumni groups|.