Updates from the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa

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New article: Hoof Work: The Feminisation of Donkeys in Ethiopia

New article by Martha Rose Geiger published by Sage Journals on "The Feminisation of Donkeys in Ethiopia". The article explores how gendered divisions of labour manifest across species lines. It applies a feminist, more-than-human intersectional approach, building on previous work on animal labour. The vital labour donkeys do with and for humans and their contributions to multispecies societies have been under-recognised and under-theorised. Drawing on empirical research conducted in central Ethiopia on the human-donkey relationship.

Read the article here.

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2023-2026 FLIA Strategy 

"We are thrilled to release our three-year strategy that aims to centre Africa in LSE’s research, teaching, and engagement commitments. The institute is becoming a hub and platform for under-represented voices to share their perspectives and experiences in global debates. We invite you to take a look at our strategic aims and join our community to help us bring our goals to fruition".

- Martha Geiger Mwenitete, Chair of Strategic Development and Institute Manager

Read the full strategy here. 

Periscope Report

Periscope Final Report

The Periscope project, a collaborative initiative by EU academics and policymakers, provides vital insights into pandemic control policies. Examining testing strategies, health information dissemination, and vaccine coverage, the research is crucial for understanding COVID-19 responses. Notably, LSE advocates inclusive strategies and integrates African health emergency analysis, emphasizing insights from East and West African contexts. This research underscores the importance of considering historical politics in shaping disease responses.

Read the report here. 

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FLIA cited in COP28 submission

27 November 2023

The FLIA report Implications for African countries of a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism in the EU was cited in the African Group of Negotiators submission to COP28. 

The report was written in collaboration with the African Climate Foundation. 


FLIA Annual Report

FLIA publishes 2023 Institute report

01 November 2023

The Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa has published its 2023 annual report, mapping the activities and initiatives from its inaugural year as an LSE institute.

It has been an exciting one for the FLIA with new projects, research agendas, and staff joining our team. Arguably the biggest development of the year has been the Centre for Women, Peace and Security (WPS), and the Gender, Justice and Security Hub joining the Institute. 

To learn more about the exciting developments within the FLIA, read the full report here.

Journal of Eastern African Studies

New article:  ‘I have opened the land for you’: pastoralist politics and election-related violence in Kenya’s arid north

New article by Flora McCrone published in the Journal of Eastern African Studies. Flora explores endogenous elites and machinations within nomadic Samburu communities involved in and affected by this violence, using a ‘public authority lens’. It argues that ongoing governance changes in this region have created opportunities for political elites to mobilise territorial violence for strategic, political ends in advance of elections, including through a previously undocumented practice of “vote shipping”.

Read the open access article here. 

Public Organization Review

New article: The Post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery, Government Performance and Lived Poverty Conditions in Kenya

New article by Gedion Onyango published in the Public Organization Review Journal. This paper draws insights from the Afrobarometer round 9 dataset on how different African governments' economies have been recovering from COVID-19 and how this has affected citizens' well-being in Kenya. The results show that despite the good recovery progress, the government has yet to stabilise high food prices, inflation, debts, job creation among other aspects.  

Read the open access article here. 

Deviant Behavior

New article: How Mafia Like Bureaucratic Cartels or Thieves in Suits Run Corruption Inside the Bureaucracy, or How Government Officials Swindle Citizens in Kenya!

New article by Gedion Onyango published in Deviant Behavior Journal, explores how variables relating to bureaucracy’s political outliers show that bureaucratic corruption can also be a tool of regime consolidation, a space of elite struggle for rewards and control. The result is that, a mafia-like white-collar corruption syndicate (cartels) and isolated corrupt practices emerge at all levels and sectors to enforce corruption and swindle citizens through unscrupulous bureaucratic processes. 

Read the open access article here. 

Technology in Human Services

New article: Digitalising analogue policy targets! ‘Digital capabilities’ of older persons and policy digitalisation of social safety net programs in a developing country context

New article by Gedion Onyang and Japheth Otieno Ondiek published in the Journal of Technology in Human Services Journal. The paper discusses how the optimization of the human-centeredness of technological innovations – policy digitalization - has exceedingly proliferated in most policy sectors. Yet, a few studies exist on the implications of digital policy tools in realizing social protection policies for older people, particularly in Africa.

Read the open access article here. 

Perspectives on Public Management and Governance

New article: Roundtable: How do We Connect Public Administration and Human Rights?

New article by Gedion Onyang et al., published in the Perspectives on Public Management and Governance Journal. The question on what role do scholars and practitioners in public administration play in protecting human rights has not received adequate attention in the field. In this roundtable, nine scholars explore the different ways in which public administration scholarship and practice may contribute to the advancement of fundamental human rights.

Read the open access article here. 

Child hood

New article: Re-imagining and repositioning the lived experience of children seen as outsiders in Kenya.

New article by Elizabeth Ngutuku published in the Childhood Journal. This paper explores the contested identity and belonging for outsider-children in Kenya. Elizabeth explores the experience of children born out of marriage, those from other unions, the emergent insider-outsider child and children labouring to belong. Locating this experience in a relatively protective customary and legal regime, the context of poverty and the local imaginaries of belonging reveals the complexities that animate children’s lives. Elizabeth argues that children’s best interests as embedded in law, should enter into conversation with children’s lived realities.

Read the open access article here. 


Chapter in Book: Chapter 11: Sankofa: appreciating the past in planning the future of early childhood education, care and development in Africa

New chapter by Elizabeth Ngutuku and Auma Okwany on "Leveraging Early Childhood Education, care, and development at the margins". The chapter is part of the interdisciplinary book was led by UNESCO Tri-Chairs for Early Childhood Education, Care and Development that brought together perspectives from over 30 African experts and scholars, who explore early childhood care, learning and education through African lenses. Aimed at responding to inequities in knowledge production in this field.  

Read the open access book here. 

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New article: Endurance Lost and Found: Unwanted Return and the Suspension of Time

01 November 2023

New Geopolitics article by Dr Anne-Line Rodriguez, FLIA researcher, explores migrants' temporalities after an involuntary return to Senegal in a context where, for European states and the International Organization for Migration, their time is 'up' and they should 'reintegrate'. The article argues that, through their endurance, returnees resist the temporality imposed on them by European states in order to solve another temporal struggle – that of entering male adulthood. Ultimately, the research questions the ‘effectiveness’ of Voluntary Return programs as part of externalisation policies.

Read the open access article here. 

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New article: Women’s career motivation: social barriers and enablers in Sudan

31 August 2023

Dr Souad Mohamed, Senior Visiting Fellow at FLIA, co-authored research article on "Women’s career motivation: social barriers and enablers in Sudan" published by Frontiers in Psychology. 

Read the full article here. 

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Liberia has suffered 20 years of ‘negative peace’. It’s time for change

17 August 2023

Robtel Neajai Pailey, FLIA Internal Advisory Board Member, has co-authored a commentary for Al Jazeera English reflecting on 20 years of 'negative peace' in Liberia. She and Aaron Weah argue that their country must strive for 'positive peace' going forward. 

Read the full article here. 

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Stopping Firestone and starting a citizen ‘revolution from below’: reflections on the enduring exploitation of Liberian land and labour

04 August 2023

Robtel Neajai Pailey, FLIA Internal Advisory Board Member, has published a new journal article in Third World Quarterly which argues that Liberia’s twentieth-century integration and twenty-first century re-integration into global capitalism has had diametrically opposed outcomes for government–citizen and citizen–citizen relations. 

Read the full article here. 

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White Paper on sustainable industrialisation in Africa sets out a new approach to industrial policymaking 

21 June 2023

A new paper on African industrialisation “The Art of Upgrading Industrial Policymaking Itself”, released by the African Trade Programme  and supported by ARISE Industrial Platforms Ltd, argues that successful African industrialisation in the twenty-first century will be different to the East Asian experiences of the twentieth century.

Under the guidance of FLIA's Professor David Luke, FLIA Policy Fellow Jamie Macleod, and Olawale Ogunkola, Professor of Economics, University of Ibadan, the paper claims that there is no single “the model” or “golden policy template” towards industrialisation, instead what matters is the approach and process by a committed developmental state including “experimenting and learning” to craft appropriate interventions.

Read the full report.



New article: The Digital Economy’s New Monetary Imperative

5 June 2023

Visiting Professor in Practice, Piroska Nagy Mohácsi, has had a new article published in Project Syndicate.

The analysis focuses on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), which are usually touted as a tool for improving cross-country payment systems, fostering financial inclusion, or providing a substitute for diminishing cash. But as important as these benefits may be, they are secondary to the indispensable role CBDCs could play in preserving monetary sovereignty. 

Read the full article


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Centre for Women, Peace and Security to join FLIA in September 2023

12 May 2023

We are delighted to announce that the Centre for Women Peace and Security will join the FLIA from the beginning of the new academic year.

Our collaboration will support new opportunities for research and build on the excellent work of the Centre since its inception to promote justice, human rights, and gender equality. The FLIA and WPS are looking forward to this new collaboration. More information will be available in the coming months. 



The African Climate Foundation and FLIA publish new findings

9 May 2023

A new, joint publication from African Climate Foundation (ACF) and the FLIA addresses 'The Implications for African Countries of a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) in the EU'. It was prepared under the overall guidance of Faten Aggad of the ACF and David Luke of the FLIA.

The first of its kind, the report simulates aggregate effects and disaggregated effects of the CBAM on Africa. It raises concerns about the economic ramifications of the CBAM on Africa, specifically the competitiveness of African exports. A collaborative approach is called for to ensure that the CBAM does not reinforce existing power imbalances in the global trading system.

Read the full report.



New article addresses trust and Roma reproduction

9 May 2023

FLIA researcher, Dr Iliana Sarafian has had her latest research published in Medical Anthropology Quarterly. The article asserts that Roma mistrust in government and health authorities was due to historical discrimination which merged with present interventions.

Read more


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New paper explores undocumented migrants’ perspectives on Covid-19 vaccines 

6 May 2023

FLIA researchers Costanza Torre and Elizabeth Storer have had a new article published in the Journal of Migration and Health: 'COVID-19 vaccines, mobility, and pandemic bureaucracies: Undocumented migrants’ perspectives from Italy's Alpine border'. 

They assert that ‘pandemic bureaucracies’ are particularly significant in increasingly militarised borders, where vaccine regulation is equated with surveillance. The paper calls for vaccine policymaking which foregrounds mobility needs, as well as the provision of health information.

Read the open access paper


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Robtel Neajai Pailey interviewed for BBC's Focus on Africa

5 May 2023

Dr Robtel Neajai Pailey, FLIA Internal Advisory Board Member, discussed Liberia's forthcoming elections with Esau Williams of the BBC's Focus on Africa on 4 May 2023. The impromptu interview was conducted in-person at the BBC World Service, New Broadcasting House, in London.

Listen to the conversation here


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A touch of Genius: The life, work and influence of Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard published 

3 May 2023

A new book, A touch of genius: The life, work and influence of Sir Edward Evans-Pritchardhas just been published by Sean Kingston Books. Edited by André Singer, the volume reflects upon his life, work and influence. 

FLIA Director, Professor Tim Allen, and FLIA researchers, Grace Akello, Elizabeth Ngutuku and Naomi Pendle contributed to the book about the anthropological scholar. Each of them spoke at the launch of the book on a panel that addressed how the work of Sir Evans-Pritchard affects their work in Africa.



New article addresses mutating vaccine fears and colonial histories in Arua, Uganda

24 April 2023

The latest article by FLIA researchers Dr Elizabeth Storer and Innocent Anguyo links the colonial and postcolonial history in North-West Uganda to Aruans' inclination to mistrust government and medical authorities and evidence of vaccine efficacy.

With local opinions pre-disposed towards mistrust, the authors  show how vaccines were came to be presented as potentially lethal. They address the complex world of mistrust – a social realm  linked as much to colonial deceptions as sensational rumours about vaccine conspiracies.

Read their latest research.



New paper investigates global norms for responsible land investments in Sierra Leone

21 April 2023

Writing in African Affairs, CPAID researcher Carolin Dieterle investigates the variations of customary tenure, chiefly power, and global norms for responsible land investments in Sierra Leone.

Responding to debates around land grabbing, the international community has developed global governance norms for responsible land investments. Despite the influence of these guidelines, there is a spatial variation in the conformity to and effectiveness of these norms in cases of land investments. Based on fieldwork in Sierra Leone this article argues that such variations hold implications for the uptake of global norms for ‘responsible’ investments. 

Read the open access article here.


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Is Liberia heading towards an electoral crisis?

21 April 2023

Dr Robtel Neajai Pailey, FLIA Internal Advisory Board Member, has co-authored a commentary in African Arguments which predicts an electoral crisis in Liberia if certain conditions are not met before high-stakes voting in October for president, vice president, senators and representatives.

Read the full article



Call for papers for next World Anthropological Union congress

19 April 2023

FLIA researchers announce a call for papers for a panel being convened at the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences congress in New Delhi in October. 

The panel will address “Resilience in cross-cultural contexts”, and  invite submissions for abstracts for papers by 30 April. 

Find out more and submit a panel abstract


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First book writing group applications open for early career researchers

31 March 2023

Opening Lines is an 18-month inclusive writing, research, and professional development programme supporting up to 12 early career scholars who are starting to write their first book. It guides them through the process with an external coach, Dr Jenny Chamarette, with a view to fostering long-term supportive peer relationships for the first monograph and beyond.

The group will gather weekly during three phased blocks from Spring 2023-Summer 2024 for practical workshops, group feedback, and writing sessions, one-to-one writing mentoring, and discussions on writing book manuscripts. Early career researchers are invited to apply. 

Find out more about the course, apply to join the course.



Dr Elizabeth Storer receives LSE Global Research Funding

31 March 2023

Elizabeth Storer has been awarded the LSE Global Research Fund to host a collaborative meeting with researchers at the Uganda Cancer Institute and Uganda-UK Health Alliance. The aim of the award is to collaborate to produce social science research that explores the barriers to cancer care.



Public Authority and the Governance of Informal Cross-Border Trade in Eastern DRC

27 March 2023

Jonathan Bashi has received funding to research the importance of designing good trade policies that take into account informal trade flows, which may allow these trade flows to be brought under the umbrella of regional trade policies. Building on pre-existing research, this research project uses the case study of small cross-border traders in Eastern DRC to explore border dynamics in informal cross-border trade.

Focusing on the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Simplified Trade Regime, the proposed research examines the need for good institutional design of regional trade policies that are better adjusted to the particular circumstances of their targeted beneficiaries, and thus, have a broader coverage of trade agreements.

This research project is funded by a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant.

You can read more in his blog post.



Registrations open for public authority and humanitarianism course

23 February 2023

The University of Johannesburg and the Centre for Public Authority and International Development at the FLIA are offering early- and mid- career humanitarian and development professionals a free, eight week course on public authority and its application to key issues for the sector.

The course’s first 2 days (24th and 25th April) will be held in-person on the University of Johannesburg campus. The course will then move to seven weekly online sessions focussing on different pressing issues.

Find out more and register for the course


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New paper investigates the IMAGINE water governance model in Goma

10 February 2023

Since 2014, the Integrated Maji Infrastructure and Governance Initiative for eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (IMAGINE) has instigated a public-private partnership for water provision in Goma, Eastern DRC. This journal article, by CPAID researchers Tom Kirk, Duncan Green, Patrycja Stys and Mercy Corps’ Tom Mosquera, explores adaptive approaches to development programmes that aim at improving service provision in fragile and conflict affected states.

The authors consider the IMAGINE case study to show that initiatives take on the characteristics of a public authority when adapting to on-the-ground realities. 

Read the Development Policy Review aricle



FLIA announces Africa Dissertation Prize winners

9 February 2023

The Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021/2022 Africa Dissertation Prize, which is awarded to the year's most innovative and significant Master’s dissertations furthering our understanding of the continent.

This year the prize has been granted to two students, from the departments of International Development and Geography and Environment. Join us in offering our congratulations to Fraser Curry and Nora Geiszl!

Learn about the LSE Africa Dissertation Prize.



New paper in Transcultural Psychiatry addresses delivery of mental health interventions in northern Uganda 

7 February 2023

FLIA research fellow, Dr Elizabeth Storer and Costanza Torre have published a new paper in Transcultural Psychiatry‘All in good faith?’ An ethno-historical analysis of local faith actors’ involvement in the delivery of mental health interventions in northern Uganda.

The article considers the role of faith actors, who increasingly lend their psychological support in humanitarian settings when responding to mental disquiet in northern Uganda. The authors argue for the recognition of faith actors as agents delivering therapies. 

Read the open access article


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European University Institute publish working paper on post-colonial citizenship in African states 

3 February 2023

FLIA Senior Fellow, Dr Bronwen Manby, has working paper published by the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute

Dr Manby's paper, entitled, 'Post-colonial citizenship and decolonisation as a turning point: continuities and discontinuities in African states' compares the evolution of concepts of citizenship when African states gained independence, with other global decolonisations. The paper examines the particular experience of European imperial oppression in African states, as it created continental dynamics in notions of citizenship that are different from other nations. 

Read the full article


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FLIA and Channels TV launch new podcast: The Climb

30 January 2023

The Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa and Channels TV are proud to announce the launch of their new joint venture: The Climb Podcast. It tackles themes of youth leadership, innovation, and development through unique stories of individual achievement and panel discussions. 

The Climb will run twice a month, presenting discussions on issues relevant to young Africans living on the continent and in the diaspora.

The first episode, John's Story follows the remarkable account of John Oseni, a 17 year-old tech prodigy from Akure, Nigeria.

Listen to the podcast here.


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New LSE Research for the World video: Why is African trade underperforming? 

27 January 2023

The new issue of LSE's Research for the World Economy special edition, features the video, 'Why is African trade underperforming?'.

Although Africa represents 17% of the world's population, it only accounts for 2.3% of global trade as it relies heavily on volatile commodities like fossil fuels, metals and ores and is held back by current policies and unbalanced partnerships. How can we boost trade flows inside and outside the continent to create more jobs and further development?

Watch the video here


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LSE Research for the World: Understanding African trade is key to helping its development

25 January 2023

LSE's Research for the World is celebrating its second anniversary with an economy-themed special edition. 

Remarkably little is known about African trade outside specialist circles although annual revenues from trade are more than foreign aid, remittances, and investment flows combined. A new book edited by David Luke aims to address this gap, examining what Africa trades, with whom, and setting out how policymakers could forge more positive, development-focused trade partnerships in the future.  

Read the interview and article


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New article published on on regional integration in Africa

5 January 2023

FLIA Visiting Professor, Olawale Ogunkola has contributed to the introduction of a new special issue, published in The World Economy Journal

The article, Rethinking regional integration in Africa for inclusive and sustainable development, provides background to regional integration on the continent and details the new African Economic Research Consortium project. 

Read the full article here


Civil Wars

Team of LSE-led scholars publish double issue of Civil Wars

28 November 2022

Part of FLIA's Centre for Public Authority and International Development, the collection of nine articles in the Civil Wars double issue showcase key research on humanitarianism and resilience in East Africa. 

This project has successfully brought together non-native English-speaking African colleagues, and early career scholars to jointly publish their research. Six of the special issue's papers are by previously unpublished African scholars. 

Open access to the special issue


Law & Soc contensis

Law and Society Review publishes CPAID paper on citizen engagement with courts in Uganda

23 November 2022

A new journal article by CPAID researchers Anna Macdonald, SJ Cooper-Knock and Julian Hopwood has been published in the Law and Society Review

The ethnographic paper zooms in on lower state courts in post-war northern Uganda, and shows why citizens appeal to the rule-of-law in places where state authority is contested. Corruption and judicial inefficiency make individuals turn to lower state courts, the authors' research sheds light on legitimacy, trust, and corruption in the context of these spaces. 

Read the open access article here


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New CPAID publication addresses responses to COVID-19 in Uganda

22 November 2022

Focused on ethnographic research, this article evaluates militarised responses to COVID-19 during and after two lockdowns at contrasting sites in Uganda: a small town in Pakwach district and a village in Kasese district.

Published in the Journal of Social Science and Medicine, CPAID researchers address the modes of mutuality created to resist regulations, and the impact that embedding military activity in COVID-19 responses had in strengthening authoritarian rule.

Read the full publication here


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FLIA Professor in Practice to speak at COP27 side event

9 November 2022

David Luke, Professor in Practice and Strategic Director of the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa, will be speaking on a Business Europe panel as part of the European Union's COP27 side events series. 

The panel will discuss the EU's adoption of the first Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) of any trade bloc, as well as the development of climate clubs. Are these actions complementary? And will the CBAM serve as the additional motivation for other regions to step up their climate ambition? 

Register to attend the event virtually



New online course addresses vulnerable groups reached through pandemic policy available now 

7 November 2022

FLIA researchers, Dr Elizabeth Storer, Dr Iliana Sarafian, Constanza Torre, Sara Vallerani and Eloisa Franchi have contributed to a new online course entitled Reaching Vulnerable Groups through Pandemic Policy.

The course was developed as part of the Periscope project, hosted by the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa and funded by Horizon 2020. The project investigates the broad socio-economic and behavioural impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The online course is available now, enrol for free

Learn more about the course



FLIA Visiting Fellow, Dr Juliet Bedford wins Marsh Award for Anthropology in the World  

24 October 2022

Dr Juliet Beford has been honoured by the Royal Anthropological Institute and Marsh Charitable Trust with the Marsh Award for Anthropology in the World. 

The prestigious award recognises an outstanding individual based outside academia who has applied anthropology or anthropological ideas in order to have a positive influence on, or help us better understand, the problems facing our world today.

Dr Bedford's research brings anthropological approaches to the task of strengthening the capability to impede public health emergencies in resource-constrained settings. Her work has helped to build a strong evidence base for community-based approaches to combat humanitarian crises.

Find out more.



Dr Robtel Neajai Pailey wins African Politics Conference Group book award

18 October 2022

FLIA internal board member, Dr Robtel Neajai Pailey has won the 2022 African Politics Conference Group (APCG) Best Book Award for her monograph Development, (Dual) Citizenship and Its Discontents in Africa: The Political Economy of Belonging to Liberia (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

The APCG brings together scholars from around the world whose research and professional interests centre largely or in part on the study of politics in Africa.

The Award will be formally presented in November at the annual meeting of the African Studies Association (USA), of which APCG is an affiliate organisation. Congratulations, Dr Pailey! 

Read more about the prize-winning monograph.  



Kenneth Amaeshi appointed to European Commission High-Level Expert Group on Scaling Sustainable Finance in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

12 October 2022

FLIA's Visiting Professor, Kenneth Amaeshi has been appointed to join the new, high-level expert group on scaling up sustainable finance in low- and middle-income countries.

At a time when multiple international crises are negatively impacting the global economy, the appointees will advise the European Commission on scaling up funding from the private sector, to reflect on the challenges and opportunities of sustainable finance in partner countries. 

Learn more



New Datafication and Digital Rights in East Africa comic illustrates implications of digital technologies

10 October 2022

The “Hustling Day in Silicon Savannah” comic is part of the Datafication and Digital Rights in East Africa project, funded by the UKRI DIDA grant. 

Based on research conducted in Kenya during the emergence and transformation its digital economy, the cartoon questions what lies behind the “Silicon Savanah” brand and why have international donors been so drawn to the scene. The picture, the comic reveals, is anything but neat.

Learn more about the research and view the comic



Career Transitions Lab 2022 report published 

2 October 2022

The FLIA's Africa Engagement Programme present their 2022 Career Transitions Lab report. 

The 4-day careers lab, open to LSE African students interested in working on the African continent or on African issues, equips students with the knowledge needed to support their successful transition to professional life. 

The report details the context and outcomes of the lab, and highlights key student takeaways. To find out more about the Africa Engagement Programme and Career Transitions Lab watch the accompanying video

Read the report in full.


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Professor David Luke appointed Non-Executive Director of TradeMark East Africa 

28 September 2022

The FLIA's Professor David Luke has recently been appointed to TradeMark East Africa as Non-Executive Director.

TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to grow prosperity in East Africa through increased trade, and work closely with the African Union and the East African Community among many others.



FLIA report on vaccine hesitancy published by British Academy

21 September 2022

FLIA researchers Dr Elizabeth Storer and Dr Iliana Sarafian present their report and summary findings from the Ethnographies of Disengagement: Understanding Vaccine Rejection in Chronically Neglected Communities across the G7 research project.

Read the report in full.



New article explores the consequences of groups' exclusion from vaccine campaigns

13 September 2022

Ethnographies of (Dis)Engagement researchers at the FLIA have just had their latest journal article published in BMJ Global Health. The new work explores the impact of high vaccine rates, demanded by the G7, in Italy. 

The authors address the tension between this vaccine drive, and minority groups' trust in healthcare. Ethnographic data produced with migrant and Roma communities explores vaccine hestitancy and a deepening mistrust in science and the state. 

Read the full article here


Annual Report 2022

FLIA publishes 2022 Institute report

24 August 2022

The Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa has published its 2022 annual report, mapping the activities and initiatives from its inaugural year as an LSE institute.

The report addresses the ongoing successes of the Programme for African Leadership, a high-profile public events programme including the student-led 2022 Africa Summit, research innovation through the Centre for Public Authority and International Development, the continued growth of the Africa Engagement Programme and the Africa at LSE blog. 

To learn more about the exciting developments within the FLIA, read the full report here.


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New paper examines effectiveness of the liberal state-building project in Uganda

22 August 2022

CPAID consultant, Professor Brett has published a new paper in World Development that explores public authority and political transitions in conflict-affected states. 

Drawing on the heavily contested interactions between modern and traditional systems of public authority, Professor Brett argues that states are better enabled to build long-lasting and inclusive political and organisational structures with a combination of these systems. The political transition in Uganda in particular, is used to demonstrate the efficacy of this approach.

Read the article here



New paper critiques Ethiopia's developmental state under the EPRDF regime

9 August 2022

FLIA research officer, Mebratu Kelecha, has published his latest journal article for the Canadian Journal of Development Studies. The paper explores how the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front's (EPRDF) vision of a developmental state diverged from the East Asian model. 

Dr Kelecha primarily argues that the failure of development projects, large public investments and the impact of associated land grabs have caused fragmented public support. As a result of this popular discontent, the legacy and success of the developmental state in Ethiopia is contested.

Read the full publication here.



PfAL hosts the 2022 graduation ceremony

29 July 2022

The Programme for African Leadership (PfAL) has hosted its annual graduation ceremony for African Master's students at LSE. The graduation included speeches from Dr Vanessa Iwowo and Professor Gibril Faal, who discussed the importance of Ubuntu for the growing PfAL alumni network, including how young Africans on the continent are changing narratives around work and community.

Programme certificates were awarded to 70 "PfALers" for their participation throughout the year. Celebrating with her peers, graduate Kinya Mugaine reflected that students should “constantly seek out opportunities and to see rejections as an opportunity to learn and grow”. In its 11th year, the programme will develop this ethos to empower a new generation of African leaders as changemakers on the continent.

Learn about the programme.


Public Authority Podcast

New Public Authority Podcast discusses the impact of FLIA research at the International Criminal Court

28 July 2022

“If they were going to prosecute Ongwen for anything, it had to be for sexual and gender-based crimes.”

A new episode of the Public Authority Podcast examines the impact of long-term research focussed on northern Uganda hosted at the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa. The episode talks to FLIA Director Tim Allen and researcher Jacky Atingo to understand how their research aided the successful prosecution of former LRA commander Dominic Ongwen at the International Criminal Court in 2021. 

Listen to the podcast on SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts or on LSE Player

Learn more about the research and its impact at the ICC 


African Affairs

New paper investigates the political-economic networks that underpin the dominance of logistics firms in Somalia

27 July 2022

Writing in African Affairs, FLIA research fellow Claire Elder investigates the underlying factors of Somali "state failure" through the political economy of logistics. Using in-depth ethnographic fieldwork, the paper argues that divisions among national elites and vested interests over current aid practices perpetuate the empowerment of lead logistics firms, destabilising the Federal Government of Somalia.

The study illustrates that ports, airports, marine resources and areas rich in oil and minerals are intricately connected to the logistics economy. Dr Elder maintains that donor accountability and partnership monitoring are pivotal to breaking the cycle of capital accumulation among logistics firms and subsequent state failure.

Read the open access article here.



FLIA launches the four-day AEP Career Transitions Lab 2022

26 July 2022

To support LSE African students interested in working in Africa, or on African issues, the FLIA hosted the first in-person Career Transitions Lab. The four-day event from 27-30 June included 12 workshops and seminars with nine speakers from different industries, who shared practical knowledge on transitioning into the African job market post-LSE.

Held annually in June, the Lab was an opportunity for students to reflect on their career journey, share skills and experiences for pursuing professions with positive impact and consider next career steps with guidance on how to best navigate the current job market. 

Learn about the Career Transitions Lab.



FLIA hosts Africa PhD Research Day 2022

25 July 2022

Hosted as part of the Africa Engagement Programme, the FLIA has hosted its inaugural Africa PhD Research Day. The event brought together PhD students working on Africa across all LSE departments, showcasing the breadth of the School’s work on the African continent.

The event served as an opportunity for PhD students to create new connections and present ongoing research to a community sharing a regional focus. A total of eight presenters throughout the day engaged with their peers and academic staff, providing a platform for receiving and giving feedback.

Learn more about the Africa PhD Research Day. To participate as a PhD candidate, please contact



FLIA research sets a ground-breaking precedent in the ability to prosecute international crimes of a sexual nature

13 July 2022

LSE's Research for the World magazine has published an article explaining how research from FLIA Director Tim Allen and Centre for Public Authority and International Development consultant Jackline Atingo contributed to the successful prosecution of Dominic Ongwen, a senior commander in the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).

The research contributed to a successful prosecution in 2021 by allowing victims of sexual violence to provide witness testimony before the trial started from Uganda. This sets a ground-breaking precedent in the ability to prosecute international crimes of a sexual nature and, should the precedent be applied more broadly, will ease the prosecution of crimes of sexual violence in domestic and international jurisdictions. 

View the impact of their work here.


Civil Wars

New research explores refugees' resistance to humanitarian-development programmes

7 July 2022

FLIA researcher Dr Ryan O'Byrne has published his latest journal article in Civil Wars, drawing on twelve months of ethnographic fieldwork in the Palabek Refugee Settlement in northern Uganda.

The paper examines how fraud and corruption within food aid delivery undermined the lives of refugees, as well as their survival, coping and resilience. The article additionally underlines the importance of refugees' agency in the pursuit of resistance strategies and their response to exploitation.

Read the article here.


Ethnography and Education

New paper examines children's aspirations in the context of precarity

20 June 2022

A special issue of Ethnography and Education has published a paper by FLIA researcher Elizabeth Ngutuku, which explores how experiences of education inform children's aspirations in Siaya Kenya.

Looking at aspirations through the lens of poverty, orphanhood, death, HIV/AIDS and marginalisation, the study draws on ethnographic data to investigate how Kenyan education equips children to achieve their desired futures. The way children think about and "materialise" the future is further shown to enable the overcoming of day-to-day challenges.

Read the publication.



FLIA seeks new Communications Manager and Blog Editor

16 June 2022

The FLIA is hiring a Communications Manager and Blog Editor with a senior-level understanding of communications and public affairs in African research promotion, policy and publishing.

The suitable candidate will have significant experience in using communications to design and inform strategic objectives and advocating brand development at senior institutional levels. The candidate should possess exceptional writing and editing skills for varied audiences and experience working with senior professionals to improve outputs.

Deadline: 31 July 2022

Visit here for further information.



FLIA seeks new Communications and Events Officer

6 May 2022

The FLIA is hiring an enthusiastic and organised communications and events professional to join our dynamic team.

The suitable candidate will have significant experience and expertise in communications, and the technical ability to employ these skills across a wide range of online and offline channels. The postholder will also have previous experience of working to deliver public and closed events and of managing a varied workload, including experience overseeing junior staff members.

Deadline: 15 June 2022

Visit here for further information.



New paper explores reconstructions of resilience through marungi (khat) trade in northern Uganda

12 May 2022

new paper from FLIA researcher Elizabeth Storer uses marungi trade in northern Uganda as a lens to understand the everyday experience of "resilience". Published in the Journal of Civil Wars, the research seeks to explain the inequities that constitute resilience in the country's post-war period.

Building on interviews, conversations and observations with marungi growers and traders, the paper calls for a re-conceptualisation of resilience as a historically constituted process, entangled in socio-economic inequities and complex politics of power.

Read the article.



Winners announced for the Firoz Lalji PhD Thesis Prize 2022

12 May 2022

The FLIA is pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural Firoz Lalji PhD Thesis Prize, which celebrates outstanding contributions to knowledge on Africa. Four successful candidates have been selected by an internal committee of academics, with each candidate hosting their doctoral research at LSE.

Henry Musa Kpaka and Richard Stupart are joint winners of the prize for producing work exploring, respectively, traditional political institutions in Sierra Leone and journalism practices in South Sudan, each receiving £1,000. "Director prizes" have also been awarded to Kate Dawson and Camille Pellerin.  

Learn about the prize.



New research explores COVID-19 "riskscapes" across the African Great Lakes region

26 April 2022

Drawing on fieldwork across Uganda and Malawi, a new paper from FLIA researchers Elizabeth StorerKate Dawson and Cristin A. Fergus investigates how localised COVID-19 responses impacted perceptions of viral risk. Published in Medical Anthropology, the research uses a "riskscapes" framework to examine how trans-border figures – truck drivers and migrant traders – were understood as "others" during the pandemic.

The research demonstrates that COVID-19 testing regimes and disease metrics in the Great Lakes Region aggravated blame for viral risk, revealing neglected forms of discriminatory discourse and practice.

Read the article.



LEAD project publishes study on effective decision-making for schistosomiasis control and elimination

25 April 2022

A new study into the control and elimination of schistosomiasis transmission in Uganda has published results in BMJ Global Health. After cycles of health interventions have failed to deliver promised reductions of the disease in the country, the research examines new ways of incorporating expert perspectives into the evidence needed for more effective health decision-making. 

Led by researchers Cristin Fergus and Professor Tim Allen on the LEAD project, the study used a combination of “participatory systems mapping” and computational modelling to incorporate new voices into the understanding of disease transmission at national and subnational levels. The findings demonstrate that a wider range of perspectives in the policy, oversight and implementation of schistosomiasis control can create a sustainable reduction in transmission. 

Read the paper in BMJ Global Health.



New working papers from project on health-seeking in Uganda

11 April 2022

The research project "Living the Everyday" has published three working papers investigating epidemic containment and health-seeking in Uganda. Focussed on how social relations affect the management of sickness, the project draws on the Firoz Lalji Institute’s extensive interdisciplinary expertise in the region and partnerships with Muni and Gulu University.

Compiled by FLIA researcher Dr Elizabeth Storer, the working papers explore the history of lockdowns in response to epidemics in the West Nile sub-region, the use of herbal medicines as a reported prevention and cure for COVID-19 and the pandemic response at Arua Regional Referral Hospital, presenting an interview with the district's chief emergency care coordinator.

View publications and learn about the project.



Africa PhD Research Day open for submissions

7 April 2022

The Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa has announced its inaugural Africa Research Day, which invites PhD students at LSE who research the African continent to showcase their work.

PhD researchers and applicants at any stage of their studies across all LSE departments are invited to participate. Researchers will discuss various topics including health, development, economics, sociology, finance and more. PhD students of African heritage are particularly encouraged to present their work. The event will also include a keynote lecture by Dr Lucy Kanya, a Research Fellow at LSE’s Department of Health Policy.

The full-day event will take place at LSE on Wednesday 25 May 2022. Online attendance is also available.

Learn about the Africa PhD Research Day 2022.



New CPAID comic illustrates how motorbike taxi drivers in Sierra Leone adapted during the Ebola crisis 

5 April 2022

Artist Didier Kassai has collaborated with FLIA researcher Dr Jonah Lipton to illustrate how front-line workers in Sierra Leone experience emergencies.

Hazard Pay, the latest addition to the series of six comics on public authority across Africa, is based on research in Freetown, Sierra Leone, during the 2014-16 Ebola epidemic. The comic follows Peter, a motorbike taxi driver recruited into the official Ebola response, to show how he navigated new formalised employment. The cartoon represents thousands of young, marginalised people in the country who became representatives of the state through the ‘Hazard Pay’ scheme.

Learn about the research and view the comic.



UK Parliamentary Committee publishes FLIA policy submission on African trade policy

4 April 2022

The African Trade Policy Programme at the FLIA has submitted proposed reforms to the UK Parliamentary Enquiry Committee on trade policy with African countries. Published by the Committee, the submission complements the UK's ongoing parliamentary review into a post-Brexit trade policy.

Drawing on data from the programme, the policy submission emphasises the need for the UK to move away from the EU's approach to Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) towards a continent-wide trade policy. The proposal also calls for reforms in the UK’s General Special Preferences scheme (GSP) to leave non-trade normative aspects that might hinder multilateral trade to other forums. These reforms advocate a more equitable multilateral trading system that champions the interests of the UK alongside development prospects in African and low-income countries.

Read the policy submission.



New catalogue presents project findings on public health decision-making in Uganda and Malawi

21 March 2022

The Localised Evidence and Decision-making (LEAD) project has commissioned visual media to present research findings on schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminths in Uganda and Malawi. A partnership between LSE, SOAS, LSHTM and PostiveNegatives, Visual Arts-LEAD explores alternative perspectives and strategies for health communications, producing a collaboration between art historians, medical anthropologists, designers and artists based in Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and the UK.

Created by LSE Fellow Kara Blackmore and Dr Polly Savage at SOAS, a new catalogue foregrounds local creative practices in relation to questions of autonomy and medical knowledge. 

View the VA-LEAD catalogue.



FLIA researcher shortlisted for the International Affairs Early Career Prize 2022

11 March 2022

Dr Claire Elder, researcher at the FLIA's Centre for Public Authority and International Development, has been shortlisted for the International Affairs Early Career Prize. The prize is designed to celebrate the quality of research published by authors with less than seven years of experience in International Relations after completing their PhD.

Dr Elder's article provides fresh insights that challenge underlying assumptions about Somaliland's democratisation and development processes. It highlights how de facto states struggle to balance political control and financial hardship, generating creative and uneven governance structures.

Learn about the International Affairs Early Career Prize.



New research investigates artistic representations of transition in post-conflict Uganda

23 February 2022

As part of the Politics of Return project, new research investigates the harm caused by problematic portrayals of Uganda’s decades-long civil conflict between the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Government of Uganda.

Published in the Journal of Critical Arts, FLIA researcher Kara Blackmore presents work in the exhibition When We Return, which interrogates issues of displacement, refugee settlement and humanitarian aid. The paper argues that artworks and their curation in war-affected areas of Uganda have the potential to address media representations of the civil war that have damaging effects today.

Read the full paper here. 



FLIA seeks new Research Officer

22 February 2022

The FLIA is seeking a Research Officer to work on themes of resilience and sustainability in Africa, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. The role will require original research on one or more of the research themes from the Rockefeller Research project portfolio.

Candidates are required to have completed a PhD in a relevant social science or humanities field and have a strong publishing track record of research on resilience and sustainability in Africa. The role will entail data collection, data analysis, writing, presenting research findings at academic forums, editing and publishing research in academic journals and liaising with scholars working on the completed LSE Rockefeller-funded projects.

Deadline: 13 March 2022

Visit here for further information.



New paper investigates the "resilience" among Acholi youth in northern Uganda

8 February 2022

As part of the Deconstructing Notions of Resilience project, a new article explores how "resilience" shapes individual experiences of morality and community wellbeing. FLIA researcher Francis Abonga uses the lens of sports to investigate how Acholi youth understand, experience and value resilience in northern Uganda.

Published in the Journal of Civil Wars, the paper demonstrates that Acholi youth view sports programmes as effective tools in their "resilience" infrastructure. However, engaging critically with contextualised and locally informed understandings of resilience is needed to interrogate power dynamics. Culturally sensitive resilience frameworks must therefore respond to divergent power dynamics within the community.

Read the full paper here. 




The FLIA supports applicants to the British Academy Newton International Fellowship scheme

27 January 2022

The FLIA will support fellowships for promising early-career post-doctoral researchers from overseas aligned to its research areas. Successful fellowships through the British Academy will enable researchers to work for two years at LSE in London, with the aim of fostering long-term international collaborations.

To apply for support with the FLIA, please express your interest by sending a summary of your research idea (500 words) and how it fits our research areas, along with your CV (2 pages). Please contact Melissa Anderson (

Deadline: 11 February 2022 | 23.59 GMT

Learn about the fellowship scheme. 



FLIA seeks new Senior Progamme Manager for the Programme for African Leadership

24 January 2022

The FLIA is seeking a full-time Senior Programme Manager to support the Programme for African Leadership at LSE. The programme supports African students to become value-driven and effective leaders through structured activities and events, while building an alumni network whose members are committed to positive impacts in African communities. 

The successful candidate should be experienced, dynamic, motivated and organised. They will be responsible for all aspects of the programme and student experience. The postholder is expected to manage the recruitment and admission of students into the programme each year, as well as design and tailor the programme to achieve learning objectives and outcomes. The postholder will also lead on the strategic development of the programme as it grows.

Deadline: 13 February 2022

Visit here for further information.



New article highlights variations in the conception of resilience among former Lord's Resistance Army recruits

14 January 2022

The term "resilience" is generally associated with the reintegration and resettlement of former combatants and war-affected populations. However, the concept has sometimes become so fixed that it is not defined at all, although its actual implications may be diverse and even contradictory.

Researchers at the FLIA's Centre for Public Authority and International Development reflect on contrasting arguments about resilience in current research. Published in the Journal of Civil Wars, a new article focuses on former child recruits of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda to underline variations in the normative conception of resilience. Seemingly contradictory findings show that most former recruits face social rejection and can not present themselves as "resilient" according to notions of self-reliance and entrepreneurialism. 

Read the full paper here.



New paper investigates resilience-driven humanitarian-development processes in the Karamoja region of Uganda

13 January 2022

The Uganda government concluded a brutal disarmament campaign in the Karamoja region in 2011. Its post-conflict humanitarian-development interventions in the region since have painted a picture of improving resilience capacity characterised by improved security, market development, accessibility and mobility.

FLIA researcher Dr Ponsiano Bimeny, working on the Deconstructing Notions of Resilience project, challenges this depiction. Published in the Journal of Civil Wars, the research shows that current resilience-based interventions in the region appear to neutralise and dismantle the aspects of communities that make them resilient in the first place. Consequently, the Ngakaramojong concepts of resilience are, for the most part, unseen or ignored by humanitarian-development programming. 

Read the full paper here. 



FLIA hosts webinar on migration policies in Africa and Latin America with LSE alumni associations

15 December 2021

The FLIA has co-hosted the webinar "Migration Policies in Africa and Latin America and Caribbean" to investigate how Latin American and African countries have coped with large rates of migration.

A collaboration with the Latin America and Caribbean Centre and the Africa and Latin America LSE Alumni Associations, the webinar addressed the problem of underfunded and ineffective asylum systems and the effectiveness of integration policies pursued by regional bodies, such as the African Union. Expert speakers also discussed the effects of political conflict and external organisations, such as the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on migration policies in Africa.

Watch the webinar video. 



New research investigates COVID-19 vaccine rejection in chronically neglected communities across the G7

26 November 2021

Hosted by the FLIA as part of the larger PERISCOPE project, Ethnographies of (Dis)Engagement explores attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccines among social groups who have reported some of the lowest rates of uptake across the G7 and the world.

Addressing the lack of qualitative social science approaches to understand COVID-19 responses, the project provides a unique opportunity to unite ongoing research through in-depth qualitative methods. As such, "Ethnographies of (Dis)Engagement" aims to contribute to the reversal of significant "blind" spots in national COVID-19 responses and raise the profile of ethnographic evidence in epidemic and pandemic preparedness.

Learn more about the research.



New CPAID comic illustrates why mass drug administration campaigns failed to control bilharzia in Uganda

24 November 2021

Ugandan artist Dianah Bwengye has collaborated with researcher Gloria Kiconco to illustrate why mass drug administration campaigns in Uganda have failed to control bilharzia.

Weak Links, the latest addition to the series of six comics on public authority across Africa, tells the story of a journalist who seeks to investigate the prevalence of schistosomiasis (bilharzia) despite long-term health programmes in Uganda. The cartoon presents a gripping storyline and easy-to-follow diagrams to disseminate contextually relevant health knowledge about the transmission of bilharzia, which is based on research at the LEAD project.

Learn about the research and view the comic.



New article explains the struggle for survival in Sierra Leone

11 November 2021

The recent fuel tank explosion in Freetown, Sierra Leone, killed more than 100 people, many of whom were young bikers and taxi drivers.

Dr Jonah Lipton, researcher at the FLIA's Centre for Public Authority and International Development, examines how the accident is a part of a bigger picture of the struggle for survival in Sierra Leone. The article highlights the challenges young people face and why they take on dangerous jobs in informal transport. Dr Lipton argues the country is yet to see a genuine recovery after a decade of civil war, pandemics and international pressure to "liberalise" the economy by cutting trade tariffs and reducing state expenditure.

Read the full article here.



New research challenges discourses on Somaliland's democratisation and development process

10 November 2021

The depiction of Somaliland as a safe haven of security and stability, according to FLIA researcher Dr Claire Elder, has downplayed internal political dynamics and complex crises for decades. New research from the FLIA's Centre for Public Authority and International Development provides insights that challenge underlying assumptions about Somaliland's democratisation and development processes. It highlights how de facto states struggle to balance political control and financial hardship, generating uneven governance structures.

Based on field interviews and archival work conducted in Somaliland from 2015 until 2021, the study challenges core arguments about the country's democratic success. Building on a critical economy framework, the research assesses Somaliland's democratisation trajectory and establishes an important comparative research agenda for examining de facto states' development trajectories.

Read the full paper.



FLIA hosts two sessions at the Group of Nations Summit for G7/20 leaders

28 October 2021

Researchers at the FLIA are hosting two panel discussions at the Group of Nations Virtual Summit: Solutions through Inclusivity on 17 November 2021. The Summit will promote policy-oriented research to government, civil society and private sector actors focussed on addressing emergent socio-economic challenges.

Addressing contemporary decision-making by G7/20 leaders, the session "Innovative Approaches to Pandemic Governance" will draw on PERISCOPE research into the social, economic and behavioural aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how these translate into effective mulilateral engagement. A second panel builds on work at the China-Africa Initiative into deepening economic interconnecteness between global regions, particulary the impact of the African Continental Free Trade Area on political, financial and business relations. 

Learn more about the Group of Nations Summit.



New paper investigates the effect of global governance mechanisms on land investments in Uganda

20 October 2021

Throughout the last decade, the international donor community has developed numerous regulatory initiatives for responsible agricultural investments, but whether these guidelines prevent conflict and protect local rights remains unclear. A new paper from the FLIA's Centre for Public Authority and International Development uncovers how these guidelines work in practice, exploring the land tenure regimes that shape investments.

Based on eights months' fieldwork in Uganda, Carolin Dieterle's research in the Journal of Development Studies compares three cases of large-scale land investments in different settings. The results suggest that variations in underlying land tenure systems determines the variation, uneven applicability and effectiveness of global governance mechanisms.

Read the full paper.



New research published on COVID-19 information dissemination among Ugandan health workers

8 October 2021

Health workers at the sub-national level are often on the frontline of disseminating information about COVID-19 to communities. To ensure communities are receiving timely and accurate information, it is vital health workers are kept abreast of the most recent recommendations and guidance.

To understand how information and evidence about COVID-19 is engaged at the subnational level in Uganda, FLIA researchers conducted an electronic survey among health workers in the Ugandan health system. The research, published in BMC Heath Service Research, finds that understanding the sources of information used by health workers can support the transfer of timely information, which in turn increases the use of time- and place-specific information by the Ugandan population.

Learn more about the research.



FLIA seeking new Programme Officer for the Programme for African Leadership

1 October 2021

The FLIA is seeking a full-time Programme Officer to support the Programme for African Leadership at LSE. The programme supports African students to become value-driven and effective leaders through structured activities and events, while building an alumni network whose members are committed to having a direct and positive impact in African communities. 

The successful candidate will be an exceptional community builder and support the PfAL Programme Manager in co-ordinating a wide range of operational and developmental activities, with a focus on communications, administrative duties, event planning and pastoral care. A key aspect of this role will involve cultivating positive relationships with stakeholders such as students, alumni, donors and faculty, ensuring a high quality of service at all times.

Visit here for further information.


Social Networks journal

New publication on social network data collection in the DRC

26 August 2021

Data collection in social network research has advanced to include online questionnaires, digital metadata mining and the use of remote-sensing technologies. Some scholars, however, call for more attention on nuanced understandings of social structures and fieldwork practice. A new publication in Social Networks, based on research at the Centre for Public Authority and International Development, assess the implementation of two network research studies in conflict-affected DRC, where mixed method methodologies were used in data collection and analysis.

The paper foregrounds the interdependence between trust and data quality in unstable and insecure environments, which has implications for all social network research involving precarious contexts or sensitive topics.

Read the paper



CPAID publishes 2021 Report

25 August 2021

The FLIA's Centre for Public Authority and International Development (CPAID) has published a comprehensive report of its long-term research and engagement in Africa. Charting the Centre's growth since 2017 to the present, the report presents complete and ongoing research projects, fieldwork findings, policy impact, publications, long-term partnerships, knowledge exchange initiatives and a vision of the Centre's future.

Read the CPAID Report 2021.


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New research published on occult economies and spirituality in South Sudan

17 August 2021

FLIA researcher Dr Ryan O'Byrne has published an account of meeting an evangelical South Sudanese pastor, who described an alternate demonic reality based on personal experience. Recounting the pastor's autobiography in the Journal of Religion in Africa, the paper presents cosmic flows of persons, power and wealth between times and dimensions, which builds on occult economies literature by highlighting concerns material, economic and spiritual at local and global levels.

Drawing attention to attempts in academic analyses to interpret the diverse complexity of religious experience, the paper questions the scholarly interrogation into spiritual meaningfulness itself and the way such research can be an epistemic incursion.

Read the full paper.



New working paper and policy brief published on household coping strategies in Goma, DRC

29 July 2021

A new working paper from the project Going with or against the Flow examines the experiences of researchers designing and implementing an experimental methodology to study households’ socioeconomic coping mechanisms in insecure, unstable or conflict-affected contexts. The method combined longitudinal household diaries with social network research to collect data on how 24 households in Goma, DRC manage unexpected shocks.

Based on the research, a policy brief outlines clear areas of attention for policymakers seeking to build community resilience and decrease financial uncertainity within the region. Exploring the implementation of the IMAGINE programme for eastern DRC, which aims to reduce diarrhoea rates through improved access to water and sanitation, the brief evaluates the impact on stable water provision and the effectiveness of the public-private partnership model for water governance.

Learn more about the research.



CPAID launches new book on modern authoritarianism in Museveni's Uganda

22 July 2021

A new book draws on long-term research to investigate social control in contemporary Uganda, bringing together literature on modern authoritarianism and the post-colonial African state to explain the relationship between state institutions and enforcement. Written by Research Fellow Dr Rebecca Tapscott at the LSE Centre for Public Authority and International Development, "Arbitrary States" explores the micro-dynamics of public authority and governance through the activities of Uganda's vigilantes, militias and community police, developing a framework of "institutionalised arbitrariness".

The book analyses hundreds of interviews and non-participant observation of local security arrangements in Uganda, which uncovers how unpredictable state interventions can destabilise the societal organisation needed to hold rulers accountable, while leaving democratic institutions formally intact. 

Learn more about the book.



New report on a African Continental Free Trade Area

20 July 2021

A new report by the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa summarises a roundtable discussion on the African Continental Free Trade Area and its opportunities created for global trade. The roundtable hosted high-level attendees from the US and UK governments, the EU Commission, the UN Commission for Africa and the AfCFTA Secretariat.

Highlighting six key areas relevant to international trade actors, the report details emerging challenges as the agreement proceeds into ratification, including investment potential, political instability, ODA cuts and support for trade facilitation reforms. The roundtable was organised in partnership with the FLIA's African Trade Policy Programme, the APPG for Africa, the APPG Trade Out of Poverty and the Royal African Society.

Read the full report.


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Unpacking LSE's history with Africa

8 July 2021

To celebrate its launch, the FLIA has produced a short video reflecting on the decades of continued engagement between LSE and Africa. Dating back to the School’s foundations in 1895 when many staff and students took a strongly anti-colonial line, a number of LSE alumni have later become renowned African presidents, and LSE has welcomed esteemed figures such as Nelson Mandela and Kofi Annan to deliver keynote addresses on African issues.

Learn about LSE's history with Africa.



A new report explores law and justice during war in South Sudan

6 July 2021

Times of war are often considered chaotic and, therefore, devoid of law and order, and numerous violent deaths and widespread displacement can appear the essence of lawlessness. Dr Naomi Pendle's research at the Safety of Strangers project, hosted by the Centre for Public Authority and International Development, challenges these assumptions in the context of South Sudan, drawing from recent scholarship questioning whether the rule of law is necessarily benign.

Using a public authority lens, a new report explores the politics of legal institutions in Unity and Lakes States during recent years of war and peace. Research findings promote discussions about the conditions in which law promotes safety and security and how people use law during war as a mechanism for protection.

Learn more and read the report.



A new report documents local authority and NGO responses to COVID-19 in South Sudan

25 June 2021

A new report documents findings from a research project investigating understandings of COVID-19 and public health in South Sudan, as well as the way that COVID-19 has interacted with the struggles and strategies of local and national NGOs and local government.

Drawing on ethnographic and qualitative research in sites across South Sudan, the team conducted consultations with nearly 100 people in urban and rural areas working for local and national NGOs, as well as local communities, authorities and former staff. 

Learn more and read the report.



CPAID research sets a major precedent for international humanitarian law

24 June 2021

Research at the FLIA's Centre for Public Authority and International Development has had a significant impact on a landmark trial at the International Criminal Court, based on anthropological work on cultural understandings of sexual wrongdoing and its relation to international humanitarian law.

While expanding the charges against former LRA commander Dominic Ongwen, CPAID research contributed to a successful prosecution in 2021 by allowing victims of sexual violence to provide witness testimony before the trial started from Uganda. This sets a ground-breaking precedent in the ability to prosecute international crimes of a sexual nature and, should the precedent be applied more broadly, will ease the prosecution of crimes of sexual violence in both domestic and international jurisdictions. 

Read the full report.



New research published on the marriage customs of South Sudanese refugees in New Zealand

22 June 2021

Focussed on a refugee community of Acholi South Sudanese in New Zealand, new research shows the importance of maintaining cultural practices to sustain social networks and keep families connected to their histories and culture.

Published in the Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, CPAID researcher Dr Ryan O’Byrne describes how an Acholi community negotiates between a sense of belonging to their host country and to their country of origin, understood as a defining feature of the early resettlement period.

Read the full article.


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Video now available from the event "COVID-19: Africa’s Vaccine Challenge"

21 June 2021

This insightful event explored vaccine access and distribution health policies employed to combat COVID-19 across Africa.

Leading experts discussed what vaccine equity and heath technology means for global management of the pandemic, and what challenges remain for health systems as the vaccine rollout is operationalised.

Outside of challenges, the event also highlighted regional African coordination initiatives and best practices from the region.

Visit here for the full video.


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Video now available on the humanitarian crisis in Tigray, Ethiopia

17 June 2021

This event took a poignant look at the humanitarian crisis in Tigray, Ethiopia – a grave, urgent and often under-reported emergency. Seeking to understand the ongoing situation, the event invited a discussion between humanitarian researchers and journalists covering events on the ground.

Speakers Alex de Waal, Temrat Gebregiorgis, Tsedale Lemma and Tamerat Negera provided a broad overview of events, before unpacking compositional elements and offering solutions to bring an end to the crisis.

View the video here.



PfAL Graduation

16 June 2021

The FLIA's Programme for African Leadership (PfAL) celebrated the graduation of the 10th PfAL cohort. Having started their studies at LSE under extraordinary circumstances, the 10th cohort of students showed remarkable resilience and teamwork when faced with an entire year of programmes delivered online.

The day itself involved speeches and reflections by members of the PfAL community and finished with a note of thanks from the PfAL team, including from a founder of the Programme, Najma Lalji.

View a video of PfAL alumni reflecting on the year.



New article published on the long-term experiences of children returning from the LRA

2 June 2021

A new article from the FLIA seeks to address the lack of information about the longer term day-to-day realities of children returning "home" from rebel fighting groups. Presenting findings based on hundreds of interviews between 2013-16, the article is the first long-term assessment of the social and economic challenges facing an officially registered group of children who spent time with the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda.

Published in Conflict and Health, the research results from collaborative work at the FLIA's Centre for Public Authority and International Development, the Politics of Return project and RECAP at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Read the article.



Launching the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa

1 June 2021

We are pleased to announce exciting news that after five years of rapid growth, and ever-expanding programmes, the Firoz Lalji Centre has now become the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa (FLIA). Our transition to an Institute is a crucial new phase that will strengthen LSE’s long-term commitment to placing Africa at the heart of understandings and debates on global issues.  
As an Institute, our research, teaching, evidence-based policymaking and engagement internationally will continue, while new projects will create more ways for people to collaborate and become involved with our work. Read about our latest eventspublicationsartwork and achievements, and stay tuned for more announcements over the coming year.

Read a summary of the Institute's programmes. 


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Video available for The Future of Fieldwork in a Post-Pandemic World

5 May 2021

In this recorded seminar we explore COVID-19's impact on longstanding questions of inequalities, transnational cooperation and ethical research collaboration. Taken from the event "The Future of Fieldwork in a post-Pandemic World", speakers from South Africa, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Kenya and the UK ask whether and how COVID-19 has fundamentally transformed research practice in Africa.

Available to view on YouTube.



Special CPAID issue in the Journal of Refugee Studies

28 April 2021

Researchers at the Centre for Public Authority and International Development have edited a special issue in the Journal of Refugee Studies, which investigates the complex dynamics of displacement and "return" in Central and East Africa. Featuring 17 researchers from the CPAID network, and drawing on ongoing work into the "life cycles" of conflict, issue editors Dr Anna Macdonald and Dr Holly Porter introduce the articles and reflect on the state of scholarship on "return".

With a particular focus on the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Uganda, the issue uses long-term ethnographic data to increase our understanding of internally displaced person, refugee and combatant return dynamics. In doing so, it explores the ways in which return shapes governance and public authority across diverse settings.

Read the special issue.



Programme for African Leadership alumni among Uganda’s top 40 under 40

30 March 2021

Aaron Kirunda, alumni of the FLCA's Programme for African Leadership, has made the list of Uganda’s Sunday Vision Top 40 Under 40. The list recognises exceptional leaders who act as a beacon to their peers and whose work has led to positive social and economic impact in their communities.

Kirunda received recognition for his project Enjuba that has pursued excellent work in Uganda's education sector. Enjuba is a children’s education organisation focussed on improving learning outcomes and developing 21st-century life skills such as critical thinking, collaboration and communication through teacher training.

Read the full story here.



New publication examines demonic stagecraft in African public authority

18 March 2021

Dr Paul Richards at the FLCA’s Centre of Public Authority and International Development has published a new article examining mythic creativity in the politics of late nineteenth-century Sierra Leone, which exemplifies a stagecraft often implicit in African public authority.

Based on ethnographic fieldwork, the article addresses the ways in which public authority played out through cults of secrecy during a period of insecurity in British Sherbo, a small part of precolonial West Africa. 

Read the full article here. 



PfAL graduate featured in the Guardian transforming his war-affected village into a green town in Northern Uganda 

9 March 2021

Programme for African Leadership alumni Ojok Okello is using green energy and natural resources to transform his village of Okere Mom-kok into a thriving and sustainable town. As featured in the Guardian, the 200 hectares local community-led Okere City project in northern Uganda is a brainchild of Okello’s social enterprise, which features a school, health clinic, village, bank and community centre. 

Okello is an LSE graduate who developed his skills on the FLCA’s Programme for African Leadership, an extra-curricular programme focused on leadership development and networking that provides an opportunity for African students to reflect on their development as future leaders of African organisations and communities.

Read the full story here.  



New article addresses the role of non-state actors in global governance 

March 2021

Dr Tatiana Carayannis at the FLCA’s Centre of Public Authority and International Development has published a new article addressing the need to reimagine and redesign the United Nations during and after the COVID-19 era.

The article, co-authored with Dr Thomas G. Weiss, argues that the reimagining of the contemporary global governance model will come from "the third UN" – an ecology of non-state actors that are closely associated with but not formally a part of the UN. The authors also suggest key policy implications based on their findings. 

Read the full article here. 



CPAID launches the Public Authority Podcast

2 March 2021

The FLCA's Centre for Public Authority and International Development has launched the first two episodes of the Public Authority Podcast. The series will engage with experts to discuss how public authority interacts with aid delivery, development initiatives, localisation, access to justice and service provision across Africa.

The new episodes highlight the localisation of humanitarian aid as well as the historical and political dynamics of the NGO sector in conflict-affected South Sudan. The speakers introduce the "localisation agenda" in international development and examine how South Sudanese NGOs deal with the challenges of security risks, funding security and negotiations with donors and international aid agencies.

Listen to the podcast and learn more. 



New report examines the role of hunger courts in the management of famine in South Sudan

1 March 2021

The FLCA's Centre for Public Authority and International Development has released a new report addressing the politics of hunger courts in South Sudan. A team of researchers led by Dr Naomi Pendle explores the socio-legal construction of norms surrounding welfare and dignity, as well as social hierarchies and inequities in South Sudan.

The report draws upon household survey data from four sites in South Sudan and demonstrates that humanitarian engagement with hunger courts and similar institutions could ensure a timelier and more effective response to worsening food insecurity.

Read the full report here.



CPAID comic addresses the fragility of public authority in Palabek refugee settlement 

19 February 2021

A Poisoning in Palabek' forms part of a series of six comics on public authority in different countries across Africa. Charity Atukunda’s illustration builds on 12 months’ ethnographic study conducted by Dr Ryan Joseph O'Byrne and Charles Ogeno at the FLCA's Centre for Public Authority and International Development.

The comic draws inspiration from real-life events, asking the question: what happens when refugee communities and those who are tasked with protecting them have differing opinions about what constitutes a threat?

Learn about the research and view the comic.



CPAID publishes research in the Journal of Refugee Studies 

18 February 2021

A paper titled Pragmatic Mobilities and Uncertain Lives has been published in the Journal of Refugee Studies. Grounded in 12 months of ethnographic fieldwork, Dr Ryan Joseph O'Byrne and Charles Ogeno at the FLCA's Centre for Public Authority and International Development investigate the pragmatic, everyday journeys of South Sudanese refugees in northern Uganda’s Palabek Refugee Settlement through a mobility-focused analytical lens.

The study demonstrates that the complex interactions between refugees from South Sudan and Uganda have important implications for how displacement-based mobilities are conceptualised and understood. 

Read the full article.



FLCA announces Africa Dissertation Prize winners

10 February 2021

The Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019/20 Africa Dissertation Prize, which is awarded to the year's most innovative and significant Master’s dissertation furthering our understanding of the continent.

This year the prize has been granted to four students across LSE departments in the categories of Innovative Research Techniques, Outstanding Dissertation and Contribution to Decolonising the Curriculum. Join us in offering our congratulations to Kristophina Shilongo, Simon Marcus, Naoki Fujioka and Isabel Paolini!

Learn about the LSE Africa Dissertation Prize.


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Decolonising the global publishing industry video available

28 January 2021

The FLCA launched its first event in the series "Decolonising the University", addressing emerging ideas in decolonial theory and practice in collaboration with the LSE Eden Centre.

Discussing the potential for new publishing models to overturn the dominance of Global North research, the first event addressed support for non-Western languages, Global South journals and the values underpinning the types of work considered "publishable".

Available to view on YouTube.



FLCA launches the Decolonisation Hub

27 January 2021

The Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa has launched the Decolonisation Hub, a platform to address anti-racism and decolonisation in higher education.

By collaborating and supporting colleagues across LSE, the hub will host resources, publications, events and updates related to decolonial initiatives across LSE and organisations worldwide. On the hub, the FLCA has also published commitments on its own decolonisation practices, which will be updated throughout the year.

Visit the Decolonisation Hub.



New paper from CPAID critiques notions of monetised politics in South Sudan

18 January 2021

Dr Naomi Pendle in the FLCA's Centre for Public Authority and International Development has published a paper critiquing explanations of South Sudan’s armed conflicts since 2013. Presented in Conflict, Security & Development, her research argues that these explanations have relied on over-simplified theories of identity or monetised politics, which ignore the ways warring coalitions have mobilised support using divergent ideas of political communities and the role of money in defining relationships.

Specifically, the paper addresses how some political communities have faced moral condemnation for their apparent willingness to form alliances in exchange for money. The emerging derogatory term "Nuer weu" ("Nuer of Dinka money") is explored among the South Sudan armed opposition.

Read the full paper.



FLCA partners with the African Academy of Sciences to promote research engagement

20 November 2020

The FLCA has joined an exciting new initiative to increase engagement with higher education institutions on the African continent. In partnership with the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), the FLCA will develop projects that increase capacity, improve efficiency and promote knowledge production among participating institutions.

Part of a team with LSE’s Research and Innovation Division, the FLCA will help establish a common understanding of tracking tools used in the UK and Zimbabwe during a research project’s pre-award period, working with six other institutions to foster in-person knowledge exchange and deepen collaborations with the region.

Learn more about the initiative and the FLCA’s work.



Video online for "China in Africa" lecture attended by FLCA Fellow

19 November 2020

FLCA Fellow Dr Shirley Yu spoke at the Cutting Edge Issues in Development lecture series event "China in Africa", addressing whether China undertakes "debt trap diplomacy" – strategically entrapping nations into enormous debt to gain leverage and obtain resources.

Highlighting China’s shift from the world’s factory to the world’s key global market, Dr Yu spoke to Africa's potential to benefit from its emerging economic status. Rather than China’s lending to African nations, it is increasingly its foreign direct investment and digital infrastructure that will provide Africa the opportunity to develop in the 21st century.

Watch the lecture here.



New research published on magistrates' courts in South Africa and Uganda

17 November 2020

Drawing on empirical research in South Africa and Uganda, a new study investigates how citizens interact with state justice systems in areas of contested statehood. In the journal African Affairs, Dr Anna Macdonald at the FLCA's Centre for Public Authority and International Development calls into question previous research into non-state forms of dispute resolution.

The research demonstrates how citizen engagement with lower state courts can provide crucial insights into an emerging puzzle across the continent: why engagement with rule of law institutions is regularly sought in contexts where people are deeply critical of the state.

Read the full paper in African Affairs.



Citing Africa podcast series two launched

16 November 2020

The FLCA has launched series two of the Citing Africa podcast, exploring the ways ideas and biases become hegemonic within international organisations working in African countries. Focussed on how knowledge and technology shape economic and social development, expert speakers discuss topics ranging from how data is used in African countries to how neglected tropical diseases became a global health issue.

Citing Africa investigates knowledge production about and from the African continent. The podcast addresses the structural factors shaping the type of information we value and what this means for debates on decolonisation.

Listen to the podcast and learn more.



New paper published on militarised masculinities in Uganda

4 November 2020

FLCA Fellow Rebecca Tapscott has published in International Affairs on the significance of "militarised masculinities" among Africa's authoritarian strongmen rulers.

Focussed on Museveni's government in Uganda, the new article seeks to understand how national-level authoritarian power reaches ordinary citizens, in which the governing power exercises a "paradox of restraint" and enacts reforms within the rule of law. 

Read the full article.



Programme for African Leadership Online Forum

30 October 2020

The FLCA's Programme for African Leadership (PfAL) hosted its first digital biennial Forum, bringing together the incredible talent of its network from across the continent.

Presentations and panel discussions by PfAL alumni on Africa's future focused on digital trends, the intersection of the private sector, development and tech, and how to address climate change in a post-COVID world.

View a video playlist of Forum highlights.



New CPAID comic addresses public authority and vigilantism

12 October 2020

As part of a series of six comics on public authority in different countries across Africa, Kenyan comic artist Victor Ndula has illustrated cutting-edge research from the Centre for Public Authority and International Development addressing issues of public authority, vigilantism, policing and public justice.

By studying vigilantes in northern Uganda, research by CPAID Fellow Dr Rebecca Tapscott investigates what public authority means for ordinary people. Based on real events, the comic draws on research findings to ask: what happens when a town tries to fight crime using vigilantes?

Learn about the research and view the comic here.



CPAID publishes on COVID-19, public authority and enforcement in South Africa and Uganda

9 October 2020

Researchers at the FLCA's Centre for Public Authority and International Development (CPAID) have published in Medical Anthropology on the violent enforcement of COVID-19 strategies in South Africa and Uganda.

Research in these countries, by CPAID Investigators Melissa Parker and Grace Akello, builds on earlier work finding that epidemic preparedness and responses can be shaped by geopolitical processes – political and social consequences for others – rather than citizens' health needs.

Read the full open access paper here.



New publication on COVID-19 and public authority

8 October 2020

Most discussion of Africa’s response to COVID-19 takes place at the national level, focussing on the role of formal state authorities. However, less is known about the role of "public authorities".

To explore this gap, researchers at the Centre for Public Authority and International Development have published vignettes of life under, and public authorities’ responses to, the pandemic. Focussing on northern Uganda, South Sudan, the DRC and Sierra Leone, their accounts are now available to download.

Read the full paper here.


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Young, Gifted and Black in Academia event

7 October 2020

The FLCA will host a workshop on 20 October for current and prospective Black students, supporting those planning a career in academia or a PhD programme.

The event will see Black doctoral students and academics discuss their experiences navigating academic institutions as minorities.

Register for the workshop here.


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Surviving and Thriving: A Black History Month Artistic Celebration 

1 October 2020

On 15 October the FLCA is celebrating the start of the 2020/21 academic year with a public event in partnership with Black artists.

Six artists from across Africa and the African diaspora have been commissioned to showcase their artwork interpreting the concepts of surviving (in quarantine, in hardship, as an "other") and thriving in these spheres during a difficult global period. 

View the YouTube video here



FLCA shares milestones in new annual report for 2019/20

27 September 2020

The Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa has published its 2019/20 annual report, charting the impact of ongoing initiatives and new programmes during a period of expansion.

The report covers the continued success of the Programme for African Leadership, research innovation through the Centre for Public Authority and International Development, a high-profile public events programme, the inaugural year of the Africa Engagement Programme, mainstream publicity for the Centre's work, and the Africa at LSE blog. 

Read the 2019/20 annual report here.



CPAID researcher publishes on the future of relationships in international aid

15 September 2020

International aid plays a contested role in stabilising the global economic order, creating asymmetric power relationships between aid donors and recipients, a challenge to which the global aid system has responded in different ways since WWII, decolonisation and the neo-liberal revolution. 

In a new working paper, CPAID researcher Teddy Brett provides a history of aid delivery throughout this period, and its future direction, analysing attempts to reconcile donor-recipient interests and increase aid efficiency. 

Read the full paper here.


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CPAID publishes research in the Journal of Refugee Studies

9 September 2020

Research from the project Trajectories of Displacement has been published in the Journal of Refugee Studies, exploring how displaced peoples reshape constructions of "home" in relation to love and intimate relationships.

Based on ethnographic research over ten years in northern Uganda, following a two-decade-long war, Dr Holly Porter examines movements in relationships between public and private spaces against the backdrop of wider societal movements. In particular, the paper examines the region's spatial moral geography of the camp to home. 

Read the full journal article here.



Q&A with FLCA Fellow on the role of communities in global COVID-19 responses

3 September 2020

FLCA fellow Dr Juliet Bedford features in a Q&A for a new Wellcome Trust project addressing the need for communities to be placed at the heart of global pandemic responses.

Writing alongside LSE's Professor Erik Berglof and Professor Devi Sridhar, Dr Bedford stresses the far-reaching and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which needs treating as a social and livelihoods issue as much as health.

Read the full Q&A here.


Summer Term 2020


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Welcoming Dr Uche Igwe

28 August 2020

Dr Uche Igwe joins the FLCA as a visiting fellow. He is a political economy analyst, legislative scholar and communications expert with twenty years of practical experience working with a sweeping variety of stakeholders.

View his profile here


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Dr Ahmed Musa joins as CPAID Fellow

28 August 2020

Dr Ahmed Musa has joined CPAID as a research fellow. He is a postdoctoral researcher at the Diaspora Humanitarian in Complex Crises research project run by the Danish Institute for International Studies, University of Nairobi’s Institute of Development Studies, Rako Research and Communication Centre and the Rift Valley Institute.  

View his profile here

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Programme for African Leadership cohort 9 graduation

30 July 2020

An online ceremony was recently held for the 76 students enrolled in the Programme for African Leadership. Speeches at the ceremony offered advice for entry into the workplace and the importance of the students using their voice to speak against racial injustice and discrimination.

We wish all the students the best of luck and we look forward to following their next steps! Watch the video recap here.

View a recap of the ceremony here


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LSE Africa Dissertation Prize

29 July 2020

The FLCA is pleased to announce the launch of the LSE Africa Dissertation Prize for current Master's students studying the continent.

Aimed at encouraging and celebrating outstanding fieldwork and research on Africa, the Masters Dissertation on Africa Prize will be awarded to the year's most innovative and significant Master’s dissertation which furthers our understanding of the continent.

Find out more about eligibility for the Dissertation Prize.



New report on South Sudan’s military forces since the 2005 civil war

22 July 2020

The FLCA's Centre for Public Authority and International Development has published the first comprehensive report on South Sudan's military forces since the second Sudanese civil war in 2005. Based on extensive fieldwork, The Politics of Numbers by researcher Joshua Craze argues that the international community's efforts to create a unified armed forces in South Sudan have paradoxically escalated the process of fracturing that led to the current civil war.

The report shows that the current peace process has not brought about peace but rather the intensification of a war economy based on predation and increasingly ethnicised military forces.

Read the full report here.



Policy brief published on Uganda’s response to the 2018 Ebola outbreak

7 July 2020

FLCA researchers have published on Uganda’s response to the 2018 Ebola outbreak at its border with the DRC. Co-written by FLCA Visiting Professor Grace Akello and FLCA Investigator Professor Duncan Green, the brief provides clear recommendations for future epidemic outbreaks.

Based on ethnographic studies over 12 months, the brief reports that the response to Ebola was uncoordinated, chaotic and over-bureaucratic, with little tangible benefit on the ground, supported by international donors who influenced the neglect of vital areas in the Ugandan government’s response.

Read the policy brief.


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Podcast interview with Alcinda Honwana on youth movements

6 July 2020

FLCA Strategic Director Alcinda Honwana features in a new episode of the podcast series "African Voices, African Arguments", discussing new ways young people understand political engagement and collective action.

Interviewed by CPAID Investigator Alex de Waal, Professor Honwana explains that young people, particularly across Africa, are wrestling with how to conduct a new type of politics, which is exemplified in their novel approaches to protests and organising.

Listen to the podcast episode.



Debt relief and Africa during COVID-19: the global response

30 June 2020

On 9 July 2020, as part of our COVID-19 response, the FLCA hosted an event examining calls for immediate debt relief for Africa governments to address the impact of the pandemic.

Experts on foreign direct investment, development economics, international finance and macroeconomics shared their analysis of the situation in the face of the current crisis.

Watch the webinar here.


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COVID-19 in Africa: leadership, inequality and resilience

26 June 2020

On 2 July 2020, the FLCA is hosting an event to discuss the varying actions African countries have taken in response to the global pandemic, and the requirements of leaders to ensure the resilience of the continent as a whole amid COVID-19.

This forms part of the Institute for Global Affairs' launch of the Maryam Forum, a new platform to encourage the shift towards transparent and inclusive leadership.

The session will take place at 4:30pm – 5:45pm.

Visit here for further information.



The impact of COVID on global health: a comparative look at the African region

26 June 2020

On 29 June 2020, the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa and LSE's Global Health Initiative hosted a webinar discussion examining the impact of COVID-19 on health services.

This webinar presented a comparative multi-country perspective of the effects of the pandemic across the African region. Panellists discussed individual country policy responses, the impact of COVID-19 on health services (such as outpatient visits, vaccinations and skilled birth visits) and approaches to tackling excess mortality.

Watch the webinar here.


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Policy report published on community-based armed groups

25 June 2020

FLCA fellow Moritz Schubert has published two policy reports on the role of community-based armed groups in sub-Saharan Africa. With one report examining the success of approaches to these groups, and the other report looking at how they can be transformed.

In many cases these groups, which include vigilantes, militias and criminal gangs, enjoy greater local legitimacy than local security forces due to their strong links with local cultural practices. They may also fill a security void left by an absent state. Moritz Schubert outlines how community-based armed groups can be transformed from sources of insecurity into community service providers.


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Why the DFID-FCO Merger Will Make Aid’s Most Transformative Work Impossible and the Battles Ahead

19 June 2020

FLCA researcher Tom Kirk discusses the recent announcement that the UK government will merge the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Based on his research into development projects internationally, Tom explains in Global Policy how this will negatively impact DFID's most transformative work, and he gives an overview of the rationale behind the merger.


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Michael Amoah's book The New Pan-Africanism reviewed in the African Studies Quarterly

22 June 2020

FLCA senior visiting fellow Michael Amoah's book The New Pan-Africanism: Globalism and the Nation State in Africa is a scholarly account of debates around the new Pan-Africanism and nationalism in Africa.

Newly reviewed in the African Studies Quarterly, the review states that "Amoah has written an important book pointing out that an ethical imperative is necessary in this context as well as practical ideas".

Further information on the book and the full review can be found here.



FLCA in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter

03 June 2020

Staff at the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa have published a statement in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.

We support the efforts of those working to ease ongoing tensions within the United States of America and those working to combat the issues of racism, police brutality and institutional oppression throughout society.

With millions of Africans in the diaspora calling the United States their home, we call upon everyone who engages with our work to support those who struggle for justice and equality in order to achieve lasting peace in our world. 

View the full statement here.


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Food Security and Africa After COVID-19

28 May 2020

Decisive lockdowns, supply chain disruptions, rising unemployment, locust swarms and years of drought. What can be done to address the upcoming food security emergency in Africa?

On 28 May we hosted a webinar with experts to discuss the outlook for the continent’s food security, and what measures should be taken.

Watch the webinar here.



Leonard Wantchekon featured in The Economist

26 May 2020

Centennial Professor at the FLCA Leonard Wantchekon, has been featured in The Economist. The article covers his remarkable and inspiring journey from being the son of two illiterate farmers to becoming a professor at Princeton University.

The article also discusses his founding of the African School of Economics in Abomey-Calavi, Benin. Its aim is to offer African students the highest standards of mathematics and economics teaching, ensuring they can compete with graduates overseas.



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Voices from Africa - Video Blog

20 May 2020

The LSE's Programme for African Leadership team reached out to the PfAL alumni to hear their experiences of life during the pandemic. In a video they discuss how their countries have responded to COVID-19, what they think will be the biggest challenges moving forward, and whether these unprecedented circumstances will create long-lasting behaviour change.



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Looking back at COVID-19: how will Africa have changed one year from now?

11 May 2020

On 7 May 2020, the FLCA hosted a webinar to discuss the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Africa.

The panel was composed of distinguished experts on development and humanitarianism in Africa, including from the African Development Bank and Médecins Sans Frontières, who outlined their predictions in the face of the current crisis. They highlighted emerging challenges and assigned priorities as events continue to unfold.

Watch the webinar here.



Lent term 2020


Costanza Torre publishes in The Lancet 

1 May 2020

FLCA research fellow Costanza Torre has published a correspondence in The Lancet on mental health interventions in northern Uganda.



Gianluca Lazzolino publishes in Geoforum

1 May 2020

FLCA research fellow Gianluca Lazzolino has published an article on how power dynamics between Somali refugees in Kakuma refugee camp are influenced by pre-existing inequalities.


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An interview with Professor Thandika Mkandawire on African knowledge systems

22 April 2020

We pay our tribute to the late Professor Thandika Mkandawire. He was a great educator, thinker and instrumental proponent of LSE's Programme for African Leadership and the study of Africa at LSE. He will be missed greatly and our thoughts are with his family. 

In this special episode as part of the #CitingAfrica podcast series, Professor Thandika Mkandawire talks to Dr Laura Mann discusses African knowledge systems. The episode considers the impact of structural adjustments on African knowledge, the role of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research (CODESRIA) in strengthening the autonomy of Africa-based research, and the ideas that have shaped and guided his prestigious career.



Keren Weitzberg publishes in The Journal of African History

22 April 2020

FLCA Visiting Fellow Dr Keren Weitzberg has published an article in The Journal of African Historyexamining the imperial origins behind Kenya’s recent turn towards digital biometrics.

Kenya’s controversial new biometric ID project, Huduma Namba, has been criticised for further marginalising minority communities who already face institutional challenges.



Juliet Bedford co-authors paper on COVID-19 pandemic for The Lancet

 2 April 2020

New FLCA visiting fellow Juliet Bedford presents an overview of the actions taken by countries across the globe, in the battle to control the spread of the pandemic.

The paper presents clear recommendations for governments striving to further prevent an increase in the transmission of infections.


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Michael Amoah publishes on Oxford University Press

1 April 2020

FLCA visiting senior fellow Michael Amoah published a blog on Oxford University Press, discussing how African presidents rig elections to remain in power.

The blog highlights how electioneering's fraught tactics can exclude skilled candidates, and the contrast between presidential term limits of African leaders and those with unlimited terms in Europe.



FLCA's Jonah Lipton discusses "social distancing" on Channel 4 news

25 March 2020

Social anthropologist Dr Jonah Lipton appeared on Channel 4 news to discuss the experience on "social distancing" in response to the covid-19 epidemic, based on his experiences in Sierra Leone during the recent Ebola outbreak.

More appropriately termed "physical distancing", he emphasises the importance of social proximity during a crisis, and what epidemics can teach a society during turbulent historic periods.

Watch the video segment here



CPAID researchers inform OECD peacebuilding framework

24 March 2020

Core members of the FLCA's Centre for Public Authority and International Development (CPAID) have participated in their first meeting with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to shape the organisation's understanding of effective peacebuilding.

As part of a two-day workshop, CPAID researchers questioned the ways aid donors often enter conflict and fragile state contexts, uncritically assuming that certain actors – governments, civil society organisations and the private sector – should remain at the heart of their work.

To learn more about CPAID's policy input to the OECD's peacebuilding framework please see here.


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FLCA recruits for a Research Officer

19 March 2020

The FLCA is offering an opportunity for a motivated researcher to develop their research career, seeking a scholar focused on processes of social change as it applies to youth, women and children in Africa.

The successful candidate will have completed a PhD in Anthropology, Sociology, Geography, International Development, International Relations, Political Science, Social Policy or related social science discipline with a focus on Africa. 

Visit here for more information



FLCA project publishes reports on the localisation of humanitarian aid

18 March 2020

The FLCA project Historical and Political Dynamics of the NGO Sector in South Sudan has published two reports on the struggles and strategies of local and national organisations during complex emergencies.

Based on over 200 one-to-one consultations, the reports focus on the histories, politico-economic dynamics and everyday realities of South Sudanese NGOs during South Sudan’s armed conflicts and intermittent periods of peace. Bringing local perspectives to global debates on localisation, the reports enhance knowledge on the everyday efforts of these NGOs, and structural issues within the aid sector.

Learn more about project findings and read the full reports here.


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Politics of Return project publishes impact engagement report

17 March 2020

In conclusion of the Politics of Return research project, FLCA researchers have published a report documenting the impact of academic and creative outputs over its three-year period.

While informing UK and international policy, the research has carved new narratives around on the effects and experiences of forced displacement and cycles of violence in Uganda, South Sudan, the DRC and the Central African Republic. The report considers how the project's events, exhibitions and creative activities have impacted local communities, national and international policymakers, development practitioners and African leaders.

Read the full report here


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Applications open for 2020 LSE Africa Dissertation Funding 

16 March 2020

The Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa can provide up to £1,000 to LSE Masters students to conduct fieldwork in Africa for their dissertation.

The call for funding opens each year in Lent term.

In 2019, 15 students received the MSc Dissertation Fieldwork grant. Recipients studied a variety of topics, from rights-based activism by mining affected communities in South Africa to refugees’ work to sex workers' self-perceptions in Ghana.

Visit here for further information



Fatima el-Issawi publishes report on media development in the Middle East and North Africa

12 March 2020

FLCA Senior Visiting Fellow Fatima el-Issawi published a report examining how cross-border strategies can strengthen independent journalism in the Middle East and North Africa.

The report highlights the shared vision from over 40 prominent experts, on how journalism can continue to grow in the region despite a highly restrictive political environment and amid a revival of autocracy.



Africa Talks hosted event on the global legacy of African women writers

7 March 2020

As part of our Africa Talks series, LSE Festival and International Women’s Day 2020, we hosted an event examining the global legacy of African women writers with acclaimed literary giants Margaret Busby and Sarah Ladipo Manyika.

African literature is increasingly esteemed around the world, but the true extent of its global historic influence remains largely overlooked. The event explored sisterhood, political and academic thought and the ways African women have taken ownership of these spaces through memory and storytelling.

Audio podcast
A podcast of this event is available to download



Politics of Return project publishes in the Journal of Refugee Studies

4 March 2020

FLCA researchers published three articles in the Journal of Refugee Studies examining the life and learnings of ex-combatants in the DRC and Uganda, once they have transitioned from combatant to civilian society. Read the articles below.


Keren Weitzberg speaks to the BBC on Kenya’s recent biometric registration project.

5 February 2020

FLCA Visiting Fellow Dr Keren Weitzberg was interviewed on BBC World Service, highlighting the anxiety faced by minority groups in Kenya around the registration programme for Huduma Namba, Kenya’s new biometric ID project.

Members of the Muslim, Somali and Nubian communities have previously struggled to obtain physical ID, leading to challenges such as accessing healthcare, opening bank accounts, or moving around the country freely, which are due to be exacerbated by the new biometric ID project.

Keren discussed the concerns from these communities, in addition to legal and civil groups in Kenya, which the new biometric ID project has numerous challenges surrounding it. 


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Michael Amoah Speaks to Al Jazeera on French troops being deployed to West Africa

2 February 2020

FLCA senior visiting fellow, Dr Michael Amoah spoke to Al Jazeera about the role of France in aiding West African countires to fight the growing Jihadi violence within the region.

Watch the video segment here.


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Moritz Schuberth appointed CPAID Research Fellow

28 January 2020
The FLCA's Centre for Public Authority and International Development (CPAID) is delighted to announce the appointment of Moritz Schuberth as a CPAID Research Fellow.
Mortiz is a security and development expert with extensive experience managing projects and conducting research in fragile and conflict-affected settings.

Before joining UNODC as Associate Expert in Evaluation, he has been working as Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Manager for the global humanitarian agency Mercy Corps in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he has been coordinating research projects with Harvard University, the London School of Economics and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Prior to this he has worked at the European Commission, the German Federal Foreign Office and the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.




Africa Talks: Decolonising Knowledge Systems

16 January 2020

Kickstarting our 2020 Africa Talks series, we hosted a discussion with Professor Akosua Adomako Ampofo, Dr Wangui wa Goro and Dr Romina Istratii on how Africa can decolonise its knowledge systems.

The speakers examined some of the progress made in this endeavour discussing ideas on how these systems can be rethought, re-framed and reconstructed and the complicated role played by global North-South knowledge exchange programmes in attempts to further the continent’s epistemological agency.

Audio podcast
A podcast of this event is available to download



FLCA Senior Visiting Fellow, Michael Amoah, speaks with Al Jazeera

13 January 2020

Michael Amoah recently spoke to Al Jazeera about growing jihadi violence and terror in Burkina Faso.

He notes how the state is facing backlash from armed groups due to its contribution to fighting the "global war on terror", in addition to spill-over from neighbouring insurgencies in Mali and Chad. 




FLCA correspondence in The Lancet on mental health in conflict settings

6 January 2020

FLCA researchers highlighted some of the limitations of current strategies around mental health treatment in conflict settings, including the consequences of adopting universalised and externally generated preconceptions.

The correspondence was published in response to an earlier article written by researchers at the World Health Organisation, calling for a scaling up of mental health interventions in areas of conflict.

FLCA researchers, Professor Tim AllenProfessor Melissa Parker and Costanza Torre noted, however, that this can exacerbate the social problems of the communities it seeks to help. 


Michaelmas term 2020


Ugandan artist Bathsheba Okwenje appointed FLCA Visiting Fellow

16 December 2019

The FLCA is proud to announce the appointment of Bathsheba Okwenje as a Visiting Research Fellow.

Bathsheba is a Ugandan artist currently living in Rwanda. Her work is based at the intersection of information practices and aesthetics, investigating hidden histories, the interior lives of people and the interactions between them.

Before embarking on her art practice, Bathsheba spent 15 years working with the United Nations on global and regional rights-based responses to the HIV epidemic and health inequities. Her work has appeared in the streets of Delhi, Gulu, Johannesburg, Kampala, Oslo, Providence and Tromsø.

Bathsheba is a founding member of the artist collective Radha May, whose most recent show is a solo exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Milan, Italy. Bathsheba received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and is currently working on a book and a radio drama about love in the aftermath of war in Northern Uganda, which will be the focus of her work during the fellowship.

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FCLA researchers publish on the impact of promoting war trauma as a form of treating mental disorders

6 December 2019

Researchers from the Politics of Return (POR) project recently published an article in Anthropology Today analysing the social impact of mental health interventions in addressing post‐traumatic stress disorder. The researchers highlight how promoting Euro-American understandings of trauma may do more harm than good for the communities it seeks to help.

Additionally, the POR project involves collaborations from artists from Uganda, South Sudan, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This artwork (to the left) and more features on the front and back cover of this month’s Anthropology Today issue. The complete collection of artwork is now also available as an online catalogue.

The POR project aims to further understandings of how conflict-affected societies constitute or reconstitute themselves, filling the large gap in current knowledge on the "lifecycle" of conflicts in some of the world's most difficult areas.


Tim Africa Summit

Tim Allen’s introduction to Lawino’s People is now available online

19 November 2019

FLCA Director Tim Allen’s introduction to Lawino’s People, a republication of important neglected texts authored by Okot p'Bitek and Frank Knowles Girling, is now available online.

The book, also edited by Allen, presents important works about the Acholi in Uganda from Frank Knowles Girling's The Acholi of Uganda and Okot p'Bitek's The Religion of the Central LwoAfrican Religions in Western Scholarship and Acholi Love in one volume.

In the introduction, Allen says he hopes that republishing these works together provides some useful insights into representations of the Acholi people at the time the British Empire was disintegrating, and will reveal how important the descriptions and interpretations of Girling and p’Bitek are for anyone who wants to understand what is happening today in this very troubled region of Africa.

FLCA researcher and Gulu University Professor Grace Akello, herself an Acholi, said the "book is a must read for all anthropologists and Lawino's children who care to know their history. It's a timely, thoughtful and innovative way of presenting scholarship long repressed by imperialism."


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FLCA researchers publish on naked protests against the Ugandan state

12 November 2019

A new study investigates howcitizens living under an increasingly militarised and authoritarian Ugandan regime exercise political voice, published in the journal Civil Wars and authored by FLCA researchers Francis Abonga, Raphael Kerali and Rebecca Tapscott.

Titled "Naked Bodies and Collective Action: Repertoires of Protest in Uganda’s MilitarisedAuthoritarian Regime",the article uses an in-depth case study of naked protest in modern day Uganda to show how naked bodies allow citizens to employ three types of overlapping power to confront the state: biopower, symbolic power and cosmological power.

The study illustrates one way in which citizens seek to engage militarised regimes – and, in doing so, how political voice takes particular forms to instigate broader political claim-making associated with country- or region-wide political action.


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FLCA’s Naomi Pendle discusses prospects for peace and stability in South Sudan at Chatham House

11 November 2019

Naomi Pendle, Research Fellow at the FLCA, recently joined a panel of speakers at Chatham House to examine the status of South Sudan’s fragile peace deal. The panel addressed the issue of federalism and subdivision, measures needed to prevent the humanitarian crisis from worsening and opportunities to foster greater security in the country.

The event was organised against the backdrop of uncertainty about whether the Juba’s political leaders would meet the 12 November 2019 deadline to form a transitional government of national unity – a process already delayed after a revitalised power-sharing deal was signed in September 2018.

Founded in 1920 by former American President Woodrow Wilson, and former British public administrator Lionel George Curtis, Chatham House is a London NGO that analyses and promotes the understanding of major international issues and current affairs.



Politics of Return Artwork now digitally available

6 November 2019

A catalogue of the artwork and literature produced by the Politics of Return (POR) project, which aims to further understandings of how conflict-affected societies constitute or reconstitute themselves, is now digitally available.

Named "When We Return", the catalogue features artwork by Bathsheba Okwenje, Willy Karekezi, Gael Maski Kusa Kusa, Tom Dai, Gloria Kiconco and Victor Ndula. Kara Blackmore (pictured left) is the POR project curator. The arts and heritage component of the project is embedded in both an arts residency and a series of exhibitions and dialogues.

This innovative translation of research findings into contemporary art makes space for abstract complex narratives and illuminates personal stories.

Drawing on anthropology, comic journalism, history, heritage studies and political science, the project lays emphasis on the everyday experiences of those attempting to build or re-build, contributing to a better understanding of how conflict-affected societies constitute or re-constitute themselves.


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Medical and religious anthropologist Dr Lars Hedegaard appointed CPAID Visiting Fellow

1 November 2019

Dr Lars Hedegaard Williams has been appointed a CPAID Visiting Fellow at the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa (FLCA). Focussed on Uganda, Lars’ research foremost explores how cultural notions and practices shape experiences, symptoms and course of treatment of mental illness, as well as the intersection between religious practices and psychiatric and psychological treatments for mental illness. Geographically, his research has focused on Uganda and Denmark.

Before becoming a Visiting Fellow at LSE, he was a visiting graduate student at Harvard University in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. Besides anthropological research, Lars works in journalism and is currently a staff writer for Danish news media outlet Kristeligt Dagblad.


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FLCA research attracts hundreds at Kampala exhibition

24 October 2019

A rounded display of research output produced over the years under the FLCA’s Politics of Return (POR) project drew hundreds of visitors during an exhibition at the Kampala Geopolitics conference at Makerere University.

The POR research project, funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, analyses how refugees, internally-displaced persons and former combatants negotiate and experience "return", with the aim of filling the large gap in current knowledge on the "lifecycle" of conflicts in some of the world's most difficult areas.

Drawing on anthropology, comic journalism, history, heritage studies and political science, the project emphasises the everyday experiences of those attempting to build or re-build, contributing to a better understanding of how conflict-affected societies constitute or re-constitute themselves.

The exhibition of POR research output was curated by Nikissi Serumaga, the Programmes Manager of 32º East|Ugandan Arts, a Ugandan NGO partnering with the FCLA under the POR project. Researcher Kara Blackmore said: "It’s great to see our work being shared in new forms and with new audiences."


Michael Amoah

FLCA Fellow Dr Michael Amoah Publishes in the influential journal African Affairs

4 October 2019

Dr Michael Amoah, Visiting Senior Fellow at the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa (FLCA), has published his latest article in the journal African Affairs.

His timely article "Sleight is Right: Cyber Control as a New Battleground for African Elections" explores how, across the globe, election management bodies face the unenviable expectation to deliver to public trust on an increasingly mischievous playing field.

Dr Amoah proposes for the establishment of internationally agreed ICT protocols for election management in the face of cyber electoral malpractice, which means "independent election monitors could conduct forensic audits to investigate hacking claims and counterclaims".

The paper is also scheduled for the January 2020 hard issue of the African Affairs (Vol 119).


Tim Africa Summit

CPAID annual meeting draws experts and researchers from across the world

2 October 2019

Experts and researchers affiliated with the Centre for Public Authority and International Development (CPAID) joined LSE for the 2019 annual meeting from 1–2 October 2019. This year’s meeting blended presentations, workshops and roundtable discussions to strengthen knowledge about how the governance of societies in impoverished, marginal and/or conflict affected places actually functions.

Presentation themes covered included a range of topics in relation to public authority, including religion, political finance, health, land, development agencies, justice and the governance of nature.

The meeting concluded with a roundtable discussion on "Building Collaborations for Research and Policy Impact" with Arthur Mist, Professor Grace Akello, Professor Tim Allen, Dr Rebecca Tapscott, Dr Anna Macdonald and Dr Esther Merijnen.

If you are interested in participating in CPAID activities, register for the CPAID seminars where these conversations will continue throughout the new term.


FLCA Annual report cover 2019 (2)

The 2018/19 FCLA Annual Report

1 October 2019

The FLCA has published its 2019/20 annual report, taking stock of the past year's numerous milestones, new projects and successful events.

Highlights included the 2018 Programme for African Leadership (PfAL) alumni forum held on the picturesque beaches of Mombasa, Kenya, the sixth LSE Africa Summit, a record PfAL LSE enrolment and the Save the Children Centenary Conference, co-hosted with the agency.

Our scholars were published in leading journals and widely read blogs on topics as diverse as Ebola, child soldiers, international aid, football, memorialisation, economic growth, populism, entrepreneurship, gendered violence and spirituality.

We are excited to expand our engagement with and on Africa over the coming year.



Summer Term 2019


Alcinda Honwana

Professor Alcinda Honwana appointed new Strategic Director of the FLCA

1 September 2019

Professor Alcinda Honwana has been appointed as the first Strategic Director of the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa (FLCA).

In her new role, Professor Honwana will provide strategic vision and direction to the FCLA, as well as develop the strategy and direction for the African Visiting Fellowships Programme. Additionally, she will contribute to the development of a research and partnerships strategy for the Centre, and support the enhancement of the role of the FLCA as a leading UK research centre.

Alcinda, who doubles as the Centennial Professor at the Department of International Development at LSE, has carried out extensive research on political conflict, the politics of culture, the impact of war on children, youth and women, as well as youth politics, social movements and political protest.


CPAID Principal Investigator writes for the BBC

21 August 2019

Professor Alex de Waal has published an article on the BBC: "Sudan crisis: The ruthless mercenaries who run the country for gold", in which he analyses the country's current turmoil and the political marketplace.

If you would like to read more about the political marketplace, please see the blog by Professor Alex de Waal analysing Political Entrepreneurs and Political Bargaining with a Business Lens.


FLCA and Uganda’s Muni University collaborate to establish approaches to contain epidemics

12 August 2019

London-based Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa (FCLA) and Muni University in Arua, Uganda, are undertaking a joint research project to contribute to policy approaches focused on containing epidemic diseases, including Ebola, across national borders.

"Living the Everyday in the Context of Ebola: A Study of Health and Social Interactions at Uganda’s Borders" addresses how social relations and everyday life affect knowledge and the management of sickness, including and beyond Ebola.

FLCA Director Professor Tim Allen is the Principal Investigator, working alongside Professor Grace Akello and Dr Georgina Pearson of the FLCA as co-investigators.

Generously funded by the British Academy, the project is based in the West Nile sub-region of Uganda, and research will be conducted on the borders of Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as well as Uganda-South Sudan. The research comes at a time when these borders have come to the attention of international experts under the guise of Ebola-preparedness efforts.

South Sudan Soldier

FLCA partners with African researchers and London-based consultancy to investigate the impact of the South Sudan conflict on NGOs

7 August 2019

Dr Naomi Pendle and Alice Robinson of the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa (FCLA) have collaborated with researchers from Juba University in South Sudan and The Research People to explore how conflict in the world’s youngest nation has impacted NGOs working in the country.

Historical and Political Dynamics of the NGO Sector in South Sudan seeks to understand how NGOs at local and national levels have been shaped by major events such as the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and South Sudan's independence, as well as more recent changes associated with the conflict in December 2013 and July 2016.

More than focusing on material dynamics and constraints, the study will explore the way diverse local and national NGOs approach, understand and navigate the challenges of delivering aid in South Sudan, how they engage with wider political economies and how their ideological basis becomes entangled and reimagined in the process.

Collaborators in the research include Dr Leben Moro, Revd. Dr Martin Ochaya and Dr Lydia Tanner, who will assist in collecting qualitative interviews, life histories and organisational histories in Akobo, Wau and Yambio.

Africa Summit 2019 team

LSE Africa Summit 2020 is open for recuitement

The LSE Africa Summit is recuiting for its 2020 edition. Don''t miss this incredible opportunity to be part of one of LSE's flagship events and to be part of the FLCA community.

Open to all LSE 2019/20 students with an interest in Africa. Deadline 20 August 2019

*Deadline extended to 1 September 2019.

Details here

Njala Workshop

Social Sciences Writing workshop at Njala University, Sierra Leone

This past month, some of our FLCA researchers made a trip to Njala University in Sierra Leone for a Social Sciences writing workshop, an opportunity to make meaningful connections and offer support for those with limited experience of publishing in peer-reviewed journals.

This workshop was a partnership between the Centre for Public Authority (LSE), Firoz Lalji Centre for the Study of Africa (LSE), Department for International Development (LSE and) RECAP (LSHTM/UoSL).

A pile of research papers

New working paper - Deconstructing Notions of Resilience project

This paper discusses the circumstances under which international humanitarian development interventions may unintentionally compromise and exacerbate community’s vulnerability rather than enhance its resilience capacity.

Tim Allen at his book launch

Professor Tim Allen publishes a new book

The Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa's Director, Tim Allen, has published a new book "The Lawino's People: The Acholi of Uganda". It presents important works about the Acholi people in Uganda from Frank Knowles Girling’s The Acholi of Uganda and Okot p’Bitek’s The Religion of the Central Lwo, African Religions in Western Scholarship, and Acholi Love in one volume.

Pfal Graduation 8

We were delighted to host our Programme for African Leadership (PfAL) Graduation

On 17 June 2019 we saw our beloved PfAL cohort 8 graduate from our Programme for African Leadership.

Comprised of 76 students hailing from 20 countries and enrolled in 35 degrees at LSE, each PfALer exemplified the definition of leadership and brought much joy to the FLCA offices, giving their best in their studies and extracurricular activities.

The day was marked by a panel discussion with Yale's Director for Africa Eddie Mandhry, LSE School Governor & Commissioner Tina Fahm, and Dr. Vanessa Iwowo, specialist in Organisational Psychology. 

Former PfALers gave keynote speeches at the graduation, including the South African Ambassador to Madagascar, Maud Dlomoand, and Information Security Analyst Divine Agbety.

Kele Mafole also gave a rousing speech to her cohort graduating this year, setting the tone for the rest of the festivties.

We wish them all the best in their next adventures and look ahead for them joining the PfAL Alumni network family!

Field Work Grants

17 LSE students awarded the FLCA'S MSc Dissertation Fieldwork grants

In May, we launched the FLCA's MSc Dissertation Fieldwork grants to support LSE Masters students.

17 students were awarded grants of up to £1,000 to undertake fieldwork across the continent.



Lent Term 2019

LSE Visiting Fellow, Michael Amoah

FLCA Fellow 's book to be launched at LSE on 13 February 2019

Dr. Michael Amoah 's book 'The New Pan-Africanism: Globalism and the Nation State in Africa' will be launched at LSE on 13 February 2019. The event will be chaired by Professor E. A. (Teddy) Brett. 

Register for the event here


Profile photo of Dr Holly Porter

FLCA researcher's article on reimaginig rape published on the Social Politics journal

FLCA Research Fellow, Dr Holly Porter's article "Rape Without Bodies? Reimagining the Phenomenon We Call 'Rape'" was published in the latest journal issue of Social Politics.

Her article explores where the threshold which separates sex that is acceptable from sex that is rape. Is it from a deeply embodied sense of being violated, a normative limit that is socially and/or legally constructed—or something else? Ultimately, the article suggests a reimagining of rape as a sexual trespass on the boundaries of being.

Click here to read the research 


Mercy-corps project

New research programme

We are delighted to be hosting a new research project, jointly funded by the Centre for Public Authority and International Development (CPAID) and Mercy Corps on an ongoing WASH programme in Goma, DRC.

The project will include a number of new and existing researchers a part of the core team: Batumike Papy Muzuri, Keith Samuel Muhindo Balume, Joe Trapido, Duncan Green, Tom Kirk and Pat Stys.

Read about the research project here.


Rutendo Chabikwa

Pfaler Rutendo Chabikwa was announced as the joint winner of Myriad's 2018 First Drafts Competition for unpublished writers.

The Myriad’s First Drafts competition recognises 'promising work-in-progress' and is open to writers who have not yet published a collection of stories or novel. 

Rutendo Chabikwa's short story about mental anguish and depression entitled 'Todzungaira' was deemed by the judges as 'beautifully written, captivating and very moving', commenting further that 'the author has managed to develop a story about a sensitive and taboo topic that is not only relevant but shines a light on an important subject'. Chabikwa's story will feature in the forthcoming anthology New Daughters of Africa, edited by Margaret Busby OBE and featuring contributions from established authors such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, Malorie Blackman, Esi Edugyan, Andrea Levy, Warsan Shire and Zadie Smith.

Congratulations on this massive achievement Rutendo!


Leonard Wantchekon 2

LSE Centennial Professor Leonard Wantchekon elected to the Econometric Society

Leonard Wantchekon has been elected as a fellow to the Econometric Society for his contributions to the field of economics alongside 21 other renowned academics. 

Leonard is a Professor of Politics and International Affairs and associated faculty in the Economics department at Princeton University. His research is broadly focused on political and economic development, particularly in Africa. His specific interests include institutions and governance, education and human capital externalities, democratisation, clientelism and redistributive politics and the long-term social impact of historical events. 

He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the founder the African School of Economics (ASE), which opened in Benin in September 2014.

Profile photo of Dr Holly Porter

FLCA researcher makes final shortlist for prestigious Herskovits Prize

FLCA Research Fellow Dr Holly Porter has been selected as a finalist for the 2018 Melville J Herskovits Prize for her book 'After rape: violence, justice and social harmony in Uganda'.

Published in 2017, 'After Rape' examines issues of wrongdoing and justice, sexual violence and rape among the Acholi people in northern Uganda. 

The Herskovits Prize is awarded annually by the Africa Studies Association to the author of the best scholarly work in African studies published in English during the preceding year. 

The winner of the 2018 prize will be announced on Saturday 1 December 2018.

Karin Barber

We are delighted to welcome Professor Karin Barber to the Centre 

Karin Barber is a Centennial Professor in Anthropology. Her research focuses on Yoruba oral literature, popular theatre and print culture, and she has also done wider comparative work on popular culture and the anthropology of texts. Her most recent books are Print Culture and the First Yoruba Novel (2012) and A History of African Popular Culture (2018).


Michaelmas Term 2018


Leonard Wantchekon 2

We are delighted to welcome Professor Leonard Wantchekon to the Centre

Leonard Wantchekon is a Centennial Professor at LSE for 2018-2019 academic year. He is a Professor of Politics and International Affairs and associated faculty in the Economics department at Princeton University. His research is broadly focused on political and economic development, particularly in Africa. His specific interests include institutions and governance, education and human capital externalities, democratization, clientelism and redistributive politics and the long-term social impact of historical events. 

He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the founder the African School of Economics (ASE), which opened in Benin in September 2014.

For a full profile of Professor Wantchekon, please visit the IMF website for a Finance & Development article entitled “Ground Breaker.”

Africa At LSE blog competition

Africa at LSE launches Blog Competition

The Africa at LSE blog has launched a competition for undergraduate and masters student inviting them to explore the influences and contribution of the African Diaspora to the world. 

The competition opens on 1 October 2018 and closes at midnight on Friday 9 November 2018. All blogs should be no more than 1,000 words and submitted via email to and accompanied by your name and degree programme at LSE. 

A judging panel will assess submissions and select a winner based on the following criteria: originality (25%), creativity (25%), use of language (25%), and appropriateness to the theme of the contest (25%).

The Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa will compile a shortlist on 10 blogs with the judging panel choosing the winner and two runners-up. All shortlisted blogs will be published on the Africa at LSE blog.

The winner of the competition will receive a £50 voucher. Two runners-up will each receive a £25 voucher. All shortlisted writers will receive a free ticket for the 2019 LSE Africa Summit. 

For more information and TCs click here


Second LSE PFAL Forum for Aspiring African Leaders

The second LSE Programme for African Leadership (PfAL) Forum took place from 6-8 September 2018 in Mombasa Kenya. Over 100 delegates from the four corners of the continent were gathered at the Serena Beach Resort and Spa for a closed conference with the theme, Working Together to Shape Our Future.

Over the four days of the conference, delegates were inspired and empowered to take on the biggest challenges in their communities, countries and continent through a succession of keynote addresses by distinguished speakers and workshops. Among the speakers were Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Irungu Houghton, Executive Director, of Amnesty International Kenya.


Summer Term


LSEIQ website

Visiting Professor shares expertise in LSE IQ Podcast

FLCA Visiting Professor Dr Grace Akello recently participated in LSE IQ's monthly podcast. Aired on 3 July 2018, Episode 16, Do we need to rethink foreign aid? discusses the politics of foreign aid.

The episode examines the role of humanitarian and development assistance despite an increasingly sceptical political environment. Dr Duncan Green, an Investigator on our CPAID research project, is also featured, alongside Rafat Ali Al-Akhali and Dr Ryan Jablonski.

Listen to the segment.



Profile photo of Dr Laura Mann

Assistant Professor presents new ESRC Research in Mumbai

On June 15 and 16, a network of global researchers met in Mumbai, India, to take part in a workshop organised by the Indian organisation, ITforChange, that explored the implications of digital platforms for economic and social development. Participants included researchers from Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Canada, Belgium, Wales, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, India, the Philippines, China, Indonesia and Thailand discussing topics ranging from the impacts of platformisation on financial inclusion, cultural representation and production, worker security and livelihoods, sovereignty and exploitation, among many other topics.

As part of the workshop, Laura Mann, from the LSE ID/FLCA presented her new ESRC research project on the digitization of agriculture within the US and Kenya. She emphasised the need to understand the impacts of digital technologies and platforms through the lens of competitive knowledge production.




CPAID researcher 's work featured in ICR study and New York Times 

The Roots of Restraint in War—a study that updates the 2004 Roots of Behaviour in War by the ICR—was launched in June 2018 in Geneva.

Naomi Pendle's research on community-embedded armed group in South Sudan was featured in this study and quoted in a New York Times article.



LSE Visiting Fellow, Michael Amoah

Visiting Fellow provides expert analysis on Burundi referendum 

FLCA Visiting Fellow Dr Michael Amoah was interviewed on Al Jazeera on 17 May 2018 as votes were cast in Burundi on a referendum to extend presidential term limits.  

During the segment, Dr Amoah discussed the political motivations behind the referendum and the ‘intimidation and fear’ some citizens are under to go out and vote.   

The results of the referendum have been announced since, with Burundi approving constitutional amendments to extend presidential term limits.  

Watch the segment



A pile of research papers

South Sudanese researchers invited to apply for Writing Workshop in July 2018

South Sudanese early career researchers have been invited to apply for the Writing Workshop which will take place in Kenya during 10-22 July 2018.

Funded by the British Academy, the workshop is being organised in partnership between the Institute of Peace, Development and Security (University of Juba) and the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa (LSE).

The workshop will provide invaluable training to South Sudanese early career researchers looking to write-up and publish their original empirical research.

Attendees will also receive additional support to facilitate the submission of their resulting articles (8,000 words approx.) to an international, peer-reviewed journal before November 2018. 

Applications close on the 18th May 2018.

Find out how to apply



Africa Summit Team 2018

The LSE Africa Summit 2018 

The LSE Africa Summit took place on 20 and 21 April 2018. The theme of this year's conference is Africa at Work: Educated. Employed. Empowered

President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo of Ghana delivered the opening keynote address on the second day of the annual student-led conference.

Other speakers at the conference included Mosun Belo-Olusoga, Chair of Access Bank PLC, Nigeria and Dr Lindiwe Sibanda, VP Policy and Partnerships, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

Visit the website to find out more about the Summit



CPAID researcher Grace Akello

New Visiting Professor at the Centre for Africa

The Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa welcomes Dr Grace Akello, Ruth Glass Memorial Fellow in the Department of International Development and FLCA Visiting Professor.

She will spend the next four months at LSE working as part of research team in the Centre for Public Authority and International Development.

Dr Akello is a medical anthropologist and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Gulu University in Uganda where she convenes that master of medical anthropology course.

Her research interests focus on the interplay between culture, health and illness particularly during conflict, complex emergencies and natural disasters. Her work has been published in a range of journals including Social Science and Medicine and Intervention. 

She can be contacted on


Lent Term 2018


Profile Photo of Professor Catherine Boone

New ESRC-funded project launched at LSE

Starting in March 2018 and running for 3.5 years, Professor Catherine Boone will lead an ESRC-funded project on Spatial Inequalities in the Political Economy of Africa.This project is a collaborative effort between scholars in the UK, US, and Kenya. 

The project will culminate in a series of co-authored scholarly publications and research workshops at the British Institute in Eastern Africa in Nairobi and at the LSE in Spring 2019, 2020, and 2021.  


LSE Visiting Fellow, Michael Amoah

FLCA academic provides expert analysis on Zuma resignation

FLCA Visiting Fellow Dr Michael Amoah was interviewed on BBC World Business Report following the resignation of South Africa President Jacob Zuma on 14 February 2018.

During the segment, Dr Amoah discussed the economic and business impact of Mr Zuma’s departure and the priorities of incoming leader Cyril Ramaphosa



Watch the news segment



Panel of speakers at the launch of the Disasters Special Issue

Special Issue of Disasters Journal edited by LSE academics launched

A roundtable workshop launching the Disasters Journal special issue: Gender, Sexuality and Violence in Humanitarian Crises was held on Tuesday 13 February 2018 at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

This special issue was co-edited by LSE Research Fellow Holly Porter, LSE Visiting Professor Dorothea Hilhorst and independent researcher Rachel Gordon.

The publication, open access for all of 2018, is a joint initiative of the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium (SLRC) and the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa.



Front page of brochure for the 2018 July School

Applications are now open for the 2018 LSE-UCT July School

The 2018 LSE-UCT July School will take place from 25 June – 6th July at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. 

It 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, government, geography, and social policy.

An ‘Early Bird’ discount of £150 is available for all fully completed applications received by April 15



news-NPR Naomi Pendle Cow Econ

LSE's Naomi Pendle discusses Cow-Economies in South Sudan on NPR

Dr Naomi Pendle, Research Officer in the LSE CPAID and South Sudan expert, was interviewed on National Public Radio (NPR) documentary, War and Peace and Cows about the role of cows in the economy of South Sudan.

After the 2013 war that erupted in South Sudan, many communities experienced displacement, village rampages and militia invasions. As South Sudan officially became its own country in the summer of 2011, it also faced instability and transformation. In light of this change, NPR investigated the security that cattle have brought South Sudanese populations as a type of currency rooted in their socio-cultural, political, and economic lives. 



LSE Africa square

The Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa Annual Report is now out

You can read about all our activities during the 2016/17 academic year in our Annual Report. It is available in print format and pdf.



Patricia Stys headshot

CPAID researcher presents to Australia’s Department of Defence

In December 2017, Patrcyja Stys was invited to present her research to Australia’s Department of Defence, by the Defence, Science and Technology Group.

Dr Stys, alongside Dr Johan Koskinen of University of Manchester discussed transborder trade networks, historical migration patterns, and networked conflict dynamics in Africa’s Great Lakes Region.  

The presentation attempted to redirect Australian DoD’s focus on material resources as the cause of conflict by emphasising unresolved, historically-rooted tensions and their political instrumentalisation in context – linking what has been coined as ’the local’ to wider national and regional developments.

Dr Stys, Dr Koskinen, and present colleagues then discussed the comparability of the Central African case and its dynamics to those of Timore Leste and Indonesia, DoD’s primary concern.




Renewal of the The Beacon Equity Trust scholarship

LSE is pleased to announce the renewal of the The Beacon Equity Trust scholarship.

There will be one award of £20,000 per session for an applicant from Kenya, Tanzania or Uganda. More information on candidate eligibility can be found here. All of LSE's undergraduate programmes are applicable.

This information sheet, provided by the Beacon Trust, covers all aspects of the scholarship.  




Winning team of the 2018 PfAL project competition

SeXYZ is the Winner of 2017/2018 LSE PfAL Group Project 

The Programme for African Leadership is proud to announce the winner of this year’s group project competition, SeXYZ. Out of the ten groups that took part , SeXYZ was voted the winner by the PfAL 7 students for their idea to “empowerment for education through sex conversation”. This initiative aimns to educate young people on sexual health and reproduction and the influences it can have on their future education prospects.

The group members: Atem de Kuek, Munashe Musuka, Nomonde Ndwalaza, Landry Geoffroy Kabore, Hiral Chudasama, Claudia Atsufui Hihetah and Emily Van der Merwe aim to raise awareness of this issue through visual learning and relatable themes to encourage young people to learn and speak about sex education.

The Programme for African Leadership (PfAL) Group Project was designed to help the PfAL participants develop confidence in presenting their ideas, working as part of a collaborative team to deliver common goals and think about how to develop and implement realistic strategies to address African challenges.

The winners of last year’s group project were the D4Dignity campaign that rolled out a campaign to provide sanitary products to internally displaced people in Nigeria. 



Former Zimbabwe President, Robert Mugabe

LSE Academics on the news about #Zimbabwecoup

The past couple of weeks have been quite busy for our academics with Robert Mugabe's exit from the presidency.

LSE researcher McDonald Lewanika was quoted in several news outlets such as the Al JazeeraForeign Policy, the Zimbabwean. Read his take on the military coup in our Africa at LSE blog.

LSE Assistant Professor Dr. Wendy Willems was interviewed for Al Jazeera's 'Zimbabwe: Mugabe's Media Legacy' and 'Mugabe's downfall: A new era for Zimbabwe's media?'. Both programmes examined Mugabe's media tactics and the recent events leading to his fall.



Abebe Selassie, Director of IMF Africa Department

IMF Africa Director Abebe Aemro Selassie visits LSE

On Monday 6 November 2017, Abebe Aemro Selassie, Director of the IMF’s Africa department and LSE alumnus, delivered a public lecture entitled Growth in sub-Saharan Africa: drawing on the past, looking to the future.

In a event hosted by the International Growth Centre and the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa, Selassie delivered an insightful talk on the necessary policy reforms to address the challenges facing sub-Saharan Africa.

Read the transcipt of Abebe Aemro Selassie's lecture



A soldier on the watch in Bukava

New Report Partnerships in Conflict launched at LSE

A new report from Oxfam and International Alert was launched at LSE on Tuesday 31 October 2017. Partnerships in Conflict explores the impact of violent conflict on civil society organisations (CSOs) and the implications for international actors who partner with them.

Hosted by the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa, 130 people were in attendance as Summer Brown, Gerard Howe, Jawed Nadar, Danny Sriskandarajah and Yoma Winder debates some of the reports findings and conclusions.

Watch the event and Read the report




Meet our new PfAL Scholars

We are thrilled to welcome the seventh PfAL cohort for the 2017-2018 academic year

The Programme for African Leadership ( PfAL) was established at LSE to empower a new generation of African leaders who will promote best practices of economic and social development in their organisations and countries.

More information



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.

Listen to the Al Jazeera Interview


 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.