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SSPP Inaugural Lectures

Inaugural Lecture: Professor Abiodun Alao





Category: Inaugural lecture, public talk

Title: ‘Africa: A voice to be heard .... not a problem to be solved’

Date: Tuesday 26 April 2016

Time: 18.30

Register for this lecture:  Abiodun Alao Inaugural Lecture

Lecture venue: Edmond J Safra Lecture Theatre, Ground Floor, King's Building, Strand Campus

Wine reception: Chapters, 2nd Floor, King's Building, Strand Campus


Abstract:  This inaugural lecture focuses on the differences between what the reality of Africa is, as against the image of the continent that has been projected. The objective is to challenge the underlining assumptions of Afro-pessimism and to identify some of the current developments that nullify the negative stereotypes that have historically governed perceptions about Africa. The lecture will discuss the causes of the initial negative conclusions and the reasons for the emerging voice of the continent. It will also address how the world is responding to the increasing emergence of Africa’s voice. However, although the lecture recognises some of the key issues that indicate a bright future for Africa, it nevertheless cautions against the rising tendency of Afro-euphoria by identifying some of the self-inflicted handicaps that can prevent the “voice” of the continent from being clearly “heard” and also those that can frustrate the “voice” from having “influence”.

Abiodun Alao is Professor of African Studies at the African Leadership Centre, School of Global Affairs, King’s College London. He was educated at the Universities of Ibadan and Ife where he studied History and International Relations respectively for his Bachelors and Masters degrees. He later came to King’s College London on a Ford Foundation scholarship for his Doctorate in War Studies and went on to hold the SSRC-MacArthur Post-Doctoral Fellowship. His authored books include Mugabe and the Politics of Security in Zimbabwe, (McGill-Queens University Press, 2012); Natural Resources and Conflict in Africa: The Tragedy of Endowment, (Rochester University Press, 2007); The Burden of Collective Goodwill: The International Involvement in the Liberian Civil War, (Ashgate Publishers, 1996); and Brothers at War: Dissidence and Rebellion in Southern Africa, (British Academic Press, 1994). He was Co-author of Peacekeepers, Politicians and Warlords: The Liberian Peace Process, (United Nations University Press, 1999); and Co-editor of Africa after the Cold War: The Changing Perspective on Security, (African World Press, 1998); Nigeria and the United States: Twists and Turns over 50 Years, (African Peace Support Publishers, 2011); and China and Africa - Building Peace and Security Cooperation (Forthcoming Palgrave – Macmillan, 2016)

Professor Alao has also undertaken numerous assignments for international organisations, including the United Nations, African Union, European Union, World Bank, ECOWAS and for individual countries.  He was part of the 4-person team that undertook a Comprehensive Threat Assessment for Rwanda immediately after the 1994 genocide and was on the Team of Academic Experts that advised the Office of the UN Secretary General on the Civil War in Sierra Leone. He also co-authored the Concept Note for the Common Defence and Security Policy for the Africa Union and was the co-author of the first post-Civil War National Security Strategy Framework for Liberia. Professor Alao was also a member of the team that worked on the “Development of Donor Countries Effectiveness in Fragile States”. Previously, he held teaching and research position at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria and was a Visiting Research Associate at the University of Zimbabwe. He also holds a Visiting Professorship position at the Nigerian Defence Academy.


Department:  School of Global Affairs

Listen to the Lecture:


professor  ABIODUN ALAO
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