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Nayanka Paquete Perdigão is currently a Research Associate with the African Leadership Centre (ALC). She also heads their fellowship programme and convenes the annual ALC Africa Debates. Her duties include research, coordinating of the Peace & Security Fellowships and mentorship on the fellowship programme. Prior to this, she was a Research Assistant with the Conflict Security Development Group (CSDG), also at King’s College London. 

Nayanka was educated at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) where she holds a BA in Politics and Development and a MSc at the London School of Economics (LSE) in Urbanisation and Development. Nayanka also holds a MRes in Political Science, also from the LSE.

She is completing her doctorate in Leadership Studies with reference to Security and Development at King’s College London. This looks at issues of societal resilience and the state-building trajectory in Guinea-Bissau.

Nayanka has lived in several developing countries and is fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Guinea-Bissau Creole. She is a commentator on African Affairs on Radio France International and Al Jazeera. She is also a Guinea-Bissau freelance contributor for The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). 


  • State formation and elite bargains
  • Colonial legacies and conflict in Lusophone and Francophone Africa
  • Leadership as process approaches to peace-building

She is also involved in a number of on-going ALC research projects. She is part of the Cote d'Ivoire research team on the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) funded project, ‘Reframing Narratives of State-building in Africa: The role of Political Settlements in Peacebuilding and State-building'. In this capacity, Nayanka has undertaken extensive field research in Cote d'Ivoire. She is also engaged in broader research on Lusophone and Francophone African politics and development. 

More recently, Nayanka presented on 'the Paradox of Historical Trajectories in Leadership: Mali's coup d'état and Senegal's Transition' at the ALC's 'Leadership Issues in Africa' seminar series. 

Further details

See Nayanka's research profile