The ALC grew out of a programme of the Conflict, Security and Development Group (CSDG) in the School of Social Science and Public Policy at King’s College London. In 2005, King’s College London introduced the Peace and Security Fellowships for African Women as an initial step in mentoring and knowledge building for Africans. In 2007, CSDG developed a second programme designed to support African regional organisations – a degree awarding Fellowship programme – for young African men and women who received MA degrees from King’s in addition to a structured mentoring programme. These Fellows were subsequently attached to regional organisations. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has been a critical partner in this regard. A third programme, also degree-awarding, was established in 2009, which aims to develop capacity within African Universities.
The ALC Fellowship and other programme activities are implemented in both Nairobi and London. The ALC has trained over 100 African scholars since 2005 for both academic and policy oriented careers. The Fellowships seek to build a new community of African scholars generating cutting-edge knowledge for peace, security and development in Africa. Two elements set the ALC apart from other Fellowship programmes: a dedicated and structured mentoring programme and a programme of attachment to universities, regional organisations and policy institutions in Africa for a period of six months. Mentors are from organisations in and outside the UK.