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Africa Research Group

Annual Conference

In 2018, we launched the first King's Engaged in Africa Conference with our friends at the African Leadership Centre.

View video recordings of the event here. 


King's Engaged in Africa 2018 
Security and Development

How does academic research and practice at King's College London impact the African continent, and vice versa? 

What kinds of collaborative partnerships and community engagements are undertaken by King's researchers and their African counterparts? 

What are the emerging research issues that academics are engaging with on the continent, and where does King's play a role?

Organised by the Africa Research Group (War Studies, KCL) and the African Leadership Centre (ALC), King’s Engaged in Africa showcased the work of King’s College London researchers actively engaged in and with the African continent, and drew on perspectives from the wider African research community. The theme of 2018’s conference was ‘Security and Development’ broadly defined.

The conference began with an evening reception on 24th January 2018, followed by four thematic panels on 25th January featuring leading King’s researchers and external speakers.

The Programme

Wednesday 24th January - Reception
The Great Hall, King's College London, Strand.

18:00 - 18:15  Welcome by Professor 'Funmi Olonisakin, Vice Principal International and Founding-Director of the African Leadership Centre

18:15 - 18:45  Opening Keynote Speech on Governing Precarity: Human Security, Development and the Politics of Life in Africa by Professor Wale Adebanwi, Rhodes Professor of Race Relations, University of Oxford

18:45 - 21:30  Drinks reception & exhibition of select work from the 2014 Rwanda in Photographs: Death Then, Life Now exhibition, curated by Dr Zoe Norridge, Senior Lecturer in English and Comparative Literature (KCL), and Dr Mark Sealy MBE (Autograph ABP). Originally supported by the Cultural Institute at King’s and the AHRC.

Thursday 25th January - Conference 
The Great Hall, King's College London, Strand.

09:15 - 09:30  Welcome by Professor Abiodun Alao, Chair, King’s Africa Community of Practice, Professor of African Studies

09:30 - 11:00   Panel 1: Emerging Security and Development Issues

11:00 - 11:30   Tea and Coffee

11:30 - 13:00   Panel 2: Conflict, Security and Peacebuilding

13:00 - 14:00   Break for lunch

14:30 - 15:45  Panel 3: Health and Development

15:45 - 17:15  Panel 4: Emerging Economies and Africa

17:15 - 17:30  Closing Remarks by Professor Jack Spence OBE, Department of War Studies and Africa Research Group.

The Panels and Speakers

Panel 1: Emerging Security and Development Issues 

Chair: Professor Mats Berdal, Professor in Security and Development, War Studies, KCL

  • Youth, Violence, and Urban Security in 21st Century Africa 
    Dr Kieran Mitton, Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Co-Chair of the Africa Research Group, KCL
  • Maritime Insecurity in West Africa as a Human Security Concern: Evidence from the Niger Delta area of Nigeria 
    Ifesinachi Okafor-Yarwood, PhD Candidate/Graduate Teaching Assistant, KCL
  • Beyond the Ballot: Protests and Political Change in Africa 
    Dr Awino Okech, Lecturer, Centre for Gender Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, and Visiting Research Fellow, KCL

Panel 2: Conflict, Security and Peacebuilding
Chair: Dr Flavia Gasbarri, War Studies & Co-Chair of the Africa Research Group, KCL

  • The leadership factor in peacebuilding 
    Professor 'Funmi Olonisakin, Vice Principal International and Founding-Director of the African Leadership Centre
  • 'A Clear Road Ahead'; Humanitarian Mine Clearance and Peacebuilding
    Dr Sarah Njeri, Research Associate, KCL
    Panos Farantatos, R&D Engineer, Department of Informatics and Robotics, KCL
  • Expressions of Justice in post-genocide Rwanda
    Dr Nicola Palmer, Senior Lecturer in Criminal Law, Dickson Poon School of Law, KCL
  • The Politics of Youth Citizenship: From Participation to Radicalisation? The Case of youth in ‘post-revolutionary’ Egypt 
    Dr Solava Ibrahim, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, Anglia Ruskin University & Affiliated Lecturer at the Centre of Development Studies, Cambridge University. 

Panel 3: Health and Development
Chair: Dr Andy Leather, Director of the King's Centre for Global Health & King's Health Partners

  • Improving physical health in HIV through targeting mental health 
    Dr Melanie Abas, Reader in Global Mental Health, Deputy Director of Centre for Global Mental Health
  • The Social Lives of RDTs: What role do point of care diagnostics play in transforming global health?
    Dr Ann H. Kelly, Senior Lecturer in Global Health & Deputy Director of the MSc in Global Health & Social Justice, KCL
  • KCL Global Mental Health partnerships in Africa: Experiences from PRIME, AFFIRM and Emerald
    Prof Crick Lund, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town & Institute of Psychiatry, KCL (live from Cape Town, South Africa)
  • King’s Global Health Partnerships: strengthening health systems in Somaliland, Sierra Leone and DRC
    Dr Oliver Johnson, King’s Centre for Global Health & Health Partnerships, KCL (live from Johannesburg, South Africa) 

Panel 4: Emerging Economies and Africa
Chair: Dr Roberta Comunian, Reader in Creative Economies, KCL 

  • Emerging powers, Ethiopia and the Horn 
    Professor Medhane Tadesse, Centre for Policy Research and Dialogue, Addis Ababa, Former Senior Security Sector Adviser to the African Union
  • Brazil as an Emerging Partner in Peace and Security in Africa: looking at Guinea-Bissau 
    Nayanka Perdigao, PhD Candidate/Head of Fellowships, African Leadership Centre, KCL
  • Nodal Entities and the Undergrowth of Emerging Economies in Africa: the case of West Africa 
    Dr ‘Wale Ismail, Head of Research, African Leadership Centre, KCL
  • The Chinese Model and Africa: seeking an alternative development path 
    Professor Chris Alden, Professor of International Relations and Co-Head of the Africa International Affairs programme, London School of Economics and Political Science and Visiting Senior Associate, KCL

Organised by the Africa Research Group and the African Leadership Centre, with support from the School of Security Studies, the Department of War Studies, the African Leadership Centre and King's Worldwide.

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