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Announcement of New ALC Fellowships
The African Leadership Centre (ALC) is pleased to announce the launch of two new Fellowship Programmes.
Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Peace, Security and Development
The first is the Post-Doctoral Fellowship programme in Peace, Security and Development. This is part of ALC’s programme titled ‘Future Peace, Society and the State in Africa: Building Knowledge with Future Leaders’, supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. These Fellowships will be open to ALC Alumni who have completed their PhD programme. Fellows will be required to undertake an independent, rigorous research project in-line with the ALC’s current research agenda, titled ‘Peace, Society and the State in Africa’.
Future Leaders Programme in Peace, Security and Development
The second is the Future Leaders Programme in Peace, Security and Development. This programme will comprise of three elements: Future Research Leaders; Future Leaders in Higher Education; and Future Policy Decision Makers. These Fellowships are awarded by invitation only. Fellows invited to the programme will be afforded the opportunity to understudy established leaders and will design pilot projects or initiatives that will advance their careers in addition to networking opportunities within their chosen areas.
Further details of the Fellowships and the relevant call for applications will be made available in the coming weeks.
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There is extensive evidence to demonstrate that development research, done effectively, can improve public policy and help accelerate development progress. However, experience also indicates that in many African countries data, evidence and analysis fail to significantly inform public policy processes. In such cases, how best can researchers, policy makers and other stakeholders bring timely, relevant, and reliable new knowledge to bear on policy decisions in Africa?
To help answer this question, the African Leadership Centre will co-convene with the Think Tank Initiative (TTI), in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation, an African Evidence Informed Policy Forum on March 6th and 7th at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. This event seeks to understand how different actors engaged in evidence to policy processes in African contexts are working towards creating a culture of practice and use of social and economic evidence, data and analysis in policymaking.
Over nearly a decade, TTI has demonstrated that think tanks can, and do, influence policies and practice in the global South. Lessons drawn from this experience are now leading to new forms of engagement with a range of policy research organisations, networks and collectives in Africa as momentum for evidence informed policymaking builds on the continent.
Throughout the two days, participants will develop a shared understanding of the evidence informed landscape in Africa, identify good practices and challenges that help shape these landscapes and explore ideas for strengthening strategic partnerships to generate, share and use high quality evidence to support informed decision making.
The forum will bring together representatives of think tanks, donors, policymakers, young researchers, civil society, private sector, and other relevant stakeholders. The event will be attended by high-level individuals and a number of representatives from the governments of Kenya, Niger, South Africa, Uganda and Senegal will participate to the event and sit on panel discussions.
You can learn more about the event by visiting events.thinktankinitiative.org and following #AfricaEvidence and @TTI_ITT on Twitter before and during the event.
About the Think Tank Initiative
The Think Tank Initiative is helping to strengthen 43 policy research institutions in 20 developing countries over 10 years through a mix of core funding and support for capacity development. The result: these organizations are better positioned to deliver high quality research, operate more sustainably, and engage meaningfully with key stakeholders. Follow the initiative at @TTI_ITT on Twitter.
About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Africa. As one of the largest private foundations, its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, its independence was established by Mastercard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org. Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.
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Dr Toyin Ajao
The African Leadership Centre is very pleased to announce that Dr Toyin Ajao recently completed her PhD study at the University of Pretoria where she was a university staff member in the Political Sciences Department until 2016, teaching International Relations. Her thesis, titled Citizen Journalism and Conflict in Africa: The Ushahidi Platform in Kenya’s 2008 Post-Election Violence was passed on 25 January 2018. The thesis argues that the ubiquitous and fast-growing Internet platform in Africa has given opportunities to a new set of non-state actors to offer nonviolent intervention in addressing protracted conflicts with the use of the new media technology. Her examiners considered her argument timely and relevant in the continuous debates on human-led peace processes. Very many congratulations to Dr Ajao from all at ALC!
Dr Ajao is an alumna and an associate of the ALC at King’s College London and Nairobi. She is also an alumna of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Dr Ajao was a Social Science Research Council (Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa), Andrew Melon Foundation and ALC (supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York) doctoral grantee. Her research foci include human security, peace processes, African healing mechanisms, cultures of peace, conflict transformation, Social media activism, new media technology, citizen journalism, visionary feminism, and sexual rights. Dr Ajao’s academic contributions have appeared on several online platforms such as Kujenga Amani and Pambazuka and also in reputable peer review journals such as Matatu publications.
Dr Ajao recently moved to Casablanca where she is contributing to the Neighbourhood Association IDMAJ project that provides life skill and language training to the marginalized shantytown of Sidi Moumen, as a way of bridging theory and praxis to advance public scholarship. She is also working on an extract from her thesis for a chapter contribution to the Routledge Handbook of African Media and Communication: Emerging voices in African Media and Communication Studies. Dr Ajao intends to dive into a longitudinal ethnographic research on secular healing mechanisms in Africa as a long-term and alternative voice in conflict and post-conflict trauma remedy in Africa. She also engages in poetry, essays, short stories, and fictional and nonfictional prose.
Many congratulations again Dr Toyin Ajao from everyone at ALC!
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Dr John-Paul Banchani
African Leadership Centre is very pleased to announcement that our Alumnus, Dr John-Paul Banchani, has just completed his PhD programme at the University of Bamberg, Germany. Very many congratulations to Dr Banchani!
John-Paul was undertaking the Structured PhD programme funded under the German Excellence Initiative (DFG) , within the Bamberg Graduate School of Social Sciences (BAGSS). He passed his viva on 20th December 2017, and has now been signed off and completed all aspects of his PhD. The title of his thesis is 'The Role of Functional Differentiation in the Governance of the Decision-Making Process of the African Peer Review Mechanism: Merit-Based Decision-Making or Power Politics?'. The research looks at decision-making processes within international institutions with a focus on the African Peer Review Mechanism.
John-Paul is currently teaching a course at the Chair of International Relations, University of Bamberg. He is looking for a Post-Doc research opportunity to hone his research and teaching skills in his area of expertise. His long term career plan is to engage in policy oriented research.
Dr Banchani undertook the ALC Peace and Security Fellowship for African Scholars in 2011-12. He is the 9th ALC Alumni to have completed a PhD programme. A further 13 are currently undertaken their doctoral studies, including 3 on the ALCs own PhD Leadership Studies with reference to Security and Development at King's College London. A good number of others are formulating their PhD proposals and applying to institutions across Africa and the world.
Many congratulations again to Dr Banchani from all at ALC, and good luck with the next steps of your exciting career!