The Department is delighted to announce that it will host three public lectures by African nationals as part of its autumn events programme. More details are available below.
Is Africa Rising?
On October 12, Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, will reflect on her own life and experiences growing up in Uganda. She will discuss the true nature of Africa’s growth story and how we must tackle inequality in Africa.
Winnie has been a leader on women’s rights, democratic governance and peace building, spanning the diplomatic, multilateral, legislative and civil society arenas. She founded Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE), a leading NGO in Uganda, and has served at the African Union Commission and at the United Nations Development Programme as Director of Gender and Development.
Previously a skilled engineer with degrees in aeronautics and energy conservation, she has led Oxfam International since April 2013. Identifying a world of “growing inequality” coupled with “mounting aspirations and impatience for change”, Winnie pledged to lead Oxfam’s “passionate commitment to social justice”.
The evening will be chaired by Dr Duncan Green, senior research fellow at Oxfam and Professor in Practice at LSE. Duncan is also the proprietor of the popular From Poverty to Power blog on issues of development and inequality.
Nigerian Elections: Giving Democracy a Chance
On November 10, the Department will hold the first of two Africa Talks as part of the LSE’s African Initiative.
Professor Attahiru Jega, the former Chair of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, will discuss the recent Nigerian general elections in a lecture entitled ‘Giving Democracy a Chance’.
Nigeria’s 2015 general elections were the most contentious, yet most successful in the nation’s history. New voting technology, careful planning, and a popular desire for change were pitted against money, politics, incumbent chicanery, and an ongoing insurgency in the north of the country. Poised between new beginnings and political chaos, the elections proved to be a litmus test for Nigeria’s democracy.
The man at the helm of the electoral process tells the inside story of Nigeria’s first successful transfer of power, and draws lessons for democratic transitions in other African countries.
Professor Jega received his PhD from Northwestern University, Illinois, and has held fellowships at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, the University of Stockholm, and Bayero University. Having stepped down as Chair of the INEC in July, he has resumed a position as lecturer at Bayero.
Disaffected African Youth and Political Change
The second of our Africa Talks takes place the following week. On November 18, successful author and scholar Professor Alcinda Honwana will speak about youth protests driving political change in Africa.
One-third of Africans are between the ages of 10 and 24. They are better educated than their parents and have higher expectations. But they are less likely to have jobs or political influence. Of this disaffected group, many are risking their lives in an attempt to reach Europe, or joining radical groups such as Boko Haram, Al-Shabab and Islamic State.
Youths protesting their socio-economic and political marginalization have changed governments in Tunisia and Senegal and sparked xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Young Africans are on a mission, and are making their voices heard. But how will they force governments to listen? Professor Honwana considers this pivotal question in ‘Enough! Will youth protests drive political change?’
Alcinda Honwana is author of The Time of Youth: Work, Politics, and Social Change in Africa (Kumarian Press, 2012) and Youth and Revolution in Tunisia (Zed Books, 2013). She is Visiting Professor in International Development at the Open University and was Director of the Africa Program of the Social Science Research Council, New York.
All of the above will be free on a first-come, first-served basis. Remember to check our Events page for more details on these and other events as they emerge.
About the Department’s MSc in African Development: Prof. Catherine Boone