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$1.7m grant for African Leadership Centre

afrol News, 14 August - The King’s College London has been awarded a grant of $1,680,500 from the Carnegie Corporation of New York to fund Peace and Security Fellowships at the African Leadership Centre (ALC), an initiative that offers opportunities to young Africans and equips them with the skills and knowledge to become leading analysts and policymakers on peace, security and development in Africa.

The grant will through African Universities, enable 21 young African scholars over three years to complete Master’s courses in ‘Conflict, Security and Development’, or ‘International Peace and Security’ at King’s, starting in 2010.

These scholars, who will be Fellows of the ALC, will benefit from institutional visits and exchanges with other scholars working in this field, and receive supervision to undertake specified research as part of an attachment to a core number of African universities. The grant will also facilitate the development of a network of select African universities to develop and sustain programmes on peace, security and development.

Dr Funmi Olonisakin, Director of the Conflict Security and Development Group at King’s, who leads on the project, said: “The ALC aims to contribute to Africa’s long-term social and economic development by addressing root causes of problems and ensuring the next generation of leaders are able to develop new policy approaches to promote stable, peaceful and vibrant African societies. As a “bridge-building” tool between academia and the world of policy and practice, the ALC will build a new community of leaders in Africa, generating cutting-edge knowledge for transformative change on the continent”.

The African Leadership Centre was formed in July 2008 as a collaboration between King’s and Kenyatta University. The ALC aims to produce a cadre of young Africans with expertise in peace, security and development that will enable them to formulate and implement future policy in this area. The knowledge of these young leaders is intended to lead to transformative change at national, sub-regional and regional levels. Apart from providing training and mentoring, the ALC also aims to evolve into a pan-African centre of excellence on peace, security and development.

The King's College London has had a long-standing commitment to Africa and a strong core of African experts and Africanists, many of whom have made significant contributions to African-led processes, such as Desmond Tutu, an alumnus of King’s and more recently visiting professor at the college.

The college’s members of staff have: participated actively in the drafting of a security policy framework for Liberia; supported the creation of a Child Protection Unit in ECOWAS; supported the Defence Review in Uganda; conducted a threat assessment for post-Genocide Rwanda; and contributed to the Common African Defence Policy for the African Union. King’s also facilitated the establishment of the Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation at the University of Liberia.

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