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“Producing the Common”: Dak’Art 2014 and Dr. Ugochukwu-Smooth

By Toyin Falola

It is time to commend our friend and colleague, Smooth, co-curator, and rejoice with him over the overwhelming success of Dak'Art 2014. Smooth and Dak’Art require no introduction, but as I am sending this to thousands of people some of whom do not follow this big event, I plead to art lovers and artists to forgive me for telling them what they already know.

Boko Haram and the necessary state of emergency for transforming the intractable conflict in Nigeria

by Toyin Ajao

Toyin Ajao is a Peace and Conflict doctoral fellow and an assistant lecturer at the University of Pretoria. She is also an alumnus of the Africa Leadership Centre, King’s College London and Obafemi Awolowo University. Her research focus includes: human security, conflict transformation, citizen journalism and gender and sexual rights.

Looking Back into the Future: Civil Rights and Pan-Africanism in a “Marginalised” World

By Kafui O. Tsekpo

Kafui O. Tsekpo is a Leadership, Security and Society Fellow with the African Leadership Centre at King’s College London. He is a young African scholar whose primary research focuses on issues in African Development.

Constitutionalism in Kenya: Two Steps Forward or One Step Back?

Ousseina Alidou, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of African, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Literatures and Director, Center for African Studies, Rutgers University-New Brunswick ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

On August 27, 2010 Kenya joined South Africa by setting a marvelous example in constitution-making, by voting in a referendum in favor of a relatively progressive Constitution whose crafting involved the nation from the grassroots up. The process set in motion by the Kenya Constitution Review Commission was a successful experimentation with participatory democratic constitution-making that signaled hope for Africa. This national achievement was particularly remarkable in that the leadership involved Kenyan women across all communities and resulted, in part, in the establishment of national and institutional gender mainstreaming policies and later to the enactment of the Sexual Offenses Act. Wanjiru Kabira (2102) provides several examples of inspiring stories of Kenya women leaders in the forefront of the struggle to forge a new democratic and constitutional culture in the nation. 

Believing in the Strength of a Woman: Can Central African Republic (CAR) finally be saved?

Patricia Nangiro 

This article was first published in Strife, the blog page of King's College London's Department of War Studies. It is being re-published here with the Author's permission.

Gone are the days when the thought of a woman in public leadership sent doubt signals to men and women alike. More so, in a conflict-affected context like Central African Republic (CAR), her (the woman's) capacity to lead and make critical decisions on behalf of the people would automatically be put to question or dismissed. But when Ms. Catherine Samba-Panza was announced interim President of CAR in January 2014, following the resignation of President Micheal Djotodia who took over power after Islamist Seleka rebels staged a coup against Francois Bozize in March 2013, many people expressed hope and relief, but importantly thought it right, in time of crisis for a woman to lead the war ravaged country to peace and stability. Samba-Panza becomes the third African woman to become head of state during a critical moment in the evolving security of the country.

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