African Leadership Centre honours Peter da Costa’s legacy

By Desmond Davis

Published Online:25th August 2020

Republished from: Africa Briefing

THE African Leadership Centre, an initiative of King’s College London and the University of Nairobi, aims to train 10 doctoral and 10 post-doctoral Fellows over the next five years in honour of Dr Peter da Costa, Deputy Chair of the ALC’s Board of Trustees, who died on August 18, 2019, aged 57.

The programme would ‘produce a body of interdisciplinary work on peace, security and African development, which relate to the central ideas that Peter sought to impart at the ALC.’

The ALC said in a statement to mark the first anniversary of his death: ‘The…Fellowships named after Peter Da Costa [would] honour his contribution to the development of the very idea of projecting excellent African knowledge and communicating research findings for policy influence and uptake.

By Hubert Kinkoh and Ibrahim Sakawa Magara

Published online: 1 June 2020

Republished from:  The Zambakari Advisory



There is an increasing scholarship on the security cooperation between China and Africa, including Chinese military positioning in strategic locations such as the Horn of Africa. This essay by Hubert Kinkoh and Ibrahim Magara argues that China’s strategic military positioning in the Horn of Africa will not only shape regional security outcomes but also potentially disrupt international polarity.  

Hubert Kinkoh
Research associate, African Leadership Centre, Nairobi/London

Ibrahim Sakawa Magara
Post-graduate researcher, politics and international studies, Loughborough University, London;
founding director, Amani Africa Media and Research Services

This article was first published by The Zambakari Advisory in the United States on June 1st, 2020 and accessible from . It is republished with permission from The Zambakari Advisory.

Download the PDF version of the article here


The mistreatment of Africans living in China has tested the quality of African leadership. The responses of African leaders to this crisis were predictably technical, tactful, and softly worded. This has generally been registered by the wider African public as a failure by the political elite to provide a voice and accountability to African citizens.

By Hubert Kinkoh and Wadeisor Rukato

Published online: 6 June 2020

Republished from: The Elephant

Back in early April, countless images, video footage and media reports emerged of the racial profiling and accompanying discrimination against Africans living in Guangzhou, the capital of China’s southern province of Guangdong and home to China’s largest African community. Amid public fear of the second wave of COVID-19 in China, people of African descent had become primary suspects as potential sources of the virus. They were rounded up and harassed by the Chinese police, forcibly evicted from their residences and hotels, and explicitly denied access to restaurants, shopping malls and even hospitals. Some had their passports confiscated and were targeted for forced testing and quarantine, regardless of their travel history, whether or not they tested negative for coronavirus, or had been in contact with known COVID-19 patients.

by Dr. Barney Walsh

Published online: 26 May 2020

Republished from: African Arguments


But it wasn’t. Instead of using the maltreatment of Africans in China as an opportunity to take a more assertive stance, Africa’s leaders let it pass.

Africa-China relations are largely driven by high-level state-state relationships through summits such as FOCAC. Credit: GCIS

Last month, social media became awash with footage of authorities in China maltreating African residents. In the city of Guangzhou, African migrants were evicted from apartments and denied access to restaurants. A McDonald’s put up a notice saying “black people cannot come in”.

The reaction across Africa was of widespread indignation. #ChinaMustExplain trended as some called on their governments to close Chinese embassies, deport Chinese nationals and recall their ambassadors from Beijing.

African governments scrambled to respond. Ministers made statements on twitter, held meetings, and insisted they would not tolerate such behaviour. Analysts wrote of a “unprecedented rupture” in Africa-China relations.

Just as quickly as it had started, however, the furore subsided. On 12 April, China’s foreign ministry made an announcement in which it did not explicitly apologise but insisted it had “zero tolerance for discrimination” and was “working promptly to improve their working method”. Shortly after, officials across Africa suggested they considered the matter resolved.

Nigeria’s foreign minister, for example, commended the Chinese government for its response to what he described as “unfortunate” incidents. Moussa Faki, Chair of the African Union Commission, explained that China’s foreign minister “reassured me of measures underway in Guangzhou to improve the situation of Africans”.

by Prof. Youssef Mahmoud & Andrea Ó Súilleabháin

Pages 101-118 | Published online: 30 Jan 2020

Republished from: Taylor & Francis Online


Eight years after the Arab Spring revolutions, Tunisia's state and citizens are crafting an increasingly resilient national social contract, despite setbacks. This case study examines what is driving Tunisia's efforts, focusing in particular on key transition initiatives – including a national dialogue and a forward-looking constitution adopted by broad consensus, following nation-wide consultations. The case examines how informed and empowered Tunisians built these structures to leverage the inherent resilience capacities of the people, which developed throughout state and civil society formation, women's movements, labour movements, and civic education. The research suggests that two issues that gave rise to the revolution have remained particular challenges for efforts to mediate and address conflict: political and social polarisation and lack of livelihoods. It reveals how Tunisians are calling for more inclusion and institutionalised citizen engagement as a means to address them. Conclusions point to how post-revolution, democratisation gains as well as values of compromise, tolerance, dialogue appear to be immunising Tunisia against irreparable reversals and are laying the foundations for sustainable democratic peace.

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