Nigerian Professor To Deliver Inaugural Lecture At King’s College London

Professor Abiodun Alao will deliver a professional inaugural lecture at King’s College, London today. The event will mark the first time a black African scholar is delivering a public lecture at the institution.

Professor Alao is a researcher at the King’s College’s African Leadership Centre, specializing in African Studies. He’ll share the stage with his Nigerian compatriot, Prof. Funmi Olonisakin. The Principal of King’s College, Prof. Edward Byrne AC commended their contributions to research in African peace and security, as contributing to their meritorious appointment.

King’s College London is a constituent college of the University of London. It was established in 1829 by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington. In 1836, King’s merged with other institutions to form the federal University of London. Amongst its African alumni are former President of Uganda Godfrey Binaisa, Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former Prsident of Seychelles Frans-Albert Rene and former Nigerian Chief of Defence Staff Ola Ibrahim.

About Prof. Alao

Prof. Alao was educated at the Universities of Ibadan and Ife, where he majored in History and International Relations respectively for Bachelors and Masters Degrees. He enrolled at King’s College London on a Ford Foundation scholarship for his PhD in War Studies. He went on to hold the SSRC-MacArthur Post-Doctoral Fellowship.

Amongst the books he has authored are Mugabe and the Politics of Security in Zimbabwe (2012), Natural Resources and Conflicts in Africa: The Tragedy of Endowment (2007), The Burden of Collective Goodwill: The International Involvement in the Liberian Civil War (1996), and Brothers at War: Dissidence and Rebellion in Southern Africa (1994).

He has also done several assignments for international organizations including the African Union, the European Union, the World Bank and ECOWAS.

About the Inaugural Lecture

From the King’s College website, the lecture will be focused on the differences between what the reality of Africa is, as against the image of the continent that has been projected.

“The objective is to challenge the underlining assumptions of Afro-pessimism and to identify some of the current developments that nullify the negative stereotypes that have historically governed perceptions about Africa. The lecture will discuss the causes of the initial negative conclusions and the reasons for the emerging voice of the continent. It will also address how the world is responding to the increasing emergence of Africa’s voice. However, although the lecture recognises some of the key issues that indicate a bright future for Africa, it nevertheless cautions against the rising tendency of Afro-euphoria by identifying some of the self-inflicted handicaps that can prevent the “voice” of the continent from being clearly “heard” and also those that can frustrate the “voice” from having “influence”.”