Impact stories

michael-mbateJoining LSE as an MSc student in Development Management had been a life-long dream, and the Lalji PfAL scholarship turned this dream into reality. During my year at LSE, I was exposed to and immersed in the intellectualism in one of the world’s best universities. I was able to engage with respected scholars and experts in the field of African Development, as well as interact with a diverse group of students from around the world. The PfAL programme provided additional opportunities for me to delve into African development issues with my peers, and the training seminars equipped me with a wide array of leadership skills.

Having undergone such a dynamic and life changing experience, I am now a PhD candidate in International Development here at the LSE. Looking back, the PfAL programme has played an instrumental role in my academics path and career goal. It remains a vital asset to young African scholars who aim to further their studies and become drivers of change in their communities.

Michael Mbate
MSc Development Management, 2014-15

ronald-mukasaI am privileged to work at Enterprise Uganda, where I manage a development program supporting women entrepreneurs in Northern Uganda operating at the bottom of the pyramid. The program seeks to empower the women to start and grow their business within their communities so as to provide for their families and also defeat poverty. Leading such a project demands a strong understanding of the difficulties facing women on the ground and the systemic issues of the development industry in my country. My year pursuing an MSc in Development Management at LSE has provided me with the tools and theoretical framework within which to approach my role as a development worker. What we discussed in lectures and seminars still come back to me every time I encounter a challenge, whether it’s finding a way to appropriately incentivize local development workers or how the project mainstreams gender equality within traditionally male-dominated economic spheres. Being a part of the PfAL network strengthens me when I feel my efforts are making little or no difference. Through the network I can harness the advice and support of others who share the same goals and have overcome similar obstacles. The enduring belief that as young leaders we can transform Africa, which underpins the PfAL vision, emboldens me to take my position at the frontline and make a difference.

Ronald Mukasa
MSc Development Management, 2013-14

kassim-mwanikaStudying at LSE is an aspiration many share but few realise. I am a passionate educator of development studies, and PfAL offered me the opportunity to chase my ambitions–to go higher, to accomplish greater things, and to celebrate my achievements.  At LSE I had a challenging but valuable learning experience, formed new friendships, and received stimulating intellectual and academic teaching. I graduated a different person: more confident, more focused, more astute. Now as a lecturer in development studies at Gulu University in Uganda, I regularly draw on the knowledge and analytical skills I gained to help students and staff dissect and understand development issues in Africa. I am very grateful that PfAL and the generosity of the Lalji family has given me this life-changing year, and I look forward to seeing this initiative continue to enable future cohorts and generations.

Kassim Mwanika
MSc International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, 2013-14


mwende-mutuluI am a very proud alumna of LSE and the Programme for African Leadership, graduating in 2014 with a Masters in Development Management, and I am now working at PwC Kenya as a consultant within the Public Sector Advisory. Living in London and studying at LSE has truly been one of the greatest experiences in my lifetime giving me both strong roots and wings. Thanks to the Lalji LSE PfAL scholarship I was able to study in an esteemed institution and be part of a cohort of students who contributed to the African narrative through their personal experiences, which complemented the richness of academic studies at LSE. Despite the long hours spent at the library combing through arguments and case studies, I was able to make new friendships and surround myself with people who want to see me succeed. The diversity of friends I have made has also helped me to understand and appreciate the beauty of different cultures.

During my year at LSE, I gained a deeper understanding of the central role of politics and the complexities of bringing about change and development. In as much as Africa has made great strides, we still face complex issues across many fronts. However, I strongly believe that it is up to my generation to stand on the shoulders of giants and tap into Africa’s great potential. Through my experience at LSE and PfAL, coupled with great passion for development, I have been well equipped with knowledge, lifelong networks and skills that are helping me shape the future of my country and my continent.

Mwende Mutulu
MSc Development Management, 2013-14

joanita-nkamwamukasaWhen I reflect on this year at LSE I just think this is the best place to go to gain essential knowledge and the tools for empowerment. Through the challenging courses at LSE, I’ve developed analytical skills that helped me identify the many factors that are involved in development in countries such as Kenya and how complex processes and systems are. This knowledge has made me realise that to have an impact on something, you cannot work alone. That is why PfAL is so important; it gives us the ability to work with people in different countries at various levels to try to come up with sustainable solutions to the challenges we face together. Since becoming part of PfAL, I’m no longer complacent. I feel more responsible for my community and to see that the systems work in the way they should to help people. This sense of responsibility, I believe, can be transformed into something tangible in the future with the knowledge I’ve gained at LSE and through PfAL. I feel I am part of a bigger network of people with whom I share a vision, a group that has the same dreams of wanting to do something positive for their countries. A seed is now planted through us in order to better our countries and Africa.

Joanita Nakamwa-Mukasa
MSc International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, 2013-14

bernard-buteeraI was really excited when I found out I had been awarded the scholarship and the opportunity to study a masters at LSE. The Programme for African Leadership has changed my life, my career and my leadership capabilities. The year I spent at LSE was definitely challenging but also full of opportunities for personal growth and learning. I was privileged to engage with some of the best minds in the social science and development sectors, as well as with students from all over the world, each with their own interesting story to tell.

The rigorous academic environment at LSE pushed me to think critically about issues that stretch beyond the borders of Uganda or Africa alone, for example questioning why some countries are poor and others rich, or why institutions in some countries thrive, and fail to produce good results in others. In addition, the assignments and consultancy project enhanced my analytical and research skills, and gave me practical expertise I could leverage in the job market after graduation.

Since I returned home to Uganda, I have lectured in several higher education institutions and am now a regular columnist in local newspapers. But most importantly, PfAL has transformed the way I look at things and people. The generosity of the Lalji family and the PfAL Foundation has inspired me to think of how I can best care for and listen to vulnerable people in my community as I continue to spread the PfAL spirit.

Bernard Butare Buteera
MSc Development Management, 2013-14

Moses1The [three-week program] enabled me to participate in influencing the kind of candidate that we required to lead my community towards change, especially during the political party preliminaries in November 2012 and the national elections in March 2013. I represented Makina Ward in the Kibra Constituency Community Development Fund, and I also served as Deputy President and Secretary of Academic Affairs of the Daystar University Students Association.

I was also deeply inspired by the lecturers [at LSE] and my fellow PfAL members to continue pursuing my education to the fullest. After the program, I came back to Kibera a well-equipped servant leader ready to effect change. I have a lot of passion in development and I believe with the right skills I will be efficient and effective in discharging my responsibilities.

Moses Omondi
PfAL Session 2, September 2012