Steering and Advisory Committee

Dr Diane Levine 

Dr Diane Levine completed an ESRC-funded PhD at the University of Warwick, following a career as a teacher, programme manager and as a senior manager in the civil service. Di has a particular interest in interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the role technology can (and cannot) play in helping children and adolescents engage in the worlds around them, and in developing their resilience. She is co-author of Oxford University Press’ best-selling textbooks on computing for 4-14 year olds.

Di is Deputy Director of the Leicester Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS). LIAS is the Africa Research Group's first and closest collaborator. Explore the LIAS website to learn more about what they do within the University.

Dr Eki Omorogbe

Personal details

LLB (Warwick), BL (Nigeria), LLM (London), PhD (Kent)

Before joining Leicester in August 2007, I taught Law at the University of Kent. I have also worked in the City of London in commercial insurance, and have practised Law in Nigeria. I am founder and co-chair of the International Law and Policy in Africa Network (ILPAN), and a member of the African Union Law Research Network, and the African Expert Group on International Criminal Justice. 

I have spearheaded two collaborative on-going research projects for ILPAN members. These are:

  • ‘The Crisis of International Criminal Law in Africa’. The conference for this project was held jointly at the Universities of Johannesburg and Leicester on 7 November 2017 and funded by the Modern Law Review (MLR) as part of its seminar series.
  • ‘Election-Related violence in West Africa’. Workshop for this was held at the University of Johannesburg on 26-27 July 2018 and funded through the UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund (QR pot).


My research field is African States and Public International Law. My area is peace and security. I am concerned with re-examining the principle of non-intervention in African states by considering international law and

  • Legitimacy of governments, including state constitutions, elections, coups and human rights
  • the use of force
  • intervention in civil conflicts including military humanitarian intervention and the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ doctrine
  • the jurisdiction of international criminal courts

The organisations that I have been examining are: the United Nations, the African Union and the International Criminal Court

Prof Doug Tincello

Personal details

I graduated in medicine from the University of Edinburgh in 1990. My early training was completed in Edinburgh, including two years working at the Medical Research Council Centre for Reproductive Biology. I completed my training in Merseyside where I first developed an interest in urogynaecology. I took up a position of Senior Lecturer in Urogynaecology at the University of Leicester in April 2002 (Professor of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Sugery from 2012) and have established a portfolio of clinical, qualitative and health service delivery research in female pelvic floor dysfunction. I have active research projects in northern Ethiopia in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Gondar.

Professional activities

  • Member of the NIHR Clinical Trials and Evaluation Board 2016-2019
  • Chairman of Wellbeing of Women (WoW) Research Advisory Committee (RAC) 2012-2016 (Wellbeing of Women is the charity most closely associated with the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, and gives research grants in all areas of women’s health, plus providing Research Training Fellowships for young clinical scientists in Obstetrics & Gynaecology)
  • Previously vice chairman of WoW RAC 2010-2012 and member of the RAC since 2006
  • Member of NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research College of Experts 2011- 2016
  • Editorial board member of BJOG 2012-date
  • Scientific editor of BJOG, an International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 2004-2012


The Prolapse and Incontinence Research Group has established a strong international reputation for clinical and laboratory research. Currently, the research focus is on clinical, qualitative and health service delivery research in both the developed world and low and middle income countries, including a priority setting partnership in Gondar, Ethiopia. More details of this partnership are forthcoming and will be linked to this page.

Dr James Moore


I received my first degree in politics, philosophy and economics from Christ Church, Oxford and my PhD in British political culture from the University at Manchester.  I subsequently held an AHRB postdoctoral position at Manchester in urban cultural history.  I spent four years as the Deputy Director of Centre for Metropolitan History at the Institute of Historical Research, London, before obtaining a Senior Lectureship at the British University in Egypt.  I joined Leicester in September 2012.


I am chiefly a historian of the ‘long nineteenth century’.  My main interests lie in the area of urban history and political culture of Britain and her empire.  Much of my work focuses on popular politics and urban governance, examining themes of citizenship, consent, identity and spatial regulation.  My publications also include work that explores cultural institutionalisation, the history of museums, the influence of the classical tradition and the politics of historical writing. Currently I am working with the British University in Egypt and the Alexandria School of Theology on a new archive research centre that was recently set up.

profile photograph of dr omeni akali

Founder & Co-Chair: Omeni

Omeni is a Lecturer in African Politics at the University of Leicester. Omeni joined the School of History, Politics and International Relations (HyPIR) at University of Leicester from King's College London where he taught at the Department of War Studies. He previously worked with the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and was co-chair of the Africa Research Group at King's College London (affiliated to their world-leading War Studies department).

In 2019, Omeni won the prestigious "Rising Star" excellence award at King's College London.

Omeni earned his PhD in 2015 at King's College London's Defence Studies Department, based at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, Defence Academy of the UK. He has published extensively, with two books on the Nigerian military and Boko Haram's insurgency.

In the UK, Omeni has spoken about his research and findings at Parliament and the Cabinet Office. Within the media space, Omeni has been interviewed for Nigerian security and military documentaries by the BBC, Channel 4 and the New York Times. Omeni has worked with the British and Nigerian Army and was invited to speak at the Italian Naval Staff College (ISMM), Venice.

Omeni has a multi-disciplinary background, with degrees in Electronics Engineering (BEng, King's College London) and Business Administration (MBA, University of Aberdeen) as well as a Certificate in Finance from the Swiss Finance Academy. Before coming to the UK, Omeni studied a year of metallurgical and materials engineering at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.

Current research interests include International Relations Theory, Tools of Statecraft, African Politics, Military Culture, the Changing Character of War, and Contemporary Military Operations to Counter Insurgency and Terrorism.

Omeni is the founder of the Africa Research Group at University of Leicester, and currently co-chairs the group.

Co-Chair: Dr Natalie Darko

Dr Natalie Darko is an experienced academic and researcher and has been working in higher education for over 15 years. She is the Academic Lead and Research Fellow at the Centre of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Health, University of Leicester. The Centre specialises in delivering and supporting research that addresses ethnic health inequalities nationally and internationally. It also provides national leadership in equality, diversity and inclusion of underrepresented groups for NIHR Applied Health Research and Care (AHRC) centres, led by Dr Darko.

Dr Darko is also the Assistant-Theme lead for a stream of cross-cutting work that addresses ethnic health and health inequalities funded by NIHR. Natalie has led national and international research exploring health, ethnicity, race and inequality. She has completed research projects for the Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Sport, the International Olympic Committee, Sport England, NIHR Applied Health Research and Care (AHRC) East Midlands, the Sport and Recreation Alliance, Bangladesh Youth & Cultural Shomiti Centre, the Ministerial Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Leicester City Council, Leicester City Commissioning Group, Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation (GMCVO) and the Big Lottery. Her current role focuses on leading research income generation, research development, delivery, co-production and implementation. She specialises in research that addresses equality, diversity and inclusion of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups and diaspora in the UK. Natalie currently works across a broad portfolio of research within social sciences and health of which her current projects focus on:Social isolation and social care provision for African, African-Caribbean and South Asian older people

  • Anti-racism activism amongst Black African and African-Caribbean British men
  • Culturally –tailored health interventions for BME groups
  • African-Caribbean diaspora, Windrush irregularities and citizenship
  • Intersectionality and health amongst Black- African and African-Caribbean British women
  • Research equality and inclusivity practices
  • New migrant health and well-being.

Her research priorities are to ‘open up’ political agendas and policy by allowing the ‘voices’ of underrepresented and minority populations, to be heard within the context of wider research. Natalie currently co-chairs the Africa Research Group

Prof Richard Thomas

Personal details

BA, PhD (Birmingham), FLS, FSA, SFHEA

I am a Professor of Archaeology, Dean of Research (CSSAH). I read Ancient History and Archaeology at Birmingham University (1995-1998) and embarked on a PhD at Birmingham, studying diet, agriculture, and human-animal relations in late medieval and early modern England. I joined the School in September 2003. Career highlights include:

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London
  • Fellow of the Linnean Society of London
  • Chair of the Association for Environmental Archaeology (2014-2017)
  • International Committee member of the International Council for ArchaeoZoology (ICAZ) (2014-present)
  • Associate Editor for the International Journal of Paleopathology (2010-2018)

Featured Research Project

Going Places: Empowering Women, Enhancing Heritage and Increasing Chicken Production in Ethiopia. Project output video below:

Going places: Where chickens and women rule