The purpose of this Imbadu was to discuss and develop an understanding of leadership and activism as a catalyst to the development of Africa as a continent and to assess the anomalies that are associated with leadership and activism. This was in line with examining the impact of leadership and activism in championing human rights and empowerment.


Facilitator and Panellists


Mr Yonela Mashalaba


Mrs Sesethu Gqomo Seyibokwe


Youth and democracy strengthen opportunities

The assessment of the thematic trail of youth activism in the area of championing and broadening democracy requires much needed attention. This is mainly because any nation that does not invest in youth development have a risk of not being able to uphold the much-needed activism and leadership to defend the gains of democracy. The principle foundation of democracy requires a nation that hold together regardless of their race, gender etc. dismantling the patriarchy and persisting and culture of misogyny all these aspects are in the integral part of antithesis in the African continent generally. Assessing the policy narrative that define the African continent that we must try to build. This is exactly what is required for young people to be innovative and to rethink the marrow and bone of democracy and the opportunity it has. Furthermore, how do we create an active citizenry amongst the youth in the 21st century? Are youth forming social movements to push for a good cause? What is the role of social movement in the trajectory of our modern democracy, does it unify society and fight for the rights of the most vulnerable or is it an avenue to promote anarchy and opportunism?


Mr Wandisile Sebezo

Activism leading the opportunity in the outlook of economic vestiges

South Africa’s unemployment rate in the 4th quarter of 2021 hit a record 35 percent, however, what is more concerning is the high youth unemployment rate that is at a staggering 66 percent. The high rate of unemployment is a cause for concern as it presents an opportunity for instability, this is even of greater concern when youth unemployment is high. Recent history has highlighted to us the challenges that high unemployment amongst youth can cause, this was at the core of the Arab region Arab Spring. Furthermore, other issues that face society require an active generation to address societal issues. The unemployment statistics indicate that the economy is at stagnate mode and the greater question is how leadership and activism can be channelled to reimagine interrupting the vestiges that are an antithesis of the growing economy. Secondly, how do young people focus their energy to respond to these vestiges utilising their innovation to rethink township and rural economy to strive? What are the structural innovation and changes that are required to be the motive forces where young people can focus to channel their energy to the economy without a mode of independence? What are their specific policy shifts that could enable the change in current architecture to accelerate economic growth?


Asemahle Gwala

Student Activism as a Vehicle for Change in Nelson Mandela University Campuses

Higher Education in South Africa has been in crisis over recent years. University systems in many parts of South Africa have witnessed student protests, as well as ongoing violence, resulting in many campuses turning into spaces of violent conformation between students and police. This presentation examines student social activism in the higher education sector in South Africa, especially the Nelson Mandela University, as well as the patterns that exist and frame student social activism in pursuit of transformation.


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