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28 June 2024

Book launch – Transformative leadership in African contexts: Strategies for social change

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

“Transformative leadership – the act of leading to enable socially just systemic outcomes – is an urgent necessity of our times” (Prof Adam Habib).

The HSRC Press partnered with the editors to launch the book titled, Transformative leadership in African contexts: Strategies for social change on Thursday, 13 June in the Cape Town office and via Zoom. Edited by Prof Sharlene Swartz, Tarryn De Kock and Prof Catherine A. Odora Hoppers, the book is an output of a five-year research study focused on African graduates’ contribution to social and economic change conducted by the HSRC in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation. The book offers nuanced case studies of how contemporary leaders on the African continent navigate complexity, chaos, struggle, temptation, controversy, and roadblocks in a context that still suffers from a myriad of post-colonial ills and unmet aspirations. Across 26 essays, authors examine past practices, critique political heroes (and villains), and showcase how contemporary thinkers have encouraged current leadership practices and warned against others. They also show what real transformative leadership could mean for the many social, technological, and cultural shifts, and struggles for inclusion sweeping the continent. Each author offers markers for the way ahead for a new generation who must lead and find their own path to the future.

Hosted by Prof Swartz (HSRC) and facilitated by Dr Rekgotsofetse Chikane (University of the Witwatersrand), the panel discussion consisted of five authors – Prof Ibrahim Oanda (Kenya), Tarryn De Kock (South Africa), Dr Precious Muzite (Zimbabwe), Krish Chetty (South Africa), and Lauryn Mwale (Zambia). Prof Carolyn Shields (Wayne State University), the key proponent of leadership theory, offered reflections on the book while Prof Tade Aina (Mastercard Foundation) made closing remarks. The launch was attended by 47 participants in person at the Cape Town office and 77 participants virtually via Zoom.

Designed to be a resource for young people in higher education, the book will be made available open access. The launch can be viewed below:

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

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