Reflections 2018: The Mandela School

17 Jan 2019 - 16:00

As we welcome a new year at the Mandela School, we also take a moment to reflect on the one that has past. It’s understandable: 2018 was undoubtedly our biggest year yet!

On 5 July 2018, we officially launched as the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance,introducing our new logo to the media. While our work in African governance and leadership and global connections continue unaffected, taking the Mandela name is both a deep honour and a daily inspiration to continue living the values for which Madiba stood.

Master's Programme

While we took a new name, we continued to go from strength to strength in offering our regular course offerings. We welcomed a new Master’s cohort in January, said goodbye to another outgoing group in June and celebrated with graduating Master’s and Professional Diploma students in both June and December. We’re looking forward to welcoming our sixth cohort later this month.

Global Partnerships

We’re particularly proud of our global partnerships, which enable us to offer the most exciting programmes and opportunities to our participants. In 2018, we co-hosted and facilitated deeply engaging iterations of the LeAD Campus initiative (collaborating with the French Development Agency – AFD, Groupe ISM Dakar, Senegal and Science-Po Executive Education, Paris) and the Cape Town leg of the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity programme, in partnership with LSE.
Our ongoing partnership with LSE was foregrounded when we co-hosted the institution’s prestigious Inequalities conference in June 2018, drawing researchers and practitioners from across the globe. One of the highlights of this event was the presentation of the 2018 Action for Equity award, presented to assist organisations making a difference in reducing inequality in South Africa. The award was presented to the Women on Farms Project, who work to strengthen the social and economic capacity of women who work on farms through education and advocacy work.

Executive Education

Our Executive Education branch ran two iterations of the popular Evidence for Policymaking and Implementation course, a course on Understanding Poverty and Inequality in South Africa and, in partnership with BADEA Arab bank and a multi-day workshop on the implementation and management of development projects for recipients of BADEA funding across the continent. The Executive Education team were also successful in applying for a women in leadership grant, enabling the development of a 2019 training course specifically targeted to women in local government.

Building Bridges

Our Building Bridges team delivered their annual Emerging African Leaders’ Programme early in the year, followed by an exciting Research Roundtable in September 2018, with a particular focus on youth (under)employment in Africa. A particular highlight saw the team collaborate with the master’s programme to offer a course on Ethical Leadership and Public Accountability (ELPA) as part of the Master’s programme as well as two other iterations of the course delivered, in partnership with the British High Commission to South Africa, to South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry, and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. The ELPA courses are taught in collaboration with Advocate Vusi Pikoli, the Ministerial Advisor to the Minister of State Security and former head of South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority.

Public Lecture Series

Our open public lecture series continued to be popular, with engaging talks by Oxfam GB’s Duncan Green (How Change Happens), Prof Brian Raftopoulos and Honorary Prof Carlos Lopes (The Future of Zimbabwe) as well as book launches by The Mandela School’s own Prof Brian Levy (The Politics and Governance of Basic Education) and Fabio Andres Diaz (Truth, Justice and Reconciliation in Colombia). We’re looking forward to continuing this series in 2019, with our first talk on 'Civic Design for an Inclusive African Digital Society' already lined up for 30 January (RSVP here).

These are just a handful of the experiences that made our 2018 such an engaged and exciting year. Onward to 2019, where we look to consolidate our new name and spread our footprint further, creating a Mandela School network of ethical, equitable leaders responsive to dynamic governance conditions across the continent. Read the full newsletter, here