Youth Leadership programme

Fort Hare Autumn School

The Fort Hare Autumn School (FHAS) was established in 2011 over several informal conversations between a group that would come to be known as the “founding fathers”: Prof Francis Wilson, former Chairperson of the Council of the University Fort Hare, Dr Petrus Strijdom, Director of Fort Hare’s Centre for Leadership Ethics in Africa and the former Director of FES South Africa, Axel Schmidt.

The founding fathers identified the need to expose young leaders to an opportunity to transform closed system thinking and design. These are often underpinned by flawed assumptions such as – in economics for example – the necessity of free markets and growth and the sovereignty of economics from ethics and politics. It seemed obvious that matters ranging from the simplification of problems to the need for a critical consciousness, distortion and preconceived notions in analysing problems, soundness of argumentation and the practice of proper dialogue can best be tackled by a new generation of aspiring and inspiring young leaders. The Autumn School was designed as an intervention to create a new leadership culture in SA. It is meant to provide for a specific civic education programme supplementing the formal academic curriculum of university students. The participants graduate with significant growth towards greater maturity and political understanding.

The Autumn School aims to sow some seeds of free and critical thinking and an understanding of Social Democracy in promising young students. Such knowledge together with a sound academic formation enables some of the young generation to become active and socially responsible citizens who could lead the country further and closer to the aspirations of a better South Africa for everyone. It is about developing young leaders who will later contribute to and shape the political, economic and social debates of this country.  

Fort Hare Autumn School Advocacy

Fort Hare Autumn School Advocacy

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung is delighted to announce the Fort Hare Autumn School class of 2021 — the 9th class! Please join us in congratulating these 25 talented youth leaders. More

Fort Hare Autumn School Alumni

Fort Hare Autumn School Alumni

Founded in 2016, the Fort Hare Autumn School (FHAS) Alumni Network unites all students and graduates of the FHAS Programme. More


| Fort Hare Autumn School, Promoting Democracy and Civil Participation, Youth leadership programme | Event

What do the lives of young people tell us about the varied experiences of being young in South Africa today – 28 years into democracy?


05.10.2021 | Fort Hare Autumn School, Promoting Democracy and Civil Participation, Youth leadership programme | Event

A responsive and engaged network of scholars committed to furthering the objectives and interests of the FHAS Alumni Network and those of FES.


Recent Publications

"I just want to survive"

Webster, Edward; Masikane, Fikile

"I just want to survive"

A comparative study of food courier riders in three African cities
Johannesburg, 2022

Download publication (90 MB, PDF-File)

Download Epub

African media barometer

African media barometer

A home-grown analysis of the media landscape in Africa : South Africa 2021
Windhoek, 2022

Download publication (800 KB, PDF-File)

South Africa Office

34 Bompas Road
Dunkeld West

+27 11 341 0270
+27 11 341 0271

Team & Contact

About us


Ms Agness Munthali
Project Assistant

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