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


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

FHAS Alumni Network Project Development and Planning Workshop

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


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

Youth Participation in Politics and Governance

Join the Fort Hare Autumn School Alumni Network for their second youth month dialogue on 30 June 2021 for a dialogue on ‘Youth Participation in…


Recent Publications

Beuermann, Christiane; Brandemann, Victoria

Just transition in national climate plans

An analysis of case studies from South Africa, Costa Rica and Ukraine
Bonn, 2021

Download publication (320 KB, PDF-File)

South Africa's African agenda

Prospects and challenges
Johannesburg, 2021

Go to Publication (3 MB, PDF-File)

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Ms Agness Munthali
Project Assistant

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