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Professor Lulama Makhubela to speak at Africa Day celebrations at Wits

- Wits University

The Wits Faculty of Humanities hosts renowned academic and advocate for women empowerment, Professor Lulama Makhubela to speak at the Africa Day celebrations.

In unison with all the African states celebrating Africa Day, the Wits Faculty of Humanities celebrates the resilience of Africa in her struggles against colonialism and apartheid. As it recognises the countless contributions and sacrifices made by women in attaining the African Freedom, the Faculty celebrates Africa’s transformative journey towards gender equality as illuminated by woman leadership in the African Union (AU). On African Day, the Wits Faculty of Humanities embraces the AU’s agenda on Gender Equality and Women Development by dedicating this celebration to African women.

Professor Lulama Makhubela, Research Associate at the Gordon Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria, will deliver the Africa Day keynote speech at Wits on 2 May 2019 at 17:00. This will be followed by celebrations at the Wits Art Musuem. View programme.

Africa Day 2019 at Wits

Makhubela’s address will focus on the 2019 Africa Day theme "Are women part of the equation in making Africa work?”.

Reflecting on the 56th anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity on 25 May 1963, Makhubela says that Africa Day symbolises the independence of the continent from its past colonial and apartheid masters.

“It acknowledges the progress Africa has made, while reflecting upon the common challenges that the continent faces within itself and in a global environment. The inclusion of women in the “independent” African continent broadly, and the South African landscape specifically, remain a cause of concern. The under-representation of women in all strata of society including leadership in academia, business, media houses, political activism, publishing; to name a few, requires a sense of urgency to make a meaningful move from thinking and talking, to doing; and to turn intentions into reality. The central question posed in the title seeks significant transformation that engenders not only socio-economic inclusion but also the acknowledgement of women as part of the equation and a formidable force in making Africa work”.

Makhubela’s illustrious academic career includes her appointment at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) as Deputy Vice-Chancellor in Postgraduate Studies, Research & Innovation (2013-2016); the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) between (2007-2009). Before that, amongst other prestigious appointments she has been Director of Transformation (2006-2007) at Wits University. She has supervised studies on township economies, spaza shops and radical economic transformation among other socio-economic studies. She has served as a member of editorial boards of some accredited journals including the Development Bank of Southern Africa which is one of the refereed journals in infrastructure and development finance. She has moderated high-level dialogues for BrandSA, one of which was on the Life and Times of Rholihlahla Nelson Mandela, as well as the South African Women in Dialogue (SAWID).

As an advocate for women empowerment, she is a long-standing active member of the Development Commission of SAWID since 2006. She currently serves on the Board of Khulisa Social Solutions that seeks to enhance social services to children, youth and families with an orientation towards crime reduction. She has participated in radio talk shows on Kaya, Metro, Motsweding, Power 98.7 radio stations addressing various developmental challenges facing South Africa and the continent as a whole.

She is a business owner, serial entrepreneur, founder and Managing Director of the African Research House. The company’s value proposition is in cost efficiency, institutional and individual transformation. The high-quality research consulting work produced over the 12 years include a Five-Year impact analysis of mitigation strategies on Gender Based Violence commissioned by POWA; institutional climate surveys; large-scale national citizen satisfaction surveys; feasibility studies; institutional impact studies; branding surveys; knowledge management scoping exercises and strategy development, as well as individual and institutional research skills development in all science domains.

Makhubela is a recipient of the prestigious 10 000 Women Entrepreneurs training programme facilitated by Gibs and funded by Goldman Sachs in 2013. The programme entailed a one-year intensive classroom and practical-based training in all facets of business coupled with observational visits to firms of successful women entrepreneurs in the Gauteng Province, South Africa.

The Africa Day celebrations at Wits take place ahead of the annual May 25 activities which commemorate the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on 25 May 1963. The OAU was later renamed the African Union.

For the full Africa Day Programme please visit