The Centre for African Diplomacy and Leadership (CADL) is located within the SARCHI Chair: African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy at the Universityof Johannesburg (UJ). It was approved in 2018 and established in 2020 as a research centre linked to the Department of Politics and International Relations and the SARCHI Chair. The Centre is co-ordinated by a Director, Prof Chris Landsberg, supported by a Co-director, Prof Costa Georghiou, and an appointed Advisory Committee.
With the newly established CADL, a research programme was launched with a focus on building partnerships within and outside Africa, promoting research, dialogue and cooperation in the areas of leadership studies and the theory and practice of diplomacy, and national security and national interests. CADL is motivated by the conviction that only through continuous engagement can African relations gain sustained developmental momentum. As an autonomous unit within UJ, it aims to organise a series of public lectures and debates by prominent opinion leaders and policymakers.
At CADL we believe African states, and their ties with other continents, are closely interlinked by a network of historic, economic, political and strategic forces. Africa desires productive and mutually beneficial relationships and calculated partnerships and is making a concerted efforts towards this end. Africa can also benefit greatly from enhancing productive relationships regarding regional integration, trade, foreign policy and security issues.
With much of the foreign policy discourse engaged in the analysis of South Africa’s burgeoning African Agenda, South-South agenda, there is a vacuum in the focus on South Africa’s relations with important partners of the global South and North. The missing link to date has been leadership studies, and its links with diplomacy and security. Therefore, CADL aims to fill this gap by supporting a sustained focus, providing institutional memory, on relations between South Africa and Africa. Partnerships with external role players, and the need for strategic leadership in the context of a changing international milieu, will be areas of the Centre’s focus. This goal will assist in supporting African stakeholders, governments and non-governmental organisations, in their planning by providing critical research and analysis in the areas of leadership, decision-making, diplomacy, peace and security, and national security.
As a research and dialogue-focused centre, the mission of CADL is to engage in dynamic programmes aimed at enhancing the understanding of the political, economic, security and social challenges facing Africa. The role of diplomacy and leadership in facilitating change on the continent and globally are core values of the centre.