The evolution of student activism in sub-Saharan Africa is crucial to understanding the process of democratic struggle and change in Africa. Focusing on the recent period of 'democratic transitions' in the 1990s, Leo Zeilig discusses the widespread involvement of student activism in democratic struggles across contemporary Africa and focuses on two case studies, Senegal and Zimbabwe. He provides an historical examination of the student-intelligentsia on the continent that played a crucial role in the independence struggles across much of Africa, leading and organising nationalist movements and outlines the development of grass-root activism. Zeilig demonstrates how students shape and are shaped by national processes of political change and popular protest and reveals both the continuities and transformations in student activism in an era of austerity, crisis and poverty.
Leo Zeilig completed his research at Brunel University. He is currently a senior researcher at the Centre for Sociological Research at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. Introduction by: David Seddon is Professor of Development Studies at the University of East Anglia and the leading expert on political activism in Africa.