Centre for Film & Media at UCT launches Executive Short Course on managing Political Campaigns

27 Jan 2020 - 13:30

The Centre for Film and Media Studies (CFMS) has partnered with Johannesburg-based political advisory firm Shikamo, to offer an executive short course on running and managing political campaigns in Africa. The course was approved by the Humanities Faculty late 2019, and will make its debut this June as a winter term course. 

The University of Cape Town’s centre for Film and Media Studies (CFMS), in partnership with Shikamo Political Advisory and Campaign Services, will shortly be launching an exclusive Executive Short Course on “How To Run and Manage a Winning Political Campaign”. The course will make its debut in June this year, and will be offered annually as a Winter and Summer term course on the UCT Main Campus.

This is the first course of its kind on the African continent, and will be highly selective in attracting key personnel and politicians within African political parties that are responsible for running campaigns. As more countries hold elections frequently on the Continent, electoral competition is high and the complexity of securing a vote has heightened. Winning an election is no longer guaranteed and political parties have to develop and employ innovative techniques to understand the predisposition of a voter and how to authentically connect with potential voters.

The teaching personnel for the programme will include leading academics and practitioners from across the globe and African experts who boast renowned expertise in running winning campaigns. The course will include, among other key topics, a guide to understanding voters, developing a campaign strategy and operational plan, effective use of ICTs and data in campaign, fundraising and budgeting, as well as tools and methods of communication during campaigns.

The convenor of the course, Prof Wallace Chuma (pictured above), said UCT was honoured to offer this pioneering executive course. He said:  “This is a timely intervention, given the changing political context on the continent. The short course will combine teaching and practitioner experiences. It is set up in a way that enables our participants to use their country contexts, while simultaneously gaining insights into new and creative concepts, research and practices from other contexts as well.” Chuma said the new course will build on UCT’s existing postgraduate programme in Political Communication, another first for the institution. 

The Chair of Advisory Committee for Shikamo—a Johannesburg-based political advisory group partnersing with UCT to offer the course—Dr Steve Jarding (former Harvard Lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government), commended UCT for pioneering the course. He said: “Citizens across the world demand quality leadership. Unfortunately, those who are competent fail to make it or are scared as they lack the skills to access public office. This programme seeks to plug that gap and offer more choices to citizens”. Given that there will be elections in at least 25 African countries in the next 48 months, the course would not have come at a more opportune moment. 

For more information on the course, please contact Prof Chuma at wallace.chuma@uct.ac.za