About the Journal

The Thinker (a pan-African quarterly) publishes peer reviewed articles with well-constructed opinion pieces. We welcome Africa-centred articles from diverse perspectives. The University of Johannesburg acquired The Thinker in April 2019 from Dr Essop Pahad. Over the last decade, The Thinker has gained a reputation as a journal that explores Pan-African issues across fields and times. Ronit Frenkel, as the incoming editor, plans on maintaining the pan-African scope of the journal while increasing its coverage into fields such as books, art, literature and popular cultures. The Thinker publishes both journalistic pieces with more academic articles and contributors can now have their submissions peer reviewed. We welcome Africa-centred articles from diverse perspectives, in order to enrich both knowledge of the continent and of issues impacting the continent.

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The Thinker was the brain-child of Dr Essop Pahad, former Minister in the Presidency of South Africa.
Dr Essop Pahad has been involved in the struggle against racism and apartheid for more than 50 years. He has held numerous political offices, as a member of the National Assembly from 1994-2008, Parliamentary Counsellor to the Deputy President 1994 to 1996, and Deputy Minister from 1996 to 1999. Dr Pahad was appointed Minister in 1999 with specific responsibility for the Office on the Rights of the Child, Office on the Status of Women and Office on the Status of Disabled People in The Presidency, as well as for the National Youth Commission and the Government Communication and Information System. He was a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC), Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the South African Democracy Education Trust and Member of the Board and Executive Committee of the International Marketing Council. Dr Pahad was Minister in the Presidency until 2008. He holds a BA degree in Political Science from the University of Witwatersrand and a MA in African Politics and PhD in History from Sussex University.

Our aim


“The Thinker seeks to open up the space for public discourse, the clash of ideas, to stimulate intellectual debate and scientific discourse. The Thinker is a partisan journal for progressive change, but non-partisan with respect to party-political positions and activities. It strives to give all its contributors the freedom to express what they think, understanding that openness in the context of ideas, theoretical divergences and multi-dimensional practice is a necessary condition for fundamental social transformation. We are committed to providing a forum for honestly-expressed views, mindful that the ideas, analyses and commentaries that we publish may be uncomfortable for some and anathema for others.

Our commitment remains the same.
At the end of 2013, after a lengthy process of consultation with a number of people including our core advertisers, a decision was made to change The Thinker into a Pan- African quarterly.

This quarterly is Pan-African in form, content, diversity of authors and distribution.


We shall endeavour to produce a quality and authoritative journal which will critically analyse and comment upon the political, economic, social and cultural developments, challenges and opportunities in our continent.

The Thinker seeks to provide a platform for progressive African thinkers and their allies to develop strategies to achieve the fundamental social transformation outlined in the article by former President Thabo Mbeki in the January-March 2014 issue.

It aims to enhance the capacity of individual African countries and the continent to consolidate, protect and enhance democracy, peace and justice, economic integration as well as development.

As a journal we shall be part of the struggle for the empowerment and emancipation of women. Without this, the continent will continue to underutilise the great capacity and talents of women in Africa.

We shall devote special attention to the on-going processes driving an African Agenda and the African Renaissance. African challenges, problems and conflicts require African responses and solutions.

Already a number of academics, scholars, intellectuals and activists in Africa and the diaspora have acceded to our request to become regular contributors. We are convinced that our continent can and must be successful, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous.

This journal is published in Africa, for Africa by Africans. Our target readers are policy makers in the public and private sectors, students, intellectuals, trade unionists and activists in political formations.

The Thinker will be charging page fees at R1.30 a word from 1 July 2024 onwards.

Members of The Thinker Advisory Council:


Ademola Araoye (Nigeria)
Professor Puleng Lenka Bula (South Africa)
Dr. Faisal Devji (Tanzania)
Professor Chris Landsberg (South Africa)
Professor Sabelo J Ndlovu-Gatsheni (Zimbabwe)
Dr. Morley Nkosi (South Africa)
Professor Eghosa E. Osaghae (Nigeria)
Dr. Essop Pahad (South Africa)
Dr. Garth le Pere (South Africa)
Professor Alioune Sall (Senegal)
Addai Sebo (Ghana)
Dr Wally Serote (South Africa)


Members of The Thinker Editorial Board:


Professor Ronit Frenkel, Peer Review Editor (Department of English, University of Johannesburg, South Africa)
Professor Ademola Araoye (Director of the Institute of Military Studies and Independent Researcher, Nigeria)
Professor Sabelo J Ndlovu-Gatsheni (Epistemologies of the Global South, University of South Africa, South Africa/Zimbabwe)
Dr Francis Onditi (Head of Department, School of International Relations and Diplomacy, Riara University, Kenya)
Professor Cheryl Hendrix (Department of Politics, University of Johannesburg, South Africa)
Professor Eghosa E Osaghae (Comparative Politics and Vice Chancellor of Igbinedion University, New Zealand/Nigeria)
Dr Akyaaba-Addai Sebo (Coordinator Black History Month/Notting Hill Carnival, U.K./Ghana)
Professor Mammo Muchie (SARCHI Research Professor, Innovation Studies, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa)
Professor Stephen Friedman (Department of Politics, University of Johannesburg, South Africa)
Professor Peter Lawrence (Emeritus Professor in Economics, Keele University, U.K.)
Professor Alioune Sall (Director of the African Futures Institute in Cape Town, Senegal/South Africa)
Professor Sikhumbuzo Mngadi (Head of the English Department, University of Johannesburg, South Africa)
Professor Anver Saloojee (Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University, Canada)
Professor Nyasha Mboti (Head of Department, Media Studies, University of Johannesburg, South Africa)

Archiving and Indexing 

The articles published are archived and indexed accordingly through LOCKSS, CLOCKSS and the PKP PN.