Mamphela Ramphele – Keynote Speaker

Renowned Academic and an Active Citizen promoting Reimagining and Rebuilding South Africa

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Mamphela Ramphele Profile Picture

Specialist Subjects

  • Education
  • Finance
  • Banking
  • Ethics
  • Africa



  • English


Mamphela Ramphele has had a celebrated career as an activist, medical doctor, academic, businesswoman and political thinker.

In 1968 she enrolled for a medical degree at the University of Natal, where she became involved in the South African Students Association (SASO) and was a founder, with Steve Biko, of the Black Consciousness Movement. In 1976 she was detained under the Terrorism Act, and from 1977 to 1983 she was banned to Tzaneen in the Northern Transvaal.

She has a PhD in Social Anthropology, a B Com degree, a Diploma in Tropical Hygiene and a Diploma in Public Health. In 1996 she was appointed Vice-Chancellor of UCT. In 2000 she became a managing director of the World Bank, based in Washington, DC.

Dr Mamphela Ramphele has served as chairperson of many boards and is currently a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, a board member of Women Strong International. She was founder of the Open Society Foundation for South Africa and the Citizens Movement and is Co-Founder of ReimagineSA. In October 2018 Dr Ramphele was appointed co-president of The Club of Rome.

In 2013 she formed the political platform AgangSA, and in 2014 she withdrew from party politics to return to her role as an active citizen.

Dr Mamphela Ramphele is the author of several books and publications on socio-economic issues in South Africa, including A Passion for Freedom, Laying Ghosts to Rest and Conversations with my sons and Daughters, her latest book Dreams, Betrayal and Hope is her analysis of ‘the state of the nation’ in South Africa.

She has received numerous national and international awards acknowledging her scholarship and leading role in spearheading projects for marginalised people in South Africa and elsewhere.

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