Invited Presenters

Invited Presenters

Prof Kennedy Amone-P’Olak (Botswana)

When the War Shifts from the Battlefields to the Communities: Postwar Environmental Factors and Mental Health – Findings from the WAYS Study

Professor & Head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Botswana. Visiting Scholar at the Danish National Centre for Psychotraumatology at the University of Southern Denmark. Principal Investigator of the War-Affected Youth Study (WAYS) in Northern Uganda.

Prof Brendon Barnes (South Africa)

The Politics of the Environment

Professor and Head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Johannesburg. His research on psychology, environment and health in the Global South critically engages with historical and contemporary environmental issues and the role of psychology therein.

Prof Tarek Bellaj (Tunisia)

Cultural Issues in Neuropsychological Assessment of Dementia in North-Africa

Associate Professor in Social neuroscience at Qatar University. Previously taught Neuropsychology at the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences of the University of Tunis, and was a Visiting Professor at Angers University in France for 8 years. President of the Tunisian Society of Psychiatry from 2006 to 2014.

Prof Brett Bowman (South Africa)

Situational Mechanisms in Violent Enactments: Enhancing the Resolution of the Global Picture of Violence

Professor in the School of Human and Community Development at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. His research focuses on the intersections between violence and social asymmetries in low- and middle-income countries. His current interests lie in better understanding the role of situational factors in enactments of violence.

Prof Bonga Chiliza (South Africa)

Early Intervention in Psychosis in Africa: Time to Implement Early Intervention Services

Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Recipient of numerous awards including the Hamilton Naki Clinical Research Fellowship and the CINP Rafaelsen Young Investigators Award.

Prof Regis Chireshe (Zimbabwe)

An Overview of Career Guidance Practices in Public High Schools in Southern, East and West Africa

Professor of Educational Psychology and Special Needs Education as well as at the Director of Quality Assurance and Academic Planning at Great Zimbabwe University.

Prof Cheryl de la Rey (South Africa)

Psychology as a Discipline in an Era of Transdisciplinarity

Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria. Previously Chief Executive Officer of the Council on Higher Education, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cape Town and Executive Director at the National Research Foundation.

Prof Steve Edwards (South Africa)

Relevance of HeartMath Global Coherence Initiative for Psychology in Africa

Emeritus Professor and Research Fellow in the Psychology Department of the University of Zululand, where he was Professor and Head of Psychology. His research, teaching and professional activities are mainly concerned with health promotion.

Prof Pumla Gobodo (South Africa)

Wounds of History: Transgenerational Transmission of Trauma and the Post-Apartheid Condition

Professor and Research Chair for Historical Trauma and Transformation at Stellenbosch University. Previous positions include Professor in Psychology, University of Cape Town, and Senior Research Professor in Studies in Trauma, Forgiveness and Reconciliation, University of the Free State.

Dr Derek Hook (South Africa)

Frantz Fanon, Temporality and Political Agency

Associate Professor in Psychology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, and an Extraordinary Professor in Psychology at the University of Pretoria. Former lecturer at the London School of Economics and Birkbeck College (University of London). Author of ‘A Critical Psychology of the Postcolonial’, ‘(Post)apartheid Conditions’, ‘Steve Biko: Voice of Liberation’ and the forthcoming ‘Six Moments in Lacan’.

Prof Sumaya Laher (South Africa)

Psychological Assessment in Low Resource, Multicultural Settings – A Paradigm Shift?

Sumaya Laher is an Associate Professor in Psychology at the University of the Witwatersrand. She holds a dual registration with the HPCSA in the categories of research psychologist and psychometrist (independent practice). Prof Laher serves as Chair of the Congress Committee for the 22nd Annual PsySSA Congress; is an Associate Editor on the South African Journal of Psychology (SAJP) and current President for the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA). Prof Laher is an NRF rated researcher whose research interests are in the areas of psychological assessment, culture and mental illness.

Prof David Maree (South Africa)

Realism in psychological science

Full-Professor and Head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Pretoria. He is the chair of the Psychometrics committee of the Board of Psychology of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). He was President of PsySSA in 2013 and he holds three doctorates, among others, in psychology and philosophy.

Prof Kobus Maree (South Africa)

Improving People’s (Career) Adaptability and (Career) Resilience to Promote Their Employability, Help Them Find Sustainable Decent Work, and Alleviate Poverty

Educational psychologist and Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Pretoria. He holds doctoral degrees in Education (Career counselling), Mathematics Education, and Psychology.

Prof Cyprian Maro (Tanzania)

Using Sport to Educate HIV/AIDS Intervention Life Skills

Currently lecturing at the University of Dar es Salaam, Prof Maro completed his PhD at the Norwegian University of Sport sciences. He has published in reputed journals, and supervised numerous Masters and PhD candidates.

Prof Charles Mate-Kole (Ghana)

Is Pan African Psychology the way Forward?

Professor of Psychology and Director, Centre for Ageing Studies, College of Humanities, and Consultant Neuropsychologist, Department of Psychiatry (School of Medicine and Dentistry) at the University of Ghana. Also Professor Emeritus in Psychology, Central Connecticut State University, USA. Founding Member and General Secretary, Pan African Psychology Union (PAPU). Editor-in-Chief of the Ghana International Journal of Mental Health.

Prof Nhlanhla Mkhize (South Africa)

The Connection-Disconnection Motif in Africentric Thought: An Africological Analysis

Professor of Psychology and former Dean of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Co-principal investigator of the South African Research Ethics Training Initiative (SARETI). Former President of the South African Humanities Deans Association.

Prof Elias Mpofu (Zimbabwe)

Integrative Model of Learning Abilities, Styles, Interests and Social Participation for Test Developing and Use in Emerging Country’s Education Systems

Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg and Professor of Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Sydney, Australia. Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Psychology in Africa.

Prof Juan Nel (South Africa)

South African Psychology can and should provide Leadership in Advancing Understanding of Sexual and Gender Diversity on the African Continent

Research Professor of Psychology at the University of South Africa. Past President of the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) & Vice Chair of the PsySSA Sexuality and Gender Division.

Prof Bame Nsamenang (Cameroon)

Social Ontogenetic Theory: The Sociogenesis of Individual Development

Professor of Psychology and the Director of the Teachers College of the University of Bamenda, Cameroon. Founding Director of the Human Development Resource Centre (, a research and service facility committed to Africa’s future generations – children and youth. President Elect of PAPU and the President of the Cameroon Psychological Association (CPA).

Prof Augustine Nwoye (South Africa)

Hope-Healing Communities in Contemporary Africa: An Evidence-Based Example of the Generative Function of Language

Professor of Psychology and Fulbright Scholar at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and recent Fulbright Scholar at Howard University and the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Prof Ingrid Palmary (South Africa)

Trafficking: New Scandals of Slavery Amidst Old Regimes of Power

Professor and Director of the African Centre for Migration & Society at Wits. Researcher in the field of gender, violence and displacement with numerous publications in international journals. Co-editor of Gender and Migration. Author of Gender, sexuality and Migration in South Africa: governing morality.

Prof Anthony Pillay (South Africa)

Competency to testify and the intellectually disabled rape survivor

Associate Professor in Behavioural Medicine at the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine (UKZN) & Fort Napier Hospital. Past-President of the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA), a graduate of Harvard University’s School of Public Health, and Editor-in-Chief of the South African Journal of Psychology.

Prof Basil Pillay (South Africa)

Psychology in the Public Interest

Head of Department of Behavioural Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, and Chief Clinical Psychologist for the Hospital Services of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Administration in Durban, South Africa. Past President of the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) and currently serving on the HPCSA Council and Chair of Board for Psychology.

Prof Jace Pillay (South Africa)

Challenges Psychologists Face Working with Vulnerable Children in Africa: Integration of Theory and Practice

South African Research Chair in Education and Care in Childhood in the Faculty of Education at the University of Johannesburg. Senior research professor in educational and counselling psychology heading a research team focusing on the psycho-educational and social experiences of orphans and vulnerable children.

Dr Yogan Pillay (South Africa)

Potential for Psychology to Improve the Lives of Africans and What Needs to be Done

Deputy Director General in the National Department of Health responsible for the HIV, TB and MNCH programmes. A graduate of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, he is an author and co-author of numerous academic publications including textbooks on International Health.

Prof Mogobe Ramose (South Africa)

Deconstructing Colonial Apartheid without Regard for Verwoerd’s Political Psychology

Professor of Philosophy at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University. Widely cited author with numerous publications which include, ‘But the man does not throw bones’, ‘Towards the betterment of human relations’ and ‘African philosophy through ubuntu’.

Prof Kopano Ratele (South Africa)

African Psychologies of Men and Masculinities

Professor at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and researcher at the South African Medical Research Council-UNISA’s Violence, Injury and Peace Research Unit. His research focus includes boys, men and masculinities in relation to violence, traditions, class, sexuality, and race. His books include ‘There was this goat’ (with Antjie Krog and Nosisi Mpolweni) and ‘Liberating masculinities’.

Prof Linda Richter (South Africa)

Early Childhood Development and the Sustainable Development Goals: Focus on Africa

Distinguished Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand and Director of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) – National Research Foundation (NRF) Centre of Excellence in Human Development. Research Associate in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford.

Prof Soraya Seedat (South Africa)

Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Where Do We Currently Stand?

Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Executive Head of the Department of Psychiatry at Stellenbosch University. She holds the South African Research Chair in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder funded by the Department of Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation, and has existing collaborative research projects with colleagues in Europe, the United States and several African countries.

Prof Tholene Sodi (South Africa)

Is Collaboration Between Western Trained Mental Health Practitioners and Traditional Healers Desirable (and Possible)?

Tholene Sodi is a Clinical Psychologist and Professor of Psychology at the University of Limpopo. He is the past Vice President of the Health Professions Council of South Africa and former Chairperson of the Professional Board for Psychology and current President-Elect for the Psychological Society of South Africa. Prof Sodi is an NRF rated researcher and has numerous publications, mostly in the area of culture and mental health.

Prof Garth Stevens (South Africa)

Psychology, Assemblages of Racialisation, and the Age of Populism

Professor and Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Psychology at the University of the Witwatersrand and also Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Humanities. Co-lead researcher on the Apartheid Archive Project, which is an international research initiative that aims to examine the nature of the experiences of racism of South Africans under the old apartheid order and their continuing effects on individual and group functioning in contemporary South Africa.

Prof Leslie Swartz (South Africa)

Disability and African Psychology: Some Dilemmas and an Agenda for Action

Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Stellenbosch University. He has a long-standing interest in disability and mental health issues and is the Founding Editor in Chief of the African Journal of Disability.

Prof Shahnaaz Suffla (South Africa)

Doing peace in a violent social order: Rhetorical or realistic for African psychology?

Shahnaaz Suffla is a specialist scientist at the South African Medical Research Council-University of South Africa Violence, Injury and Peace Research Unit, and Professor Extraordinaire at the University of South Africa. Her research interests draw from the intersections of critical community and peace psychologies, and are located within liberatory philosophies and epistemologies. Her thinking and scholarship is influenced by the vision of research as a transforming and humanising enterprise. Her niche areas are conflict, violence and peace, and participatory methodologies. Specifically, her research interests include a focus on peace promotion interventions in contexts of structural violence; participatory engagement as a site of activism, resistance and social change; and Africa-centred approaches to violence and peace research.

Prof Therese Tchombe (Cameroon)

Challenges for African Children as well as their Strengths and those of the Culture in Helping them through the Transitional Periods to Reach Healthy Adulthood

Emeritus Professor and Honorary Dean at the Faculty of Education, University of Buea. UNESCO Chair for Special Needs Education at the University of Buea.

Prof Douglas Wassenaar (South Africa)

Research Ethics and Evidence-Based Practice

Professor in Psychology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). Former Chair of the UKZN Biomedical Research Ethics Committee and of the Human Sciences Research Council Research Ethics Committee. He currently holds training grants from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Prof Andrew Zamani (Nigeria)

Psychology and the Public Interest in Africa: Breakthroughs and Setbacks

Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Nasarawa State University Keffi, Nigeria, and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. President of the Nigerian Psychological Association, and member of the Executive Council of PAPU.