Accepted paper:

Youth and Horizontal Leadership in the Information Age


Suda Perera (SOAS)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the leadership styles and structures of the Congolese non-violent youth movement LUCHA

Paper long abstract:

In 2012, a small youth-led movement calling itself LUCHA emerged. The ground, inspired by similar movements in Africa, stated that it sought to hold the government to account through non-violent means. Today, LUCHA has become one of the most prominent pro-democracy movements in the DRC, spreading to other cities through the country. Drawing on ongoing research carried out with LUCHA members and young activists in the DRC this paper examines the leadership styles adopted by LUCHA and the manner in which it has influenced Congolese politics. In particular it examines how LUCHA has utilised social media both as a means of organizing activism and gaining international support for their cause.

panel P051
Youth-led leadership and participation in Africa