About Jakkie Cilliers

African Futurist & Author

Jakkie Cilliers is the founder and the former Executive Director of the Institute for Security Studies. He currently serves as Chairman of the ISS Board of Trustees and head of the African Futures and Innovation Programme in the Pretoria office of the Institute.

He has a B. Mil (B.A.) from the University of Stellenbosch, an Hons. B.A., M.A. (cum laude) and DLitt et Phil from the University of South Africa (UNISA).

Awards include the Bronze Medal from the South African Society for the Advancement of Science, and the H Bradlow Research Bursary.

Dr Cilliers co-founded the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in 1990, and played an important role in the transformation of the South African armed forces, and the institution of civilian control over the military in the period 1990 to 1996. He stepped down as executive director in 2015.

Jakkie has presented numerous papers at conferences and seminars and published a number of books on various matters relating to peace and security in Africa.

He serves on the editorial boards of the African Security Review, the South African Journal of International Affairs and Global Trends Analysis, jointly published by the Stiftung Entwicklung und Frieden/Development and Peace Foundation (sef:), Bonn, Germany Institut für Entwicklung und Frieden /Institute for Development and Peace, University of Duisburg-Essen (INEF), Germany.

He is a regular commentator on local and international radio and television and regularly participates at international conferences.

Jakkie is an Extraordinary Professor in the Centre of Human Rights and the Department of Political Sciences, Faculty Humanities at the University of Pretoria. 

He is married to Ulrika, and loves to exercise and walk with his beloved dogs Ella and Poppie. He has two sons Paul and Pierre and stays in Pretoria/Tshwane, South Africa.

Books by Jakkie Cilliers

The Future of Africa

This book describes and models the impact of a series of fundamental transitions that are needed if Africa is to narrow the gap in development between itself and the rest of the world.

Africa First!

What stops Africa, with its abundant natural resources, from capitalising on its boundless potential? Jakkie Cilliers uses 11 scenarios to unpack how Africa can ignite a growth revolution.

Fate of the Nation

This groundbreaking book explores the future of South Africa by testing alternative scenarios. Jakkie Cilliers argues that much will depend on the state of leadership in the African National Congress.


“Cilliers refuses to adopt a fatalistic attitude . . . or to get stuck in simplistic models that equate GDP growth with genuine development . . . His very practical recommendations, largely focusing on issues of governance and policy efficiency, are based on solid empirical evidence and sound argument.”

Professor Maxi Schoeman

Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria