SIGLA stems from the HOPE Project of the late Professor Russel Botman, previous Rector and VC of Stellenbosch University. SIGLA envisages to position itself as one of the leading African leadership institutions and strives to build leadership capacity and generate knowledge resources in the areas of security for sustainable development. SIGLA recognises that without governance and leadership neither security nor development may be sustained. SIGLA's research activities relating to leadership and governance on the African continent focus upon landward and maritime governance matters.
Leadership and governance comprise a landward and maritime interface and a nexus that now features clearly as far as the African developmental agenda is concerned. Landward security and its governance connection is prominent, well-noted in the African realm and overlaps with maritime matters. The rationale for the deliberate maritime focus stems from the rising maritime agenda of the African Union. This African agenda ties in with Operation Phakisa of the South African government to unlock the potential of its surrounding blue economy in pursuit of deeper and wider development. This focus relies upon growing maritime governance and security at sea off Africa in order to unlock the landward and maritime public goods of political, economic and social interest for South Africa, Africa and the wider international community.