Baba-Tamana Gqubule was raised by her grandparents who had committed their lives to addressing social injustice in the areas of education and religion. Gqubule is continuing her family tradition by applying the set of skills she has acquired to right social injustices.
An economist at Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (Tips), a non-profit economic research institution that aims to provide economic policy research in response to public policy needs, Gqubule is involved in sector-specific policy research within the manufacturing industry.
Her work environment encourages alternative development approaches in order to inform the development of policies that ultimately aim to tackle systematic and structural factors that affect the economy.
With a master’s in development studies from the school of oriental and african studies at the University of London and a bachelor of economics honours from Rhodes University, Gqubule worked as a policy analyst at the economic development department, where she was involved in developing policies aimed at broadening participation in the economy, with a specific focus on conducting research to inform the department’s strategy towards increasing the participation of women in the economy.
“I’m determined to contribute towards achieving a more inclusive economy and am particularly passionate about the inclusion of black women in the economy. This is a lifelong project that requires a multidimensional response,” says Gqubule.
“Even if policies have the best intentions, they can also have unintended consequences. The difficulty is remaining patient and committed to chipping away at the system even when the problems at hand are urgent, because structural transformation is a permanent project.”
Gqubule is also the founder of a group informally known as “Rhodents With Purpose”, a network of Rhodes alumni that aims to provide financial and peer group support to disadvantaged students at Rhodes University.