LEAD was conceived as a programme focused on strengthening the capacities of a new cadre of leaders at the workplace empowered with knowledge of sustainable development and leadership skills including vision development. LEAD Southern and Eastern Africa is one of the three LEAD offices in Africa with activities covering all countries in Southern and Eastern Africa. It was launched in 1994 in Harare (Zimbabwe) by The Vice President of Zimbabwe Comrade Muzenda. Malawi was represented by late Honourable Alhaj Itimu (then Minister of Lands).
It is a Centre in the Faculty of Science at Chancellor College, University of Malawi. LEAD SEA undertakes capacity building under various themes. It also does action projects including climate change adaptation, population and environment. It provides and helps other institutions provide objective information and practical proposals for policy and institutional change that will foster environmentally sound and socially equitable development.