Gov Accountability

IMANI celebrates 10 years as Ghana's public-sector watchdog


For the past decade, Atlas Network partner IMANI Center for Policy and Education has aimed to subject all government policies to analysis based on rational choice, public choice, due diligence, vested interest, and value for money. Ten years later, IMANI is now ranked as the most influential in Ghana and the fourth-best think tank in Africa.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary throughout the month of November, IMANI attracted more than 250 attendees to its banquet on Nov. 27 at the Alisa Hotel in Accra, including representatives of different embassies in Ghana, civil society, businessmen, and wide media coverage.

The theme of the dinner was “integrity in public office,” with a keynote speech was given by Jon Benjamin, the British high commissioner to Ghana. With this theme, IMANI discussed the challenges Ghana faces as it strives to attain its desired level of growth. The nation struggles to improve its economy despite receiving massive amounts of foreign aid, which can be attributed mostly to such factors as financial impropriety and corruption.

At the dinner, IMANI also presented its annual award to the “Top 5 Most Inspirational Public Sector Leaders,” presented to public agencies that had exemplar performance in terms of allowing the private sector and the business community to flourish. This year’s awards were given to National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana Shippers Authority, Registrar General’s Department, and Ghana Stock Exchange. IMANI sees a strong need for public institutions to have competent leadership and direction that allows them to ensure the rule of law, minimal bureaucracy, and the transparent provision of necessary public goods.

IMANI’s strength during the past 10 years has been its ability to deconstruct the nation’s obscure and convoluted economic and governance problems, presenting them instead in a clear, simplified, and accurate format without diluting the underpinning principles of economics and sound governance. IMANI is keeping an eye on the public sector, and aims to continue holding it accountable to the people of Ghana. IMANI is ranked as Ghana's most influential think tank, according to a University of Pennsylvania study.

"Atlas Network's work goes beyond listing your think tank as a partner," said Franklin Cudjoe, founding president and CEO of IMANI. "You haven't arrived until you have gone through at least two of its training programs. I had the privilege of enrolling in the 2011 Think Tank MBA program and it was simply revealing. A week earlier I had a personal one-to-one encounter with the staff of MEI in Canada, also arranged by Atlas. These certainly contributed to IMANI's growth and today we are ranked the fourth most influential think tank in Africa, named in the top 100 influential thinks tanks globally outside of the United States, and in the top 150 including the U.S. think tanks."