Since Africa’s population is projected to reach 26 percent of the world’s total population by 2050 (currently 17 percent), the continent will see an unprecedented need for jobs and access to both soft and hard infrastructures. This means that the next three decades will determine the continent’s trajectory toward prosperity. The course of action African countries pursue as we approach 2030 will ultimately either set them on the path of socio-economic prosperity or cement for them another century of development agony. This unavoidable dilemma is why African civil society, especially think tanks, must do whatever it takes to keep governments headed in the right direction.
Still, it is obvious that a think tank’s work is not the easiest anywhere—and certainly not in Africa. From a lack of philanthropy to policy impact and recruiting the right personnel, the challenges they face are often overwhelming. In light of the need to hold governments responsible for the results of government policies—which largely depends on how well think tanks can navigate their challenges—Atlas Network’s Center for African Prosperity (CAP) has designed the “Africa Reimagined” webinar series to strengthen those think tanks.
The goal of the series is to create a space for successful African think tanks to share operational strategies that have allowed them to shift public discourse toward policies that will enhance economic freedom. The series is divided into monthly episodes. Each episode will be held live on Zoom on the last Friday of the month. During each episode, a top executive at an African think tank will share ideas and strategies that have made their think tank attain excellent impact in certain operational areas such as research, advocacy, and fundraising. The episodes will be hosted by CAP Fellow Ibrahim Anoba.
In Episode 1 (Friday, April 30, 2021), the CEO and founding president of Cameroon’s Nkafu Policy Center (NPC), Dr. Denis Foretia, will discuss what has made the NPC remarkably impactful as a think tank in Cameroon. The NPC has established itself as the country’s leading public policy organization, driving national discourse, including with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic and southern Cameroon violence.
In Episode 2 (Friday, May 28, 2021), we’ll talk to the CEO of Ghana’s IMANI Policy Center, Franklin Cudjoe. IMANI has been distinctly recognized as Ghana’s most impactful think tank (as ranked by UPenn’s Global Go To Think Tank Index Report). Franklin will share IMANI’s strategy of engagement with political leaders in Ghana and how the organization has been able to record its numerous successes in the Ghanaian political space.
The guest speaker for Episode 3 (Friday, June 25, 2021) is Frans Cronje. Frans is CEO of the South African Institute of Race Relations (IRR). He will share the fundraising strategies that have kept the IRR in existence as one of the country’s oldest classical liberal think tanks.
Episode 4 (Friday, July 30, 2021) will feature NPC’s Dr. Louis Kakdeu. The topic of discourse will be on how to identify and conduct research to advance freedom in Africa. The NPC has been tremendously successful in that regard. Dr. Kakdeu will help participants understand what has worked for the NPC.
In Episode 5 (Friday, August 27, 2021), Evans Exaud, CEO of Tanzania’s Liberty Sparks, will take us through how his organization works with the country’s media in promoting many of their policy recommendations and programs.
We invite anyone working in any public policy field in Africa to participate in this series. Participants will have the opportunity to connect with colleagues doing similar work across the continent and learn from their successes. There will also be a time for participants to ask speakers questions related to their work or the topic of discourse. All episodes will last for 30 minutes. Recordings of each episode will available on the Atlas Network Academy website.