Chevauchee Foundation in Namibia; IMANI Center for Policy and Education in Ghana; African Students for Liberty.
Atlas Network is pleased to announce the finalists of this year’s Africa Liberty Award, part of the Regional Liberty Awards, an annual program recognizing think tanks that have made important contributions to improving the landscape for enterprise and entrepreneurship in their regions. The finalists for this year’s Africa Liberty Award are IMANI Center for Policy and Education in Ghana, Chevauchee Foundation in Namibia, and African Students for Liberty.
IMANI Center for Policy and Education, Ghana
Project: Advocacy for ratification of European Partnership Agreement
IMANI has been at the forefront of the Ghananian movement for free markets for more than a decade. Ghana, along with other West African states, was on the verge of abandoning its trade agreements with the European Union because of the high political and public demand for protectionism. IMANI, however, through its research, media exposure, and advocacy, played an instrumental role in the ratification of the European Partnership Agreement (EPA), making sure that millions of consumers and producers would have access to the EU market without any barriers.
The access to EU markets that the EPA presented was critical to support the development of enterprises and nascent industries in non-traditional exports. IMANI pursued an advocacy strategy urging support for the EPA, which commenced with the issuance of two thoroughly researched articles, backed by data from the Ministry of Trade in Ghana and other credible data sources that lent support to successful ratification of the EPA.
Chevauchee Foundation, Namibia
Project: Namibia Schools Reading and Debating Societies
Chevauchee Foundation was founded in 2014 by Nathan Tjirimuje. Based in Namibia, Chevauchee’s School Reading and Debating Societies program has managed to introduce the ideas of freedom, Austrian economics, and public choice theory at high schools and universities across the country. Currently, these reading and debating societies exist in more than 30 high schools and universities in Namibia. Now, with the help of its graduates, Chevauchee is looking to expand the project in Angola. The success of this program has attracted nationwide media attention and was embraced by leading political figures, including the minister of education of Namibia.
“I decided to start a project aimed at teaching high school and university students at schools and universities across Namibia some basic economics,” said Nathan Tjirimuje, founder of Chevauchee Foundation. “The hope was that if they understand how markets work, what the role of government should be, etc., they would be in a better position later on as adults to demand better policies and also to take responsibility for themselves instead of abdicating such responsibility and the freedom that comes with it to the state.”
African Students for Liberty (ASFL), Nigeria
Project: ASFL Local Coordinator Program
African Students for Liberty might be a relatively new organization, but in the past three years it has achieved tremendous success in identifying, training, and cultivating a new generation of liberty advocates in Africa. Its Local Coordinator Program (LCP) has proven to be a breeding ground for Africa’s future champions of liberty, inspiring a generation of intellectual entrepreneurs, scholars, and activists. In the past three years, LCP graduates went on to create think tanks in Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, and the Gambia. In 2015, LCP trained more than 100 African students from 13 countries in how to become effective advocates for freedom in their own societies.
“The sheer number of students who get introduced to liberty annually is incredible,” ASFL explained. “Every year, over 4,000 students from all over Africa get introduced to the ideas of liberty by attending an ASFL event run by a local coordinator. Most of these students end up attending a second event to further learn about liberty.”