Atlas Network’s Center for African Prosperity focuses on the role that free markets, property rights, and the rule of law have in creating the conditions for people to thrive.
Latest Center updates
A few years ago, my TED Talk began to raise awareness of how Africa’s relative poverty is rooted in bad policies that make it costly, risky, and frustrating to create a business on the continent. I’m proud to see African partners of Atlas Network creating real change here. A great example is the Wezesha Biashara (“Improving Business”) project of Liberty Sparks in Tanzania, the top prize winner at our Africa Liberty Forum 2021. I encourage you to check out the full conference, including my interview with William Kamkwamba, the hero of the bestselling book (and now Netflix movie), The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. William is a special talent, but I know in my heart there are countless, incredibly resourceful Africans who could create more prosperity if we could clear away the barriers to opportunity that exist in our countries. Our “Africa Reimagined” webinar series at Atlas Network is one place where you can get engaged in working toward this goal. I hope you will join us.
Director, Atlas Network, Center for African Prosperity
News & ideasView All
- #TitleDeeds4Life: In Pursuit of Secure Property Rights in ZimbabweThe Coalition for Market and Liberal Solutions (COMALISO) is committed to changing the status quo of property rights for inner-city dwellers in Zimbabwe by established titling processes.Read Article
- Capital Center for Studies Wins 2022 Middle East & North Africa Liberty AwardEvery year as part of the Templeton Freedom Award Prize Program—generously sponsored by the Templeton Religion Trust—Atlas Network honors and rewards six think tanks around the world through the Regional Liberty Awards. Capital Center for Studies (Egypt) is the winner of this year’s Middle East and North Africa Liberty Award and its US$5,000 prize.Read Article
- Free Market Foundation Protects Constitutional RightsIn early 2018, the South African government began to pursue a constitutional change that would enable a serious violation of citizens’ property rights. The proposed amendment would allow expropriation without compensation—the taking of a person’s lawful property without proper payment. Atlas Network partner Free Market Foundation (FMF) worked to protect South Africans’ property rights by educating both policymakers and the public on the harmful impacts this amendment would have.Read Article
- Centre for Development and Enterprises Rwanda removes barriers to formal entrepreneurship for womenStarting a small business can jumpstart an individual’s escape from poverty, but in some parts of the world bureaucratic processes keep people out of the formal marketplace. Without legal recognition, informal businesses struggle to access banking institutions and are more exposed to abuse from authorities.Read Article
- In Africa, effective aid is local aidBring up the topic of Africa to most Americans and their minds will race through images of slums, hungry children, undrinkable water, and war. For some, it’s comforting to know that the United States government invests huge sums of cash and capital in the continent, even if the goals aren’t always clear. Many Americans even contribute to those efforts privately via charity or participation in “one-for-one” purchases which, like TOMS shoes, provide a matching donation of your product to someone in need.Read Article
About Ibrahim Anoba
Ibrahim Anoba is a fellow of the Center for African Prosperity at the Atlas Network. He works with Atlas’ Africa partner think tanks to identify channels of collaboration in programs and research. He is currently studying for a doctoral degree in African history at the University of California, Davis. Ibrahim writes and comments on issues relating to individual and economic freedoms in contemporary Africa. He also enjoys researching the history of social movements in Africa and the theme of freedom in many of the continent's intellectual traditions.
About Magatte Wade
Magatte Wade is a serial entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, and visionary business leader with a passion for creating positive change in Africa. She is the founder and CEO of SkinIsSkin.com, “the lipbalm with a mission,” and is dedicated to reducing racial discrimination while creating jobs and prosperity in her home country of Senegal. Throughout her career, she has created successful high-end retail brands inspired by diverse African traditions. She is a Forbes “20 Youngest Power Women in Africa,” a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum at Davos, a TED Global Africa Fellow, and “Leading Woman in Wellness” award winner by the Global Wellness Summit. Wade also serves on the Advisory Board of the Whole Planet Foundation, of Whole Foods Market. She has written for The Guardian, HuffingtonPost.com, and Barron’s, and is a frequent speaker at business conferences and on college campuses, including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, MIT, and the Wharton School of Business.
Frequently Asked Questions
- We recognize that policy issues are not the same in Cape Town as they are in Cairo, and the strategies that our partners seek to implement are responsive to local needs. The Center aims to complement—and find ways to collaborate with—other efforts to advance sound policy ideas. We frequently collaborate with Students for Liberty Africa, and we welcome inquiries about how we might work cooperatively with other organizations pursuing similar ends.
- The Center is not endowed and does not accept funding from any government. It relies entirely on the generosity of individuals and institutional donors that share its desire to create greater freedom and opportunity for the people who inhabit Africa’s diverse political, cultural, and social landscape.
- "Since the Center believes the best policy solutions come from the bottom-up, our strategy is to listen to our partners rather than direct their plans and strategies. The principal focus of our work is supporting (via training, grants, and networking opportunities) our partners’ locally-grown solutions to poverty and other local challenges. We work with our partner network to help identify areas of collaboration around big themes that are common in the think tank world, and that have relevance to the needs that other local partners have identified. Current themes include: • Improving understanding of the benefits of trade and the dangers of protectionism, so that political leaders will less inclined to indulge in demagoguery that could undermine beneficial trading relationships. • Rooting out corruption and political privileges that distort the economic playing field. Such work will help us clarify that enlightened political actors will be “pro-market” (since market competition produces innovation and lowers prices for consumers), not “pro-business” (a euphemism for helping existing businesses at the expense of competitors and consumers). • Using tools like the Doing Business report of the World Bank and the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World report to identify “low-hanging-fruit” reforms that can measurably increase economic freedom."
- "The mission of the Center is to help achieve a lasting peace and inclusive prosperity throughout Africa, providing justice and opportunity to all its citizens. Our strategy is to assist civil society organizations in the region to implement bottom-up projects that increase freedom. This means we focus our attention on helping our partners by providing (1) training; (2) competitive grant opportunities; and (3) networking opportunities. Through our annual Africa Liberty Forum and other events and public campaigns, we also bring public attention to the projects of our partners and the importance of their work."
If you would like to learn more about the Center and meet those involved in its work, consider attending our upcoming Africa Liberty Forum or Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner, where many of our partners come together to learn from one another, participate in networking and training opportunities, and celebrate the accomplishments of their global peers.
If you are working for a think tank or civil society group that would like to take part in training programs and grant competitions, the first step is to go through Atlas Network’s partner approval process.
If you are a philanthropist wanting to learn about the Center’s work, please contact Vice President of Development Chad Goote. We would be happy to provide details that will help you make an informed decision about how gifts to the Center for African Prosperity may fulfill your philanthropic goals.
If you are a member of the academy or the media, we welcome your inquiries about how you might contribute to a better understanding of the work of the Center and the achievements of our independent partners.
- The Center for African Prosperity serves a network of independent think tanks and civil society organizations that take their own positions on specific policy topics in specific countries. We are not a think tank ourselves, so we are not in the business of giving hot takes on the news of the day. On occasion, our team can assist media inquiries by providing references to experts associated with our partner organizations, but these individuals do not speak for the Center itself.
- The Center for African Prosperity collaborates with partners that understand how individual rights, limited government under the rule of law, and free markets can create prosperity and improve the prospects for peace. The Center calls for an end to cronyism, corruption, and political privileges of all kinds, and looks forward to working with all people of goodwill who share this vision. In this way, the Center adheres to a set of principles, but not to a narrowly-defined ideology or political orientation.
- No. The Center for African Prosperity does not engage in partisan politics. Our focus is on building a long-term consensus around the principles that foster peace and prosperity, with the sincere hope that such a future will see ‘less at stake’ in individual elections, because all parties will be respectful of fundamental freedoms.
- The Center welcomes speaking invitations for our director, Magatte Wade. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the details of your invitation.