“Pooling actions to raise the impact of think tanks in central Africa”
JULY 25 & 26, 2023
Djeuga Palace Hotel – Yaoundé
Central African states developed functional institutions immediately after independence up to the early 1980s. However, the process slowed considerably after this period partly due to several conflicts that gripped the region. The decision to create the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) in 1983 therefore came in this context, marked by a gradual decline in the performance of previous institutions. After about half a century of regional integration, the record remains mixed. ECCAS’s performance has been mediocre, largely due to a lack of commitment on the part of its members and the inability of member countries to pay the agreed financial quotas.
Several other factors explain these poor records in the ECCAS region. Central Africa is one of the most volatile regions on the continent where human rights abuses, armed conflicts, and transnational crime contribute to the persistent insecurity of the state and people. Women bear the full brunt of the negative effects of this situation and remain excluded from implementation and/or decision-making forums. Deepening women’s engagement in conflict resolution, peacebuilding, justice, and social cohesion processes in ECCAS will provide a significant opportunity to mitigate ongoing conflicts and lay a strong foundation for peace and security in these countries.
Poor governance and an unprecedented rise in authoritarianism also penalize the ECCAS region. This is reflected in the blatant confiscation of political power and flawed electoral processes that stifle civil liberties, exacerbate corruption, mismanage state resources, and lack accountability. In addition, the exclusion of women and minority groups from democratic processes or inclusive governance has been one of the main sources of the various crises affecting these countries.
Consequently, regional integration has unfortunately remained very low. The ECCAS region remains the least integrated region in Africa. This multi-factorial under-performance needs to be appropriately addressed; otherwise, the benefits of the AfCFTA agreement for the region will be reduced considerably. The low level of economic integration within ECCAS countries is also a major impediment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Today, hope lies in think tanks that are helping to promote open and transparent governance, the rule of law, respect for fundamental human rights, inclusive and sustainable conflict resolution, and much more. Unfortunately, the ECCAS region has very few reputable, independent think tanks. That is why the trend needs to be reversed. It is important to address all the challenges that limit these think tanks’ ability to adequately defend policies that promote open, democratic and accountable governance. This includes strengthening the leadership of these think tanks in mobilizing movements and networks across the ECCAS region to promote women’s rights, accountability, security and integrated governance.
With this in mind, the Nkafu Policy Institute, a think tank of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation, is organizing a two-day in-person leadership and advocacy immersion for think tank leaders in Central Africa.
Objectives of the event
The main objective of this two-day in-person leadership and advocacy immersion program is to discuss ways of pooling actions to increase the impact of think tanks in Central Africa. More specifically, focus will be on ways to:
- Strengthen the capacity of think tanks in Central Africa to produce relevant, high-quality research and influence policy,
- Enhance the leadership and research capacity of think tank researchers, particularly women researchers to conduct research and policy advocacy.
- Expand the visibility and reach of think tanks in Central Africa on the continent and worldwide.
The 2-day in-person Leadership and Advocacy Iimmersion targets leaders of think tanks and independent research centers within the Central Africa. Emphasis will be placed on supporting women think tank leaders and researchers.
- The event will be IN PERSON, at Djeuga Palace Hotel in Yaoundé (Cameroon).
- The program of this event features panel discussions, B2B meetings between think tank leaders, conversations with policymakers and networking.
- The event will also consist of plenaries with brainstorming sessions led by Experts and think tank leaders on each of the questions to generate and document actionable recommendations.
The Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation will cover all expenses for transport, accommodation and feeding of participants.
Number of participants
The number of participants is limited to 25 think tanks leaders across Central Africa.
- Increased awareness among think tank leaders and researchers of issues related to women’s rights, accountability, security, and integrated governance within the ECCAS region.
- Enhanced leadership and professional skills of ECCAS think tank leaders and researchers as evidenced by their lead in advocacy activities towards the promotion of women’s rights, accountability, security, and integrated governance in the ECCAS Region.
- Strengthened capacities of think tank leaders to conduct innovative research leading to relevant recommendations by enhancing their advocacy strategy.
Email: [email protected] / Tel: (+237) 654 86 72 54