Pooling Actions to Raise the Impact of Think Tanks in Central Africa
By Nkafu Policy Institute (Download Full report)
The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) continues to confront a multitude of challenges spanning human rights abuses, armed conflicts, transnational crime, inadequate governance, food insecurity, poverty, usurpation, corruption, extensive embezzlement, and sluggish economic growth. These issues have dire repercussions on both the well-being of the populace and the economies of ECCAS member states. A significant factor contributing to this situation is the deficiency of robust national and international institutions capable of advocating for reform or making evidence-based policy decisions. In this context, the pivotal role of think tanks in advancing good governance, upholding the rule of law, safeguarding fundamental human rights, fostering inclusive and sustainable conflict resolution, among other objectives, is widely acknowledged on a global scale. Nevertheless, the few think tanks operating within the ECCAS region continue to grapple with multifaceted challenges that hinder their capacity to advocate for evidence-based decisions and carry out their advocacy initiatives without hindrance. These challenges encompass securing sustainable funding, upholding integrity and credibility, as well as difficulties with effective advocacy for various evidence-informed policies.
Against this backdrop, the Nkafu Policy Institute of the Denis & Lenora Foundation organized a comprehensive two-day, in-person leadership and advocacy immersion program aimed at think tank leaders in the Central Africa region. The primary objective was to deliberate on strategies for consolidating resources to amplify the impact of think tanks within ECCAS. This event took place at Djeuga Palace Hotel from July 25 to 26, 2023, and was graced by the presence of both domestic and international attendees.
This report chronicles the discussions over the course of these two days. The initial segment documents a welcoming dinner conversation on July 24, 2023, by Barrister Akere Muna, on “Leadership in Turbulent Times” (Section 1). Subsequently, Section 2 highlights all proceedings of the first day of the think tank immersion program. This includes welcome remarks from the Co-Chair of the Denis & Lenora Foundation, to a panel discussion addressing the intricacies of surmounting challenges and capitalizing on opportunities. The section then delves into topics such has cultivating world-class researchers, effective leadership, stakeholder engagement and advocacy, fortifying leadership acumen, culminating with a forward-looking perspective on the trajectory of think tanks in Central Africa.