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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 direct 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 evidenceinformed 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 with the aim to reinforce the capacities of think tank leaders in the Central Africa region.

The primary objective was to strengthen the managerial capacity of think tanks in Central Africa to produce relevant, high-quality research and influence policy and to enhance the leadership and research capacity of think tank researchers, particularly women researchers to conduct research and policy advocacy. This event took place at United Hotel, Mbankomo from March 21stto 22nd, 2024, 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 March 20th, 2024, by Professor Emmanuel KAMDEM, Secretary General of Pan African Institute for Development (PAID International) on “Building an environment of openness and trust”. Subsequently, Section 2 highlights all proceedings of the first day of the think tank immersion program. This includes welcome remarks from the Interim Chief Operating Officer to a key note address from the Executive Director of the Nkafu Policy Institute under the theme «Moving from Good to Great», to subsequent panel discussions addressing the intricacies of surmounting challenges and capitalizing on opportunities.

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