Africa Think Tank Association (ATTA)

Published on 7th February 2008

Africa Think Tank Association (ATTA)


Africa is rich with natural resources and has the potential to become one of the world’s largest markets. However, it keeps degenerating into poverty despite the reform programs and optimistic growth projections that are always bogged down by challenges facing the continent. Such challenges include: political instability, corruption, repression, war/conflict, diseases, refugees, ethnicity, culture, education, infrastructure, trade, technology, and public policy among others. The erroneous focus on marketing natural resources as opposed to engaging in transformation of the same to create wealth has contributed to Africa’s predicament.

Africans ought to promote a culture of think tanks that can generate ideas on effective utilization of resources. Since many think tanks in Africa address country issues, it is imperative to build on the ongoing Africa integration momentum to facilitate harmonization of think tank activity in Africa. It is for this reason that Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) proposes to initiate Africa Think Tank Association. The objectives of this association are:

•         To analyze existing prescriptions to challenges facing Africa

•         To promote innovative solutions to challenges facing Africa

Project Activities

Phase 1

IREN will identify and invite think tanks leaders from the five Africa regions (Eastern, Western, Central and Southern Africa). The think tank leaders will brainstorm on the proposed objectives; develop the structure and eligibility criteria for the association. The leaders will also establish an interim secretariat and a steering committee to assist in planning the actual launch of the Africa Think Tank Association.

IREN seeks CIPE’s support during this initializing stage that involves identifying the think tanks in Africa and the think tank leaders meeting.

Phase 2

In phase 2, the interim secretariat and steering committee will not only identify and invite other think tanks in Africa to join the association but also fund raise for the actual launch of the Africa Think Tank Association. This will lead to a bigger event of approximately 200 think tanks that will brainstorm and offer suggestions on how Africans can utilize the available resources to generate wealth. Towards the end of this event, the Africa Think Tank Association will be launched and a secretariat established.

IREN seeks CIPE’s support in the official launch of the Africa Think Tank Association.

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