First African Think Tank Summit to be Held in South Africa

15 January 2014
press release

The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the University of Pennsylvania are jointly organizing the First African Think Tank Summit to take place on 3-5 February in Pretoria, South Africa.

The Summit will be held under the University of Pennsylvania's Think Tank and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP), with the aim to provide a regional forum to engage and discuss challenging policy and organizational issues facing think tanks in Africa.

The summit will focus on the policy level and the institutional issues.   On the policy level, focus will be on the national and regional policies, programs and strategies that address the current and emerging security threats for the continent and opportunities for Africa to become a major global trade and investment partner. Institutional issues will focus on the long-term sustainability of think tanks and the sharing of best practices for research and resource mobilization.

ACBF has vast experience in the establishment of think tanks in Africa, currently supporting 29 policy think tanks in 22 countries.   Central to this support has been the conviction that policy analysis and research are critical to economic management, thereby leading to improving public policy for growth, equity, employment and poverty reduction.   ACBF has achieved three main results, namely limited policy reversal on the continent, equipping governments with relevant skills for economic policy analysis and improving policy planning and monitoring for development frameworks such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

According to the 2012 Global Go To Think Tanks Ranking by the University of Pennsylvania, seventeen ( 17) policy institutes supported by ACBF were ranked among the Top 50 think tanks out of a total of 554 in Sub-Saharan Africa.

It is hoped that the First African Think Tank Summit will establish learning alliances between African and global think tanks including the development of a ranking baseline which ACBF supported Think-tanks can utilize to improve performance and maximize impact.

Note to editors

About the African Capacity Building Foundation

Established in 1991, ACBF's mission is to build sustainable human and institutional capacity for sustainable growth, poverty reduction and economic transformation in Africa. The ultimate goal is to improve the lives and prospects of people throughout the African Continent. ACBF supports capacity development in Africa through grants, knowledge sharing and technical assistance to countries and regional and sub-regional organizations.  ACBF's approach to capacity development focuses on addressing capacity needs and gaps as well as on stakeholder ownership of interventions, project and program sustainability and synergy of interventions with other development funding institutions. For further information go to:

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