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On Think Tanks was founded in mid 2010. It has evolved from a blog into a global platform dedicated to study and support policy research and policy research centres, or think tanks. The members of the On Think Tanks Team and its Advisory Board are spread out across 6 continents!

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African Executive Directors

These interviews and articles deal with issues of governance and management, communications, and research from the unique perspective of African Executive Directors and other think tank leaders in the region. They illustrate the diversity of think tanks and thinktankers in Africa. If you would like to recommend someone to interview or submit an interview, please get in touch.
  1. 1

    Djibéry Doucoure and Mohamed Fadel Ball, from Mauritanie Perspectives

    With less than four million inhabitants, widespread illiteracy and a long history of authoritarian rule by military strongmen, Francophone Mauritania seems an unlikely breeding ground for think tanks. But when the country held its first think tank summit earlier this year, seven different organisations were present. One of them was Mauritanie Perspectives. Till Bruckner spoke with their chief administrator and project manager for this new entry on African think tanks. Read full article
  2. 2

    Cheikh Oumar Ba, Executive Director of the Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rurale (IPAR)

    Dr. Cheikh Oumar Ba discusses the current trends, main challenges and prospects of Senegalese policy research. He talks about the role of new thinktankers and funding (and the role of funders) in shaping the future of think tanks. Read full article
  3. 3

    Gilles Yabi from West Africa Citizen Think Tank

    Gilles Yabi, founder of West Africa Citizen Think Talk, talks about his personal and professional motivations for setting up this new think tank. The interview also discusses the main problems that countries from Francophone Africa face in formulating effective public policy, and the role think tanks can play in this process. Read full article
  4. 4

    Pamela Kabaso, Director of the Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)

    Pamela Kabasa, Executive Director of ZIPAR, discusses the challenges of establishing and developing a think tank that is relevant and can have a meaningful impact in a conservative society such as Zambia. Read full article
  5. 5

    Shebo Nalishebo on influencing policy on government debt in Zambia

    Shebo Nalishebo, at ZIPAR in Zambia, talks about how a research project achieved policy influence and draws out some potential lessons for think tankers around the world. Read full article
  6. 6

    “Think Tanks in Africa: Catalysts for Ideas and Action” by Dr. Frannie Léautier

    In this post Peter da Costa turns his attention to Dr. Frannie Léautier's presentation at the think tank summit. She argues that think tanks play a number of important roles as: Mediators, Trusted Advisors, Transformers, and Independent Thinkers. More importantly, she makes a strong case against the obsession with results: “If ACBF wanted immediate impact it would never have invested in think tanks for more than 20 years!" Read full article
  7. 7

    Savior Mwambwa on think tanks in Zambia

    Over the last couple of years I've done some work in Zambia and had the chance to meet a few think tanks there. In fact, earlier this year I tweeted that Zambia was one of the best places to be working on think tanks at the moment. And much of that is down to DFID Zambia's innovative efforts to... Read full article
  8. 8

    Mark Bradbury, Director of the Rift Valley Institute

    The Rift Valley Institute’s tagline is making local knowledge work in the Horn of Africa. The Rift Valley Forum has over 4,000 development professionals subscribed and hosts face to face discussions on policy issues in the region.  On Think Tank’s Africa Editor, Ruthpearl Ng’ang’a sat... Read full article
  9. 9

    Lori-Anne Théroux-Bénoni, Director at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS)

    The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) is the leading think tank on human conflict and security crises on the continent. It’s first francophone regional office in Dakar opened its doors in 2010 and now consists of more than 40 consultants and 15 permanent staff working across multiple... Read full article
  10. 10

    Professor Bitrina Diyamett, Executive Director at STIPRO

    Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Research Organization (STIPRO) aims to be an informative resource for policymakers and others participating in policy debates in Tanzania. Ruthpearl Ng’ang’a reached out to STIPRO’s executive director, Professor Bitrina Diyamett, who highlighted... Read full article
  11. 11

    Chukwuka (Chuka) Onyekwena, Executive Director at the Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA)

    On Think Tanks' met up with Chuka Onyekwena at the 5th Africa Think Tank Conference held in April in Accra. Chuka, an On Think Tanks Fellow, has developed a framework to improve CSEA's fundraising approach. We discussed about the challenges that think tanks face to meet the expectations of their... Read full article
  12. 12

    Eugenia Kayitesi, Executive Director at IPAR-Rwanda

    We sat down with Eugenia Kayitesi, IPAR-Rwanda's Executive Director, on the fringes of the 5th Africa Think Tank Summit held in Accra in April 2018. Eugenia follows in the footsteps of Antonia Mutoro, who led IPAR-Rwanda before her. This places this think tank among a small group of... Read full article