Dr. James Magara
Statement From The Chairman
Africa still trails the world in the presence of think tanks. A global survey released by the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania in January 2019 revealed that as of December 2018, of the global total of 8248 think tanks, only 7.4 percent (only 612) are in sub-Saharan Africa. Unlike ancient times, the Africa continent is currently a significant net consumer of knowledge and not a net producer.
This lack of adequate think tank capacity has been a major constraint on the development of sub Saharan Africa. Since Independence there are has been a dearth of independent thinking at the national level in most African countries. The result has often been the blind following of roads paved by others without regard to local situations or the aspirations of the people affected. The experience of the developed world and the more recent experiences of East Asian nations show that both state and non-state indigenous think tanks have crucial roles in improving the planning frameworks to translate development aspirations and priorities into concrete results. State and non-state think tanks have key roles to play in sub Saharan African futures, both as sources of new ideas and research, and as alternate sources of thinking about development vision, agenda, policies, and programs.
According to World Population Review, Africa is the only continent where the population is projected to keep increasing throughout the 21st century. By 2050 the continent’s population is projected to double in size from its current 1.2 billion people to 2.4 billion. Its under-18 population will increase by two thirds to reach almost 1 billion. For Africa’s preferred future, much thinking and planning is crucial from leadership at all levels.
The Centre for Advanced Strategic Leadership (CASTLE) will play a role in contributing to the African marketplace of ideas.