University of Pennsylvania to Host Think Tank Summit in South Africa

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Media Contact:Jacquie Posey | | 215-898-6460January 30, 2014

The University of Pennsylvania will host a regional meeting of African think tanks February 3-5 in Pretoria, South Africa.

The meeting, Think Tanks and the Transformation of Africa: The First African Continental Think Tank Summit, will focus on the role of think tanks in advancing transformation currently taking place on the continent. The three-day meeting is an outgrowth of the on-going research of Penn’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program. Seventy-five think tanks from across the region are expected to send representatives.

“It has been designed to explore the major policy issues facing the region and facilitate the exchange of best practices for policy research, public engagement and think tank management,” said James McGann, TTCSP director.  

Through a series of panels, presentations and roundtable discussion, senior think tank executives and scholars will discuss the major organizational challenges they face along with the economic, social and security challenges facing policymakers, think tanks and the public in Africa.

Established in 1989 and hosted in Penn’s International Relations Program, TTCSP conducts research on policy institutes around the world.

The event comes on the heels of TTCSP’s release of this year’s Global Go-To Think Tank report ranking more than 6,800 think tanks across a variety of categories.

McGann will offer a global perspecive on enhancing African think tanks’ role in informing and shaping policy.

Representatives from the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the UNDP, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Humanity United and the Think Tank Initiative, which is supported by the William and Flora Hewlett and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundations, will participate in the event.

The summit is supported by Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences, International Relations Program, PennGlobal and the Lauder Institute at Penn’s Wharton School