IMANI Board Congratulates Franklin Cudjoe on his Selection as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Issued in Accra : IMANI Board Statement: Franklin Cudjoe Declared Young Global Leader

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Fellows of IMANI Center for Policy & Education, I wish to congratulate the Executive Director of imani, Mr. Franklin Cudjoe, on his selection, from a pool of over 5000 candidate leaders around the world, to join one of the most prestigious communities – the Young Global Leaders – of the influential World Economic Forum.

In May of this year, our illustrious Franklin Cudjoe will join 16 other Africans to participate in the first Young Global Leaders Summit in Tanzania. He would no doubt be minded to highlight those critical areas of economic and political policy that find resonance across the artificial borders of Africa. He would no doubt use the opportunity to press his colleague young leaders from across Africa, and indeed the world, to take these matters to the very top of the priority lists of African governments and their allies in the intergovernmental and non-governmental communities.

If we know our Franklin well, he shall be pushing for accelerated economic integration across Africa, freer trade, new models of infrastructure financing and deployment, greater government transparency and accountability, and a renewed focus on the opportunities offered by new technologies.

We note with pleasure that the Young Global Leaders community of the World Economic Forum is one of the foremost and indeed most appropriate platforms to raise and champion these critical issues. Members of that community have included established global leaders from the North, such as Tony Blair and the founders of the Google Empire, as well as emerging global leaders from the South such as Ghana’s own Patrick Awuah (Ashesi University) and Ken Ofori-Atta (DataBank). In that same vein, we also wish to congratulate Mr. Elikem Kuenyehia of Oxford and Beaumont, the legal firm, who is the other Ghanaian invited to join the Young Global Leaders this year by the World Economic Forum. Mr. Kuenyehia’s contributions to the growth of the legal profession and to the entrenchment of justice in Ghana are amply documented and widely recognised.

On this occasion, as we celebrate Franklin Cudjoe, I can, on behalf of the Board & Trustees and Fellows, re-dedicate IMANI to the course of “open but rigorous research and analysis in the public interest”. Despite limited resources, which is the bane of many public-minded organisations in Africa, we shall continue to contribute our efforts to national and continental development by working with our partners in civil society, the media, the legislature, and other interest groups in Ghana, Africa, and the world, in ensuring that only the best-reasoned and most rigorous evidence is admitted in the policymaking process. We are fervent in our belief that such evidence-grounded policymaking works best with active public involvement, and our goal is to bridge the artificial gulf between the lay public, on the one hand, and the government and technocratic class, on the other.

Under Mr. Cudjoe’s managerial leadership, and with the support of the IMANI Management Team, the Board of Trustees and the Fellows note that IMANI has risen up the ranks of think tanks in Africa to the 5th position in terms of intellectual influence (according to the reputable Foreign Policy magazine). I can confidently reaffirm the Board’s confidence in Mr. Cudjoe’s leadership, while reasserting our commitment to supporting IMANI’s objective of reaching even higher in its quest to offer continental intellectual leadership in the economic development and policy advocacy sphere.

IMANI is driven by the passion to see in Africa a continent free of poverty and tyranny, a continent open to new ideas and new influences, and a continent prospering rather than shackled by the globalisation of trade and the liberalisation of the creative powers of the individual African and her thriving community. IMANI shall prevail. Ghana shall prevail. Africa shall prevail.

We thank all our friends for their support and encouragement since our launch in 2004, and look forward to their continued goodwill.

Sam Poku

Chairman, Board of Trustees

IMANI Center for Policy & Education