Africa: IMANI Shines in International Think Tank Rankings published by Forbes



The IMANI Center for Policy & Education made Ghana proud as it emerged one of the  top10 civil society groups in Africa in the latest Global Think Tanks Survey.


The 2012 Global Go-TO Think Tanks index, launched on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at the World Bank in Washington, DC  and in  New York at the United Nations, ranked IMANI Ghana as 8th in Africa and among the top 100 worldwide.

The index, commissioned by the University of Pennsylvania is the result of an international survey of over 1,950 scholars, public and private donors, policy makers, and journalists who helped rank over 6,500 think tanks using a set of 18 criteria. The purpose of the rankings is to help improve the profile and performance of think tanks while highlighting the important work they do for governments and civil societies around the world.


Most of the top rankings in Africa were assigned to South Africa- based organizations. South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) placed first in the top 50 think tanks in Africa with the next five spots going to other South African think tanks. A Senegalese think tank placed 7thfollowed by IMANI at number 8. 


However IMANI’s performance in other categories positions it as an emerging force in theglobal knowledge industry.


In the category of think tanks operating on an annual budget of less than 5 million dollars, IMANI placed 10th worldwide. IMANI is one of just 4 African think tanks ranked in this category.


IMANI is also one of only four African think tanks ranked in the top 80 think tanks globally for its excellence for proffering solutions for Domestic Economic Policy problems. IMANI is one of only two African think tanks ranked in top 30 Global Think Tanks with the Most Innovative Policy Ideas/Proposals.  Furthermore, IMANI is one of 6 African think tanks ranked in the top 65 Global Think Tanks with the Most Significant Impact on Public Policy. InterestinglhyIMANI is the only African market-oriented think tanks to be ranked in 7 categories.

Besides IMANI, other Ghanaian organizations also made impressive showings. The Center for Policy Analysis ranked 11th, the Centre for Democratic Development ranked 13th, the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) was 21st, Centre for Development Studies and Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research occupied the 34th and 35th positions respectively, Justice and Human Rights Institute ranked 41st, and the Integrated Social Development Center (ISODEC) placed 50th in Sub Saharan Africa. The 33rd Best Global Advocacy Campaign was awarded to the Center for Policy Analysis and the Kofi Annan International Peace and Training Center placed 60th in the Top 70 Security and International Affairs Think Tanks.

African Liberal Media sought reactions from IMANI Leadership:



Mr. Sam Poku, CEO of Business Council for Africa, Ghana chapter and Board Chairman of IMANI said “on this occasion, as we celebrate IMANI, 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, operating under $50,000 annually for much of IMANI’s existence, which is nevertheless   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.


Mr. Tony Oteng-Gyasi, CEO of Tropical Cables and Conductor was hopeful that the high praise IMANI earned will continue to urge it “highlight the issues of 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. IMANI shall prevail. Ghana shall prevail. Africa shall prevail.”

On his part, Captain Budu Koomson, Chief Operating Officer of UT Holdings said “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.” Captain Koomson called on all Ghanaians, especially the business community should endeavour to commit, with money and advice 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.


Mr. Alex Banful, CEO of Ghana Social Marketing Foundation, said “this is indeed brilliant. It only takes a team dedicated to its cause to achieve this on the kind of shoestring resources.  A good reputation cannot be bought it has to be earned and has to be
done the same old  traditional way through hard work, dedication , adherence to principles, fearless honesty and truthfulness. To me this  sums up the value system of IMANI GHANA and  I believe has been the driver of  its  success".

Mr. Franklin Asare, Team Leader for Oracle Technologies in East Africa, said “this recognition confirms IMANI’s steady but progressive advances in seeking partnerships for transforming Africa through ideas. The next phase is transforming Africa through technology and I have no doubt IMANI will prevail in that department”



Dr. Alejandro A. Chafuen, President of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation wrote in the Forbes Magazine on January 23, 2013 "Outside the United States and Canada, Latin America has the highest percentage of market-oriented institutes scoring well. Libertad y Desarrollo, in Chile, was listed in 11 categories. It was followed by CEDICE (Venezuela) and CEP (Chile), both with six credits each. In the rest of the world, IMANI (Ghana) scores in seven fields, slightly ahead of the powerful FAES (Spain), the Adam Smith Institute (U.K.), and the smaller Unirule (China), all with six."


A former  judge of  the John Templeton Prize  said: “I give IMANI  the highest points for being most specific and rigorous in applying free-market solutions to an array of complex social problems. Their submission shows the importance of using rigorously derived, quantifiable research outputs to gain credibility in shaping the policy debate. Crisp, clear, compelling data is the most useful tool to provide to any media outlet, and it's easy for the media to use, without interpretation."


Ishac Diwan, former World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Africa Region, and a prominent academic at Harvard,   said “IMANI has grown, within a short time of its existence, to become a stalwart for encouraging reality-based solutions to a complex array of economic and social problems in and beyond Ghana. IMANI is known to highlight those critical areas of economic and political policy that find resonance across the artificial borders of Africa. The think-tank courts audience from important policy makers and drives policy matters to the very top of the priority lists of African governments and their allies in the intergovernmental and non-governmental communities.  The World Bank has on a number of occasions, collaborated with IMANI, as a whole, and with its fellows, on individual bases, on several important local and global assignments. In 2010 for instance, the World Bank asked IMANI to help shape the World Bank’s strategy for Africa for the next decade. The task was successfully undertaken, even beyond expected results.” 


IMANI Center for Policy & Education was founded in 2004 by Franklin Cudjoe. IMANI is committed to disseminating objective, independent and rigorous analysis and critique on issues of systemic importance to development, using tried and tested techniques that apply across different disciplines.

Please see below a link to the survey:


Issued: African Liberal Media Fellowship (ALMF)

 January 24, 2012.


Contact:  Mr. Sammy Darko, Fellow, ALMF (0243919488)  


IMANI outshines many in the new list by Forbes Magazine