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West African Think Tank Network (WATTNet)


The West African Think Tank Network (WATTNet) is a network of Think Tanks in West Africa with the objective of promoting socio-economic and political development in West Africa through evidence-based research and advocacy. WATTNet seeks to establish a West African platform which will enable sustained collaboration between research institutions (Think Tanks) in the region. Additionally, WATTNet seeks to generate quality evidence and knowledge on economic, social and political issues to feed into national and regional policy design, implementation and evaluation.


The mission of WATTNet is to create a platform for collaboration and cross-learning among West African think tanks, which enables sustained cooperation among research institutions in the region and generates quality evidence and knowledge on economic, social and political issues that will feed into national and regional policy design, implementation and evaluation.


The vision of WATTNet is to promote accelerated development of West Africa through the transformation of governance and economic structures supported by evidence-based research.


West Africa, like the rest of Africa, is confronted with several economic, social and political challenges, which impede development of the region. At the same time, there is a lack of sustained evidence-based research to inform national and regional policies to address these challenges. Therefore, members of WATTNet decided to form a network that will allow them to collaborate their efforts and provide evidence-based research that will inform policymaking at the regional level.

Strategic Framework


Charter of WATTNet


West African countries are going through a crucial period of their development. For several years, the region has witnessed record economic growth rates despite a rather gloomy international environment. In addition, leaders of the region are working hard towards more economic integration. To cope with this evolving and challenging environment, West African policymakers are seeking ways to accelerate regional integration, leveraging a collaborative approach to face common challenges. In this context, policy analysis plays a crucial role in guiding decision making through different layers of complexities.

International trade negotiations, pathways to regional integration and policy choices for economic transformation, all require evidence-based guidance that policymakers hardly seek within the region. Notably, by fostering collaborative projects among West African think tanks, the network will support the strengthening of think tanks enabling them to make transformative development contributions.


The Network shall be known as the West African Think Tank Network (WATTNet).


WATTNet shall be domiciled in the city where the Secretariat is located.


To create a West Africa network for the production and dissemination of knowledge. To overcome the challenge of isolation and contribute to informing policy at the national and regional level, it is recognised that there is the need to create an ecosystem in which individuals and institutions interact to generate and apply knowledge to solve problems with innovative approaches. Through the West Africa Think Tank Network, researchers in the region will have opportunities to collaborate and leverage their experiences in evidence-based research and policy advocacy to address some of the regional challenges. They will thus provide timely and appropriate responses to the demand side of the policy continuum.


  1. WATTNet is a network of West Africa Think Tanks that seeks to establish a West African platform which enables sustained collaboration between research institutions (think tanks) in the region and generates quality evidence and knowledge on economic, social and political issues that feed into national and regional policy design, implementation and evaluation.
  2. WATTNet will create a platform for collaboration and cross-learning among West African think tanks which would contribute to addressing key development challenges in the region, along with strengthening member organisations of WATTNet.
  3. WATTNet would be readily available to respond to the needs of national, regional and international development actors, including institutions such as Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), West Africa Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).



General Assembly (GA) The GA shall be the main governing body of the Network and is made up of the members of the Network. Every member of WATTNet shall appoint an individual to represent it at its general meetings and activities and the names of such representatives shall be noted for the meeting and the activity. There shall be a Steering Committee appointed by the GA. Its membership shall be a minimum of five (5). Members of the Steering Committee shall serve a term of two (2) years and shall be eligible for re-election. The maximum term shall be four (4) years. The business of the Steering Committee shall be governed by its bye-laws.


WATTNet Members

African Heritage Institution (AfriHeritage)

The African Heritage Institution (AfriHeritage) formerly known as African Institute for Applied Economics (AIAE) was incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee in Nigeria in 2000. The Institute is devoted to economic policy research and facilitates policy advocacy, training and networking. It also provides consultancy services to governments, local and international organizations and the Organized Private Sector (OPS). With a MISSION to provide intellectual leadership in helping Nigeria and Africa think through the emerging economic renaissance, AfriHeritage employs five core programme methods/approaches which include; Responsive and proactive research entailing critical economic and allied research to extend the frontiers of knowledge as well as provide evidence for informed policymaking; Facilitating links and dialogue between policymakers and key stakeholders including private sector and civil society; Convening expert forums on key economic and development questions; National and International Networking and Collaboration; and consulting services for policy and institutional reforms, training and capacity building. These methods and approaches are applied across the Institution’s five thematic programme areas: Trade Regional Integration and Competitiveness (TRIC), Macroeconomic Analysis Modelling and Forecasting (MAMF), Public Sector Economics and Management (PSEM), Poverty Income Distribution and the Labour Market (PIDLAM); and Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRUD). AfriHeritage research has contributed to a greater supply of evidence support in a number of policy arenas in Nigeria. On the regional front, AfriHeritage has made remarkable impact in the West African and African regional knowledge and policy spheres through commissioned and own-initiated studies. The institution’s studies on Common External Tariffs (CETs), Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), regional integration and trade policies in ECOWAS and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have impacted significantly on the design of the right regional policy responses to the opportunities and challenges of globalization.

Centre d ‘Etudes, de Documentation, de Recherches Economiques et Sociales(CEDRES)

The “Centre d’Etudes, de Documentation et de Recherche Economiques et Sociales” (CEDRES) is a research institution established in April 1977 at the “Ecole Supérieure des Sciences économiques et de Gestion” (ESSEC), which became the “Unité de Formation et de Recherche en Sciences Economiques et de Gestion” (Training and research unit for economics and management) (UFR/SEG). CEDRES is a specialized economic and social policy institution, which conducts research in economics, management and dialogue. The goals of the centre are to: Conduct topical and high-level research in economics, social sciences and management, with a view to providing efficient support for the training of high-level economists and managers; Build capacities in public and private universities in Burkina Faso and elsewhere in Africa; Provide support to public and private sector decision-makers in economic, social and management issues; Support academic and scientific promotion of work done by professors and researchers of public and private research centres; Carry out capacity building activities; Support decision-making in public and private sectors to guide development policy; Produce knowledge and action-research work to build capacities in the organization, direction and management of the national economy; and develop scientific collaboration within Africa and worldwide. Every year, the Centre organizes “the economic debate week” dubbed SEDECO, which is designed to present topics of theoretical and practical research.  The event provides the opportunity to introduce the public to various research findings. Through its research and publications, the Centre has shed more light on the economic problems of Burkina Faso.

Centre for Population and Environmental Development (CPED)

The Centre for Population and Environmental Development (CPED) Benin City, Nigeria, is an independent and non-profit  organization dedicated to reducing poverty and inequality through policy-oriented research and active engagement of policy makers and other stakeholders on development issues. CPED was established in 1999 and registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria. The vision is to be a key non-state actor in the promotion of grassroots development among the inhabitants of various communities in Nigeria in particular and other parts of Africa in general. Its mission is to promote action-based research programmes and undertake intervention programmes on sustainable development in Nigeria in particular and other parts of Africa in general. CPED is a leading think tank in Nigeria and is a member of many other think tank networks across the world.

Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA)

The Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA) is a non-profit think tank that conducts independent, high quality applied research on economic policy issues in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. CSEA was established in 2008 by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance. CSEA’s strategic location in Abuja ensures proximity to government agencies and enables the Centre to serve as a forum for policy dialogue by stakeholders from the government, national assembly, private sector, civil society and the media. CSEA’s mission is to enhance development outcomes in Africa through evidence-based research.

Centre Ivoirien de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (CIRES)

CIRES was created in 1971 by the presidential decree N°71-133 of March 16, 1971. It ambitions is to be a Centre for scientific reflexion based on objective information related to the economic and social reality of Cote d’Ivoire and of all Africa. CIRES as a counseling and support centre, promotes constructive dialogues that reflect the national realities of Cote D’Ivoire. Missions of the centre are: (i) to conduct research activities about economic and social problems of Cote d’Ivoire and sub-region countries; (ii) to Establish meaningful relationship with the maximum of public and private economic organisations, and publish research in economic and social area. Objectives of CIRES are: (a) to Identify social and economic: problems of Cote d’Ivoireas well as those of the sub-region countries; (b) Conduct economic and social studies in order to find solutions to problems that will be identified;  (c) Engage in reflexion and applied  fundamental research;  (d)  Conduct regional training bodies in economics and in rural sociology; (e) to Organize workshops and high level forums. Research is organized around five research units and three research cells. At the level of research units there are: (1) economy and rural sociology; (2) macroeconomy and modelling; (3) natural resources and environment; (4) human resources and the poverty alleviation; (5) economy of institutions and microeconomy. As for the research cells, thee are: (1) gender and development, (2) analysis of the international economic relations, (3) analysis cell of economical politics of CIRES (CAPEC). CIRES is solicited by many public and private institutions, as well as some international organizations, to conduct studies in the socio-economic and political domain.

Consortium for Economic and Social Research (CRES)

CRES is a research center created in 2004 by a group of lecturers-researchers in various areas (Economics, Law, Quantitative Techniques, and Sociology) of the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar (UCAD). Being a nonprofit-making organization, CRES aims to provide high-level expertise on issues related to national policies and major programs developed in areas related to poverty, inequality and economic growth. CRES’ researchers have extensive experience in conducting research programs related to trade liberalization, the rural sector, education, health, ICT, regional integration, competition, water, issues biofuels, information and innovation economy, human rights, human resources law. The researchers are involved in the elaboration of public policies and in the monitoring and evaluation, in Senegal and in other West African countries.

Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rurale (IPAR)

The Initiative for Agricultural and Rural Prospective Analysis (IPAR) is a space for strategic thinking and dialogue that fosters innovative recommendations for concerted agricultural and rural policies in Senegal and West Africa. The vision of IPAR is to become an institution for strategic and prospective analysis, being able to influence at both national and sub-regional levels, public policies in the agricultural and rural sectors and the process of economic and social transformations. IPAR cherishes the values of objectivity, transparency, accountability and fairness.  IPAR’s activities are centered around major  themes of intervention which are at the heart of current agricultural issues: demographics, employment and migration, public policy, family farms’ performance and productivity, land and the management of natural resources, climate change and sustainable development goals.

Institute For Democratic Governance (IDEG)

The Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) was established in the year 2000 purposely to contribute to the “establishment of a just and free society” in Ghana that is democratic, prosperous, integrated and secure in the West African sub-region and beyond. Established at a time of growing public interest in the advancement of democratization and good governance in the hitherto authoritarian, turbulent, and underdeveloped polities of the West African sub-region, the founders of IDEG committed themselves to work for the consolidation of democratic governance within and beyond the boundaries of Ghana. IDEG seeks through first-class scientific research and analysis, policy dialogue and advocacy, and capacity building to expand the scientific knowledge base, enhance change management skills, and foster innovative partnerships that would enable state and non-state actors to successfully pursue economic, political and social development in African countries like Ghana.

Institute of Economic Affairs Ghana (IEA)

The Institute of Economic Affairs Ghana (IEA) is an independent non-profit, non-governmental, and politically non-partisan public policy think-tank founded in 1989 with a view to broadening the debate on public policy; engendering private sector led economic growth, and strengthening the pillars of democracy. The ultimate mission of the IEA is to promote good governance, democracy and a free and fair market economy in Ghana and Africa as a whole. The Institute’s research work is organized under three program areas: the Economics Centre, the Governance Centre and the Survey Unit. The IEA undertakes economic policy research in its Economics Centre. The centre promotes robust debate on key economic policy issues confronting Ghana and Africa as a whole. The Governance Centre conducts governance policy research and engages directly with key stakeholders in Ghana to promote good governance, democracy and a transparent policy environment. The IEA continues to undertake studies on wide-ranging areas that respond to the dynamics of the economy. Some of these include: Macroeconomic Stability and Debt Sustainability, Financial Intermediation, Contribution to the Work of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of Ghana and the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) of the Oil and Gas Sector. The IEA’s evidence-based research, backed by persistent advocacy, has resulted in several key reforms that have helped consolidate Ghana’s democracy and promoted sustainable economic development. These reforms include; the Serious Fraud Office Act, 1993 (Act 466), Repeal of the Criminal Libel and Sedition Laws, 2001, Whistleblower Act, 2006 (Act 720) and the Presidential (Transition) Act, 2012 (Act 845) and the  Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815).

Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER)

ISSER  was established in 1962 as the Institute of Statistics to provide a programme of teaching and research in statistics. In 1969, it was reorganized and renamed the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research with an expanded mandate to conduct research in the social sciences in order to generate solutions for national development. ISSER currently serves as the research wing under the College of Humanities, University of Ghana and engages in a number of policy relevant research whose findings are intended to help policy makers on the best policy decisions to make for national development.








01-02 March, 2016

THEME: Transforming West Africa for Inclusive Development


MARCH 01-02, 2016 – IEA ACCRA, GHANA

This two-day Conference is supported by the International Development Research Centre-Think Tank Initiative (IDRC-TTI). The Conference will bring together government officials, policy makers, academics, business leaders, development partners and heads of think tanks, and research institutions from across the sub-region. It is expected that the Conference will provide a platform for vibrant discussions on the themes outlined in the programme and generate useful recommendations for policy formulation.


Launch the West African Think Tanks Network.  

Develop Action Plans that will address critical areas such as Job Creation, Good Governance, Regional Integration and Competitiveness, and Gender Equality.  

Obtain a Call to Action and commitment from Heads of Government on the Action Plans.  




day 1 agenda

tuesday, march 01, 2016



08:00 - 09:00

Moderation –Ms. Valerie Gnide Traoré, Executive Director, Niyel



09:00 - 09:10

-Mrs. Jean Mensa, Executive Director, Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA)
-Dr. Simon Carter, Regional Director, IDRC Regional Office for Sub Saharan Africa



09:10 - 09:25

Representatives of Member Think Tanks



09:25 - 09:30

His Excellency, John Agyekum Kufuor, Former President, Republic of Ghana



09:30 - 09:45

– Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) – Mr. Kalilou Traoré, ECOWAS Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector
– West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) – Dr. Coulibaly Aly Diadjiry, Director of the Center of Strategic Programming and Research
– The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) – Dr. Coffi Noumon, Director of Operations
– United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) – Prof. Takyiwaa Manuh, Director, Social Development and Policy Division
– African Development Bank (AfDB) – Ms Marie-Laurie Akin-Olugbade


Poetry Recital

09:45 - 10:00

By Prof. Anyidoho


Introduction Of Keynote Speaker

10:00 - 10:05



10:00 - 10:45

KEYNOTE ADDRESS ON Transforming West Africa for Inclusive Development by
H.E. John Agyekum Kufuor, Former President of the Republic of Ghana


Cocoa Break

10:45 - 11:00


Opening Session: The Role of Think Tanks in Influencing Policy for Development in West Africa

11:00 - 12:00

Panel Discussion:
1. Hon. Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo, Minister, Public-Private Partnerships, Ghana
2. Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, Board Chairman, AfriHeritage, Nigeria
3. Dr. Peter Taylor, Programs Manager, International Development Research Centre -Think Tank Initiative (IDRC-TTI)
4. Dr. Coulibaly Aly Diadjiry, Director of the Center of Strategic Programming and Research


Plenary 1:

12:00 - 12:30

Good Governance for Inclusive Development and Stability



12:30 - 13:30


Group discussion:

13:30 - 15:00

Group 1: Promoting Inclusive Politics: A Critical Ingredient for Peace and Stability (Women and Youth as Key Ingredients for Stability) – Youth Segment
Presentation: Mrs. Ramata Thioune, Senior Program Officer, IDRC

Group 2: Promoting Inclusive Politics: A Critical Ingredient for Peace and Stability (Women and Youth as Key Ingredients for Stability) – Women Segment
Presentation: Mrs. Naasu Genevieve Fofanah, CEO, United for Humanity,
Sierra Leone
Moderator: Mr. Kwesi Jonah, Senior Fellow, IDEG

Group 3: Promoting Strong Institutions, Transparency and Accountability in the Fight against Corruption
Presentation: Mr. Emile Carr, Chairman, Transparency International, Sierra Leone
Moderator: Dr. Michael Ofori-Mensah, Senior Fellow, IEA


Cocoa Break

15:00 - 15:15


Plenary 2:

15:15 - 15:45

Infrastructure for Inclusive Development


Group discussion:

15:45 - 17:15

Group 1: Traditional and Renewable Energy

Presentation: Dr. Simon Bawakyillenuo, Research Fellow, ISSER

Group 2: Loosen Transport and Energy Constraints: Funding Strategies, Impacts
on Competitiveness, Growth and Poverty in West Africa

Presentation: Prof. Diagne, Executive Director, CRES
Moderator: Prof. Felix Asante, Executive Director, ISSER

Group 3: Gender and Infrastructure – ‘Improving Gender Outcomes in the Course of Development: Infrastructure matters’

Presentation: Prof. Ahoure Alban Alphonse E., Ag. Director, Cellule d’Analyses Économiques du CIRES (CAPEC), Ivory Coast
Moderator: Prof. Idrissa Mohamed Ben Issaka Ouedraogo, Executive Director, CEDRES


Reporting back from Group discussion to Plenary

17:30 - 18:00

Moderator: Ms. Valerie Gnide Traoré, Executive Director, Niyel


Formal Dinner

19:00 - 21:00

day 2 agenda

wednesday, march 02, 2016


Welcoming and Introduction to day 2

08:00 - 09:00

Moderation – Ms. Valerie Traoré


Plenary 3: Sustainable Development Goals

09:00 - 09:30

Chair: MS. Christine Evans-Klock, UNDP Resident Representative, Ghana


Group Discussions:

09:30 - 11:00

Group 1: Towards Achieving SDGs (Implementation, M&E, Data)

Presentation: Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya, Chair of Southern & Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Bangladesh
Moderator: Ms Christine Evans-Klock

Group 2: Beating the odds: Data Revolution and SDGs implementation in West Africa

Presentation: Dr. Ibrahima Hathie, Researcher, IPAR, Senegal
Moderator: Dr. Peter Taylor, IDRC

Group 3: Beating SDGs and Implementing Social Protection in West Africa

Presentation: Prof Takyiwaa Manuh, Director of Social

Development Policy Division, UNECA, Ethiopia
Moderator: Mr Andrew Hurst, IDRC


Cocoa Break

11:00 - 11:15


Plenary 4:

11:15 - 11:45

Natural/Agricultural Resource Management for Development
Chair: Dr. Joe Amoako-Tuffour, Director, ACET


Group Discussion:

11:45 - 13:15

Group 1: Managing Natural Resources for Development

Presentation: Prof. John Asafu Adjaye, Senior Economist (IEA)
Moderator: Dr. Joe Amoako-Tuffour

Group 2: Cultivating a Productive Agricultural Sector for Development

Presentation: Prof. Andrew Godwin Onokerhoraye, CPED, Nigeria


Plenary 5: Strengthening Private Sector for Inclusive Development

13:15 - 14:15

Chair: Dr. Ifediora Amobi, CEO, Econcepts, Nigeria

Panel Discussion:
1. Mr. Eric Otoo, Director, RTC, Guinness Ghana Ltd
2. Mr. Alioune Sarr, Minister of Trade, Informal Sector, Consumer Affairs, Promotion of Local Products and SMEs, Senegal
3. Prof. Idrissa Ouedraogo, Executive Director, CEDRES, Burkina Faso
4. Mr. Kalilou Traoré, ECOWAS Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector, Nigeria


Plenary 6: Trade and Regional Integration for Inclusive Development

15:15 - 15:45

Chair: Mr. Kalilou Traoré, ECOWAS Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector


Group Discussion:

16:00 - 17:30

Group 1: Intra-Regional Trade and Economic Growth in ECOWAS

Presentation: Dr. Chukwuka Onyekwena, Executive Director,
Moderator: Mr. Kalilou Traoré

Group 2: Regional Integration for Inclusive Development
Presentation: Dr. Eberechukwu Uneze, Executive Director, Assets Management Corp of Nigeria Inc.


Panel Discussions:

17:30 - 18:15

‘‘Making WATTNET Relevant for Policy Making in the Region’’
Moderator: Ms. Valerie Traoré

Panelist 1: Researcher
Panelist 2: Development Partner
Panelist 3: Policy Maker
Panelist 4: CSO/Private sector actor


Closing Session:

18:15 - 18:30

Summing Up and Way Forward- Dr. Diakalia Sanogo, Senior Program Specialist, IDRC-TTI

day 3 agenda

thursday, march 03, 2016


General Assembly meeting of WATTNET – WATTNET Members only

09:00 - 13:30

– Discuss and finalize Strategic Plan
– Agree on Secretariat for 2 years
– Discuss and agree on Activity Plan of WATTNet for 2016 & 2017


Cocoa Break

10:45 - 11:00


Lunch and Departure

13:30 -

Conference Speakers


J.A Kufuor (Keynote Speaker)

H.E John Agyekum Kufuor served two terms as president of the Republic of Ghana. During his presidency, he served as chairperson of the African Union (2007–08), during which he supervised the peaceful resolution of the electoral conflict in Kenya in 2008. He was also chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for two terms and saw to the successful negotiations that brought peace and major post-war reconstruction to Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Liberia.
Under his presidency, Ghana witnessed the fastest economic growth in its history, attaining a middle-income status by 2006. Among his landmark pro-poor programs was the National Health Insurance Scheme, with free maternal care for pregnant women.
He also instituted the Free School Feeding program to provide one nutritious meal a day for school children from kindergarten, (age four) to Junior High School, (age 16). Under his watch, Ghana experienced a very robust infrastructural development in the areas of roads, schools and hospitals, among others.


In retirement, President Kufuor has set up the John A Kufuor Foundation on Leadership, Governance and Development. In 2011 he was named joint-winner of the World Food Prize for Food and Agriculture with former Brazilian President Lula da Silva.
Other positions President Kufuor holds include: President of the Italian development organization, Alliance for Africa; member of Club de Madrid; Director of Brenthurst Foundation of South Africa; Director of the Leon Sullivan Foundation and Director of the Netherlands Development Corporation, and a member of the Global Citizenship Commission tasked with updating the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Kufuor was one of 10 distinguished global leaders tasked to work on the reform of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
He has served as leader of several election monitoring delegations to several African countries under the auspices of the African Union and ECOWAS.
Kufuor is the recipient of numerous awards including; the Chatham House prize for Good Leadership by Queen Elizabeth II of Britain and The Bundesverskkreuz, Germany’s highest national award by former President Horst Kohler. For helping to return peace to Liberia, he earned Liberia’s highest award of the Grand Cordon in the Most Venerable Order of the Knighthood of the Pioneers by President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson.
Currently, he is the UN Special Envoy on Climate Change; a Global Ambassador against Hunger for the UN World Food Programme; Chairman of the UN Interpeace Program; Chairman of the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership; Global Envoy for the Neglected Tropical Diseases Alliance; and Lead Advocate for the Partnership for Child Development.


Prof. John Asafu-Adjaye

is a Senior Fellow at the IEA and also lectures in the School of Economics at the University of Queensland, Australia.

At the IEA, Prof. Asafu-Adjaye contributes to the Institute’s work on the oil and gas sector. He leads the team that produces the IEA’s P-TRAC Index Report which tracks progress in transparency and accountability in the oil and gas sector. He is also the editor of the Ghana Policy Journal, which is published annually by the IEA. Since 2012, Prof. Asafu-Adjaye has been the team leader of a 3-year IEA project funded by the Danish Agency for International Development (DANIDA) entitled “Options for Managing Climate Variability and Market Risks for Smallholder Maize-Legume Farmers in Northern Ghana”. The project involves collaboration between Ghanaian and Danish scientists and includes the training of two PhD students and one Master of Philosophy (MPhil) student who are currently registered at the University of Ghana and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

He holds a BSc (Hons) degree from the University of Ghana, an MSc. from the University of Aston, Birmingham, UK and a PhD (Natural Resources and Environmental Economics) from the University of Alberta, Canada.


Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya

is a macro-economist and public policy analyst. Currently he is a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) in Dhaka, where had been earlier its Executive Director. He is a former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and UN Offices of Geneva and Vienna. He had been the Special Advisor on LDCs to the Secretary General of UNCTAD.

He is deeply involved in many international development networks, sits in the governing bodies of a number of leading institutions and on the editorial board of reputed journals. He has published extensively on pro-poor macro-economics, development challenges of the LDCs and issues related to trade negotiations.Dr Debapriya has studied in Dhaka, Moscow and Oxford. He held a number of visiting positions, among others, at the Centre for Global Development (CGD), Washington DC. He is currently the chair of two global initiatives, viz. LDC IV Monitor and Southern Voices on Post MDG International Development Goals.


Dr. Chukwuka Onyekwena

is the Acting Executive Director of CSEA. He holds a Ph.D in Economics from University of Portsmouth, UK, a Master of Science degree in Economics from University of Kent, UK, and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from University of Nigeria Nsukka. His research interest is mainly in the areas of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Trade, Global Economic Governance, Climate Change, and Financial Inclusion. Within these areas, he has published in peer-reviewed articles and other publications. Dr. Onyekwena is a member of the advisory group of the Africa Global Economic Governance Project, a joint initiative of the International DevelopmentLaw Unit at the University of Pretoria and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA). He has worked previously as a part-time lecturer at Economics Department of University of Portsmouth.


Dr. Eberechukwu Uneze

Is an Executive Director at the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria. He has worked at the frontier of global development and has published several articles. His research interest cuts across Public Economics and Policy Analysis, Development Finance, Results-based Public Financial Management, and Outcome and Impact Evaluation.


Prof. Abdoulaye Diagne

is a professor with tenure at the Faculty of Economics and Management of the Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar (UCAD) and Director of the Consortium for Social and Economic Research (CRES) in Dakar. He is chairman of the section of Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP). Abdoulaye Diagne was also a consultant to the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) and the Community Development Programme. In Senegal, he is very active in the developing of economic and social policies, particularly in the areas of education and agriculture. Founder of the Association for the Development of Gandiolais and Touba(ADGT),he isheavily involved in local development in rural Ndiébène community, near the city of St. Louis, located in the north of Senegal where he originates from.From 1992 to 1994, he was Head of the Department of Economics at the UCAD and Director of the Center for Applied Economic Research (CREA) from 1994 to 2004. His work focused on policy development with particular emphasis on those relating to economic reforms, education, poverty and regional integration.Their main characteristic is to rely largely on primary data collected through research programmes that he directed, and cover macroeconomic, sectorial, as well as microeconomic dimensions of these policies. He is well known for his work on education and economic growth. He has written many books and over two dozen articles. Associate university professor and professor with tenure, Abdoulaye Diagne obtained his Master’s degree in economics at UCAD, his PhD at the University of Orleans in France where he began his career as a teacher and researcher.


Prof. Andrew G. Onokerhoraye

obtained his Ph.D. from the London School of Economics andPolitical Science, United Kingdom in 1974. He started his academic career as a Research Fellow and later Senior Research Fellow at the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research, Ibadan a Federal Government of Nigeria think tank. He moved to the University of Benin, Benin City, as Professor in 1982 and he was subsequently appointed Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin, 1992-1998. He retired from the University of Benin to contribute to the building of the Centre for Population and EnvironmentalDevelopment (CPED), Benin City after spending one year sabbatical at Harvard University, Boston, as Visiting Professor, in 1998/99. An author of over 100 scientific publications, Andrew Onokerhoraye is at present the Executive Director of CPED and a Professor Emeritus of the University of Benin.


Mrs Ramata Molo Thioune

is a rural economist and environmentalist by training. She is currently a Senior Programme Specialist and oversees research in IDRC’s Governance and Justice Programme focussing on West and CentralAfrica. Her areas of expertise and interest include citizen security, gender based violence, women’s social, political and economic rights, land governance, access to justice, inclusive governance and citizen participation with a special interest on women and youth. She is also interested in promoting the use of ICTs to improve economic and social well-being for the most marginalised. Before joining IDRC in 1999, Thioune worked on rural development projects withseveral national and international organizations.

She has also lectured on economics at the University Gaston Berger University of Saint-Louis in Senegal. Thioune has published on topics such as rural women’s access to resources (land, water for agriculture), the potential of ICTs for education and for community development, gender based violence, female genital mutilation, migration and economic rights, electronic waste.


Dr. Saran Daraba

is the Current Secretary General of Mano River Union : Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire;

Ex-Minister of Social Affairs, Children and Women’s Promotion of the Republic of Guinea;

Vice chair of the National Council of Civil Society Organizations in Guinea (CNOSCG) in charge of political affairs;

Recipient of United Nations Prize for Human Rights (2003);

Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite de la Guinée.

Creation of a political party named Convention Démocratique Panafricaine (CDP) and ran for president in 2010 as a first female candidate in Guinea;

Goodwill Ambassador of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre.


Dr. Ibrahima Hathie

Is the Research Director for the Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rurale (IPAR Senegal). His research focuses mainly on agricultural performance, youth employment, climate change and the Post 2015 development agenda. He has also served as a professor at the National School of Applied Economics (ENEA, Senegal) from 1992 to 2009 where he assumed the position of Director of Studies and Fieldwork from 2004 to 2007. From 2009 to 2011, he was a value chain manager at the USAID Economic Growth Project in Senegal with a focus on a business approach to food security. Ibrahima Hathie holds a PhD and MSc in Agricultural & Resource Economics from the University of Connecticut, USA.

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Think Tank Initiative (TTI)

The Think Tank Initiative (TTI) is dedicated to strengthening the capacity of independent policy research institutions in the developing world. Launched in 2008 and managed by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), TTI is a partnership between five donors.

TTI currently provides 43 think tanks in 20 countries with core, non-earmarked funding. This support, which comprises up to 30 percent of their operating budgets, allows the institutions to attract, retain and build local talent, develop an independent research program, and invest in public outreach to ensure that research results inform and influence national and regional policy debates. TTI seeks to nurture the long-term sustainability of the think tanks it funds. As such, core funding is combined with dedicated capacity development support by program officers and external experts in three broad areas: research methods and skills, policy engagement and communication, and general organizational effectiveness. TTI also supports peer-to-peer review, learning and exchange.

International Development Research Centre (IDRC-CRDI)

IDRC was established by an act of Canada’s parliament in 1970 to help developing countries find solutions to their challenges. The International Development Research Centre Act describes the Centre’s mandate: “to initiate, encourage, support, and conduct research into the problems of the developing regions of the world and into the means for applying and adapting scientific, technical, and other knowledge to the economic and social advancement of those regions.” IDRC invests in knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve lives and livelihoods in the developing world. Bringing together the right partners around opportunities for impact, IDRC builds leaders for today and tomorrow and helps drive large-scale positive change. The Centre is governed by a board of up to 14 governors, whose chairperson reports to Canada’s parliament through the Minister of International Development. IDRC’s head office is in Ottawa, Canada. Four regional offices help ensure the relevance of its work. They are located in Cairo, Egypt; Montevideo, Uruguay; Nairobi, Kenya; and New Delhi, India.







WATTNet Publications

Although countries in West Africa are richly endowed with abundant natural resources, to date they have achieved poor development outcomes. The high economic growth rates witnessed in the last decade have not resulted in a reduction in the high unemployment rates, particularly amongst young people. The economies of countries in the region have remained virtually unchanged with a focus on the export of low value added primary commodities. Growth in the manufacturing sector, which has the potential to absorb more young workers, has stagnated. Although some progress has been made in health and education, countries in the region still lag behind the rest of the world on the basis of various socioeconomic indicators. Given this background, the main aim of this paper is to analyse problems associated with natural resource management in West Africa with the view to identifying policy options to promote inclusive development.

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