Telling the Story of African Think-tanks on Reels
In the month of April, 2019, AfriHeritage played host to the crew of South African based film production outfit, rewild Africa, who was in Enugu to shoot a documentary video – African Legacy Project. The documentary video is designed to capture the support and funding extended by the International Development and Research Center (IDRC)/the Think –tank Initiative (TTI) across Sub-Sahara Africa in the last ten years. The Think-tank Initiative (TTI) is a multi-donor program dedicated to strengthening independent policy research institutions - or think tanks - in developing countries, enabling them to better provide sound research that both informs and influences policy. The video will also tell the story of institutional strengthening and demonstrate how these lessons learnt can bring value to socio-economic and political development and good governance.
The whole idea of this video is partly propelled by precarious challenges faced by think-tanks across the continent. Available “data collected on African think tanks - the Think Tanks and Civil Society Program has estimated that 60 percent (30 percent plus an additional 25-30 extremely fragile organizations) of think tanks are highly vulnerable with a serious risk of disappearing, given unstable funding, staff turnover, and brain drain”. In 2014, Dr. Frannie Leautier, former director of the African Capacity Building Foundation, “reported that 30 percent of Africa’s think tanks may close within five to seven years”. According to a document (concept paper) released by the TTI office in Canada, This documentary is part of efforts aimed at exploring this crisis and determine actions to overcome it. The document also states that the TTI will interview 18 leaders of African think tanks to uncover the root of the challenges they face to sustainability and reveal the innovative approaches they’ve taken to overcome these challenges. It identified that think-tanks play important roles and make valuable contribution to policy making process in many African countries.
The documentary video which long and short term objectives include raising the visibility and voices of the think tanks from sub-Saharan Africa amongst the national and global funding community; Convince national policymakers to support and use the evidence of African think tanks to develop policy, and Shift the funding practices of large international and domestic donors in order to strengthen think tanks to engage in the evidence to policy process.
The primary target /audience of the video include among others funders, think tanks, multi-lateral and bilateral organizations, policy makers, development practitioners and researchers.