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African think tanks prove useful in researching, influencing, designing and implementing policies and can therefore be used by development practitioners in project cycles, said Dr Frannie Léautier, Executive Secretary of the  African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), a Zimbabwe-based organisation that supports 39 think tanks in 25 African countries.
Following Political Economy Analysis testing in several countries, Jean Bossuyt of the European Centre for Development Policy Management offers his insights on good practice as a member of the Political Economy Analysis team in Senegal.
With the fall of Ben Ali’s government at the beginning of 2011, space was suddenly created for the emergence of civil society in Tunisia. In the frenetic eleven months that followed, the European Commission (EC) was able to fund 24 new civil society initiatives across the country. Michel Mouchiroud of the EU Delegation in Tunisia shares personal insight and lessons learned from the process.
Over the past couple of years a number of donor agencies have adopted Political Economy Analysis tools to assist development practice. The European Union Delegation to Zambia recently carried out two pilot political economy studies. Their experience provides lessons for developing an EC tool.
The time is right for donors to support the ambitions and visions of a new generation of development-focused African leaders, according to representatives from the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative, who took part in the recent Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan.
All too often, the countries in Africa that nature has endowed with the most economically valuable resources have also struggled with devastating instability and conflict: A paradox that the African Union and European Commission wish to see ended though strong emphasis on democratic accountability and capacity development.
Guinea recently emerged from decades of authoritarian government and a period of instability to hold, with strong support from the international community, the country’s first ever credible polls heralding a new beginning for one of the world’s poorest countries.
Lack of transparency in extractive industries like oil, gas or mining has put the brakes on development in resource-rich countries and exacerbated poor governance, according to campaigners in Ghana where a new initiative is encouraging greater disclosure.
“Compliance with financial regulations and disbursement pressure continues to drive the agenda. In this regard, we wonder what room there is to adopt the Backbone Strategy principles,” said Enrico Strampelli Head of Development Cooperation at the EU Delegation in Tanzania, in a recent interview for capacity4dev.