Ghana’s IMANI Center for Policy and Education (IMANI) has been ranked the most influential think tank in Ghana and the second most influential think tank in Sub-Saharan Africa, for the second year running according to The Lauder Institute of The University of Pennsylvania in its latest publication on the performance of think tanks globally.
The Lauder Institute and its partners monitor and maintain the largest, most comprehensive database of over 6,500 think tanks globally. The performance of IMANI has consolidated its position as the most reliable and tenacious think tank whose activities have shaped policy and enhanced governance and development in Ghana. Globally, IMANI has chalked some successes by ranking high in various areas. It is ranked the topmost Education Policy Think Tank in Africa. IMANI is also the number one African think tank with the Most Innovative Policy Ideas/Proposals. In addition, IMANI leads the African think tanks to watch rankings, twelve of them out of 101 ranked globally.
IMANI’s successes have won it the admiration of many. A cross-section of Ghanaians interviewed have expressed satisfaction with the work they do. Key media personalities and opinion leaders have also praised IMANI and shared statements of ‘Imani in my vision of Ghana’ in the coming years. “IMANI has been a game changer in Ghana’s civil society”, according to Richard Dela Sky, award winning Citi FM broadcast journalist.
Paul Adom-Otchere, one of Ghana’s leading broadcasters, says “as a think tank, IMANI represents a catalyst in the society and must continue to do what they do without fear or favour.
“ Mr Adom-Otchere believes that Ghanaians “as a people, we must resource them. Universities and institutions must collaborate with them and provide technical support and expertise. The media must also amplify the voice of IMANI to educate the masses and force change where and when it is needed. They must also be given financial help to enable them do more to enhance policy in Ghana.” While praising IMANI for their great performance over the years, he says he expects IMANI to lead the charge to get the freedom of information bill passed into law.
Bernard Koku Avle, Director of News Programming at Citi FM says IMANI has redefined the way Ghana approaches pressing issues of our time. “IMANI’s incisive and eclectic approach to research and advocacy have redefined the way we engage with the pressing issues of our time. They show that great impact can be achieved with little resources and innovative leadership in opening up the African public policy space.”
Aspiring MP and former host of the Super Morning Show on Joy FM, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah believes more meaningful results would be achieved if governments and various political actors listened to IMANI. “Having seen IMANI work its way to the top in the last 8+ years by tackling real issues with a fact based approach, I have become aware that if our governments and Political actors were to listen more to such Think Thanks, they could achieve more meaningful results in the real areas that matter. “In the near future as our politics evolves, I expect to see organisations like IMANI, better attended to by Policy makers. I expect them to become key partners in crafting and assessing national policies and programs and supporting the political class with empirical views and critique.
“I trust that increasingly our Political class will listen to views expressed by IMANI and similar real think thanks and factor them into our work to achieve more meaningful results in the lives of our people.”
Award winning broadcast journalist, Shamima Muslim Alhassan, admonishes IMANI to continue to be relevant. According to her, IMANI’s consistency is key for its survival.
“Congratulations to IMANI for the great feat. It’s definitely a mark of consistency and continuous relevance which is key to the survival of any CSO. Over the years IMANI has proven its ability to think and speak and influence policy conversations, direction and results. Now in a highly polarized political environment like Ghana’s the greatest challenge to IMANI is how to guard its integrity, remain consistent and relevant and not pander to any political interest. I have no doubt IMANI will navigate the nuances remarkably.”
For Development and Communications Professional, Nana Yaa Ofori-Atta, IMANI and others who demand critical thinking, consistently challenge assumptions, publicly call out opportunities and challenges based on evidence based research and analysis is an essential commodity. “In my opinion, a democracy worth living and fighting for requires institutions, processes, leadership, prioritising targets, access to information, actual accountability, time bound best practice costed and measurable targets connected to a plan that is at the least known, understood and better yet, owned and renewed regularly by a critical section of the population. My assessment of Ghana, of public policy and institutions without which the essential rest – civil society, business community, political parties, security, economic growth, individual freedom and a culture that provides the basis for real meritocracy – cannot deliver is that we fall far short of stretch targets,” she says.
Mr. Boakye Agyarko, former Vice President of Bank of America and Director of Policy of the New Patriotic Party says Ghana’s prospects for sustainable development rest on the kind of work IMANI does. “We now live in a world where decision making is driven by data and solid policy research. If Ghana is to leap frog into the ranks of the developed, it will have to rely heavily on the kind of quality research and analysis done by the likes of IMANI.”
Alhassan Suhuyini, ace broadcaster formerly of Radio Gold and currently the parliamentary candidate for Tamale North believes IMANI is misunderstood sometimes. “Congratulations to IMANI. I am aware that it is one organisation that has seen many policy battles and been misunderstood sometimes. I will urge them to do all they can to be clear in their communications, credible and non-partisan and above all seek the interest of Ghana. Congratulations. ”
IMANI continues to lead the way in policy and education. The team comprising of Franklin Cudjoe, Bright Simons, Kofi B. Bentil, Selorm Branntie and the group of brilliant associate researchers and interns regularly put their shoulders to the wheel in delivering quality analysis.
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