On behalf of BIDPA, Dr Margaret Sengwaketse attended the Africa 2016 Think Tank Conference held in Marrakesh, Morocco, during 2-4 May 2016. The conference was convened to afford the African think tanks to interact on issues of common concern and also provided a platform for sharing insights regarding the contribution of think tanks in building a sustainable and secure future for African people and institutions. The event was hosted by hosted by OCP Policy Centre in partnership with the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program. The conference featured a dialogue between think tanks in the following sub-regions in Africa – North, West, Central, East and Southern.
The objective of the conference was to identify strategic contributions from think tanks in Africa on four key common areas of concern:
· Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)/Agenda 2063 – engaging Think Tanks in support of SDG and Agenda 2063 progarmming, operationalising and monitoring
· Climate Change - preparing for COP22 which was held in Marrakesh in November, 2016, with a particular focus on common issues and implementation strategies
· Trade and economic exchanges – with regard to the on-going effort to introduce Africa’s Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA)
· Establish a Sustainable Futures Task Force - create a working group that will tasked with the responsibility to develop and help in the implement strategies and programs that will create a sustainable future for Africa’s think tanks.
The outcomes of the workshop included suggestions on the way forward in terms with individual and collective actions by think tanks on the three thematic agendas: SDGs and Agenda 2063; Climate Change; and Trade and Economic Exchanges on the CFTA. There were also recommendations for the sustainability of think tanks including ideas on innovations and adaptations that are necessary to ensure that think tanks produced quality work and remained vibrant and relevant.