If you are a Ghanaian, you are oddly familiar with the word think tank. However, most people do not really know what think tanks are supposed to do. All many people know and see is think tanks telling the government what to do. This attribute of think tanks have drawn the anger of sympathizers of government who think some of these think tanks are being mischievous.
Think tanks are public-policy research analysis and engagement institutes that perform and generate policy-oriented research and advocacy towards particular courses such as social policy, economics, political strategies, culture, environment among others.
Ghana has the fourth highest number of Think Tanks in Sub Sahara Africa with 38 think tanks. Ghana comes behind South Africa (92), Kenya (56) and Nigeria (51).
Among the about 38 Think Tanks in Ghana, here are the top ten as compiled in the 2019 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report by the University of Pennsylvania.
1. Imani Centre for Policy and Education
Imani is not a household name in the think tank space and rightly so. They are ranked 3rd in Africa and 1st in Ghana. Imani have four major focus areas. These are economic, governance and political affairs, energy and natural resources, social policy and science, technology and innovation policy.
2. Africa Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET)
ACET is ranked 2nd in Ghana and 3rd in Africa. ACET believes that, Africa needs more than economic transformation, Africa needs sustained economic transformation. Their areas of focus include; economic strategies and management, inclusive economic growth, leveraging extractives for transformation, modernizing agriculture and promoting light manufacturing and boosting trade facilitation and regional integration.
3. The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA)
IEA was ranked 3rd in Ghana and 17th in Africa. The IEA is Ghana's first think tank with over 30 years of experience. The mission of the IEA is to promote good governance, democracy and a fair market economy. The work of the IEA has influenced over 90 pieces of legislation and policy in Ghana. Some include; Audit Service Act 2000, Education Act 2008, Minerals and Mining amendment Law 2014 among others. Their areas of focus include; governance, economics and political accountability.
4. Institute for Development Studies (IDS Ghana)
IDS is a research institute affiliated with the University of CapeCoast. It is ranked 4th in Ghana and 34th in Africa. They are mainly focused on 4 areas. These areas are environment, governance and sustainable development, integrated development, labour and human resources and peace studies.
5. Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER)
ISSER is closely ranked behind IDS in 5th position in Ghana and 35th in Africa. Just like IDS, ISSER is also affiliated with a university; The University of Ghana, Legon. ISSER is focused on undertaking research in the social sciences and promoting human resource development.
The rest on the list are;
6. Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) - 69th in Africa
7. Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD Ghana) - 73rd in Africa
8. Centre for Economic Transformation, Ghana (CET) - 83rd in Africa
9. Institute for Fiscal Studies, Ghana (IFS) - 93rd in Africa.
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