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President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks at launch of "African Futures" platform

At an engaging international online event, "Africa's Tomorrow: a Platform of Hope and Potential", co-hosted with the Institute for Security Studies and the Daily Maverick, the comprehensive new platform on long-term scenarios for the future of Africa was introduced to about 500 participants.

Poster of recording: The engaging public launch event of the African Futures platform had about 500 participants

The engaging public launch event of the African Futures platform had about 500 participants

ISS / Daily Maverick

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) is widely seen as one of the most renowned think tanks on the African continent. As the Hanns Seidel Foundation, we have supported the ISS since its inception in 1991. In recent years, a project focus of the ISS has been research on evidence-based, future-oriented long-term scenarios for development on the African continent, which were mainly carried out by the chairperson of the ISS, Dr Jakkie Cilliers, and his team in the „African Futures and Innovation“ program, using the International Future software developed by the Frederick F. Pardee Centre for International Futures at the University of Denver.

NEPAD, the African Union and their member states are showing increasing interest in these evidence-based assessments and, above all, in the practical options for policy making that result from them. The long-term forecasts have now also become part of a unique data and information hub on Africa's economic transformation, the African Futures platform.

The new digital platform is a unique resource that sheds light on the continent of Africa and all its 54 countries, including its regions and economic communities - with over 4500 interactive charts, more than 1 million words, in-depth analysis and about 80 videos. The website models and forecasts possible development paths towards the vision of the African Union's "Agenda 2063": the team developed 11 different scenarios including the potential of a low-end manufacturing transition, an agricultural revolution, the potential impact of leapfrogging, better education, improved health outcomes, trade and growth and good governance, democracy, and other key thematic areas.

The scenarios were then presented to international scholars in an international benchmarking process through a series of online presentations as well, to ensure that they are ambitious but reasonable. The forecasting systematically explores plausible futures on what is realistically possible given the right policy choices, clear leadership and determined implementation – as such, the website is a significant public resource for evidence-based policy making, capacity building and good governance.

The platform was officially unveiled at the end of June during a public event with contributions by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Secretary General of the African Union Development Agency (NEPAD), Ms Nardos Bekele-Thomas. They both underlined the potential value of the new platform and expressed their hope that it will be used extensively in policy making and strategizing for implementation. Ms Nardos Bekele-Thomas also spoke about her intention to work on a strategic partnership of AUDA-NEPAD with the African Futures and Innovation team.

Facilitated by Daily Maverick Associate Editor Ferial Haffajee, Dr Jakkie Cilliers, Head of African Futures and Innovation, ISS, presented the platform, and Prof Jonathan Moyer, Director, Frederick S. Pardee Centre for International Futures, University of Denver, shared his insights as an expert panellist as well. The engaging event with diverse insightful contributions and a lively Question & Answer session was marked by the emphasis that the valuable platform tool needs to be applied by stakeholders from all sectors to use its potential in facilitating enhanced development on the African continent.

An open-source new book just published, "Africa tomorrow. Pathways to prosperity" offers an adapted version of the thematic section of the new platform - it is available online free of charge.

Explore the exciting new platform:

African Futures

Find the new book here:

Africa tomorrow. Pathways to prosperity




Watch a recording of the special launch event here:

With an introductory statement by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, this special seminar with about 500 participants, hosted by the Institute for Security Studies and Daily Maverick, saw the launch of the enterprising new ISS data and knowledge platform "African Futures" (22 June 2022).



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