ECCAS Region: Nkafu Policy Institute Gets $355,000 To Champion Women’s Rights, Security And Integrated Governance
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
At a time when countries in the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), face major challenges notably rising authoritarianism, non-respect of basic rights especially women’s rights, growing insecurity and contested governance, the Nkafu Policy Institute, a think tank of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation, has been awarded a grant to promote women’s rights, accountability, security, and integrated governance in ECCAS.
The two-year, $355,000 grant from Open Society Foundations is a testament to the work done by the Nkafu Policy Institute and the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation in their drive to catalyze Africa’s economic transformation. Just recently, the Foretia Foundation through its Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center (SBEC) received funding to train SMEs, Women and Youth under the SMEs Flagship and Job Preparedness Boot Camp Trainings.
“We are extremely honoured to partner with Open Society Foundations on this new initiative which we hope will have a lasting impact in promoting women’s rights and agency in the sub-region,” said Dr Denis Foretia, Co-Chair of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation and the Executive Chairman of the Nkafu Policy Institute.
“The project will strengthen the research capacity of ECCAS think tanks, identify and promote the development of civil society leaders, especially women leaders, and build a regional advocacy network for pragmatic policy engagement.”
The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) includes eleven central African think tanks, or independent policy research institutions, which are critical in promoting open governance, accountability, the rule of law, and respect for basic human rights. ECCAS includes Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo Republic, DR Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Rwanda, and São Tomé and Príncipe.
Professor Robert Nantchouang, Director of Nkafu said: “The new project is an opportunity for the Nkafu Policy Institute to share its experience with fellow think tanks across the continent and within ECCAS in particular and to contribute to realizing not only the Africa We Want but the Africa We Must Have.”
The project will also engage policymakers in accelerating regional integration, especially regarding the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). AfCFTA could deliver far greater benefits in terms of jobs, growth, and poverty reduction than previously estimated – making it a potential game changer for Africa’s economic development if its ambitious goals are fully realized.
The deal creates a continent-wide market embracing 55 countries with 1.3 billion people and a combined GDP of US$3.4 trillion. Its first phase, which took effect in January 2021, would gradually eliminate tariffs on 90 per cent of goods and reduce barriers to trade in services. That could raise income by 7 per cent, or $450 billion, by 2035, reducing the number of people living in extreme poverty by 40 million, to 277 million, according to a World Bank report published in 2020.
About the Nkafu Policy Institute
The Nkafu Policy Institute is a nonpartisan, independent think tank at the Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Its mission is to provide independent, in-depth and insightful policy recommendations that advance the Cameroonian economy and the economies of other sub-Saharan African countries. Nkafu seeks to advance public policies that help all Africans prosper in free, fair, and sustainable economies. Its reputation is founded on its independence, high-quality research and innovative policy prescriptions.
About Open Society Foundation -Africa
OSF-Africa’s vision is to build a globally respected, vibrant, and integrated Africa, characterized by democratic governance, sustainable development, and economic systems that deliver more just, inclusive, and accountable outcomes with and for the people and environment in Africa. In pursuit of this vision, OSF-Africa’s mission is to advance gender justice and women’s rights, deepen democracy, accountable governance, and inclusive development in Africa through participatory and strategic grant-making and advocacy.