Forum For Social Studies (FSS) celebrated its 25th anniversary on November 26, 2023. EEA was represented by Dr. Amdissa Teshome, the President. A panel discussion on “The Role of Think Tanks in Ethiopia’s Development” was the highlight of the celebrations. Policy Studies Institute (PSI), Ethiopian Academy of Sciences (EAS), the Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA) and Forum for Social Studies were the panellists.
EEA’s contribution was titled “The Origin and Development of Think Tanks: Global and National Perspectives”. Dr. Amdissa kicked off with an image of a brain loaded on a tank. This signified that during the major wars, the strategists got together in the evenings to review how the war was conducted during the day and what improvements can be made next day to fight more effectively. That is the origin of the concept of think tank. Presently, they play a significant role in national and global politics and economics.
There are over 6500 think tanks in the world and up to 40% are in North America, mainly USA. Africa has just over 200 and the majority are in South Africa. Various reports indicate that Ethiopia has about 25 think tanks but only a handful is active. This roughly indicates that growth and development do correlate with the prominence of think tanks.
EEA is a think tank because it meets all of the criteria and had been evaluated by the Global Think Tank Initiative as consistently performing better than the national and East African average (see Power Point). EEA’s thematic research areas are as pertinent as those of African research themes, and it is using both traditional and modern methods of research dissemination (publications, policy dialogue, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube).
The occasion brought together a number of old friends and introduced new ones. It was a truly celebratory occasion!
You can find EEA’s Power Point here:
The Ethiopian Economics Association