He wore sunglasses. A traditional red and white checkered headscarf, a Bedouin Arab keffiyeh, covered his balding head. His combat uniform was khaki colored. When my host sat down he clamped his Kalachnikov with two hands, tucking the weapon to his chubby body, 5 feet and 4 inches in all. He was unshaven, with his famous three days beard. The tent was surrounded by armed guards, since we were meeting (in secret) in the Jordan Valley, near the Israeli-Jordanian border. Caution was advisable, since the Bedouin warriors of King Hussein were unpredictable (forcing Arafat’s troops to leave in 1970), and the Israelis were forever ready to ignore borders- they came to kill.
What are the best ways forward to enhance the capacity, increase the impact, and ensure the long term viability of think tanks in Africa? These questions have been debated during the 2nd edition of African Think Tank Summit (ATTS) held in Rabat from May 9th to May 11th.
Thank you for the invitation to address the 2018 Africa Think Tank Summit in this memorable city of Rabat. I thank in particular, the OCP Policy Center and the Think Tank and Civil Societies Program of the University of Pennsylvania for hosting the Summit with the theme “Deepening Expertise and Enhancing Sustainability: Insight into Contemporary Challenges Facing African Think Tanks”.
In a more chaotic and critical Mediterranean security environment that is facing a huge geopolitical change, the NATO alliance has found itself challenged by rival states across the spectrum of conflict. Russia, which represents an instance of this change, has acquired for the first time in its modern history a proper permanent base in the Mediterranean. Also, other geopolitical changes such as proliferation of ballistic missiles among both state and non-state actors around the Mediterranean Sea hold key military and commercial transit points at risk ranging from the Bab-el-Mandeb, to the Bosporus, to Gibraltar. Given these challenges, NATO found itself in a situation that necessitates the launch of a partnership framework on new foundations. For this reason, NATO decided to establish a focal platform dealing with non-classified information and gathering national and military structures, professors, experts, international organizations as well as non-governmental organizations. Based at the Allied Joint Force Command Headquarters in Lago Patria Naples, this platform has been fully operational since December 2017.
Autrefois, dans les années 60,70,80, l’apprentissage se faisait dans une ambiance caractérisée par un rapport de considération, de profond respect, voire de grande vénération, pour ceux qui nous enseignaient, ceux qui savaient et qui nous ont influencé dans notre parcours personnel. Beaucoup d’entre eux méritaient le titre de « maîtres », sorte de gourous, de repères quasi-existentiels, en raison des savoirs qu’ils ont accumulés en tant que pôles de savoir, de connaissance, de rigueur, d’exigence. L’ambiance des apprentissages de toute nature, à l’école, et dans le vaste champ intellectuel, semblait marquée par une militance propre aux milieux pédagogiques de l’époque selon le champ disciplinaire où ils agissaient, de générosité intellectuelle, de don de soi, d’engagement moral, d’arsenaux épistémologiques offerts aux apprentis, …
Awad Ibrahim, chairman of the Lybian Organisation of Policies and Strategies (LOPS), one of the few think tanks in this violence-torn country, has escaped to establish contacts with his African colleagues at the African Think Tank Summit held in Rabat from May 9th to 11th. For a few years he was Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy in his country, and later appointed Deputy Prime minister. At times Awad Ibrahim fears for his life, but he believes a political solution between the two competing power centers in Lybia is still possible, even through elections. When ? He remains silent… No one knows. Dr Awad Ibrahim, educated in electrical engineering, was in his world when he discussed the role of think tanks in advocating for green energy in Africa, a session chaired by Aziz Mekouar, the ambassador to multilateral negotiations of COP 22 and future representative of Morocco in China.
The April issue of the IMF’s “World Economic Outlook (WEO)” included a chapter on how globalization has helped knowledge from technology leaders spread faster than before. Cross-border technological diffusion has not only contributed to rising domestic productivity levels in advanced and emerging economies, but also facilitated a partial reshaping of the technological innovation landscape, with some recipients becoming new significant sources of research and development (R&D) and patents. It behooves us to understand what would it take for such change in the innovation landscape to be even broader.
Le sens communautaire évoqué par Karim El Aynaoui, directeur général de l’OCP Policy Center, dans son allocution de bienvenue aux participants à la seconde édition du Sommet des think tanks africains, s’est exprimé dans toute sa richesse et sa diversité le 9 mai.