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AERC among Top Development Think Tanks Internationally in the 2016 Global Index

African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) has again emerged among the very top International Development Think Tanks in the 2016 Global Index. It is listed first in this category in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and placed at position 26 globally.AERC is also separately listed among the top in other categories, including Top Economics Think Tanks Worldwide;Best Independent Think Tanks Internationally; Top Think Tanks Worldwide (Non-US); and Think Tanks with the Most Significant Impact on Public Policy.


This programme involved over 6,500 think tanks and other civil society actors worldwide in various categories, and it was conducted by The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP).  The organization conducts surveys on the role policy institutes play in governments, and in civil societies around the world.

 “Over the last 26 years, the TTCSP has developed, and led a series of global initiatives that have helped bridge the gap between knowledge and policy in critical policy areas such as international economics, international peace and security, globalization and governance, environmental issues, information and society, poverty alleviation, and healthcare and global health. These international collaborative efforts are designed to establish regional and international networks of policy institutes and communities that improve policy making while strengthening democratic institutions and civil societies around the world,” said Dr. James G. McGann, Director, Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program during the presentation of the results.

“This is a delightful news for the Consortium. We are very excited that AERC has achieved consistently high rankings globally over the years, including the five star global transparency rating just recently.  In addition, the new category of recognitions, that puts us among top independent think tanks internationally and think tanks with the most significant impact on policy, are a testimony to AERC’s tradition of independent inquiry for evidence base policy in Africa. While it is gratifying that we are getting high global ratings as part of think tank rankings, it is imperative to note that AERC is not just a think tank. It is a think tank plus; a highly integrated knowledge organization with multiple arms, including research, collaborative graduate training, policy outreach, and a vast network with substantial emphasis on capacity building. Its alumni are visible around the continent, including numerous governors of central banks and high level policy officials,” said Prof Lemma W. Senbet, AERC Executive Director.

This Global index marks the ninth year of continued efforts by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania to acknowledge the important contributions and emerging global trends of think tanks worldwide. Their initial effort to generate a ranking of the world’s leading think tanks in 2006 was a response to a series of requests from donors, government officials, journalists, and scholars to produce regional and international rankings of the world’s preeminent think tanks. Since its inception, the objective for the GGTTI report is to gain understanding of the role think tanks play in governments and civil societies, and assist in improving the capacity and performance of think tanks around the world.

 As part of the nominations process, 6,846 think tanks catalogued in the TTCSP’s Global Think Tank Database were contacted and encouraged to participate, in addition to over 4,750 journalists, policymakers, public and private donors, and functional and regional area specialists. This group of peers and experts was surveyed to both nominate and rank public policy research centers of distinction.

About AERC

AERC, established in 1988, is a premier capacity building institution in the advancement of research and training to inform economic policies in sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of the most active Research and Capacity Building Institutions (RCBIs) in the world, with a focus on Africa. AERC’s mission rests on two premises: First, that development is more likely to occur where there is sustained sound management of the economy. Second, that such management is more likely to happen where there is an active, well-informed cadre of locally-based professional economists to conduct policy-relevant research. AERC builds that cadre through a programme that has three primary components: research, training and policy outreach. The organization has now emerged as a premier capacity building network institution integrating high quality economic policy research, postgraduate training and policy outreach within a vast network of researchers, universities and policy makers across Africa and beyond. AERC has increasingly received global acclaim for its quality products and services, and is ranked highly among global development think tanks.

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For more information about this workshop or AERC, please contact:

The Executive Director
African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
Middle East Bank Towers, 3rd Floor, Jakaya Kikwete Road,
Tel: (+254-20) 273-4150 / 273-4157
Fax: (+254-20) 273-4173

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