Skip to Main Navigation
BRIEF September 30, 2019

Think Africa Partnership: A Knowledge Platform for Economic Transformation and Growth in Africa

The Initiative

The Think Africa Partnership (TAP) is a multi-donor Trust Fund initiated by the World Bank Office of the Chief Economist Africa Region.

Governments across Sub-Saharan Africa are demanding a new approach and more support in bridging the gap between researchers and policymakers. Two years ago, the World Bank’s Africa region created TAP to take advantage of this opportunity to better connect evidence and policy.  

The Think Africa Partnership aims to support economic transformation and growth via better uptake of policy-relevant knowledge and data. To attain this goal, the initiative is bringing together an exceptional network of African young professionals, scholars and universities, domestic and regional 'knowledge to policy' think tanks, and a network of over 30 Chief Economic Advisors to Heads of State to over 30 countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa.  

By reinforcing home-grown economic policy solutions, TAP aims to nurture exceptional African talent, strengthen debate and deliberation inside and outside of government, build a pipeline of reformers among African development professionals and economists, and support today's and tomorrow's economic policy makers.

Amplifying the Knowledge Base

The Think Africa Partnership amplifies cutting-edge research and evidence for Africa’s economic transformation via collaborative research efforts with African researchers and groups such as the African Economic Research Consortium.

With greater engagement and participation of African scholars, TAP helps ensure that their work reaches the hands of policy-makers and others engaged in the policy design and deliberation process. TAP is also aiming to increase the representation of female researchers and economists in Africa, by implementing a new gender-sensitive approach to talent development and network building.

  • AERC Visiting Scholars ProgramThis program provides competitive research fellowship grants to support the collaboration of African scholars, World Bank researchers, and partner institutions in strengthening research papers and core teaching curriculum. The program is administered in partnership with the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC).
  • Scaling up the Africa Fellows Program: The WBG Africa Fellowship Program targets young talented African nationals who are completing or recently completed a Ph.D. in an area relevant to the World Bank’s work. Since its inception in 2015, the fellowship program has been successful in building a strong pipeline of young African talent interested in a career working on development economics in international institutions, African governments, think tanks, and academia. The Program offers fellows a six-month assignment at World Bank Group (WBG) offices in Washington D.C. or in country offices. Fellows gain hands-on experience in the operations of the WBG and are prepared for a recruitment path in the competitive WB Young Professionals (YP) Program.
  • Africa Centers of Excellence: The first African Center of Excellence (ACE) on Quantitative Public Policy was launched at the National School of Statistics and Applied Economics in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire in September 2018. The ACE Impact Project seeks to improve the quality, quantity and development impact of postgraduate education in selected universities through regional specialization and collaboration.

Supporting Regional and Domestic Knowledge Platforms: ACET and the Compact with Africa (CwA)

TAP also works to strengthen the knowledge capacity of Africa-based regional and domestic think tanks through interactive policy dialogues, research to policy events, and peer learning.

  • The Compact with Africa (CwA) and Reform Partnership Activities: To support the implementation of the G20 Compact with Africa, our regional partner the African Center for Economic Transformation based in Accra, Ghana, hosts CwA peer-learning events in collaboration with governments and international institutions. Through its annual ACET Transformation Forums, ACET offers a unique opportunity to the private sector and other non-state actors to engage directly with ministers and policy makers to help shape the course of economic transformation in Africa. Building upon the private sector orientation of the CwA, ACET is increasingly building capacity to support Private Sector Development, both with governments and the private sector.

Building the Bridge to Policy Impact: The Chief Economists of Government Initiative (CEoG)

The World Bank’s Chief Economists of Government Initiative (CEoG) promotes peer learning among senior economic advisors and helps improve their access to economic evidence to enhance their positive policy impact. The CEoG network officially launched during the Inaugural Chief Economic Advisors’ Forum at Oxford University in February 2019, welcoming chief economic advisors from 10 Anglophone countries, 8 Francophone countries, and 2 Portuguese-speaking countries. This network continues to grow to meet country demand for stronger economic advice at the highest levels of government.