Representatives of West African Think Tanks participated in a workshop on the revitalisation of West African Think Tanks Network (WATTNet) on 21 and 22 January 2019 in Dakar, Senegal. The discussions which were led by
Consortium pour le Recherche Économique et Sociale(CRES), Senegal, provided a platform for participants to reflect and share ideas on how to revive the network.
WATTNet was created and launched in March 2016 in Accra, Ghana. The network was intended to be a platform for the development and exchange of ideas, information and experiences among think tanks in West Africa, to help address the region’s key development challenges while strengthening the organisational performance of the member institutions of the network. However, the network has been faced with challenges towards achieving its objectives.
The 2-day workshop provided a platform for participants to establish a clear and comprehensive diagnosis of what prevented WATTNet from becoming fully operational and undertaking its designed action plan described in its strategic framework. The group also reflected on the implementation plan of WATTNet in order to understand why members failed to abide by the core values and agree on the structure as stipulated in its Strategic framework. The workshop also allowed the group to:
· identify the main issues and challenges that hindered the effective functioning of the network;
· draw lessons on the inhibiting factors; and
· develop an immediate action plan to make WATTNet operational.
CSEA senior research fellow, Dr. Grace Onubedo participated in this workshop.