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Press Release: African Futures, A New Policy Brief Series
23 August 2011



Contact: Dr. Jakkie Cilliers
Executive Director
Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria
Tel: +27 12 346 9500
Cell: +27 83 644 6883

African Futures, A New Policy Brief Series

Did you ever want to know how access to water and sanitation affects economic growth? What about the relationship between education and state fragility? And have you ever thought about Africa’s potential for a Green Revolution?


The Institute for Security Studies, in partnership with The Pardee Centre for International Futures at the University of Denver will be releasing the first issue of a much-anticipated new policy brief series on African Futures, Thursday 25 August 2011 at 10am via the ISS website.


The Pardee Centre for International Futures at the University of Denver, home to the International Futures forecasting tool, has teamed up with internationally renowned African think-tank, the Institute for Security Studies, to produce long-term, forward-looking scenarios that will help policy-makers consider the potential impacts of their decisions. The new African Futures Brief series will be released four times a year and will analyse the impact of economic and developmental policy choices in countries across the continent. Using the freely available software package with over two thousand dynamically integrated data sets from 1960 until today, researchers from the ISS and the Pardee Centre are able to frame uncertainties around Africa’s future.


In the first edition of The African Futures Brief, a team of researchers builds three scenarios to explore possibilities for the delivery of water and sanitation. First, using historic data, the researchers identify the African countries that have made the most dramatic improvements in access to water and sanitation over the last 20 years. The researchers formulate a positive scenario by applying these aggressive, yet plausible, development rates to all countries across the continent. Secondly, through an examination of low performing countries, the researchers construct a stagnant scenario for water and sanitation. Thirdly, the team makes use of a base case, a business-as-usual scenario, derived from the International Futures software.


Using these three possible futures, the researchers are able to demonstrate the impact that water and sanitation delivery has on infant mortality, communicable disease, GDP and state fragility. In addition the African Futures Brief No. 1 also produces a preliminary cost-benefit analysis to show when the initial investment will be recouped in terms of economic productivity.


On Thursday 25 August 2011 at 10am African Futures Brief No. 1 will be freely available via

About the African Futures Project:

The African Futures Project is a collaboration between the Institute for Security Studies ( and the Frederick S Pardee Center for International Futures ( based at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. The Institute for Security Studies is a widely recognized pan-African think tank specializing in issues of human security. The Pardee Center is the home of the International Futures model, an integrated approach to understanding human development and the broad implications of policy choices. These organisations leverage each other’s expertise to provide forward-looking, policy-relevant material that frames uncertainty around human development in Africa.

About The Institute for Security Studies:

The Institute for Security of Studies (ISS) is a pan-African organization that undertakes applied policy research, provides teaching and training as well as technical assistance.  The Institute is head quartered in Pretoria, South Africa with offices in Cape Town, South Africa, Nairobi, Kenya, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Dakar, Senegal. The ISS works for the advancement of sustainable human security in Africa. It seeks to mainstream human security perspectives into public policy processes and to influence decision makers within Africa and beyond. The objective of the Institute is to add critical balance and objectivity by providing timely, empirical research, teaching and implementation support on sustainable human security issues to policy makers, area specialists, advocacy groups, and the media.

About The Pardee Center for International Futures:

The Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures is the home of long-term forecasting and global trend analysis at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies on the University of Denver campus. The core of the Center`s forecasting efforts is the Patterns of Potential Human Progress (PPHP) series. This project produces annual volumes on human development topics, beginning with global poverty reduction, which can be purchased or downloaded for free. The Center works with issue-specific and geographically-based groups around the world that share the Center’s interest in evaluating and exploring the human condition from a long-term perspective.

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