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Press Release: ISS the Leading Think Tank in Sub-Saharan Africa
9 January 2008

Press Release: ISS the Leading Think Tank in Sub-Saharan Africa

 In a first global survey of think tanks (see PDF Download), the Institute for Security Studies has been identified as the leading think tank in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Responding to the survey, ISS Executive Director Jakkie Cilliers paid tribute to the staff of the Institute as its most valued asset, to the various governmental and non-governmental stakeholders with whom the Institute works across Africa and to the various partners that support the work of the Institute.  “We obviously welcome independent confirmation and affirmation of our impact and reach.  For Africa to stabilize and prosper the continent and its friends need to accept the importance of internationally comparable applied policy research institutes that can serve the needs of the diversity of its people.” 

Out of a database of 5 080 think tanks globally, 228 institutions were nominated by their peers as “organizations that have become recognized nationally, regionally and globally for producing rigorous and relevant research, publications and programs.”  The ISS is the only Sub-Saharan think tank that made it to the top 30 – a list that excludes US based organizations.  Six of the top ten is based in Europe, and one each in Russia, Israel, Japan and China.  Only two African based think tanks made it to the top 30 list, namely the Egyptian based Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, and the ISS. 

The Institute has adopted a broad paradigm of human security as the basis for its work.  Human security places the individual African at the core of discussions on peace, stability and the quest for sustainable livelihoods.  As such it is a much broader concept that the traditional competitive state security paradigm. The portfolio of ISS areas of engagement include peacekeeping, corruption, governance, organized crime, counter-terrorism, crime, justice, small arms control, security sector reform, combating environmental crimes, direct conflict prevention, countering and understanding money laundering, HIV/AIDS issues, conflict analysis, support to the ICC processes in Africa, governance review, etc.  The ISS has offices in Addis Ababa, Pretoria, Nairobi and Cape Town and with a staff of around one hundred persons drawn from a dozen African countries, is one the largest independent non-governmental think tank in Sub-Saharan Africa, and apparently, the most influential.

The Institute is a non-profit trust with an international advisory council chaired by HE Salim Ahmed Salim, former Secretary General of the OAU and lead African negotiator on Darfur.

Issued by the Institute for Security Studies


9 January 2008