Wednesday, 22 February 2012

A Woman making a difference: Jean Mensa, the Executive Director of Ghana’s Institute of Economic Affairs….

Jean Mensa -Executive Director, Ghana's Institute of Economic Affairs
By: Kelly Haggart is a senior writer in IDRC's Communications Division in Ottawa

A lawyer, Jean Mensa joined Ghana’s Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in 2000, becoming Executive Director in 2009. The institute is one of 51 policy research organizations in 23 developing countries that receive multi-year funding from the Think Tank Initiative.

Sparking national debate
When the IEA was founded in 1989, using research to provoke national discussion and influence policy was fairly new in Ghana. That’s what attracted me to it. I wanted to be at an organization that used its research to bring about policy reform.

Ghana is rich in natural resources, yet remains poor. Our funding from the Think Tank Initiative coincided with the discovery of oil and gas. We felt this was an opportunity for us, as a country, to ensure that the oil revenues are used to promote economic growth and development, and reduce poverty substantially.

We conducted a study that proposed ways of managing the resource, and then engaged in extensive advocacy. Most of our recommendations were included in a new law that commits 70% of oil revenues to developing Ghana’s physical and social infrastructure. The balance is to be set aside to cushion the economy from shocks and benefit future generations.

Awarding excellence
In the past, the IEA relied mostly on program funding and couldn’t afford to retain senior researchers once a project ended. The institute now has predictable core funding, which has allowed us to recruit full-time researchers, and develop and mentor a pool of younger researchers.

We’ve upgraded our computer system and procured new software. We now have fast, reliable Internet service. This has promoted research efficiency — and joy. The funding has energized us, and helped us raise our profile. We’re viewed as a credible organization undertaking independent, high-quality research. Ghana’s president praised our work in his State of the Nation addresses in 2009 and 2010, and indicated he intended to take up our recommendations.

Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: Former lawyer, Jean Mensa, now the Executive Directorof Ghana’s Institute of Economic Affairs is a very impressive woman. I happily stumbled across the following piece about Jean Mensa and had to share it. I’m sure you’ll be just as inspired as I am……

Jean Mensa -Executive Director, Ghana's Institute of Economic Affairs

Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: I have paid numerous visits to, The Institute of Economic Affairs, Ghana’s website and its makes for very interesting reading. Its well worth a daily visit… the following is more info about this institute.

“Oil revenues have the potential to be a great blessing for Ghana, but Ghana must be careful to avoid the Resource Curse.” The Institute of Economic Affairs, Ghana

“While Ghana is now described as a Lower-Middle-Income country, it still faces many development challenges.” The Institute of Economic Affairs, Ghana

“The polarization of Ghanaian politics threatens to taint democracy in Ghana. More must be done to overcome this.” The Institute of Economic Affairs, Ghana

“Whilst women are over half the population, less than 10% are MPs. Women need to be better represented in Parliament and in the broader policy dialogue.” The Institute of Economic Affairs, Ghana

The Institute of Economic Affairs, Ghana, is Ghana’s Premier Public Policy Institute. Established in 1989 by a young Ghanaian economist, Dr. Charles Mensa, the IEA- Ghana was set up to make a difference in Ghana, the West African sub region and the entire African continent.

Our mission is to promote good governance, democracy and a free and fair market economy. We believe that the creation of an environment in which economic, social, political and legal institutions function openly and freely is the key to sustainable economic growth and human development.

Ultimately our work is informed by our vision - an economically viable and democratic Ghana, West Africa and ultimately Africa in which the rule of law prevails, the institutions of democracy are protected and respected and the rights and freedoms of the citizens are enjoyed by them. The Institute of Economic Affairs, Ghana

Visit Ghana's Institute of Economic Affairs at:

**Credit IDRC / Link:

No comments:

Post a Comment