Background

The African Future Institute (AFI) was established in early 2004 to sustain prospective thinking in Africa by optimising on the achievements of the African Futures project (AF).The African Futures project was set up in 1992 by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to assist African countries to conduct perspective studies and develop a long-term vision for their development process. Between 1992 and 2003, AF provided technical support for the development or implementation of twenty-five national long-term prospective studies (NLTPS) which contributed to mobilize in Africa a large segment of development players and have them ponder over alternative visions and strategies within the time frame of a generation. In addition to providing direct technical support to such studies by training high-level officials involved, AF has also published several studies and documents of which, Four books:

  1. Africa 2025: What possible futures for sub-Saharan Africa? ;
  2. The future Competitiveness of African economies;
  3. National Commodity Sectors and World Commodity Markets: Strategic and Forward-Looking Monitoring;
  4. A guide for prospective thinking in Africa. The list of the major documents produced by African Futures is available on this website. It should be underlined that all documents exist in at least 2 languages (English and French) and in 3 languages (English, French and Arabic) for "Africa 2025: What possible futures for sub-Saharan Africa".

Vision

The AFI is a pan-African non-governmental organization registered as such in South Africa. Headquartered in Pretoria, its mission is to serve as “an African platform for prospective thinking to facilitate the formulation by African countries of endogenous development models and approaches to achieve social justice, safeguard the dignity of their people and win the 21st century battle”.

Mandate

The mandate of the Institute is to contribute to the development of prospective studies and thinking in Africa as well as securing individual and institutional capacity-building, to assist Africans and their partners to implement their programs and initiatives based on truly shared visions of the long term development process”.

Objectives and planned activities

The activities of AFI are based on the programmes and key focus areas of the Institute. The product offering will not change significantly with the move of the project from UNDP to being an independent entity as an Institute. This will ensure that the indigenous knowledge and capability that has been carved over the years is leveraged to leap-frog, expand and entrench the ideals of the Institute. The key areas are as follows. The main objective of African Futures Institute is to promote the adoption of a proactive attitude towards the future, an attitude that is the only one capable of creating conditions that can enable African countries to take advantage of changes in a context characterized by the rise of uncertainties. To attain this, five mutually reinforcing specific objectives (which define specific / focus areas) have been identified:

  1. Advisory and support services for LTPS
  2. Training and Capacity building for LTPS
  3. Research on cross cutting issues and interests
  4. Strategic Environmental scanning
  5. Communication and publication