The Leadership Project has recently launched a major research effort titled, “Southern Voices in the Northern Policy Debate,” funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. This initiative stems from the concern that the Southern “voice” or perspective is seldom heard as the debate around issues of mutual concern is structured in forums like the G-8, G-20 and WTO.
The Leadership Project has developed a two-step process to address this issue, first by convening a preliminary Consultative Conference in Dakar, Senegal where a group of Africa-based research and policy institutions will define and present global issues that they feel are critical to North/South dialogue. This will be followed by a second conference held in Washington, DC where those selected will present their research on an international policy issue to a Northern audience. This initiative will not only elevate African perspectives on serious issues, but it will also serve to create a network of African think tanks and research institutions both with each other and their US counterparts that will help them keep their voices heard.