University of Buckingham launches Initiative for African Trade and Prosperity

Initiative is described as 'one of the most important policy initiatives happening anywhere in the world'

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 10:17 am
Updated Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 10:18 am

The University of Buckingham’s Vinson Centre has launched the Initiative for African Trade and Prosperity (IATP), in partnership with the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Its mission is to champion African free market solutions for increased prosperity by helping to support those best positioned to make a change.

The initiative is headed up by university research associate Alexander Hammond, a policy analyst at the Institute of Economic Affairs and Senior Fellow at African Liberty.

Alexander Hammond, director of the Initiative for African Trade and Prosperity
Alexander Hammond, director of the Initiative for African Trade and Prosperity

The IATP is the only university-based project dedicated solely to research and writing about African free trade solutions designed to boost the continent’s prosperity, while serving and assisting a network of think tanks, universities, schools, local groups, and individuals that are interested in doing the same.

The IATP will create new relationships to allow for more support to be available for local people who are interested in creating African policies that result in greater free trade and prosperity. This support will include sending educational resources such as books and CDs with audiobooks, co-producing events and lectures, and articles for their national media pushing for greater freedom.

The IATP’s advisory council consists of Franklin Cudjoe (founding president and CEO of IMANI Centre for Policy and Education), Douglas Carswell (CEO of the Mississippi Centre for Public Policy), Linda Whetstone (chairman of Network for a Free Society), Marian Tupy (senior fellow of the Cato Institute), Ibrahim Anoba (editor of African Liberty), Linda Kavuka (advocate of the High Court of Kenya and Director of African Programs at Students for Liberty) and Chris Hattingh (deputy director of the Free Market Foundation).

Speaking after the launch, IATP director Alexander Hammond said: “Africa has by far the most amount of people living in extreme poverty but, when compared to other regions, not as many people or organisations are discussing bottom-up free market solutions that can be made to enrich the continent.

"Twenty-four brilliant free enterprising think tanks are currently based in Africa, along with thousands of students and academics with an interest in free trade, however, no organisation is dedicated solely to continent-wide free trade or hosts a project that does so.

“The IATP will fill this gap and become a unifying voice for open and liberal trade across the continent. We have already started working with many think tanks and individuals across the continent to make their voices that champion bottom-up African free market solutions more effective and louder than ever before.

Douglas Carswell said: “Across every continent and culture, free trade has helped lift the condition of humankind. It’s the secret sauce that makes rich countries prosper.

"The Initiative for African Trade & Prosperity means that Africans might at last be able to enjoy free trade with those in Africa and beyond. That makes this one of the most important policy initiatives happening anywhere in the world.”