Explore the initiative:

For Africa to achieve transformative progress, solutions and policies must come from local sources. Since its launch 15 years ago, AGI has established itself as the preeminent center on African development policy from an African perspective.

Housed within the Global Economy and Development program, AGI scholars partner with a broad network of African think tanks to provide impactful, high-quality, and nonpartisan research and policy guidance on pressing issues impacting the Africa region. AGI focuses its research on five key areas: (1) development financing, (2) trade and regional integration, (3) technology and innovation, (4) jobs and structural transformation, and (5) climate change. Underscoring these five main pillars are three cross-cutting themes that are inter-connected and relevant to all our research: governance, gender, and youth.

Our approach

We work with African policymakers, regional leaders, U.S. policymakers, multilateral institutions, civil society, and other key stakeholders to help inform new policies and models for inclusive and sustainable growth in Africa. Our approach has three main themes:

  1. Focus on rigorous economic research. We provide high-quality, independent research to inform policy. Our interdisciplinary team of experts and scholars draws on the core strengths of Brookings—authoritative and nonpartisan research as well as a depth of practical expertise—to establish long-term strategies for economic growth and innovative policies for development in Africa.
  2. Elevate African voices. We bring together African scholars, policymakers, and subject matter experts to offer insights into the unique and diverse challenges faced by African countries and propose new pathways for development. We see the elevation of African voices in global policy debate and U.S.-Africa relations as a key element to creating effective and transformative policies that will enable Africa to sustainably and inclusively converge with the rest of the world, particularly in terms of standards of living, opportunity, and GDP per capita income.
  3. Strengthen partner capacity. We collaborate and co-generate research with a broad network of African scholars and more than 24 leading think tanks across Africa. Our collaboration seeks to raise the profile of African think tanks as independent and credible research centers capable of providing robust and rigorous academic evidence to inform policy decisions. AGI leverages this network to disseminate research findings for maximum policy uptake and to ensure its research priorities are demand-driven and informed by the needs of in-country decisionmakers.


  • Development financing. Policy mechanisms to secure long-term, quality funding for Africa’s development agenda through enhanced access to capital markets, domestic resource mobilization, debt management, and greater financial market innovation and inclusion.
  • Trade and regional integration. Policy solutions to reduce barriers to international and regional trade in Africa and strengthening Africa’s relations with traditional and emerging trade partners.
  • Technology and innovation. Strategies for Africa to capitalize on new technologies and build a robust digital economy that generates jobs and economic growth.
  • Jobs and structural transformation. Policy research supporting Africa’s transition from low-productivity sectors to more dynamic, resilient, and high-productivity economic activities
  • Climate change. Ways to improve global collaboration on climate change and increase Africa’s resilience to climate shocks.

Our team

Distinguished Advisory Group

The Brookings Africa Growth Initiative Distinguished Advisory Group is a panel of select, high-level policymakers, academics, and practitioners who provide guidance, counsel, and strategic leadership to AGI on key issues facing Africa today.

  • Ernest Aryeetey
    Foundation Secretary-General of the African Research Universities Alliance
    Professor of Economics and Former Vice Chancellor of University of Ghana
  • Donald Kaberuka
    7th President, African Development Bank (2005-2015)
    Special Envoy, African Union Peace Fund
  • Njuguna Ndung’u
    Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury and Economic Planning for the Republic of Kenya
    Former Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya
  • Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
    Director-General of the World Trade Organization
    Former Minister of Finance, Nigeria
    Nonresident Distinguished Fellow, The Brookings Institution
  • Antoinette Monsio Sayeh
    Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
    Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Center for Global Development
  • Lemma W. Senbet
    William E. Mayer Chair Professor of Finance, University of Maryland
  • Amadou Sy
    Assistant Director, African Department, International Monetary Fund