About us

The Think Africa Partnership (TAP) is the World Bank Africa Region’s flagship multi-partner trust fund focusing on translating knowledge to economic policy action in sub-Saharan Africa. TAP’s premise is that better-informed policies and more effective government can lead to better development outcomes.

TAP bridges the knowledge ‘supply side’ to the government ‘demand side’ by supporting and connecting African scholars to African think tanks and senior government advisors, to ensure policy is informed by home-grown and home-owned ideas and evidence. TAP builds peer networks across these three stakeholder groups: early-career African economists (Economists for Transformation), African early-career development professionals (Africa Fellows), WB-AERC Visiting Scholars, economic policy think tanks, including the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), and a network of chief economic advisors to presidents and prime ministers in more than 40 African countries – the Chief Economists of Government (CEoG) initiative.

WBG Africa Fellowship cohort 2020, supported by TAP

The Think Africa Partnership is organized around three pillars:

  • Pillar 1: Amplify the voice of African scholarship by continuing to support African early career economists, scholars and collaborative research studies
  • Pillar 2: Supporting regional and domestic knowledge capacity, which includes support to African think tanks such as ACET and platforms for peer learning and action such as the G20 Compact with Africa (CwA).
A peer-learning workshop led by ACET
  • Pillar 3: Building the bridge to policy impact, which builds and supports 40 African chief economic advisors to heads of the executive across 40 countries (CEoG initiative)

TAP Annual Reports

We are committed to providing clear, timely information on our activities, finances and grantmaking efforts. Our annual reports from 2019 and 2020 are available at the links below:

TAP Annual Report 2022 (reporting period March 2021 – February 2022)

TAP Annual Report 2021 (reporting period March 2020 – February 2021)

TAP Annual Report 2020 (reporting period: March 2019 – February 2020

TAP Annual Report 2019 (reporting period: April 2018 – February 2019)

Governance structure

The governance structure of the Trust Fund includes a Steering Committee (SC) and a Program Management Unit (PMU). The Program Management Unit will handle the day-to-day business of the Think Africa Partnership and will be a point of contact for routine issues for partnership members and other stakeholders. The Steering Committee will consist of representatives of the official development partners, the World Bank, and other relevant experts and stakeholders. It will be chaired by the World Bank’s Vice President for Africa or his nominee. 

TAP Steering Committee Members

Holger Illi is Head of Division of Africa Policy at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). He previously worked at the World Bank as Senior Partnership Specialist until 2014 and was Executive Director for Germany in the Caribbean Development Bank.
Dr. Andrew Dabalen is the World Bank’s Africa Chief Economist since July 2022. He was previously Lead Economist and Practice Manager for Poverty and Equity in Africa and Practice Manager for Poverty and Equity in the South Asia Region. His research focuses on poverty and social impact analysis, inequality of opportunity and labor markets. A Kenyan national, Dabalen holds a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California.
Helene Ystanes Føyn is the Assistant Director of the Private Sector and New Partnerships program at the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). Dr. Lemma W. Senbet is the William E. Mayer Chair Professor of Finance at the Smith School of the University of Maryland and Director of the Center for Financial Policy. He was previously Executive Director of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC). He has advised the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, African Economic Research Consortium, and other international institutions on issues of financial sector reform and capital market development.
Dr. Ahmadou Aly Mbaye is the dean of the Centre de Recherches Economiques Appliquées and is a Professor of Economics at the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar (UCAD). He currently holds the position of director of the Laboratoire d’Analyse des Politiques de Développement (LAPD). Mbaye has been serving as a member of the AERC’s Program Committee for more than four years.Dr. Albert Zeufack, a Cameroonian national, is the World Bank’s former Chief Economist for Africa and currently Country Director for the DRC, Angola, Burundi and Sao Tome Principe. He is also a member of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Natural Resource Charter at the University of Oxford, a member of the Advisory Board of the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), a member of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Network, and a member of the Board of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC).

TAP and CEoG Secretariat

  • James Cust, TAP Program Manager
  • Justice Tei Mensah, CEoG Task Team Leader
  • Maximilien Onga-Nana, CEoG Advisor
  • Constantine Manda, CEoG Economist
  • Hannah Niemeyer, TAP Program Coordinator
  • Alexis Rivera Ballesteros, TAP Economist
  • Mamadou Tanou Balde, TAP Economist
  • Desiree Brahima, TAP Program Assistant


Under the Think Africa Partnership, all Bank executed activities (BETFs) are carried out by Bank staff and follow the Bank’s administrative policies and procedures, as described in the Development Partner Guide. Activities where funds pass on to a third party and for which the Bank plays an operational role (RETFs) might encounter safeguards issues and are therefore subject to the Environmental and Social Framework (ESF). The Environmental and Social Framework enables the World Bank and Borrowers to better manage environmental and social risks of projects and to improve development outcomes.

If you have any questions about safeguards, please do not hesitate to contact us: jcust@worldbank.org