The Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS) is a continental institute that seeks to address the short, medium, and long-term development challenges in Africa in a holistic and comprehensive manner.

MINDS emerged out of the observation that development efforts in Africa have failed to meet expectations with respect to social, institutional and economic outcomes in comparison to other regions of the world such as Asia.

Background and rationale

In most African states, it would appear that policy formulation and implementation could be greatly enhanced through the creation of an institution that is independent from government and political parties. Such an institution would be resourced to have capacity for formulating policy proposals for public debate in a non-partisan manner. Over time, governing political parties gradually lose the capacity and appetite for the robust debate that is necessary for the formulation of policies that are capable of underpinning the implementation of measures necessary for sustained development.

Most African institutions that are involved in policy formulation proposals tend to be official or public sector institutions. Two challenges arise from this ownership and dependency on public funding. The first challenge is how these institutions can, under these circumstances, take and maintain an independent and when necessary, challenging stance towards their paymasters. Secondly, if they are set up by the government of the day, then in all probability their staff will, from the very beginning, be chosen on the basis of their views being in alignment with the government of the day. In this situation, the value that derives from an institution that has a different perspective on issues is lost.

This justifies the establishment of a complementary and independent institution. The addition of an independent facet to policy formulation proposals and debate will introduce a point of view that should be value additive to public institutions work. The Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS) established in 2010, emerged out of a simple and rather obvious observation that development efforts in Africa have hitherto failed to meet expectations with respect to social, institutional and economic outcomes in comparison to other regions. MINDS is an Africa-wide think tank which provides a forum for dialogue, information dissemination and networking, underpinned by rigorous research on the different elements of ‘Africanness’ in order to shape policy and practice on governance, economic development and the evolution of African institutions. It seeks to address the short, medium, and long-term development challenges in Africa.

The central hypothesis in setting up MINDS is that effective and sustainable development can only be achieved if development policies and practices are founded on the cultural heritage, value and knowledge systems and institutions of the people who are the subjects or beneficiaries of the development interventions.


Board of trustees

Nkosana Moyo

Dr. Nkosana Donald Moyo

Dr. Nkosana Moyo is the Founder of MINDS. He was until August 2011, the Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, African Development Bank. Nkosana Moyo is a national of Zimbabwe. He holds a PhD in Physics from Imperial College, University of London and an MBA from Cranfield School of Management, UK, an Eisenhower fellow.

Before joining the AfDB, Dr. Moyo worked at Actis Capital LLP as Managing Partner for the Africa Business ( He also served on the boards of a number of companies in the cement, sugar, finance, tourism, mining, airline and food sectors. He also served as Minister of Industry & International Trade of Zimbabwe. For three years, Nkosana was the Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum - Africa Regional Agenda Council on the Future of Africa (

He was a Founding Trustees of the Investment Climate Facility (ICF) (; and is on the Board of the Africa Leadership Institute (

In the Tertiary Education sector, Dr. Moyo has served as an Advisory Board Member of the London Business School ( as well as the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (

Dr. Moyo is the Executive Chairman of the Mandela Institute for Development Studies.

Graça Machel

Mrs Graça Machel

Graça Machel is a renowned international advocate for women's and children's rights and has been a social and political activist over many decades. She is a former freedom fighter and was the first Education Minister of Mozambique. Her contributions to the Africa Progress Panel, the United Nations Secretary-General's Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group, the High-Level Panel on Post 2015 Development Agenda, and now as Member of the UN Secretary-General's Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group have been widely appreciated. She is a member of The Elders, Girls Not Brides, Board Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, Ambassador for Every Woman Every Child, President of SOAS, University of London, Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, Board Chair of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes, President of the Foundation for Community Development, founder of the Zizile Institute for Child Development. As Founder of the Graça Machel Trust, she has focused more recently on advocating for women's economic and financial empowerment, education for all, an end to child marriage, food security and nutrition, and promoting democracy and good governance.

Ali A. Mufuruki

Mr Ali A. Mufuruki

Is the Chairman & CEO - Infotech Investment Group LTD. Ali Mufuruki is a national of Tanzania. Mr. Mufuruki is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering Design from The University of Technology and Economics in Reutlingen, Germany. He lives in Dar es Salaam with his wife and four children. Mr. Mufuruki is the Chairman and CEO of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania)‐based Infotech Investment Group LTD (,which has business interests in real estate, retail, advertising, IT and telecommunications services. He is a founding partner of East Africa Capital Partners (EACP) (, a Nairobi, Kenya based private equity fund dedicated to ICT, Media and Telecoms with over USD 100m under management.

Mr. Mufuruki is the Founding Chairman of The CEOs' Roundtable of Tanzania (, a policy dialogue forum that brings together CEOs of the top 50 companies in Tanzania. He sits on the board of AngloGold Ashanti's Geita Gold Mine LTD. In 2002, he became the founding Chairman of Air Tanzania Company LTD. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Tanzania Central Bank (, where he serves as Chairman of the Audit Committee. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Amsterdam‐based ATMS Foundation, a joint project of the UNDP and the International Finance Corporation ("IFC").

Mr. Mufuruki sits on the boards of two non‐profit and philanthropic organisations in the United States namely Technoserve Inc. of Washington, DC,( and The Global Philanthropy Forum (GPF)( based in California, USA. He also sits on the board of Enablis East Africa. Mr. Mufuruki is a Henry Crown Fellow of The Aspen Institute Class of 2001 ( and Founder and Chairman of The Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) East Africa (

Sara Menker

Ms Sara Menker

Sara Menker is the Founder and CEO of Gro Ventures, a Nairobi-based, Africa-focused commodities business. Prior to founding Gro Ventures, Ms. Menker was a Vice President in Morgan Stanley’s Commodities Group in the Fixed Income Division. She studied Economics and African Studies at Mount Holyoke College and the London School of Economics, and earned an MBA from Columbia University.

Gro Ventures consists of two arms: Gro Intelligence and Gro Energy. Gro Intelligence is a data aggregation, reconciliation and analysis business focused on providing timely, comprehensive African agricultural commodities reporting as a driver to agricultural market development. Gro Energy is a knowledge business composed of regional and industry experts that work with governments and private institutions to identify issues and opportunities within the African energy landscape.

Ms. Menker is the current Chair of the Board of Truth Aid, an organization which harnesses the power of multimedia in order to effect social change. She is an Ethiopian national currently residing in Kenya.

Jumoke Oduwole


Dr Jumoke Oduwole is a lecturer in the Department of Jurisprudence & International Law, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Nigeria. Her research interests include International Economic Law and Development, Public International Law and Human Rights, particularly the Right to Development and she has published widely in these areas. She is a second term elected member of the University of Lagos Senate where she sits on the Senate Committee in charge of Student Scholarships, Bursaries and Loans.

Professor Oduwole was appointed as the 2013-2015 holder of the Prince Claus Chair in Development and Equity 2013–2015, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, part of Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands, a visiting professorship in honour of the late Prince Claus of The Netherlands by the Curatorium chaired by H.M. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands.

Jumoke is a Vice President of the Africa Association of International Law (AAIL), representing West Africa and serves on the Executive Committee of the African International Economic Law Network. She was a 2013 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Fellow of the prestigious African Leadership Institute.

Dr Oduwole has an LL.B from University of Lagos and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1999. She obtained an LL.M. degree from Cambridge University, England in 2000, where she was a DFID-Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholar. After a career in investment banking, Jumoke pursued a second masters degree in International Legal Studies as well as a doctorate degree in International Trade and Development from Stanford Law School, where she was a Graduate Fellow at the Stanford Center on International Conflict and Negotiation (SCICN) from 2007/2008. Oduwole was a visiting scholar at University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Texas USA from 2008 to 2010.

Jumoke is passionate about development issues in Africa. She has mentored Nigerian youth in various capacities for over 15 years and is an avid photographer.

Advisory Board

Donald Kaberuka

Dr Donald Kaberuka

Dr. Donald Kaberuka is currently serving his second five-year term as President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB). He was first elected in 2005, becoming the seventh president of the Bank Group since its establishment in 1963. He was re-elected in May 2010 at the AfDB's headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, for a second five-year term. He took the oath for his second term in September of that year in Tunis, the Bank's current temporary relocation city.

Before joining the African Development Bank, Dr Kaberuka, 60, had a distinguished career in banking, international trade and development and government service. A national of Rwanda, he was the country's Minister of Finance and Economic Planning between 1997 and 2005. During this period, he oversaw Rwanda's successful economic reconstruction after the end of the civil war there. He initiated and implemented major economic reforms and introduced new systems of structural, monetary and fiscal governance, laying special emphasis on the independence of Rwanda's central bank.

These reforms led to the widely-recognized revival of Rwanda's economy, and to the sustained economic growth that enabled Rwanda to obtain debt cancellation under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative in April 2005. During his service at the AfDB, Dr Kaberuka has presided over a major redirection in its strategy for development and poverty reduction in Africa. To that end, the AfDB has placed increased emphasis on the private sector, and on the importance of major infrastructure developments in areas such as road, railways, power plants and communications, especially in their role in promoting regional integration in Africa. During Dr Kaberuka's period of office, the AfDB has become Africa's premier financial institution. In 2009, in response to the global financial crisis, the African Development Bank Group made record approvals of loans and grants totaling more than USD 12.6 billion. Dr Kaberuka was educated at universities in Tanzania and Scotland. He holds a PhD in Economics from Glasgow University.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala served as Managing Director of The World Bank Group since December 1, 2007 until August 2011. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian national, founded NOI-Gallup polls, an indigenous Nigerian opinion research organization, and co-founded the Makeda Fund – a fund to invest in African women entrepreneurs. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the Brookings Institution. She served as Finance Minister and subsequently Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria from 2003-2006. As Finance Minister, She led Nigeria"s Economic Team responsible for implementing the Obasanjo administration's far reaching economic and social reform agenda. The reforms made particular progress in restoring macroeconomic stability, tripling growth, initiating a strong fight against corruption, and increasing transparency.

Before taking up her Ministerial appointment, she served in a number of important positions at the World Bank including Vice President and Corporate Secretary, Director of Operations in the Middle East and North Africa region, and Country Director for the South East Asia and Mongolia Country unit. She joined the World Bank in 1982. She serves as a Director of World Resource Institute. She is a recipient of numerous awards and honors including Time Magazine European Hero 2004, Euromoney Magazine Global Finance Minister of the year 2005, Financial Times/The Banker African Finance Minister of the year 2005, This Day Nigeria Minister of the Year 2004, 2005, Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Colby College 2007, and Brown University 2006, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Northern Caribbean University, Jamaica.

She is a member or chair of numerous boards and advisory groups in the public, private and non-governmental sectors including DATA, the World Resources Institute, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Nelson Mandela Institution and the African Institutes of Science and Technology, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation Governance Prize Committee, Friends of the Global Fund Africa. She is also an adviser to the World Bank on the Stolen Assets Recovery (STAR) initiative, and served as a member of the Malan Committee on Bank-Fund collaboration. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala graduated with an A.B. magna cum laude in Economics from Harvard University, and holds a PhD in Regional Economics and Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Francis Daniels

Mr Francis Daniels

Mr. Daniels has over 15 years' experience investing in Africa. He is a director of Africa Opportunity Partners, the investment manager of Africa Opportunity Fund Limited, an investment company listed on the Specialist Fund Segment of the London Stock Exchange.

He is a member of the boards of directors of Masawara PLC, a company admitted to trading on the AIM Market with a portfolio of private investments in Zimbabwe; and Triton Resources, Inc., a private Canadian company dedicated to harvesting of trees submerged by the lakes created by hydroelectric dams, such as the Volta Lake in Ghana. He serves also as a member of the supervisory board of the Meridiam Africa Infrastructure Fund. Mr. Daniels is an attorney admitted to practice in the State of New York. He holds a LL.B degree from the University of Ghana, a LL.M degree from the University of Toronto, and a LL.M degree and a LL.M (Corporations) degree from New York University Law School. He is currently based in Johannesburg.

Adebayo Olukoshi

Dr Adebayo Olukoshi

Nigerian national, Adebayo Olukoshi is the director of the United Nations African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP). Prior to that position, Olukoshi held the posts Research Professor and Director of Research and Studies at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs. He was also a Senior Research Fellow/Research Programme Coordinator of the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) in Uppsala and Senior Programme Staff at the South Centre in Geneva. Until March 2009, he was Executive Secretary of the Council for Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA). He holds a PHD in Politics from the University of Leeds.

Trevor Manuel

Trevor Manuel

Trevor Manuel was the South African Minister of Finance for 13 years. Before being appointed as Minister of Finance, he served as Minister of Trade and Industry. From 2009 – 2014 he served in the Ministry of the Presidency where he led the National Planning Commission.

He has been awarded the “Global Leader for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum as well as Africa’s Finance Minister of the Year. He has held positions of leadership in a number of international organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, Development Bank of Southern Africa, as well as the African Development Bank.

In 2014, Manuel left the public sector when he joined the Rothschild Group as their Worldwide Senior Advisor as well as Deputy Chairman of Rothschild South Africa. He is also currently the chancellor of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in the Western Cape.

Thandika Mkandawire

Thandika Mkandawire

Professor Thandika Mkandawire is a Malawian economist. He is the former Director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) and is the first person to take on the position as Chair of African Development at London School of Economics and Political Science. Mkandawire studied Economics at the Ohio State University and the University of Stockholm.

From 1986 through 1996, he was Executive Secretary of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA). He was also a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Development Research in Copenhagen. Mkandawire is a member of numerous editorial boards including Journal of Human Development and Oxford Development Studies; Africa Review of Books, and Feminist Economics. He is a part of executive committees of the International Institute for Labour Studies, the Swedish NGO Fund for Human Rights, the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP) of the International Social Science Council, Care International, the Steering Committee of the UN Project on Intellectual History, and the African Gender Institute.

He has received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Helsinki in Finland as well as a Doctorate in Letters from Rhodes University, South Africa.

Noureddine Ayed

Mr Noureddine Ayed

A qualified Electro-Engineer, Mr Ayed is a Tunisian National who attained his academic qualifications in Liege, Belgium. With over three decades of experience in various industrial sectors, he has led multi-million dollar trade missions and developed successful partnerships with engineers and local government authorities in several countries. His track record includes international industrial technical assistance provided in countries including Tunisia, Egypt, Cameroon, Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Qatar, Phillipines and the USA, amongst others.

Mr Ayed was elected Business Man of the Year 2008 and Honorary President by the Tunisian Businessmen World Association. He was also honoured by the Society Centre for Exporters in Milan, Italy and received awards from the Governments of Thailand and The Phillipines. Mr Ayed is Honorary Consul of Malaysia to Tunisia from 2004 till present day.

David Adjaye

David Adjaye

David Adjaye OBE is recognized as a leading architect of his generation. Adjaye was born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents and his influences range from contemporary art, music and science to African art forms and the civic life of cities. In 1994 he set up his first office, where his ingenious use of materials and his sculptural ability established him as an architect with an artist's sensibility and vision.
He reformed his studio as Adjaye Associates in 2000 and immediately won several prestigious commissions. In Oslo he designed the Nobel Peace Centre in the shell of a disused railway station (completed in 2005). In London his design for the Whitechapel Idea Store pioneered a new approach to the provision of information services (2005). Later projects in London included the Stephen Lawrence Centre, with teaching and community spaces (2007), Rivington Place, an exhibition venue and resource centre (2007), and the Bernie Grant Centre for the performing arts (2007). Adjaye Associates' largest completed project to date is the £160 million Moscow School of Management Skolkovo (2010).
In the United States, Adjaye was the designer of a new home for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver (2007), two public libraries in Washington DC (2012), as well as of several innovative residential projects. In 2009 a team led by Adjaye was selected to design the new $360 million Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington DC. The practice has also completed a social housing scheme in New York's Sugar Hill (2014), the Center for Art and Culture at Colgate University (ongoing), The Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art at Harvard's Hutchins Center (2014) and a condominium development for Four Seasons in Washington DC (ongoing).
Adjaye Associates now has offices in London, Berlin, New York, Accra and Shanghai, with projects throughout the world. These include a shopping and cultural complex in Beirut (ongoing), a concept store in Lagos (2014) and a new headquarters building for the International Finance Corporation in Dakar (ongoing).
Adjaye frequently collaborates with contemporary artists on art and installation projects. Examples include The Upper Room, with thirteen paintings by Chris Ofili (2002), Within Reach, a second installation with Ofili in the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2003), and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art for the 21st Century Pavilion that was designed to show a projection work by Olafur Eliasson, Your Black Horizon, at the 2005 Venice Biennale. The Upper Room is now in the permanent collection of Tate Britain. Adjaye is now collaborating with Okwui Enwezor on the design of the forthcoming 56th Venice Art Biennale.
Adjaye has taught at the Royal College of Art, where he had previously studied, and at the Architectural Association School in London, and has held distinguished professorships at the universities of Pennsylvania, Yale and Princeton. He is currently the John C. Portman Design Critic in Architecture at Harvard. He was awarded the OBE for services to architecture in 2007, received the Design Miami/ Year of the Artist title in 2011 and the Wall Street Journal Innovator Award in 2013.
The material from Adjaye's ten-year study of the capital cities of Africa was shown in Urban Africa, an exhibition at the Design Museum, London (2010) and published as African Metropolitan Architecture (New York, 2011, and as Adjaye Africa Architecture, London, 2011). He was the artistic director of GEO-graphics: A map of art practices in Africa, past and present, a major exhibition at the Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels (2010). The last exhibition of his architectural work, David Adjaye: Output, was held at Gallery MA, Tokyo (2010) and he is now collaborating with Haus der Kunst in Munich and the Art Institute of Chicago on a comprehensive retrospective exhibition, which will open in 2015.


Pedro Pires

Pedro Pires

Pedro Pires, Capeverdean freedom fighter, was born in 1934. Head of the delegation that negotiated the independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde with the Portuguese Government. Prime Minister of the Republic of Cape Verde for 15 years (1975-1991). Member of Parliament (1975-2001). Leader of the largest Capeverdean opposition party from 1991 to 1993, resuming leadership in 1997 until mid-2000. Elected President of the Republic of Cape Verde in 2001.

Reelected in 2006. Honoris Causa Degree by the Federal University of Ceará, Brazil; Honoris Causa Degree in Public Administration by the Institute of Social and Political Sciences of the Technical University of Lisbon. Mo Ibrahim laureate. President of Pedro Pires Institute for Leadership and Amilcar Cabral Foundation. Member of: the Africa Forum; West African Commission on Drugs. Jury of: Gulbenkian Prize; UNESCO Prize Jose Marti. UNCCD Ambassador of Drylands. Honorary Board Advisor of the Africa Foundation for Governance and Leadership.

Festus Mogae

Festus Mogae

His Excellency Festus Mogae obtained a B.A. in Economics from the University of Oxford in June 1968 and after one year as a Junior Economist in the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning of Botswana, he obtained an M.A. in Development Economics from the University of Sussex in 1970. Thereafter he re-joined the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning team. He rose through the ranks until he became Permanent Secretary in the same Ministry.

He was then elected Alternate Executive Director and the full Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund, October 1976 to October 1980. On his return home he was appointed Governor of the Bank of Botswana (i.e. the Central Bank). In 1982 I was appointed Secretary to the Cabinet, Head of the Civil Service and Supervisor of Elections. On his retirement from the Public Service in 1989, he was elected Member of Parliament and appointed Minister of Finance and Development Planning. In 1992, he was appointed Vice-President but remained Minister of Finance and Development Planning. He was re-elected in 1994 as Vice President and became President in 1998 when his predecessor retired. He was elected President in 1999 and 2004 and retired from the Presidency in 2008.

During his Civil Service career, he served in many economic and development parastatals such as Botswana Development Corporation, National Development Bank, De Beers Botswana, Water Utilities Corporation, Botswana Power Corporation, Botswana Meat Commission and several mining companies as a Government Director. On retiring from the Presidency after ten years, he was awarded the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Excellence in African Leadership. He has also been honoured by five (5) African countries and received eight (8) Honorary Degrees from African, American, British and Australian Universities.

Olusegun Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo served as President of Nigeria from May 1999 to May 2007. In 2008 he was appointed by the United Nations as a special envoy for Africa and has since overseen democratic elections on behalf of the African Union and Ecowas in countries across the continent. He established the African Leadership Forum, which organises workshops advocating African solutions to African problems through better leadership, state capacity building and the encouragement of private enterprise.

Outside of Nigeria he has been central in the regeneration and repositioning of the African Union. Together with former South African president Thabo Mbeki, he lead the creation of the African Peer Review Mechanism designed to engender and promote the ideals of democracy and good governance and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development. In 2008 he was appointed special Envoy on the Great Lakes region by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and continues to be an integral actor in mediation efforts in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Obasanjo has also served as the African Union’s Special Envoy for Togo’s 2010 Presidential elections, as well as South Africa’s presidential polls in 2009.

He is presently an advisor to New World Capital; an investment advisory firm providing interested parties with market access, investment advisory and co-investment opportunities across the continent. President Obasanjo is also Founder of the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation, a UK based charity that has a mission of advancing Human Security for All. The Foundation has wide ranging initiatives of Feeding Africa, Youth Empowerment, Education for Girls and a health initiative focused on non-communicable and water borne diseases.

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