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Solomon Appiah

Futurist Profile

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Solomon Appiah

Policy Analyst: Sunesis Policy Initiative

PREVIOUS ASSIGNMENTS
Policy Analyst: Africa Progress Panel – Geneva
Consultant: Natural resources Governance Institute
Director: Education for Transformation - Ghana
Member: Sixth Prisons Service Council – Ghana
Chairperson: Project Efiase Prison Reform Initiative (Prisons Council)

Education
BSc Public Administration (Ghana);
Master of Public Policy (Germany)

Solomon answered a few questions about his perspective and on being a futures thinker.

ABOUT YOU AS A FUTURES THINKER / PRACTITIONER

You identify yourself as an African futures thinker or practitioner. How would you describe to the woman or man on the street what it is that you do in this regard?

Capacity building (training leaders), policy analysis, policy dialogue, authoring reports, op-eds, & delivering presentations on a diverse range of multidisciplinary issues on the continent of Africa.

Mr. Appiah has served in the Extractives, Corrections & Education sectors. Amongst his memorable assignments are those done for the Kofi Annan chaired Africa Progress Panel in Geneva where he was part of the team that produced the game changing 2013 Africa Progress Report on extractives and Africa’s development. In 2015, was part of the team that planned and executed the historic first visit of a living president to a prison in Ghana. The outcome was the release of funds for the construction of Ghana’s only purpose-built prison for pre-trial inmates. Mr. Appiah has also consulted for the Natural Resources Governance Institute and the data he supplied on Ghana was used in compiling part of the 2017 Resource Governance Index. Mr. Appiah’s research included but was not limited to examining Ghana’s Petroleum Revenue Management Act 893, measuring the quality of governance in the oil, gas and mining sectors across a diverse range of indicators. His work also included giving written feedback on the Ghana 2015 Pilot Assessment.

How many years have you worked as an African futures thinker / practitioner?

About nine years

In which countries or places have you had working experience as an African futures thinker / practitioner?

Accra-Ghana
Geneva-Switzerland

In what languages have you undertaken futures / foresight related work or research?

English

What is it that motivates you to work or participate in the foresight / future studies / related field

A better developed Africa benefitting its people and the world.

What goal/s would you most like to reach with your work as an African futures thinker / practitioner?

Contributing to transforming Africa’s fortunes for the better through advocacy, education and public policy analysis.

Who or what most influenced your thinking as a futures thinker / practitioner, and how?

Influenced by the life stories of Kwame Nkrumah, John Evans Atta Mills, C.S. Lewis, & George Orwell.

What is your main disciplinary background? (i.e. your primary training / qualification)

Public Policy, International Relations, Profit & Not for profit Management

How do other people describe you and how do you describe yourself?

Others describe me as… optimistic

I describe myself as… hopeful

 

YOUR PERSPECTIVE

What is one of your favourite quotes about the future?

“The womb of the future is today thus we can determine today what we’d like to see and experience tomorrow by what we sow in the womb of today.” - Solomon Appiah

How would you describe the state of African futures thinking right now?

Undergoing a renaissance! Solutions to Africa’s challenges as well as Knowledge creation about the continent is increasingly inclusive of Africans themselves.

What is, in your opinion, the main barrier to uptake of futures knowledge by African institutions and organisations?

Insufficient engagement of such institutions in a sustained non-derogatory, respectful manner.

If you were to give advice to someone who wants a career in African foresight / future studies, what would you say to him or her?

A major key to succeeding in a career in an African foresight / future studies career is developing a genuine compassion for the continent & its people.

What are your recommended readings for every African futures thinker / practitioner?

The Gentle Civilizer of Nations: The Rise and Fall of International Law 1870–1960 by Martti Koskenniemi 2004;
Politics As Usual: What Lies Behind The Pro-Poor Rhetoric by Thomas Pogge

 

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