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Dr Jibrin Ibrahim

Futurist Profile


Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim

Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim is the Director of the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), a regional research, advocacy and training NGO in West Africa. A political scientist and development expert with over thirty years of active engagement with the civil society, Dr. Ibrahim was a member of the Nigerian Electoral Reform Committee and the Chair of the Global Call for Action against Poverty (GCAP) Dr. Ibrahim is the current chair of the West africa Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) Executive Committee.

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


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?

I anticipate emerging trends and issues so that I can contribute to preventing negative outcomes occurring and promote positive trends that promote democracy and people centred development.

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

Twenty years

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


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


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

My interest is in governance which is really about planning and solving human problems which is my motivation of full time engagement in civil society.

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

To increase my impact on improving African governance in the direction of people centred development in a context in which the people are able to exercise their citizenship rights and dictate the direction of development.

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

My participation in the OECD Long Term Perspective Study of West Africa in 1994/5.

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

I have a doctorate in political science from the University of Bordeaux in France.

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

Others describe me as… committed

I describe myself as… An activist



What is one of your favourite quotes about the future?

“The future is no longer what it used to be”

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

“Weak but developing”

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

Lack of forward thinking and too much of a focus on immediate gains.

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?

Have no fear

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

How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney


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