Idasa to close after 27 years

Political think tank, the Institute for Democracy in Africa (Idasa), will close after 27 years because it cannot get financial support.

“It is with regret, but also appreciation for what has been achieved and understanding of the inevitability of changing circumstances, that the board of Idasa announces the closure of this respected organisation,” executive director Paul Graham said today.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria will hear an application on April 2 for its winding up, which is expected to go ahead unless “substantial immediate additional financial support is forthcoming”.

The organisation had tried to reshape itself to adapt to current economic and socio-political circumstances over the last three years, but could not get the money, Graham said on behalf of the directors.

They are listed on the website as: chairman, Professor Njabulo Ndebele; Prof André du Toit; Roelf Meyer; Michele Ruiters; and Lindiwe Ndlela.

“We would like to thank most sincerely all those who have supported Idasa during its 27 years of existence, and especially the citizens of many countries and the diplomatic and donor communities who share our vision of helping to build democratic societies in Africa.”

They were privileged to have played a part in critical political events of the past two decades and to have contributed to “the increasing peace and prosperity of many countries in Africa, and to the deepening of democracy in South Africa and elsewhere”.

They planned to continue their work from different platforms.

When Idasa first formed during apartheid in 1987, it was the Institute for a Democratic Alternative in SA, hence the acronym. After the 1994 democratic elections, it shifted focus to building democratic societies and later changed to the Institute for Democracy in Africa, according to its website.

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