ACET at Work

Transformation = Growth + DEPTH

Since the mid 1990s, many African countries have seen steady economic growth but have struggled to leverage that growth into sustainable development policies and plans.

For example, countries continue to rely excessively on low-productivity agriculture, and they have failed to develop strong manufacturing industries.

At ACET, we work with Africa’s public and private sectors to address the policy and institutional barriers that hamper sustained growth.

In our view, it is not enough for African economies to simply grow. They must also transform.

In short, African countries need Growth with DEPTH, which is how ACET encapsulates the multidimensional process of economic transformation into a practical policy agenda.


While pursuing further improvements in the macroeconomic and business environments, countries have to diversify their production and exports.

They have to become more competitive on international markets.

They have to increase the productivity of all resource inputs, especially labor.

They have to upgrade the technologies they use in production.

Only by transforming can countries ensure that growth improves human well-being by providing more productive jobs and higher income, and that everyone benefits from shared prosperity.

2014 African Transformation Report

Areas of Focus

At ACET, we focus on the “how-to” of policy reform, drawing on the best experiences and practices from within Africa and around the world. We accomplish this by relying on on a core set of objectives and activities supported by our organization’s five operating pillars.

5 Operating Pillars

Economic Strategies and Management for Transformation


  • To help countries produce more transformational development strategies and plans in response to country demand. To help countries raise resources and manage them efficiently to promote economic transformation.

Making Economic Growth Inclusive


  • To expand employment opportunities so that economic growth is more inclusive and incomes are more equal.
  • To ensure that African workers’ skills, particularly among the youth, align with employer needs.

Leveraging Extractives for Transformation


  • To help countries use their natural resources – mineral, oil, and natural gas – to more effectively support economic transformation by optimizing revenue take from projects, managing in transparent and accountable fashion, linking to other economic sectors, and boosting local content and value addition.

Modernizing Agriculture and Promoting Light Manufacturing


  • To raise the productivity and resilience of traditional smallholder farmers.
  • To promote the growth of a small and medium-scale modern commercial farming sector.
  • To link agriculture to industry through processing and other light manufacturing to add value.
  • To enable agriculture to respond to urban population demands.

Boosting Trade Facilitation and Regional Integration


  • To help countries accelerate trade facilitation as a means to promote regional integration.
  • To help countries provide a platform to support a transformed regional business environment through increased trade and policy harmonization.

ACET has many publications available that are a useful source of information for the latest developments for transformation related activities.

Our Approach in Action

In a few short years, ACET has accumulated a notable body of work that has helped shift the debate, globally and regionally, toward economic transformation as the way to achieve sustained growth and shared prosperity in Africa.

Due to our successful blend of analysis, advice, and advocacy, we can point to past achievements, ongoing successes and exciting future plans across all three of the levels at which we operate.

Our approach in action

Latest Highlights


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